Our blog is an invitation, a celebration and a conversation. We invite you to travel behind the scenes as we share stories about our hopes and dreams, our products and passions, and our everyday lives. Celebrate and affirm the best parts of the human spirit. Help us discover what it means to live an inspired life-to learn, laugh, love, grow and make a difference for the world. Join in the conversation. Open the book of your life and share the kinds of things that inspire you.

Entries Tagged as relationships

Celebrating Compendium Friends & Family

by Dan Zadra · 08.24.2011

A good friend of mine had a dream in which he saw himself as a gently glowing beam of light moving endlessly through a huge crowd. Wherever he went, the light made life brighter and happier for those he happened to touch. It was such a hopeful dream that he eventually decided to adopt that vision as his philosophy of life, and he was never the same again.

What a world this would be if you and I, and the people who live or work down the street, and across the hall, and around the world, suddenly decided to reach out more often and brighten our little corners of the world for friends and family.


That's what Compendium's annual Friends & Family event is all about. First, it's our way of saying a sincere thank you for being an active part of our online community. But it's also our way of inspiring you to reach out and inspire someone else, who in turn will reach out and inspire someone else, and so on down the line from heart to heart.

Think for a moment. Right now, there's a certain someone (or several certain someones) in your circle of friends and family who would welcome a little beam of inspiration, appreciation, or celebration in their world. The right card, book, or message from you--out of the blue--would make their day and light up their life.


What's the "right" card, book, or message for the person you have in mind? Don't worry; you'll know it when you see it. Spend some time on our website and let your heart make the choice. While you're there, enjoy our 30% Friends & Family discount with our compliments, including free ground shipping on orders that total $50 or more with the discount applied. Simply use code thankyou30 during step 2 of the checkout process. You can verify that your code has been applied during step 4.

From all of us here at Compendium, thank you so much for being our customer and friend--and for lighting up your corner of the world.

» 3 Comment s   Tags: love · relationships · inspirational products · encouragement · friendship · friends and family

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Our Inspired Community

by Meredith · 08.16.2011

All of us at Compendium will tell you that the work we do every day is about connecting. It's about creating products that bring people together in times of celebration, times of joy, times of challenge, and in simple, everyday moments. One of the greatest joys in this work is hearing from people who write to tell us how a book or product of ours has made a difference to them.

When Dan Zadra, our founder and senior writer, met Carrie and her daughter Skylar during a book signing at a local store, it was just the beginning of a unique friendship. Carrie and Skylar have been longtime readers of Compendium books, and had plenty of stories to share about the ways they live inspired in their own lives. When Dan found out that Skylar's 13th birthday was coming, he invited Skylar and her mom to the Compendium offices for a celebration. And they came!

We asked Carrie if she'd be willing to write us a blog post for us, and she graciously agreed. Want to share your own story with us about a product you love, or how you live inspired everyday? Feel free to comment below, or on our Facebook page.

Carrie writes:

When my 13-year-old daughter, Skylar, and I recently met Compendium founder, Dan Zadra, at a signing for the 2 book, we were thrilled to share with him how Compendium products have impacted our lives over the years.

Compendium's 5 book and video gave me the courage to move across the country from Cincinatti to Seattle to start a whole new adventure for my family. And the messages of kindness in Compendium's books have inspired Skylar to leave surprises on our neighbor's doorsteps and to hide notes in unexpected places for strangers to find.

After sharing these stories with Dan, he invited Skylar to tour Compendium's headquarters for her birthday so she could meet the creative people who give birth to the products we both love so much.

Our visit was an eye-opener, especially for Skylar. As we walked into Compendium, we were inspired by this place where creativity and collaboration are valued and where you can hold onto childhood whimsy and playfulness even as an adult. We loved how Compendium's space was filled with reminders...

to always celebrate your inner child...

to take your dreams seriously...

that creativity can be a messy process...

that no matter how important you are, making time for others is just as important...

...and to always tend to your soul and to others.

I am so grateful to Compendium for sharing these messages with my daughter as she officially becomes a teenager. Walking into Compendium's office was like walking into one of their books--joyful and inspiring. This experience has made Skylar and me more aware of the messages we send through our words and actions.

Thank you, Compendium folks, for taking the time to invite us into your world.

» 2 Comment s   Tags: relationships · the 5 book · the 2 book · inspirational products · friendship

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Boogie Monster!

by Meredith · 08.02.2011

The Compendium offices are a colorful place to work. There are bikes to ride, candy jars to raid, and life-sized lions and polar bears on the walls. And occasionally, just occasionally, someone shows up to work looking like this:

That's Boogie Monster--the main character of our most recent children's book, and we're thrilled to be able to introduce him to you! When actress and author Josie Bissett approached us with the idea of a Boogie Monster sequel to her Tickle Monster book, we were excited right away. Dance is a great way for kids to get moving, develop coordination, and gain self-confidence; we knew that a book like this one would be a wonderful way for kids and parents to share the joy of dancing together. Josie turned her idea into a full-length manuscript filled with delightful rhymes and we knew this was just the start of something good.

So we contacted our friend and illustrator Kevan Atteberry, who made Boogie Monster into the colorful character you'll see on every page:

Along the way, our friends Recess Monkey got in on the fun, putting together a boisterous CD filled with fantastic back-to-back hits that guarantee a dance party. It's impossible to stay still while listening! The only reasonable thing left for us to do was to top off the fun with some furry orange leggings made for dancing. So we did! And then we packaged everything together in a gorgeous reusable gift box that's destined to become a family favorite.

Obviously, Boogie Monster has made things a whole lot livelier around here! And now, we'd love to share a little of that excitement with you! We're giving away one complete Boogie Monster Dance Kit, complete with book, CD, and leggings! Want to win? Just tell us which Boogie Monster in your life you'd share this gift with--your own child? A niece, nephew, or favorite neighbor? Maybe even someone who's all grown up? Post your answers here or write them on our Facebook wall by Monday, August 15 at 11:59 pm PST, and boogie on!

» 12 Comment s   Tags: relationships · boogie monster · children's books · tickle monster

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The things that make our day

by Meredith · 05.24.2011

At Compendium, we're like the rest of you: there are days when we could use a little reminder that the work we do makes a difference in the world. That's why, one rainy Friday, we were so thrilled to receive this email from Kalene, who works at a drug and alcohol treatment program. Her words reminded us exactly why we love the work we do, and we wanted to share her story with you.

Kalene wrote:

I wanted to take a minute to once again say thank you so much for your products, services, and support. I bought some inspirational window cards a couple of years ago, and I give them weekly to the women in our drug and alcohol treatment program. These cards have made such a difference in these women's lives. For many, they have entered treatment with no hope, no sense of self-worth, and have extensive traumas that have perpetuated their addictions. The majority have extremely strained relationships with their families due to their use and abuse of drugs and alcohol and the behaviors that accompany their usage.

Every week, I rotate between the cards To Your Success, I Believe in You, Believe, Success, and Never Quit. The women read their card out loud and take a moment to share how it applies to them in their lives.

Since we started in September 2009, we have had 6 women graduate our program, with 8 set to graduate in June, and an additional 10 by the end of this year. At their graduation, I give each one of them a journal from Compendium, signed by the treatment team, along with a box of window cards. These women then journal about the first 30 days of their new life, using tools they learned in treatment to support their recovery, and share their journal writings with the women in treatment.

I want everyone at Compendium to know that you have had a major impact on several lives--not only those who are currently working to change their lives, but also many kids who have their moms back, parents who have their daughters back, and siblings able to re-unite. What you do really does matter!

 

» 1 Comment   Tags: relationships · window cards · inspirational products · encouragement

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Celebrating the "2" Book

by Dan Zadra · 03.17.2011

The "2" book is the latest addition to our best-selling 'life by the numbers' series. The first book, entitled "5," is a book about life's adventures and asks the question, 'Where will you be five years from today?" The second book, entitled "1," is about life's purpose and asks the question, 'How many people does it take to make a difference?' Both books were instant best-sellers.

 

Now, we're pleased to introduce the "2" book--an inspiring celebration of couplehood. If you have found love, you have been given one of life's greatest gifts. Treasure it. Savor it. Celebrate it. Pick a time to sit side by side--just you, your partner, and the "2" book--and look out at the future together. Dream together. Laugh together. Plan together. Fall in love with life all over again.

Remember, it's not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that really counts.

» 1 Comment   Tags: love · wedding · anniversary · relationships · inspirational products

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Words Have Wings

by Meredith · 09.07.2010

As a writer, I've always believed wholeheartedly in the power of words. Words to express gratitude, words to express love, words to apologize, to build relationships, share joys, process the world around us. In the few months that I've worked at Compendium, it's become even more apparent to me how the right words at the right time can change someone's day.

One of my jobs here is to find a daily quote to post to our Facebook account. I choose quotes from books we publish, or quotes that people share with me, or quotes from our gigantic quote database, which is filled with thousands of statements from all kinds of people, on all kinds of topics. An hour in the quote database is like a whirlwind trip through the ages. There are thoughts from Roman statesmen, movie stars, saints, poets, philosophers, and football players. Most days, a quote hits me hard right between the ribs, and I know that's the one to use.

But the best part of the whole process is hearing from all of you, and knowing that those words hit close to home for someone else. I love watching the responses come in from our Facebook fans, especially when they're along the lines of "this is exactly what I needed to hear today."

A few weeks ago, I came up with the idea of sending our quotes out to a broader population--not just to those who purchase our books, or those who've added us to their Facebook network. I wanted to make it possible for our words to find people at home, in the world. Serendipitously.

So Dan Zadra and I asked our warehouse staff to stockpile some Window Cards for us--cards that arrived at the distribution center in dented or damaged boxes, but whose contents were still perfect. Now, we're giving those cards away. In a big way. We want to send thousands of Window Cards out into the world, and we want you to be involved.

How? Send me your mailing address, and we'll send you an envelope full of Window Cards. Each one will carry its own message of inspiration. They'll be assorted. And they won't be for you. They'll be for you to give to friends, or leave in mailboxes, or place on a park bench or in between the covers of a library book. They're for brightening the bus driver's day, or the waitress', or the parking attendant's. And with any luck, they'll hit close to home in just the right way.

A note from Compendium, April 2011:

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Words Have Wings project! We received inquiries from all around the United States and the world, and sent thousands of Window Cards off to meet people in surprising and unexpected ways. The project is closed for now, but please check our blog regularly for updates--we hope to create similar events in the future, and look forward to your participation!

» 23 Comment s   Tags: relationships · window cards · inspirational products · encouragement

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Living on Purpose

by Layla · 08.11.2010

A note from Compendium: We're thrilled to offer you a post by our very first guest blogger--Layla from The Lettered Cottage. Keep reading, and you'll discover exactly why we feel so lucky to have her here.

***

I'll never forget the day my husband, Kevin, and I discovered Live-Inspired.com.

It was around 1 o'clock in the morning, and we were both working on our computers in our home office. The room was dimly lit and quiet, except for the sound of our clicking keys. We were both pretty tired, but we were on a mission to finish up some internet business before we turned in for the night.

One item on Kevin's to-do list was "find the website that makes the cool metal postcards."

Earlier that day, I had received one in the mail from someone who reads my blog.

There was no return address on the package it came in.

It was a completely random act of kindness, and I was not only blown away by the sweet anonymous gesture, I was also intrigued by the super-cool metal postcard she sent me.

So as we sat at our computers that night, Kevin did a bit of surfing and eventually landed at Live-Inspired.com. He invited me to pull up a chair next to him, and we spent the next hour scouring the entire site together. We sat there, side by side, just taking it all in. With each click of his mouse, we found ourselves smiling. We read phrase after phrase aloud to each other, and we became filled to the brim with a fresh sense of focus and passion.

As we made our way from one Live-Inspired webpage to the next, we were re-inspired to be dreamers, do-gooders, and romantics.

We were encouraged to share our abilities, energies and talents.

We were motivated to stay hungry and foolish.

And we were reminded to preserve and protect the things that can't be replaced.

At one point, we clicked on a link that took us to a video about the "5" book. If you've never watched it, I encourage you to check it out. It has the ability to both fill you up and take your breath away, simultaneously. It's amazing.

We watched it three times in a row that night. We even paused it a few times so that we could talk about some of the thoughts it sent rushing through our heads.

The phrase, "live your life on purpose" initiated a conversation about the importance of our 'invisi-goals'--the kind of goals that concern your spirit. The kind of goals that make you feel the most alive--like being a better friend or family member, giving back more often, and thinking more positively.

The question/answer, "What is life for? Life is for YOU" sparked a discussion about the importance of seizing every one of our days. We made a pact to be more observant, and to seize even the most common of occasions and treat them all like extraordinary opportunities.

We talked and talked, and we must have smiled for an hour straight. Needless to say, it was a truly inspiring day from start to finish, and by the time we finally decided to head to bed I swear we could've floated there.

» 12 Comment s   Tags: relationships · tin can · inspirational products · encouragement · friendship

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A Celebration of Fireworks

by Steve · 07.09.2010

This past weekend, I was given the gift of participating in my son's engagement here on the roof of the Compendium offices. I've worked here at Compendium for over 16 years. When I first started, my oldest son was only 8 years old; he's now 24. Early on, Kobi, our president, would come over and give me direction in my home office. When I turned back to work, he would play with my three children until they were sent off to bed. That's just to say that we're all kinda family here. So not only was it a treasure for me to be a part of this engagement, but it has touched several others here as well.

While the engagement has been in the making for quite some time, the decision to "pop the question" on the 4th of July was a surprise, especially for his fiancee. Over the past few years, several Compendium employees and their families have used our rooftop vantage point to watch the Lake Union fireworks display. This year, my son told his fiancee that she and some co-workers of mine were invited to watch the fireworks together. My entire family came early to the office and transformed the rooftop deck into a romantic bistro for two. We set out flowers, champagne, lights, tiki torches, her favorite "chocolate fondue," and Compendium's own Love window cards. As expected for Seattle, it rained and rained right up until an hour or so before they arrived, adding just enough anxiety to our already stressed excitement. Off to the side and out of sight was a camera capturing the entire event to remember forever. When everything was perfect, we all hid and waited.

When my son entered the deck from the stairwell, the surprise was over. In an instant, she knew. She turned around to see her "knight" on one knee. Her reaction to this posture was completely and overwhelmingly filled with joy. I had forgotten how exciting true love is at its inception. They hugged and cried and soaked up the moment for as long as they could. It was truly inspiring. He called us out of hiding along with some special friends and we watched the fireworks together, both theirs and those in the sky.

Love is amazing.

» 6 Comment s   Tags: love · wedding · relationships · window cards

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When I Was with My Father...

by Dan Zadra · 06.07.2010

 

Here’s a great reminder from our best-selling Dad, My Hero book:  “Those who say that we live in a time when there are no heroes just don’t know where to look. To find a real hero, sometimes all we have to do is look closer to home."  Joseph Campbell once wrote that a hero is not necessarily a legendary figure; more often he’s an everyday person who has given his heart to something bigger than himself. That’s a perfect way to describe a great dad.

 

 

It’s true. Few things in life are more powerful or heroic than a father’s positive presence throughout the years. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Think back on some of the simple, loving things he did that made you feel happy and secure. Was it the sound of his footsteps on the stairs, as he hurried home early from work? Was it his laughter at the dinner table? His cheers from the sidelines?  His words of encouragement and hope?  His hand on your shoulder and a “you can do it” when the going got tough?

 

Years from now, when you look back on all the times you had with your Dad, chances are you won’t be able to remember all the things he did or said. What you will surely remember, however, is how he made you feel---and that feeling will always be with you.

 

There’s a little poem by Marsha Jeffrey Hendrickson that expresses what I’m trying to say. I once had this poem typeset and framed for my own dad at Father’s Day. He kept it on a shelf with his favorite family pictures for years, and we included it in his memorial service when he died:

 

When I was with my father,

when I was just a child,

the world was filled with wonder

and every place was wild.

And every day was magic,

and Santa Claus was true,

and all the things that mattered

were things my father knew.

We often went exploring. . .

and I learned to love the land,

but the greatest thing I ever learned

was how to understand---

That the finest gifts are often

things we may not always see;

when I wasn’t with my father,

my father was with me.

 

A great dad is someone we look up to, no matter how old we are. He may not be perfect, but he has given his heart to his kids, over and over, especially when it counted.

» 1 Comment   Tags: love · relationships · father's day · gift books · inspirational products

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The Stationery Show Top Ten

by Liz · 06.01.2010

 

 “Start spreadin’ the news

I’m leaving today…

I want to beeee a part of it,

New York – New York…” 

 

This is what I hummed  from Seattle to New York City last weekend on our way to the New York Stationery Show.  My seat neighbor was probably less than thrilled on round 27 of my tune.  In thinking of how I could re-tell our stories to you with some New York flair, I landed on David Letterman’s “Top Ten List”.  So without further ado, here are the:

 

Top Ten Things from Compendium in the City:

 

10.    Since we already covered the humming, you should know that I am always happy.  I high-five coworkers, hug strangers, sing in traffic, etc.  Working at Compendium means we are surrounded by inspiration on a daily basis, and this inspiration rubs off.  This was evident when my cab driver looked in his rearview mirror and said, “You sure smile a lot.”

 

9.    New York City has the best slice of pizza for $1.00 at 9th and 41st.  I will buy you a slice if you can find a better one.

 

8.   We debuted our new boxed card sets and had outstanding feedback!  It’s so fun to hear people get excited about new products!

 

7.    We met an extraordinary woman with a touching story.  She came to the show to window shop and while shuffling through all of the busy booths, she discovered us.  She couldn’t help but stop.  She told us that she had stage 3 cancer, and is now living her life to the fullest.  She was touched by our products.  We were touched by her courage.

 

6.    Have you ever seen a cuter face?  Okay, maybe I’m biased, since this is my child.

 

 

Side note: Our new kids products are SO fun!!  I can’t wait to get the new World of Thanks kit out!

  

5.    Note to self/tip to travelers:  Always carry an umbrella in New York City.  Sudden DOWNPOUR and a nine-block walk in the rain make Liz a very soaked girl. 

4.    Our designers went to see the Letterman show and brought a Tickle Monster Laughter Kit for Dave’s son Harry.  The show’s producer had much fun with the mitts, I’m wondering if we have an adult demographic we are overlooking…

 

3.    We stocked our booth with One books to give away.  Three days and dozens of “Are you the ones giving away that cool blue book?”, and we inspired 1000 new Compendium friends and fans. 

 

2.    The Louie Awards are like the Oscars of our industry.  Last year we won Greeting Card of the Year with a Positively Green card and this year, WE BROUGHT HOME TWO AWARDS for Friendship and Sympathy cards!  Such a great honor!

 

And LASTLY:

 

1.    At the Louies we were introduced to a young man named Ian Meier.  Ian is a 5th grader who makes incredible handcrafted greeting cards out of his bedroom, sells them at local stores, and loves inspiring other people. Ian’s passion and innocence warmed my heart.  In the age of video games, Facebook hellos, and twitter thank-yous, Ian is bringing his generation back to gratitude.  He reminded me to think of how thankful I am for the people in my life who make me smile.  Then he encouraged me to slow down.  And tell them.

» 2 Comment s   Tags: relationships · tickle monster · positively green · gift books · inspirational products · encouragement · friendship

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