Live Inspired

Inspiration When it's Needed Most

by Carrie · 03.12.2013

Today's blog post comes to us from Carrie Schmitt, an artist and friend of Compendium, who has such a wonderful story to share about her experience with the She book that we wanted her to tell you all about it herself. Visit Carrie's site at to find out more about her art. Here's Carrie with her story:

When I first read the She book, I was struck by how powerful the words were. I felt that every woman should read them over and over until these thoughts became the way she lived her life.

Perhaps single mothers need to hear these words more than anyone else. The challenges they face can be overwhelming. I know because I was one.

Today, I am no longer a single mother struggling with all the demands--financial and otherwise--that raising children brings. Not a day goes by that I don't sit in my art studio and think of that time in my life when I had no hope, when my future seemed so daunting.

Every flower I paint represents hope for another woman struggling--hope that one day she will find her way. That compassion and a helping hand will reach out to her.

Ever since I read the She book, I've wanted to incorporate these words into my artwork. One day, I tore out some pages and wove the words into mixed media collages.

When I learned about the Vision House, a local organization that provides transitional housing for women and children, I knew it was where these pieces were meant to be.

There is a (free) store where the families can pick out items to decorate and personalize their new home at the shelter.

I hope that the She book will remind them not to give up their dreams. That it will remind them to take one day at a time. That they matter. That they are doing the hardest and most important job in the world. That it will show them how truly amazing they are.

How do you spread messages of positivity and love? Feel free to post your comment here or to leave us a message on Facebook at

» 1 Comment   Tags: compassion · the she book · gift books · encouragement


Show Appreciation to Your Community

by Amelia · 03.04.2013





Your community supports you and creates your world. Say thank you to those all around you with random acts of kindness and gratitude!

"Doing good and feeling good are connected." Write Now Journal

Thanks Window Cards

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The Little Things

by Miriam · 02.12.2013

As part of my practice in living the Thankful Life project, I've been trying to pay attention to all the small things that bring me joy. Every night I make a list of the things I was grateful for that day: a hot cup of coffee, clean clothes to keep me warm, a coworker's compliment, my daughter's squeal of delight when her dad tickles her belly, and, of course, a comfortable bed with blankets to snuggle up with.

Throughout the day, I take note of things to add to my list. This past week, I was walking in Wallingford near our office when I discovered something that made me smile: a small wooden house perched on top of a pole in the middle of a neighbor's yard.

Underneath the house, there was a sign that read "Little Free Library," and inside of the house was a small collection of books free for the taking. My heart leapt with glee--what a wonderful surprise!

When I returned to our office, I grabbed a copy of our book What Makes You Smile? and wrote a note of gratitude inside the cover.

I ran back to the little wooden house and tucked the book inside next to Temple Grandin and Ivan Doig in the hopes that someone else will discover the simple joys in life and find gratitude in the small things.

Thank you to the Little Free Library for adding to my Thankful Life!

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Little Acts Show Lots of Love This Holiday

by Amelia · 02.04.2013

Sometimes, it just takes a simple gesture to show a lot of heart.  Writing a love letter, making eye contact, even simply reaching over to hold hands can be full of heartfelt meaning. For this Valentine’s Day, take a little time to show how much you care.

  • Tuck a picture of both of you into someone’s wallet. Include a loving quotation on the back such as “I give you my whole heart, for my whole life." –French Proverb
  • Write someone a love note on the bathroom mirror. Include the top three adjectives you would use to describe their sweet personality.
  • Get up a little early to brew coffee for someone. Put in an extra load of laundry. Unload the dishwasher. Though it may seem small, doing a few chores shows you appreciate the hard work they do every day to create your home.
  • Give one Love Window Card each day of the month before Valentine’s—on the mirror, hidden under a pillow, coupled with flowers—for 30 days of romance.
  • Write a personal note on the inside of the With Love gift book. Your heartfelt message and the playful, romantic quotes will make someone’s day.
  • Discover your dreams together with the interactive gift book 2: How Will You Create Something Beautiful Together? It’s full of questions such as “If you could open a door to anywhere, where would you go?” that will inspire you both.

This holiday, remember that when you share your love, it’s what in your heart that matters most.

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Never Pass Up a Chance to Be Kind

by Meredith · 01.29.2013

Mid-winter in Seattle can be pretty blah. The skies are gray, it’s usually raining, and we still have months to go before the balmy weather and sun return. In other words, we’re ripe for any kind of a pick-me-up the world might send our way.

So you can imagine the surprise of discovering that someone, some person with a heart of gold, has been posting these signs around town.

On busy roads and main intersections, they've cropped up everywhere. And no matter where your mind is when you pass one, it makes you stop and think.

Yesterday, I passed one of these signs on my way to the coffee shop after work. “What this day needs is a cup of hot cocoa,” I thought, and as I was walking briskly to get it, I passed by a gentleman who moved his umbrella aside to let me pass. As I was in the coffee shop ordering my cocoa, who should walk in but the gentleman with the umbrella? A little voice, one which must have been inspired by those signs, whispered to me, “buy his coffee!” So I did. I tried to do it anonymously, but he eventually figured it out and stopped by my seat to thank me on the way out. “What a kind thing to do,” he said. “I like it. I really like it. It does a body good.”

And, just like that, I remembered how simple an act of kindness can be. Also, just like that, I might have started a new tradition for myself—one of little kindnesses wherever I can give them. Have you done something like this lately? You hear so often how great an act of kindness can make you feel, but when you actually do it, it’s astonishing. It really does feel good. It's enough to make a gray day bright.


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Inspiring Gratitude: Introducing A Thankful Life!

by Amelia · 01.10.2013

Gratitude is a miraculous little thing. It can be so small and simple to show—and yet its consequences can be enormous. Scientists have been studying this phenomenon for years. In research studies, groups of people who have been tasked with writing down what they are grateful for each day have shown remarkable improvement regarding both their physical and emotional well-being. They note that they feel stronger, happier, and more satisfied with their life. Just by noticing—and appreciating—the good around them.

“To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. It just means we are aware of our blessings,” says Dr. Emmons, one of the leading authorities on gratitude. It’s simple: When you take the time to really acknowledge the good things that are in your life, you expand your potential for happiness.

This life-changing philosophy has inspired us to launch a bold, exciting new campaign this year called A Thankful Life: Inspiring Gratitude. Our goal is to inspire the writing of one million thank you notes over the course of the year!

It’s our hope to spread the joy of gratitude well beyond our offices. We want to encourage others to notice and appreciate the gifts given each day—whether it’s reconnecting with an old friend, enjoying a beautiful mountain drive, or something bigger such as starting a new business or seeing a loved one finally come home.

And we’re beginning the campaign with several exciting projects. First, the release of our new A Year of Gratitude Kit: A Kit to Inspire 52 Weeks of Giving Thanks. It includes 52 thank you cards with envelopes, a guided journal to chronicle your year of gratitude, and helpful tips on how to write meaningful notes—all housed in a gift box.

Second, we asked each employee to anonymously write a few adjectives about each other as well as state our own personal goals for the upcoming year. A small group gathered these kind words and created individual Wordles for each employee as well as a company-wide poster.

The more an adjective or phrase was stated, the larger the word became. So, if more than one coworker used the same description for someone, then that word increased in size. As you can see, our Emma is very sweet and Renee is fun and hardworking—and now they know that we know it too! And, we have a lot of people with goals to spend more time with family and friends, do community service, as well as communicate appreciation to each other.

And lastly, we’re also taking the time to write thank you notes to our extended Compendium family. From designers to accounts payable, every employee is taking it upon themselves to go beyond our doors to say thank you to our sales representatives, retailers, and dedicated customers. We are so grateful here at Compendium for the ways these individuals and businesses make our company possible, and we sincerely hope that our spark of excitement will light a candle of gratitude in the hearts of others.

Please join us! Each month we’ll post more ways to inspire gratitude, your stories on how gratitude helped you, giveaways, as well as share a weekly gratitude quotation on our Facebook page. To get started, “like” us on Facebook or check back here. Or, even better, start by writing your own thank you note!

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Enough Joy to Go Around

by Meredith · 12.20.2012

All of us here at Compendium love to hear stories about the way people incorporate our products into their lives. When we received an email from Donna, one of our sales representatives, telling us how her new son-in-law Justin proposed to her daughter Natalie, we knew this story was too good for us to keep to ourselves. Here's Donna telling the story:

Okay, so some of you have asked…this is how it all went down…about a month ago Justin called my husband Dan and asked for our daughter Natalie’s hand in marriage.  And since then the two of them have literally been on the phone at least two times a week.

So this was a TOTAL secret! Only Dan and I knew what was happening. Total 100% shocker for the other 20 in the room.  We told no one!

I ordered 22 Thanks A Bunch books and Dan and I wrote personal notes to each person inside them. I figured I would use the thank you window cards for place cards and each person could read theirs off…like fortune cookies.  We started and Justin and I had it preplanned to end with him.  So that’s how it went…if a really profound window card was read, everyone would go “ohhhhh….” and I would ask for it to be reread!  The 9 and 6 year old boys read theirs like such big guys and then little Izzy recited each sentence after her mommy helped her read her card.  She was so excited!

Natalie’s quote was so profound for the moment that she did not even know was coming.  Dan and I were dying…my heart was beating so hard I figured everyone at my table must have heard it…and then came Justin…he opened his and said, “What?  This is strange.  Mine says get down on one knee.  Yes, it says I must get down on my knee.”  He pushed his chair back and got down on his knee and facing Natalie he said, “Natalie, I love you.  Will you marry me?”…the entire room gasped.  Natalie kept wiping tears away and holding her hand on her chest as Justin leaned in for a kiss as he put the ring on her long awaiting ring finger.

Needless to say we all jumped up and ran to both of them…and time just stood still.  Mouths were dropped, and my Dad said, “Did it really say that?”…like straight out of the movie Moonstruck. It was indeed a day to be thankful for!

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Meet Compendium's Ambassadors

by Angeline · 12.11.2012

Over the last few months I've had the privilege of getting to know 11 outstanding individuals. Each of them radiates positivity, is committed to uplifting others, and truly understands what it means to live inspired. They are our Compendium Ambassadors.

The ambassador program began out of curiosity about the inspiring ways people were using our products. Every so often we'll hear a story about someone passing along window cards to friends who need encouragement, or receive a note from a recent graduate who used the 5 book to pursue some hidden dreams. We hoped to collect these stories and make a few new friends along the way.

Our ambassadors are a group of bloggers, students, mothers, artists, business consultants, and travelers. Each was given a similar box of Compendium products to share. The ambassadors never fail to surprise me with the creative ways they're spreading Compendium's message of living inspired with friends, family, and even strangers. During the next few months, I'll be sharing their stories with you.

Today, I'd like to introduce Jessica of Pen N' Paperflowers Studio & Design.

Jessica says she's always engaged in something artistic and describes herself as a designer by nature. "I have an inherent desire to inspire others and I share all things creative and inspirational on my blog, Pen N' Paperflowers Studio & Design," she says. She resides in Florida with her three beautiful daughters and her best friend. Visit her blog for much more on her graphic artistry, crafting, photography, digital invitations, party accessories, art prints, and patent-pending pastry stand!

When we asked Jessica for a list of things that inspire her, she created such a fantastic and heartfelt list we wanted to share it with you:

What inspires me:

I'm inspired by my children and the importance of motherhood.

I'm inspired to reach out to others to lift them, empower them, and encourage them.

I'm inspired by simple acts of kindness and love towards others.

I'm inspired by the strength of those who overcome amazing challenges and burdens.

I'm inspired when I focus on the simple things in life, which are ultimately the most important.

I'm inspired by human connection through humanitarian efforts.

I'm inspired by love, in any and all forms.

I'm inspired to give to others in whatever capacity seems fitting, especially if I feel it will help to lighten their burdens.

I'm inspired by the goodness and greatness of the human spirit.

I'm inspired by music and art.

I'm always inspired to be involved in creative things as well as inspired by the creativity of others.

I'm inspired by quotes and inspirational books.

I'm inspired by Compendium. *wink*

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Gifts of Gratitude

by Meredith · 11.14.2012

At this time of year, we're all thinking more about the things we're grateful for. If you look closely, those things are probably not things at all--they're people. They're the family members who've supported you, the friends who've encouraged you, the neighbors and coworkers who've done more than they needed to to make a difference.

In the spirit of gratitude, we've put together a gift guide filled with inspiring little thank-yous for anyone who's been generous with their time, talents, or heart. Discover books, cards, and gifts to express just how thankful you are for the people who make your life so bright and full.

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Spooky Business

by Amelia · 10.31.2012

Have you ever seen a moth hard at work on her computer? An ice cream sundae getting something from the printer? Or a black swan taking customer service calls? These and other delightfully inspired costumes graced our office this week for Halloween, many of them painstakingly handmade and well worth the effort. In addition to dressing up, a costume contest, a potluck lunch, and pumpkin carving rounded out our spooky day—in between sending emails, designing books, and other work-related activities!

Many of us will go home to hand out treats to happy little ones knocking on our doors—but for a little while, here at Compendium, we grabbed some of that youthful Halloween magic for ourselves!

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