Live Inspired

Submit Your Tickle Monster Video!

by Meredith · 06.12.2012

Recently, we were lucky enough to come upon a wonderful YouTube video of a family reading aloud—and kids laughing out loud—as the Tickle Monster rolls into town from Planet Tickle. Before long, the whole office was smiling as each of us took a look. So it made us wonder: Are there more videos out there of families reading Tickle Monster that would also tickle our funny bone? Sure enough, there are! And so we were inspired to launch our Tickle Monster Video Contest—because giggles and laughter are contagious, and we’re hoping to spread yours around!

Just cuddle down or settle in to wherever you like to read, reach for your copy of Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett, and don the super-soft plush Tickle Monster Mitts that comes with the Tickle Monster Laughter Kit. Then press “record,” and get ready to laugh as your child (and you) are tickled pink.  (Though just plain giggles and grins are pretty wonderful, too.)

Upload your video to YouTube, “Like” Compendium on Facebook, then post the link to our Facebook page (or email the link to We’ll be looking at the videos on June 30th, so be sure to share them with us by then. We’ll announce our winners on July 6th, and though laughter might just be the best reward, $100 in Compendium products is pretty sweet, too!

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Optimism is Good For You

by Meredith · 06.05.2012

Do you know someone who always sees a light where there is none? Someone whose life might be full of worries and uncertainties, and yet still seems upbeat? That someone you know knows something remarkable--the treasure of optimism. Because sometimes, just the act of believing that things will work out helps the world to work that way.

Optimists believe that good things will happen, and, when things go wrong, they see them as temporary setbacks--not roadblocks. They'll work the problem through until they've solved it, or until they've learned enough to try and try again, a little bit wiser and a little bit stronger.

And their persistence pays off: recent studies prove that optimism has a lifelong impact on our overall health and well-being. Research at the Mayo Clinic shows that, over 30 years, optimists live longer, and that their will to stay upbeat no matter what seems to become a dedication to get healthy, and love the life they've been given. (Click here for a New York Times article that tells more.)

If optimism doesn't come naturally to you, try to end your day on a positive note. Taking a few minutes to jot down three positives from the day can help--minutes that might turnaround tomorrow (or other tomorrows) in quiet but remarkable ways. A notebook by your bedside table can serve as a reminder that there's one last thing to do before sleep--cultivating a new habit of optimism.

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Group Gift-Giving

by Meredith · 05.25.2012

Are you ready? Between graduations, Father's Day, and summer weddings, the next few months are big ones when it comes to gift-giving. And if you're giving a gift from a group of people, whether it's an extended family, a group of co-workers, or several close friends, gift-giving can get complicated!

All of us at Compendium love simple solutions, and we love gifts that are meaningful long after the special day is over. That's why we've started a tradition here at the office--a tradition of signing a gift book from all of us. It's simple: We choose a book that's just right for the occasion, and send it around so everyone can write a note inside with well-wishes, kind words, and signatures. It ends up looking like this:

The possibilities are endless. Coordinate a classroom full of kids to write a note to their teacher in a copy of Gratitude. Or have an office full of co-workers write well-wishes to a new mother in Hello, World! You can turn the 5 book into a combination guestbook and graduation present at a graduation party, or turn Here's to You into a retirement gift that will be appreciated well after the party's over.

Meaningful, inspirational, and something the whole group can give? What better way to honor someone you appreciate!


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Meet the Designer, Part Two

by Meredith · 05.03.2012

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Meet the Designer!

by Meredith · 04.27.2012

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Someone You Know

by Meredith · 03.30.2012

If you're lucky, you know someone like this: someone whose spirit is a little electric, someone who does good things for the world without even thinking about it, someone who lifts people's spirits just by showing up, someone whose goodness shows in everything they do.

Meet Margaret Murray. "She's been putting smiles on others' faces for years," says the news anchor in this story that came to our attention recently. Margaret is a respite provider for adults with special needs, and she has an absolute knack for bringing joy and inspiration to people around her. She also happens to be a big fan of our window cards.

If you need a little reminder of the beauty and light that one human being can give to another, take a five-minute break to watch this video from KPHO news in Arizona. And if Margaret's stunning outlook reminds you of someone you know, tell us about it! Nominate a friend, coworker, or relative who adds good to the world, and we'll pick one of your nominees to receive a goodie bag filled with window cards to give away! Just be sure to nominate someone (either here or on our Facebook page) by 11:59 pm PST on April 4, 2012. And whether you're giving of your time, your energy, or your beautiful spirit, follow in Margaret's tradition, and start something good today.

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What inspires us?

by Meredith · 03.27.2012

When you're in the business of creating inspiring books, cards, and children's products, you get lots of practice at finding inspiration in unexpected places. You start to notice the first spring flowers in colors that make you light up, you jot down a quotation that makes you think, and you start to collect little snippets of ideas that you might use in the creation of your next big idea.

And that is precisely where Pinterest comes in. We've discovered that Pinterest is a wonderful way for us to capture all the little pieces of inspiration that come to us each day. And we're excited to share our Pinterest account with you! Stop by frequently to take a look at the words, images, and ideas that have captured our hearts and imaginations. You'll find gift ideas, uplifting thoughts, images of our favorite products, and all kinds of things that inspire us to do the work we do. Follow our Pinterest page, and get a glimpse into forthcoming products, trending ideas, and what's new and exciting around the Compendium offices. And feel free to share our images with others! Join our community on Pinterest at, and get inspired with us!

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A Mad Dash

by Jennifer · 03.20.2012

For St. Patrick's Day, many of us decided to don some green apparel or accessories, and all of us were decidedly ready to do some celebrating, Compendium-style!

Our festivities included the usual drinks and snacks, of course. But the best part was the St. Patty's Day Dash, planned by Michael, the VP of Sales and Marketing. This was not your usual St. Patty's Day Dash, though. There was no spandex or running shoes or jogging around in the rain (this is Seattle, after all). No. We gathered together, divided into teams, and participated in a mad dash around the office--complete with skill stations and high heels...Yes, heels.

The laughter started even before the race did, as we all learned the rules of the game. For this relay, each team member would hurry to don the requisite team shirt, hat and yes, high heels before making their way from station to station as fast as they could speed walk. We jumped rope, did the limbo, sculpted masterpieces out of Play-doh, and showed off our Irish trivia smarts. The enthusiasm and spirit grew as we cheered each other on and enjoyed the merriment of the moment. Seeing Kobi, our CEO, strut his stuff in a pair of chunky white heels was definitely a hilarious highlight.

As a company, we value fun--shared laughter, play, celebration, and just having a good time. Our company events are a way we get to embrace and live out this value together. And this one did just that.

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Do you still believe?

by Dan Z. · 03.16.2012

It was Saint Patrick’s day. Another cold, gray, blustery Monday morning in Seattle. I was behind on a project and should’ve been at work, and my seven-year-old daughter, Rosie, should’ve been in school. Instead, the two of us were all bundled up and on our way to a grassy meadow behind a neighbor’s house—an enchanted-looking cluster of knolls where (according to my neighbor, at least) real leprechauns had recently been sighted.

Quietly, so as not to frighten the leprechauns, Rosie and I crept to the top of a knoll that day and settled down, side by side, with our backs against a big maple tree. For two or three hours, it was just Rosie and me. Sipping hot chocolate from a thermos to ward off the cold, we held our vigil, keeping our eyes peeled for the slightest movement in the long grass down by the willows.

“Rosie, did you see that?!” I would whisper. “Look over there where the path ends—can you see anything?” Her eyes grew wide. By now, we were both catching glimpses of little green hats and boots flitting all around us. “Now, do you believe?” I asked her in a hushed tone, because, as everyone knows, leprechauns only appear to those who believe. Of course, by then she certainly did believe, and I guess I did too.

Then came the most magical moment of all. Late in the morning we wandered along the edge of the meadow, pushing gently at the grass with our shoe tips, hoping for one last sign of a leprechaun burrow. And then—wonder of wonders—Rosie suddenly stumbled upon a cache of real Irish pennies and some chocolate coins covered in gold foil! Someone (a genuine leprechaun, perhaps?) had apparently dropped those coins in the grass the night before.

It was just another rainy Wednesday in Seattle for most people, but not for me and Rosie. And, despite playing hooky that morning back in 1992, Rosie made it through grade school okay, and today she has a great job. As for me, I’ve long since forgotten whatever project I was supposed to be working on. But Rosie and I will never forget that magical day in March when we lay in wait for the leprechauns together.

Many years later, on Saint Patrick’s Day, Rosie paid a visit to Seattle and surprised me with a card and a present. It was a cupful of gold-covered chocolate coins with a hand-written note tucked inside: “Dad, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. I still believe.”

That little note remains one of my most treasured possessions.

Find today's story along with many other inspiring quotes, questions, and exercises in our 7 book.

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First Thought, Best Thought

by Meredith · 03.14.2012

The moment your alarm clock goes off, you have a choice: you can open your eyes and start thinking about the meeting you're dreading, the chores you left undone, the disagreement you had the day before, and whatever might be disappointing you. Or you can open your eyes and think of something better--something you're looking forward to, someone you can't wait to see, a project you're excited about, something that's going well. Whether you know it or not, the first thought of your day is an important one. It sets your mind going in a direction that it's likely to follow.

Our thinking is associative--meaning that, for better or for worse, one thought leads to another. If you start your morning thinking negative thoughts, the rest of your day will follow suit. But just imagine what would happen if you used the snooze button on your alarm to provide you with a few minutes of positive framework for your day. Those few minutes of positivity, excitement, gratitude, and stability will breed more. And you'll enter your day feeling happier, more resilient, and more ready for what the world has to throw at you. Give it a try tomorrow morning, and see the effect for yourself!

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