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northstory notes – Oct 18, 2013

US coins

Yesterday I was going over my complete mess of a Facebook news feed (I say mess because I never see half the blogs I follow on there anymore due to whatever mysterious algorithm formula they’ve changed to) and luckily – or serendipitously – I came across Brittany of Pretty Handy Girl‘s status update. She talked about a random act of kindness and it led to this awesome thread of stories of people who had their own great RAK’s to share.

So I emailed her to ask if she could she could share it here and this is what happened:

I was waiting at the pharmacy across from the checkout when I overheard a man tell the cashier, “I only have enough cash to pay for some of these. I accidentally left my credit cards at home.” I turned around and saw a father with his toddler daughter trying to figure out which things in his cart he’d have to put back. A flood of memories came back to me as I remembered those days struggling to keep my toddler happy while I quickly grabbed groceries. I imagined how frustrated I’d be if I had to put half my cart back. Meanwhile, the cashier painstakingly watched as he handed her another item to ring up and assess what the total would be. 
I stepped out of line at the grocery store and asked the father if I could pay for the rest of his groceries. I assured him it wasn’t a big deal and he could pay it forward someday. He smiled and told me he was all about paying it forward! He quickly rang up the rest of his groceries, and handed the cashier the remaining cash in his wallet (despite my offer for him to keep his $8.) Then I did what I imagine anyone else would have done in my shoes, and paid for the remaining tally. He thanked me and insisted on giving me a hug. 
He left with his daughter and groceries and I got back in line at the pharmacy with a warm happiness inside.

I know right? Because you’re thinking what I’m thinking after reading that. Pretty damn amazing. The world needs more people like Brittany.

So thank you for sharing your story Brittany! Now go check out her latest amazing creation, DIY Industrial Cupcake Stands – because I love a good wood slice project.

In this week’s northstory notes:

A rockstar pumpkin – damn all you bloggers making love gold accents.

Poppytalk shared Maple & Belmont‘s work and it is so, SO pretty.

YHL posted a great discussion of whether or not “Phase 1 Projects” are a waste of time. You know, the half update, makeover reno of a room before the full and total reno.

I am probably the last person left who is still planning on carving their pumpkin this Halloween but this takes it to another level.

I love these Crystal Ball Halloween candlesticks from Flamingo Toes.

Haunted House. Mermag. Do I need to say anymore?

If you really and I mean really want to scare the hell out of your guests for your Halloween party, just do this. Or possibly this. But if you do this, I don’t want to know what’s for dinner.

Having followed Amanda’s kitchen reno since it started, I think I am going to move into hers.

And if you’re a blogger, you need to read this post. It is one of the best posts about blogging I have read in a long time. I read it in a week where I was having a very bad blogging night and it really put things into perspective.


  • Reply
    October 18, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I love northstory notes, I always “discover” something wonderful and new and the kindness theme ain’t bad either. Actually I was the recipient of a seemingly small act of kindness this week: I had Mia (baby) in the car and picked up Aiden (3) and he begged to go on a “trip” so we headed over to Target and it was just one of those days- Mia was cranky and miserable Aiden needed my attention right NoW and I felt all over the place. As I was getting them out of the car in the parking lot, my bag and all of its contents spilled out. Not a big deal but I was feeling so overwhelmed. There were cars everywhere and I had to make sure Aiden didn’t run in front of one while trying to soothe Mia and somehow get all of my crap off the ground while not getting hit by a car. This man stops his car in middle of the lot essentially blocking everyone, gets out and picks up my stuff for me. I was practically crying in gratitude. What mom hasn’t had one of those days where another pair of hands means the world? He just smiled, said “I have two granddaughters” got back in his car, and waited till we safely crossed and drove away. It was a big deal for me and helped me regain my composure and handle the rest of out trip without incident. I wish I had gotten his number or address or something but I guess I’ll just have to pay it forward 🙂

    • Reply
      October 26, 2013 at 10:13 am

      Ok that is awesome!! In a world where people press the elevator door shut so that moms with babies don’t get on the elevator with the passengers (believe me this happened many times in our old condo) stories like that are great.

  • Reply
    Victoria • Restoring our Victorian
    October 18, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I am so in love with those candlesticks. But am actually trying to talk myself OUT of making them. The amount of running around it would require for me to collect even half of that stuff… Maybe next year!

    Off to explore the rest of the links.

  • Reply
    Shauna Oberg
    October 18, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Love ARK stories. My sister and her husband went to pay for a meal when they were out once and the waitress told them it had already been paid for. Apparently an older couple was out celebrating and wanted to do something nice- love it!

    • Reply
      October 26, 2013 at 10:14 am

      That’s amazing!! I still love hearing the daily stories of people having their coffee bought and paid for at the drive throughs but that takes it up another level!

  • Reply
    Thalita - The Learner Observer
    October 18, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    That story… woe!!!!!

    The rockstar pumpkin is awesome!
    Also, my house is ONE GIANT phase 1 project right now. Hello… we’re first time home buyers saving every penny for all the changes that need to be made. I live for phase 1 projects.

    K, Can I come live in that kitchen with you?

  • Reply
    now at home mom
    October 18, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    just saw the pictures of her beautiful kitchen; wow! I want one of those too 🙂
    & nice story too
    have a fun weekend Alex! 🙂

  • Reply
    Dani @ lifeovereasy
    October 25, 2013 at 1:08 am

    Reading these stories reminds me that I really love people! I’ll share one – I got a little mixed up once shifting gears in my standard car driving up the steep spiral parking ramp into the Eatons Center. And then I panicked as the cars piled up behind me, all stuck on the ramp, so I really couldn’t think and just kind of froze. No one could move. Finally someone got out of their car and walked up to my window, and I thought “Great, someone is going to yell at me.” But instead it was a woman who said “Are you OK?” She saw I was a mess, and just turned around and MADE EVERYONE BACK UP DOWN THE SPIRAL RAMP, then went out and STOPPED YONGE STREET until everyone got out backwards and I was able to roll out, put the car in gear, and drive away. I think she was part angel.

    • Reply
      October 26, 2013 at 10:15 am

      At the Eaton Center? Oh man I know that ramp all too well – it is steep and curvy and wow. That person is a saint. And that is one of the reasons I am an epic fail at driving manual b/c I probably would have done the exact same thing as you.

    I love your comments!