by @according2kelly on July 2, 2013

i recently celebrated my birthday.

& while there was definitely cake, presents & lots of balloons – that’s not what i will remember about this particular birthday.

instead i will think about how i celebrated my birthday…  looking for opportunities to spread kindness, making the world a slightly better, slightly nicer place.

instead of celebrating me, my kids, friends, neighbors & i spent the days (& several days after) performing 35 acts of intentional kindness for others – the birthday project


#birthdayproject 1: spreading kindness one bag of home made cookies at a time.

#birthdayproject 2: left free bottles of ice cole water near the trail head of a favorite hiking trail.

PicMonkey Collage

#birthdayproject 3: left bunches of flowers on windshields of random cars.

#birthdayproject 4: spreading kindness & thanking some of the people i interact with, & who serve me daily with birthday presents from me to them.

PicMonkey Collage#birthdayproject 5: paid for the next 5 cars to entire one of our regional parks in orange county.

#birthdayproject 6: made kids (& adults) smile as we passed out free tickets to ride the irvine park railroad.

PicMonkey Collage

#birthdayproject 7: made a few strangers’ day, when we gave them stacks of lotto tickets.

#birthdayproject 8: spreading kindness with motivational chalk messages on my favorite running & biking trail.

PicMonkey Collage#birthdayproject 9: celebrated my 35th birthday with 35 strangers by buying everyone a scoop of ice cream.

#birthdayproject 10: left ice cold water waiting for people on my favorite running & cycling path.

PicMonkey Collage#birthdayproject 11: treated an un-suspecting person to lunch on my birthday by paying for me & them as i drove thru the drive-thru.

#birthdayproject 12: “accidentally” dropped a few dollars. who doesn’t love finding money?

PicMonkey Collage

#birthdayproject 13: wrote thank you cards to the un-sung heroes in my life.

#birthdayproject 14: left a bag filled with quarters taped to the rides, so that kids could could enjoy it for free.

PicMonkey Collage#birthdayproject 15: spreading kindness with gift cards tucked under the windshield wipers of random cars.

#birthdayproject 16: left a bag filled with quarters taped to the candy machines inside my grocery store.

PicMonkey Collage#birthdayproject 17: spreading kindness under the stealth of night by “heart attacking” a friend’s house.

#birthdayproject 18: left a cooler of frozen otter pops along the side of a road that’s a popular running/ cycling route.

PicMonkey Collage#birthdayproject 19: delivered donuts to our local fire station.

#birthdayproject 20: provided free ice-cold, homemade lemonade at our free lemonade stand.

PicMonkey Collage#birthdayproject 21: arranged for a surprise pizza delivery.

#birthdayproject 22: treated everyone standing in line to a free carousel ride.

PicMonkey Collage#birthdayproject 23: passed out frozen otter pops at a local park. seeing the kid’s joy was priceless.

#birthdayproject 24: spreading kindness with slurpees on an über hot day.

PicMonkey Collage#birthdayproject 25: ding-dong-ditched a fellow birthday girl with balloons.

#birthdayproject 26: spreading kindness with flowers for friends (& a few strangers as well).

PicMonkey Collage#birthdayproject 27: no birthday is complete without birthday cake… baked myself a cake & invited the neighbors over for an impromptu party.

#birthdayproject 28: donated a stack of children’s books to a local hospital.

PicMonkey Collage#birthdayproject 29: flower drop off at a local nursing home.

#birthdayproject 30: donated blood.

PicMonkey Collage#birthdayproject 31: gave a stranger two gift cards. one to keep & one for THEM to give to someone else.

#birthdayproject 32: collecting & donating used running shoes – sending them to people & runners who NEED them.

PicMonkey Collage

 #birthdayproject 33: left sand toys at a local park for kids to play with.

#birthdayproject 34: made 35 wishes for OTHER people & left 35 pennies for other to do the same at a wishing well.

PicMonkey Collage#birthdayproject 35: donated a few of my medals to medals 4 mettle who will gift them to ill children & adults.

quite honestly, the list didn’t stop at 35.

performing intentional acts of kindness is quite addicting.

& when you open your eyes & open yourself up to it – you realize that opportunities are everywhere…


kindness really & truly begins with me (& you).

so i challenge YOU – practice kindness today.

pay it forward.

after all, i am a big believer that small acts can transform the world.














Hi Kelly!  I was inspired by your birthday project and would like to do something like it this year for my 40th!  I wanted to check with you and see if it's ok if I use the same saying on the stickers I will use?  Obviously I will have a different hashtag (not sure what I'll pick yet), but I wanted to be sure it was ok if I used the "Be Awesome everyday.  Practice INTENTIONAL acts of kindness." part.  If you have a chance, let me know please.  Thanks so much!!  


Loved this! You are a great role model for your kids and for me! Thanks for sharing the idea, totally stealing this one:-)


Kelly you are an amazing woman and a great mother. You inspire me to get more out of life and help enrich the lives of others. Happy Birthday and thank you being an amazing role model.


This was an amazing thing to do!


One of the coolest things ever. Thanks for sharing


I loved, loved, loved following along on instagram!!  What a fantastic idea!!  I played along and bought someone coffee.  It is amazing how much doing something for someone else can brighten my day.  Happy Happy Birthday!!!  Thanks for this great reminder to practice kindness everyday!!


It was so fun to follow all of this through Instagram; happy birthday Kelly!


This is beyond amazing. Happiness should be spread around the world -- you're making it happen! I love it!

Kristin Mom on the Run
Kristin Mom on the Run

I love this so, so much!  I think I want to do something similar with my kids, to help teach them about how important it is to be kind to others.  Thank you so much for the inspiration (and fabulous ideas!)


What a fun and gracious way to celebrate your birthday! It makes me want to go out and do these things anyway :)


  1. […] The Birthday Project by According to Kelly.   ** I wish we could all be more like Kelly.  #kindnesseveryday […]

  2. […] needs more kindness, patience, tolerance..more magic..more Disney if you will. I was inspired by According to Kelly’s Birthday Project. She challenged you and me to practice kindness today, so I took the challenge! She was turning 35 […]

  3. […] by The Birthday Project, Kelly and many others, this year I’ve decided to celebrate my 29 years on this planet by […]

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