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category: give back

Spreading Holiday Cheer Is Good For Your Health

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While the holidays can be fun and full of excitement and happiness, they can also be stressful and bring us down  in the dumps for a variety of reasons.

Even if money or time is tight, the best way to get into the spirit of the season and boost your mood is to be charitable.

Science has shown that when we give back or are generous, the pleasure centers in our brain light up. Even better? This same research showed it’s not the amount you give, but the mere action of giving that creates this response. In the study, the people who gave $5 were just as happy as the people who gave $20.

So how can you tap into this well of happiness? By spreading a little holiday goodness wherever you go!

Here’s a list of some of my favorite ways, at a range of costs:

(1) Pay for the Starbucks/coffee for the driver behind you in the morning.

(2) When you get that $5 giftcard from Target for purchasing certain items, go back into the store and tape it on a toy for someone to find and enjoy later.

(3) Pick a friend you miss being in contact with and write them a letter or long Facebook message.

(4) Clear out your old sheets and towels by taking them to the local animal shelter.

These are only the ones I have done lately, but there are so many more you can do!

Be sure to check out websites like RandomActsofKindness.org for ideas and inspiration. What better way to celebrate the holidays, then to pay a little love forward?

Have any other great ideas to spread holiday cheer? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time!

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The Confetti Foundation // Birthday Fairy

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As kids, what’s the one thing you always looked forward to, year after year? The time when family & friends came together to celebrate YOU. When you couldn’t wait to blow out the candles so you could stuff your face with cake. Your birthday! But, imagine being in the hospital during your yearly celebration and having to give up the balloons, the time with friends, the candles, and let’s be honest, the presents. Enters The Confetti Foundation.

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The Confetti Foundation brings birthday celebrations to children who spend their birthdays in the hospital. How amazing & full of love is that?I don’t recall when I first discovered this adorable organization, but one thing’s for sure is that as soon as I heard about them, I KNEW I had to get involved.

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As my organization of choice to give back to in 2015 (and plans for many years to come!), I recently partnered with the Confetti Foundation to become a birthday fairy. As a birthday fairy, idieh design sponsors birthday party kits and delivers them to my local children’s hospital, Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

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Seeing joy replace the children’s current pain, if only for a few moments, makes my heart smile from end to end. Nothing brightens my day more than witnessing the children and their families have the chance to feel “normal” for a short time to celebrate a well-deserved birthday boy or girl.

I encourage you to find an organization to invest your time, talents and treasure in. Find something that makes your heart smile a little bigger. You never know the impact you could have on someone’s life. (If you want to get involved with this amazing organization, there are tons of ways to give back – big or small.)

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Brand Consultation Giveaway | WINNER ANNOUNCED!

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THE WINNER IS…

Well, not just yet. Just a few more seconds. (Don’t you dare scroll to the bottom!!)

WOW. To say I was blown away by the entries for my Brand Consultation Giveaway is an understatement. All of your sweet, from-the-heart stories and comments left my heart full. Full of love, passion, and so, so grateful. This “little” giveaway that I decided to host on a whim just a few weeks back has made a bigger impact on me than I ever imagined.

Since I like to keep it real over here, I’ll be honest in saying I was simply hoping that ONE person would enter the giveaway. I never imagined I would get a total of SIXTEEN applicants.(!!) While this might seem small to some, it has meant the world to me. Because, not only was each entry filled with from-the-heart stories that spoke to me on many levels, but many of the applicants expressed how long they have been following my journey, how they love the vision of my brand, and how they would lose their voice from screaming if they won this opportunity. Lose their voice over talking with me?! You couldn’t wipe the smile from my face. Honestly, I had no idea I actually had FANS out there. People who believe in me, my mission and my expertise. Who would have thought a simple giveaway would propel me to do more of what I love? Again. BLOWN. AWAY. So, before I announce the winner(s) (yes, there might be more than one), I want to thank EACH and EVERY ONE OF YOU who entered and opened yourself up to being vulnerable, real, and to share your story. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. From the bottom of my HEART.

Drumroll, please…

I’m not giving away just one brand consultation, but FIVE! 

That’s a grand total of $1,250 in services! Woo hoo! I had to make myself stop at 5. (Why didn’t anyone warn me of how hard it would be to choose the winners? You are ALL winners in my book! Is that cheesy?)

The winners are, in no particular order:

Email me at heidi@idiehdesign.com to set up your consultation.

And there’s more…

If you entered the giveaway and don’t see your name above, I still have a few surprises coming your way! I viewed ALL of your brands and took some notes on feedback I could provide via email. So, be on the lookout for an email from me in the following week with some advice and tips on how to elevate your brand (plus a little gift from me to you!). I couldn’t help myself from filling up pages and pages of ways I could give back and help you all. xo!

I’ll leave you with this, the entry of Janel Elise. Not only did she create a video, but she incorporated one of my loves, music (and JT!). Her creativity was OVER THE TOP and I loved every second of it. She even changed up the words to relate to the giveaway. Can we all give her props?! Happy Friday and congrats to all the applicants!

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Top image by Brooke Dennis

Brand Consultation GIVEAWAY

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If you follow me on social media, you are well aware that I attended ALT Summit (a business conference for bloggers and creatives alike) last week in Salt Lake City. It was such a refresher to have the opportunity to hang out with tons of amazing creatives and really connect. I’m not talking about the “networking” type of connecting where it is all business, but just the simple pleasures of finding things in common with others. For example, while sitting outside of one of the mini parties resting my feet (they needed a break!), I found myself chatting for what seemed like hours with Kim Nyhus of DENY Designs. Yes, we discussed her fabulous company and how I’m super stoked to collaborate with her, but we also talked about the Justin Timberlake concert she just recently attended. You see, I attended the same JT concert this past December and I am attending again this August. We could have talked forever just about how we want to be JT’s best friend (okay, and maybe a little more). And, I can’t forget my roomie, Brooke, of Little Retreats. We would stay up for hours after heading back to the room just talking about life. It made my little heart happy.

One particular connection that stood out to me was when I met Jenean Morrison. We were at one of many parties of the conference and she mentioned that she was sad she wasn’t able to snag a spot at the “Ask the Graphic Designer” table earlier in the day.  My natural instinct was to reply, “I’m a graphic designer and I would love to give you feedback. But, I tell it like it is.” Jenean immediately jumped on board and we talked extensively about her current brand, where it could go and some changes she could make. We even found ourselves the NEXT morning (pictured above) starting off exactly where we left off the night before. Jenean seemed thrilled to receive the feedback and it made my heart happy to offer my knowledge on branding to someone who was so open to receiving & learning from it. We could have talked for days! Hence, you all have Jenean to thank for sparking this idea to host a giveaway for a brand consultation!

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GIVEAWAY ALERT!

I am gifting one lucky reader a one-on-one brand consultation, valued at $250. Are you ready to have a heart to heart talk about your brand? No BS. Real, tell-it-as-I-see-it, expert advice. We will focus on your branding topic of choice during the one hour intensive Skype or Google Hangout call. Ideas for topics could be:

  • logo review
  • website review
  • brand cohesiveness
  • client packaging
  • client kits
  • brand collateral

To enter & become eligible, you must:

  • Leave your name, e-mail, and a written or video response sharing why you feel you need a brand consultation and what would be your topic of choice in the comments below.
  • Written responses must be under 500 words. Video responses must be under 2 minutes and uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo with the link included in your comment.
  • To qualify you must also subscribe to my list (you will receive an awesome branding guide!) and follow me on Instagram @idiehdesign and Facebook.
  • Bonus points for spreading the word about this giveaway via social media. For reals.
  • You have until Friday, February 7, 2014 at midnight MST to enter this giveaway.
  • I will hand select the rad winner based on heart + creativity + ability to follow instructions.

Good luck!

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Images by Brooke Dennis

Help Portrait | Phoenix, Arizona

Help Portrait brings together a community of photographers and makeup artists who volunteer their time to give back to their local community. It’s about helping those in need feel extra special for a day and recognize the beauty of who they are and what they have.

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Stacey Woodward, a local Phoenix photographer & owner of Dream Photography Studio, is a woman with a very BIG heart. A few years back when she couldn’t find a local Help Portrait event in Phoenix to participate in, she decided to organize one herself. And, she’s continued to organize it every year since. I was lucky enough to connect with Stacey via social media this year and quickly jumped onboard to participate in this year’s Help Portrait event that took place in December.

No, I’m not a photographer, but I’ve always appreciated & recognized the value of photography and portraits. It made my heart explode to think about the meaning these photos would have for these families in the years to come. So, with no camera in hand, I walked in that day with all intentions of helping with makeup, but I quickly found a new task. There were a few girls doing hair and I immediately jumped in and became a hair stylist for a day.

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What I witnessed throughout the day filled my heart to the brim. Professional photographers, makeup artists, and stylists (that’s me…hehehe) from around the valley gave up their Saturday to give back to those in need. Many of the families had never had a professional photograph taken and you could see it in their eyes how excited they were for this experience. (Remember that this was only one of hundreds of similar events happening around the world on the same day!)

Being a part of Help Portrait reminded me how much I love to volunteer and interact with others in need. It reminded me it’s not always enough to simply donate money to a cause, but to actually witness and touch the lives of those in need. Witnessing the women’s (& little girls’!) faces light up when they looked at themselves in a mirror after having their hair and makeup done was definitely a highlight of my day. You could immediately see their confidence soar.

This little one was so still as I curled her gorgeous hair, but the Frito’s might have had something to do with it.

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Here is a sister duo who jumped at the opportunity to have their hair curled. Meet Rosie. She’s the little one on the right. {heart melts}

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If you still aren’t convinced on the difference giving back can make, check out this amazing video by NoBox Films that captured the day beautifully.

I challenge you to get involved in your community and give back this year. How do you plan to give back? Leave your comments below as I am starting a series where I will be featuring organizations that make a difference.

All photos from my iPhone.

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Give Back | The Shine Project

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Growing up, my parents always put a strong emphasis on education.

I was the student who stayed up all hours of the night studying for the next day’s test and then had slight anxiety until I had turned in all my answers. While it sometimes became overwhelming and constantly pushed me to strive for more, I’m extremely grateful for the work ethic and perseverance that my parents instilled in me. It not only led me to graduating as salutatorian from my high school, but I graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors from undergrad (all while working to support myself financially). Furthermore, education was so important to my family that when my dad unexpectedly passed away in 2001, my mom, sister and I created a scholarship in his name to be given away every year to one deserving student.

In March of 2013, I was lucky enough to meet Ashley LeMieux, the force behind The Shine Project, and was quickly reminded of the importance of education. I knew instantly that our paths had crossed for a reason as Ashley told me all about the organization’s mission. It instantly clicked inside my head {and heart}:

The Shine Project is an organization I MUST find a way to give back to as I feel so connected & wholeheartedly believe in their mission: improving the lives of at-risk youth through service, education, and family involvement.

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What is The Shine Project? The Shine Project is the idea of encouraging others to go out of their comfort zone and bring light to those who need hope. From this belief a non-profit organization, The Shine Scholarship Project, was created. Its mission is to improve the lives of at-risk teens through service, education, and family involvement. The money that is raised is used to send these truly inspiring and developing leaders to college.

Also under The Shine Project umbrella is Threads, a cause-driven business selling bracelets, necklaces & tees that change the future of at-risk youth. These teens come from various backgrounds, but all have one thing in common, they want to break the cycle. By Threads employing these individuals, who themselves make the jewelry and clothing, the organization is able to instill values of self-reliance and hard work. The youth are paid fair wages for the products they make, and in turn are able to pay their way through school. Many Threads employees are first generation college students. {How amazing is that?!}

Here is a short video showing what a difference The Shine Project is making.

It fills my heart to the brim knowing that idieh design can give back in a way that will make such a BIG impact in the future live’s & generations-to-come of current at-risk youth. Showing them someone believes in them and that they can make a change is what it is all about.

As a promise & commitment, idieh design will give a portion of each project’s profits to The Shine Scholarship Project.

I’ve already been extremely grateful and lucky to give back this year and I look forward to giving back even more in the years to come!

Show your support and make sure to check out all the goodies in the Threads online shop. (I have a slight addiction and have to refrain from buying everything I see in there.)

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