Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

November 7, 2016

10 Ways (under $10) to Brighten Someone's Day.

  Dress // Shoes // Clutch // Bracelet // Lipstick // 

     Mixing it up a little bit for today's outfit post! Instead of just talking about what I'm wearing, I wanted to share something else tooP. I bought the flowers that I'm holding in today's photos specifically for this photoshoot, and I as I was purchasing them at my local Trader Joe's, I started thinking about how much treating myself to a little bouquet of flowers makes me happy. Sometimes blog post inspiration can hit at the most interesting times, and hence how I got the idea for this post: 10 Ways to Brighten Someone's Day. Because who doesn't love a little surprise encouragement every now and again?! All ideas are under $10, and many don't cost any money at all.

1. Surprise someone with flowers: Obviously the inspiration from this post came from the fact that I sometimes treat myself to little bouquets of Trader Joe's flowers (#doitfortheblog), but honestly- flowers are such an easy way to brighten a friend, family member or co-worker's day as well! Flower companies often charge crazy expensive prices for large arrangements, but I've found lots of gorgeous bouquets at Trader Joe's, or other local grocery stores, for well under $10! I used to enjoy treating my college roommates to flowers from time to time, and recently did for my current roomie as well.  

2. Write a handwritten note or letter: I love handwritten notes. There is just something so special about expressing a thought, emotion, or word of encouragement to someone through old fashioned means! Write someone a note today- whether by leaving them a post-it note or mailing a card to someone for a "just-because" reason- you'll be amazed at how much they love it and also how great it makes you feel! 

3. Bake someone a special treat: I absolutely adore baking- it's one of my number one forms of stress relief! It is always a delight for me to share the things that I whip up in my kitchen with classmates, coworkers or friends. Who doesn't love receiving a yummy and baked-with-love surprise?! (And much better for my own health for me to share what I make - ha!)

4. Send a personal text: This one is great for out-of-town friends or loved ones who you can't see all the time and it might be harder to get a small present to. Since I both grew up in Maine and also attended two universities while in college, I have friends all over, many of whom I don't see on a regular basis. Sometimes a very easy way to brighten someone's day is just to send a personal text- by that I mean something that is more than "Hi- miss you!" but instead refers to an inside joke or a special memory, or maybe shares a link to an article or a funny picture that made you think of that person. Modern technology makes it so easy to keep up with our friends and family who live far away- take advantage of it!

5. Do an extra chore for the person(s) that you live with: I'll be the first to admit that I am not a neat freak. Doing chores usually brings me more stress than comfort. However, my mom is definitely more the neat and organized type, as were a few of my college roommates, and my current roommate now! I've learned that sometimes going out of your way and going above and beyond with doing things around your living space that you wouldn't normally do can go a long way with who you live with! I honestly wish that I had done this more growing up with my mom.... thanks though for putting up with my messy ways Mom! ;-) I'm trying to be better about stuff like this now with Ciera, my current roommate! 

6. Invite someone over for dinner: This one is kind of along the lines of baking someone a surprise treat- but if cooking is more your thing, go for it! Nothing beats a little hospitality and a home-cooked meal. When my schedule allows, I love having people over and cooking for them. 

7.  Pay for the person in front of you at the drive-through (or toll booth): A few weeks ago, the car in front of me paid for my Chick Fil A order, and it seriously not only made my day, but my whole week!! That is such an easy way to make a stranger's day, and sometimes the people that we don't know need encouragement most of all. And for those of you who live in states with toll roads (such as my homestate, where almost all the highway is a toll road!), another idea is paying the toll fare for the person behind you. 

8. Offer to drive when you're going somewhere in a group: If you're going somewhere in a group type setting and someone needs to be the one to drive, offer to do it! Or if you're not the one driving, offer to cover parking costs if you're heading to a place where there is a fee to park (aka a lot of places in Charlotte). Sometimes even small gestures like that can be enough to make a transportation situation less stressful.

9. Go old school and post on someone's Facebook timeline: Back in the day when I was in high school (gosh I feel old now!), posting on the Facebook walls of your friends was an almost daily occurrence. Nowadays, the purposes of Facebook have changed, and it's not used as much for this type of communication. Anyways, sometimes it's nice to show a friend a little bit of public love and appreciation- especially on a day that's not their birthday- everyone knows that we all get a little overwhelmed on FB on that day! 

10. Let someone know that you're praying for them: No cost at all, and possibly the best gift or encouragement that you can give someone. :-) 

Photography by Deeana Kourtney Photography

     I have been so excited to share this beautiful dress on the blog with y'all. My parents were visiting me in Charlotte a few weeks ago, and on the last day of their trip we went shopping at SouthPark, Charlotte's best mall. I fell head over heels in love with this dress that I saw at Belk! It's what I think is the ideal dress for any special fall occasion that you might have- a special date night, a girls' night out, or even a less formal wedding (or a rehearsal dinner!). Totally modest while still being on-trend- my favorite type of outfit to wear! My sweet parents bought me this dress for me to wear to a special celebration night out that I had with college friends and broadcasting school classmates a few weeks back. Now whenever I see it in my closet- I think back to that special night! :-)

    Have a great start to your week, and thanks so much for reading! 

     xoxo Miss ALK




  1. These are all wonderful ways to brighten someone's day! Not everything you give has to be worth a lot of money! You look adorable :)
    -Anna |

  2. This is a great post! :) I love that you used an outfit post to share some positivity!

  3. Those are such great ideas! I think I'm going to try one of those this week. :) By the way, I absolutely love your dress!

  4. A personal text always goes so far in my book. Love this post so much girl, youre a sweetie.

  5. These are all such wonderful ways to brighten someone's day. You surely brightened my day the other day with your sweet card :)

    xoxo, Jenny

  6. Baking always puts me in a better mood! and i love your outfit/flower combo x

  7. These photos of you are so gorgeous, I am obsessed with that dress and you're just lovely like always! This post definitely made me smile, there are so many little ways we can positively impact the lives of others. It's a good reminder that making someone's day can be simple and inexpensive!

  8. Great tips! I always love a hand written note! This dress is so cute too!

    Rachel | The Confused Millennial

  9. Awh, I love this post!! There are so many simple ways to make someone's day a little brighter just with the simplest act of kindness. May incorporate some of these in my weekly routine!
    Amy | Pastel N Pink

  10. One time the barista at Starbucks wrote 'Have a great day! :D' on my cup and it totally made me smile! Little things like that are the best.

    Alix |

  11. so many great little ideas!! i love when people start the trend of paying for the person behind you at Starbucks! it always makes my day and i love keeping it going!

  12. These tips are awesome Annaliese- I love receiving and giving hand written notes and sometimes the fact that someone is praying for you makes such a big difference! Not to mention, I love this outfit and the location (one of my favorite places haha!)


  13. Love the dress & I love these ideas! I think handwritten notes are my favorite "treat" to get & paying for the person behind me in the Starbucks line is my favorite "treat" to give!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

  14. such a fun reminder that it takes such little effort to make someone smile! we need to do more of it (especially on election day!) -- I need to get in the habit of writing more notes!!

  15. These are great ideas! I believe that little details like flowers or a meaningful written note can make someone's day and be more appreciated than an expensive gift.

  16. Aw, this is the sweetest! It doesn't take much to spread positivity and make someone's day :)

    xo, Katie | Willow + White

  17. I loveeeeeee handwritten notes!!


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