Plant a Kiss Day!

The perfect little red poppy kiss I discovered on my walk last night

Plant a Kiss

I am a huge fan of Amy Krouse Rosenthal. So when I heard that a friend was hosting a blog party to celebrate her new book, Plant a Kiss, I said YES in huge letters with many exclamation points.

The idea was simple: We would celebrate Amy’s birthday (Sunday, April 29th) with an act of radical kindness. An act of generosity, big or small, that added something good and joyful to the world. 16 inspiring and creative bloggers (including me!) would do this collectively and the blog about our experience and give away lots of fabulous prizes.

I was one sad banana this weekend, shot with iphone 4S

One sad banana

BUT… my weekend was hard. And I was in a funk. Okay, beyond a funk. Matt was out of town for several days and I was lacking sleep, and sanity, and all the stresses of my life were folding in on me. I literally couldn’t breathe… and was on the verge of a panic attack for much of the weekend. Then someone broke into our car and I just crumpled. I sobbed with my head in my hands while Ben pet my back saying, “Are you okay mommy?”

And all the while, I had this Plant a Kiss thing in my mind… and I wondered how I would possibly have the energy to do a Bubble Flash Mob (so fabulous!) or plant hope notes inside books at the library or all of the other wonderful possibilities when I was feeling so damned sorry for myself.

I knew it would be just the right medicine, to step out of my own internal drama to do something kind out in the world, but as I wheeled Nico to the park, on the verge of tears and contemplating Xanax, I ended up praying instead for someone to help me… some little angel that would be my own personal Plant a Kisser.

What I found was an almost empty park except for one other mom, a regular like me, that I had chatted with once before. I noticed that she was hosing down all of the toys and organizing them. A perfect kaleidoscope of brightly colored push toys and little cars were gleaming with moisture and lined up neatly in rows. The toys are always a bit skanky and in various states of dishevelment at this park and I was moved by her act of kindness.

Then I saw it. She was Planting a Kiss… anonymously, and for this park that we love so much.

“Can you help me hose the water table down?” she called to me. “It’s so full of sand, it’s impossible to lift!” We both took tiny bright plastic shovels and scooped sand until we could finally see the bottom of the water table. Then we filled it with fresh water and it gleamed. “Thank you!” she said as she went off to gather all of the random hoodies and shoes strewn around the park. “Maybe we can create a lost and found bin!” I shouted across the park excitedly.

Then I realized that she was the angel I was looking for. She planted a kiss for the kids who come to the park and then for me by inviting me into her world. This was the highlight of my day.

Plant a Kiss Giveaway!

And now for the prizes!

Click here to visit the main Plant a Kiss page, where you view all the links for the participating bloggers. For every blog that you visit and comment on, your name will be tossed into a hat for a chance to win one of many amazing prizes such as online writing, photography, or dream-building classes; coaching sessions; artwork, or jewelry.

I’m giving away spots in both my Superhero Photo e-course and Mondo Beyondo e-courses! Just leave a comment here and then bop around to the other blogs too. And better yet, Plant a Kiss yourself!



  1. Posted May 1, 2012 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    darlin, this is exactly right! Finding the light in the dark – no matter how small. This is it!

  2. Posted May 1, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I love the idea of doing good for others especially in the midst of not feeling good yourself. I’ve been one sad banana lately, too, and I know that the best cure is generosity and compassion towards others as it also reflects generosity and compassion towards myself. Kiss kiss.

  3. Posted May 1, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    those angels …. they are everywhere!!!!


    ps…hoping the funk has totally lifted!

  4. M Payne
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I absolutely love this post! You always find a way to inspire by being so real and open and this was just what I needed today. I’m going to try and plant a kiss out into my world today, see what happens! I’d love to be entered into the contest to win a spot in one of your brilliant courses!! Thank you.

  5. Jeanne
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Isn’t it amazing that when we really, really need that little bit of love it shows up in the least unexpected places. And so sorry about your car – it is a horrible feeling.

  6. Posted May 1, 2012 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Ah! Love this! Sometimes I set the random intention in the morning to surprise someone … and it’s so fun thinking all day about who I might surprise and how. :) Even buying a cookie for someone over lunch counts!

  7. jmbh
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    What a wonderful way for the universe to help you turn it around!
    I will definitely be planting many kisses!

  8. Bernadette
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I love hearing these stories! Wondering what I can do to plant a kiss….

  9. Debbie
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    This was just lovely and exactly what I needed to read this morning. Thank you. I look forward to looking at the others kisses when I have time and I’m smiling wondering what the kiss I plant will look like . . .

  10. Posted May 1, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    You are such a gift. I love the honesty and beauty in this post. I love that you didn’t force yourself to try to “fake it.” I love that you allowed yourself to invite in someone to plant a kiss for you.

    Your story, and the gorgeous way you tell it, models for me that whatever experience I’m having is absolutely fine. I don’t need to be anyone other than who I am in any given moment. I love Bubble Flash Mobs, but it would be pretty damn boring if we had bubbles ALL the time and everywhere. Sometimes quiet, unexpected kisses are what life calls for.

    Love your spirit. Love your courage. Grateful.

  11. Posted May 1, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    You’re making such a difference here. Thank you!

  12. Posted May 1, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    So fun!

  13. Posted May 1, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    THIS is why I adore you.

  14. Posted May 1, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    We are working on selling our place, looking for another… for the first time in 12+ years. Every decision seems momentous – how this all affects our kids, organizing everything, the money involved. The stress and anxiety are causing me sleepless nights and a host of problems. This story is just what I needed to hear today. The act of planting a kiss for someone – or learning the art of reaching out for a kiss when you need it the most. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Posted May 1, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    This was just what I needed to read today. Now I’m off to find a kiss to plant!

  16. Posted May 1, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    So glad you found the spark you needed. :) Such a great story. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Alexandra
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Remember too that keeping up on your blog is also planting many kisses. I’m home sick today and felt better and inspired just reading this!

  18. Emily B
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    so awesome that we can take turns needing and being angels for each other. it takes a village, right?

  19. Posted May 1, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    my heart is soaked with gratitude for you and your soulful storytelling. thank you. i need to trust more fully your repeated invitation to just show up and let magic happen (vs. struggle, strive, push). breathing in your wisdom and this mantra (show up and trust the magic).

  20. jenni
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Reading this was exactly what I needed today!

  21. Posted May 1, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    What a lovely prompt to share and explore. It does indeed take a village!

  22. Heidi
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    What a lovely, honest post. There are kisses planted everywhere, waiting to be seen and received and appreciated.

  23. Posted May 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    oh how I love this story. angels are always around and sometimes show up right when we need them. so beautiful.

    Amy Krouse Rosenthal is such an inspiration. I love that kisses are planted everywhere. xoxo

  24. Posted May 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    right on – exactly what you needed, she needed and the park needed. sometimes just going down our own road leads to the magic we want.

  25. kristina clark
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    that’s just fantastic! sometimes it’s a very little thing that changes the direction of the tide.

  26. Posted May 1, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Love how you were able to connect with a stranger for just that moment.

  27. Lee
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Oh, thank you for sharing that story! And I love the idea of this book, I’ll have to get my hands on a copy!

  28. Posted May 1, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    such a sweet idea. I think I need to step out of my funk and plant a kiss somewhere…

  29. Posted May 1, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    So easy to succumb to the heaviness of life sometimes… It takes courage to find/ see/ feel the loving support and beauty all around us (yet sometimes very subtle) Good for you and good for us that your bright transparency let the love in (and out)”We are all as angels with only 1 wing, it is only by embracing that we may fly” (French proverb)

  30. Lorena
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    I love this post too, it is a reminder of when things and life is tough with us we need to Stop and look around at others. Stop and ” people watch” , there is an angel out there showing our way , showing a much needed kinder side to the world we live in! ????

  31. Posted May 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    So glad you received your kiss. Sounds like it gave you the boost you needed. I’ve had those kind of days, believe me.

  32. Carole
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Andrea, I so appreciate your authenticity and how you share your heart. SO much more relatable than perfectionism. I realized awhile back that it is easy to fall into wanting to project (our idea of) a “perfect” image, but what it does is distance us from other people, not bring connection and loving. Thanks for the “kiss”! :)

  33. Posted May 1, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    I love this. I think honesty and vulnerability like this are “kisses” in and of themselves. They allow others to be ok with whatever’s happening for them in any given moment too. And sometimes the most magical moments are the most simple, unexpected ones, aren’t they?!

  34. Liv Lane
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    I read this earlier today but didn’t have a chance to comment – and tell you how much it touched me! I love your honesty {we all know how those mommy meltdowns go] and that you were able to see that fellow mama as an earth angel, not someone asking you to do one more thing. What a beautiful lesson there is in this. Thanks.

  35. tingle
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    trust. trust. trust. keep showing up and trust. thanks for the perfect reminder.

  36. Posted May 1, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    you just made me tear up, just a wee bit. heart opening. thank you.

  37. Liz in Toronto
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderful little book! I wonder what my 4 year old would get from it?

  38. Posted May 1, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    This is a beautiful story, Andrea. Definitely what I needed to get me out of my own funk today. Thanks for the reminder of the angels out there.

  39. Posted May 1, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Lovely loveliness!

    So I guess the Weepies have moved to my city! I know you love the Weepies and I love their music, so I’m pretty excited to have them in my town. (I only know since they moved near my friend). Hoping to bump into them and say, “hey there, Weepie!”

    I hope you are feeling better. You’ve planted more kisses than I’m sure you know!

  40. Kristen
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    It’s such a struggle to keep perspective when we are in our self pity funky days. So easy to not notice all the wonderful things, simple things that we are given everyday. Thanks for being real and easy to understand- from one mama to another. Thanks for a few minutes of clarity and perspective on the sweetness. Well that is until the next **** storm rolls in;)

    Mom of 3-4 and under:)

  41. DogsMom
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes one’s part in the planting is being open to receiving. For something to grow it take several forms of nourishment.

  42. Mary Orr
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Andrea, I love the way you shine your light and inspire us!

  43. justin
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    just goes to show how we never know the true effect we have on others…such simple acts on her part just making your day. love.

  44. jane
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    glad your angel came… glad you asked for one.. glad to be here

  45. Sarah
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    It’s hard to rise above the funk sometimes…. Parks are good for that. Hope this week feels better!

  46. Jennifer Hagedorn Dizon
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Hi Andrea! :)

    My son and I are long overdue with our ‘you are loved’ project, which is basically: we write inspiring love notes and then go around malls in to bookstores, etc. and leave this notes for whoever. :)

    Thank you always for your courage.

    Hugging you,

  47. no worries
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    what a wonderful story! Its amazing how we always stumble across what we most need. keep planting those kisses!

  48. Posted May 2, 2012 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    Many spiritual teachers will say that the best way to get out of your own depression is to help someone else. You have proven that to be true here! Sorry to hear about your car. Hope all is looking up now.

  49. Alyson Earl
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 4:28 am | Permalink

    You are my angel today! It helps me so much when you admit that you get cranky and feel sorry for yourself. There is so much upbeat, upbeat, upbeat in the blogosphere, that I often feel like a permanent outsider. Your stories of ups and downs are amazingly transformative for me. Thank you. :)

  50. Posted May 2, 2012 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    Miracles big and small happen… each day. :)
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful story!

  51. Posted May 2, 2012 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Love how the universe sometimes just gives you exactly what you need. :)

  52. Posted May 2, 2012 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Authentic and real, with a twist of kindness. Love the poppy, the reality of the sad banana and the example of how we are all connected. We really are…

  53. Miss K
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    This is a lovely story. Thank goodness for those angels who show us the way!

  54. Cheryl
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Yours is the (bookmarked) blog I’ve been reading for years, Andrea. Thanks for turning us on to these other wonderful bloggers. The Plant a Kiss project looks to have been a roaring success, but I am most touched by your own story of an answered prayer. It’s as Maya said in her post: “Ask because asking is another kind of love and another kind of faith and another kind of courage.” By sharing your story, you have demonstrated the worth of risking that act. Thank you!

  55. leah
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    wonderful how angels work, this was an great project that you where apart of which makes you equally and angel

  56. Posted May 2, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    I so appreciate your sharing your authentic self even when it wasn’t your happiest state of being…. it encourages me to be ok with sharing my authentic self despite of the fears. Your angel in the park is way way better then Xanax!! I wonder how many angels we would see right around us if we just kept our eyes wide open?!?

  57. Posted May 2, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Such a sweet story! :) And, I must say, your poppy picture took my breath away. I used to live in Santa Cruz (not sure where you are, but I’m in Vermont). We don’t have poppies and even light quite like that here. Your photograph literally transported instantly into another place I love. Thank you! That was a gift even before I read your words.

  58. Posted May 3, 2012 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    truth. all of it. thanks for taking the time to share it.

  59. Posted May 3, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    That flower looks like a kiss. Thanks for sharing this story. Now to learn about that book.

  60. Bridgette
    Posted May 3, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I’m so glad the universe gave you what you asked for and even more glad that you were able to recognize it in the moment.

  61. Posted May 3, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    This is my first visit to your wonderful site and I was inspired by your courage to share the experience of being vulnerable to life stress which you so elegantly sculpted into an extraordinary kiss planted in a park! The other day I heard someone say, “The breaking of life results in creating the most blessed of people among us.” I like to think he means it promotes compassion and loving-kindness. Such is your story shared. Thank you!

  62. Posted May 3, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Just like in your photo class, when you open yourself up to ‘seeing’ something, there it is. I love that. Whether planting kisses or hearts in our path!

  63. Tina
    Posted May 3, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I know that feeling of overwhelm you write of intimately. There are memories I hold in my body that jump out at me sometimes like a flashback and that is one of them. Alone with a small child, too much to do, lots not going right, a little loneliness, a little fear, my own insecurities…it’s a potent brew. What a gift to happen onto someone spreading kindness. How brilliant you are to recognize it.

  64. Posted May 4, 2012 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    I can totally relate to being in a funk…unfortunate but true! this project is very inspiring! <3


  65. Posted May 4, 2012 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    here! here! I appreciate your authenticity. I admire your honesty. I am grateful you directed me to this day of radical, selfless action.

  66. Julia
    Posted May 4, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Wow. That is GREAT! Thank you for being honest and vulnerable, and sharing your imperfect humanity. Boy, have I had those days…full of bright intentions, *knowing* there is joy and meaning somewhere this moment, but unable to tap into it, and everything seems to be working to set up road blocks. Then, from an unexpected corner, you get a glimpse of light. Perfect! Thank you for sharing. <3

  67. Debra
    Posted May 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    I loved your story! My Grandma always told me when I felt bad to do something for someone else! It has ALWAYS worked! I’m glad it I’d for you! Thank you for sharing!

  68. Posted May 7, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I love it when this kind of thing happens. I find it is happening more these days as I am becoming more open to both asking for help and receiving and allowing. I’m glad you feel better.

  69. Posted May 9, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    beautiful story.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By plant a kiss « kamapacheno on May 4, 2012 at 7:49 am

    […] first introduction to a ‘blog-hop party’ came about earlier today when, while reading this lovely blog, I stumbled upon Plant a Kiss […]

  2. […] of Plant a Kiss day! and Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s book by the same name. (You might remember we planted kisses last year as […]

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