Halloween Giveaway #1 is LIVE: Schmackary's cookies!
The Art of Kindness podcast presents No Tricks, Only Treats: a Halloween spooktacular with Robert Peterpaul featuring giveaways, ghoulishly good interviews, and more. This week we're giving listeners a chance to win a $30 gift card from famed NYC cookie shop Schmackary's.
Enjoy this short & sweet episode, where Robert also discusses a kindness study that is sure to make you feel warm and fuzzy.
Click to enter the Giveaway!
Swing Time Music:
Music By Pedro
Hello, friends! I hope that this episode finds you in a positive place. I’m here to share two pieces of spooktacular news with you all on this beautiful day: one is about a special giveaway and the other is about the importance of giving.
First, if you listened to our Halloween spooktacular with Kimberly J. Brown last week, you’ll know that the AOK is hosting a No Tricks, Only Treats month of celebrity interviews and giveaways. Today, I want to spotlight the latter. By the way you can now access exclusive video footage from our chat with Kimberly as we have officially launched The Art of Kindness podcast’s YouTube page! But I digress…
I am over the moon that our inaugural No Tricks, Only Treats giveaway is officially LIVE just for you! We’re pumped (like a pumpkin) to be partnering with Schmackary's, my FAVORITE cookie shop ever. No joke. I’ve actually talked about them before on here - I think if you listen to the Kate Lumpkin episode you’ll hear us both gushing about these cookies.
Schmackary's was founded by cookie master Zachary Schmahl. After I became obsessed with his cookies, I remember reading his story and being fascinated. So much so that I told his story to as many friends as I could.
Zachary caught the theatre bug at an early age when the Cats tour came to his town in Nebraska. His passion only grew bigger over the years, so much so that later in life he moved to the big apple like many of us do: with big dreams. He had his sights set on becoming a Broadway actor. Soon, Zachary was swept up in the wild world of auditioning. Which as a lot of us here know can be stressful to say the least. Zachary said that to wind down he’d go home at the end of the day to his tiny apartment and bake. But he wouldn’t bake just any confections. No, Zacahary would create all sorts of original and magical cookies. And then, since he apparently had self control (which I don’t know if I could be left alone with a tray of his cookies) he’d share them with his lucky friends… his friends we’re in love at first bite. Why wouldn’t you sell these? They asked. They’re delicious.
That was Zachary’s AHA moment, as Oprah says. He was no longer fulfilled by the revolving door of being an actor, and sought a new purpose.
He took a chance and dove into a totally new business: the American treat. Schmackary’s (Zach + Schmahl) was born.
He perfected recipes in his 400 sq foot apartment, until the demand got so high that eventually he was able to open his very on shop. And guess what? Schmackary’s is literally located on Broadway. Yes, Zachary made it to Broadway.
It’s funny because after auditions in the city I’ll walk down to Schmackary’s and treat myself as a reward for showing up.
I remember the first time I bit one of his cookies. I’d never tasted anything like it. There’s funfetti - a sugar cookie with vanilla cream cheese frosting and sprinkles, Sch'mores, a honey graham dough packed full of chocolate chunks and topped with roasted marshmallow, Kate Lumpkin’s favorite Sweet Corn which is inspired by Southern cornbread and stuffed with toasted pecans & cranberries… I mean I can’t even say anymore because I’ll eat my microphone. Wow. Wow. Wow.
They even have spooky flavors for your autumnal appetite!
NOW, suffice to say our friends at Schmackary’s are giving YOU, AOK listeners the chance of winning the ultimate treat this season. A $30 gift card!! So you can buy all the delicious confections OR kindness pro tip right here - send them to a friend. They even have a “Cookies on Broadway” feature where you can send a bunch of cookies to your favorite Broadway show CAST!
To win all you have to do is head to our Instagram “@artofkindnesspod” and look for our Schmackary’s giveaway post. All the rules are laid out there, but basically you have to like the post, follow us and Schmackary’s and then tag a friend to win. The more people you tag the more chances! This is only open to US residents.
I wish I could win this prize myself because I’m OBSESSED. I’ve missed going to Schmackary’s so much. Good luck, everyone! And never fear… we’ll have more giveaways coming your way this month…
I wanted the giveaway news to stand on it’s own today, so there’s no interview. Instead my second piece of news is an article I recently read on BBC that I think you’d all enjoy.
It’s called “What we do and don't know about kindness” by Claudia Hammond. While she explores many facets of kindness in the piece and teases a new Kindness study BBC is working on, I want to focus on what she mentions researchers already understand about kindness.
“Acting kindly makes us feel good,” she wrote.
“One morning, people walking down a street in the Canadian city of Vancouver were asked to take part in an experiment run by the American psychologist Elizabeth Dunn. They were given an envelope containing either a $5 or $20 bill. Half the people were instructed to spend the money on themselves. The other half were instructed to use the money to buy a present for someone else or to donate the money to charity. In both cases, they had until 5:00 o’clock that day to spend the money.
That evening, the researchers spoke to all the participants. The first group said they'd bought a variety of things for themselves, such as sushi, earrings and coffee. People from the second group bought toys for their relatives, edible gifts or gave money to homeless people in the street. Then the researchers asked each participant to rate their mood.
Whether they had $5 or $20 made no difference, nor did what they bought. What mattered was who they spent their money on. The people who had spent it on someone else felt significantly happier than those who treated themselves.
This is just one of many studies which has found that acting kindly can improve your wellbeing. In a meta-analysis Oliver Scott Curry at the University of Oxford found that behaving kindly can have a small to medium effect on our wellbeing.
Neuroscientific research confirms that the warm glow we experience when we do something nice for someone shows up in our brain’s reward system.
Speaking to me on the BBC radio programme The Kindness Test, Sussex University neuroscientist Dan Campbell-Meiklejohn told me that this can seem counterintuitive. "Kindness can cost us, yet we experience a sense of reward in parts of our brain when we are kind to others, just as we do when eat yummy food or have a pleasant surprise. These parts of the brain become active and motivate us to do them again and again."
So interesting, right? It explains why giving gifts is so fun! I read this article on an afternoon at my grandma’s in NJ recently, my Nanny as I call her. I love spending time with her and she’s a huge supporter of this show, so we got on the topic of kindness. I may have even interviewed her for an upcoming special on this show… hehe.
When I googled the phrase this article was the first to materialize. Nanny has the kindest heart and always makes me feel that warm glow.
I’ll leave you with a kindness tip inspired by her. During one of our signature chats that afternoon, Nanny reminded me of the phrase HALT. Have you heard of that? It’s a great reminder to check-in with yourself. HALT stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. So if you feel off I encourage you to go through the phrase and see if one of them fits. We can only manage an issue if we identify it!
I hope you’re all well-fed, happy, loved and well rested.
Thank you for tuning in and good luck on the giveaway! More fun to come, friends...