Tuesday, July 22, 2014

day 238 : water bottles & saving the planet

this one is super easy, folks! 

its really no secret that blake & i work really hard to reduce our environmental footprint. we only buy local &/or organic, we stay away from big chain and box stores. we don't own a car. we only purchase clothes from secondhand stores. ect ect.
we also don't buy or use disposable plastic water bottles. blake keeps a coffee travel mug with him at all times, so he doesn't have to use a disposable cup. and we have a shelf full of different size reusable bottles for biking, hot yoga, ect.

a few weeks ago, we biked to st paul for the 40th anniversary 'prairie home companion' show. blake had to work a bit, and i laid in the grass and listened to the show.
i went in to one of the buildings to fill up my bottle {the show was held on a college campus} and found this : 

i love this! i love the visual reminder that each and every person can make a difference. 
even when disposable water bottles are recycled, they still take SO much energy and resources to produce. and the bottles that get tossed in the trash sit in landfills for SO long!
{ps : this water bottle is insulated and so awesome for summer bike rides!}
and how pretty is this view on our ride back?!

Monday, July 21, 2014


happy monday! 
lets talk about flash mobs!
last month, the rad folks at kind spring awarded me $100 to do something to make the planet a better place.
i decided to host a kindness flash mob, with the intention of handing out kindness grab bags.
while i was planning, i decided not to a have a strict agenda. i didn't want to discourage people from reaching out to strangers because they were embarrassed or felt pressure.
we met last friday at the lake harriet bandshell. my awesome friends from nice ride had free ride passes available for anybody who wanted to spread kindness on two wheels.

i made 30 grab bags ; each contained a list of 7 acts of kindness and 3 tangible items. every bag shared four good deeds, but the items were different in each bag. {you can find the same bags here, in the shop}
i put out the call through social media, along with my neighborhood message board & hoped that someone would show up...
you guys, 14 people came! eleven of them were complete strangers! people i didn't know ; folks who decided to spend a tiny bit of their time hanging with me & doing something nice for others! 
so, so cool! 

originally, i thought it would be cool if we all took the bags & went in a large group to hand them out. since people were coming at different times, i explained the bags, my mission & the idea ; allowed them to grab their bags and spread kindness on their own. some people came with friends, others with their children and a few folks came by themselves. some people checked back in after they passed out their bags and others left, with the intention of handing them out in their own neighborhood.

honestly, i was not super worried or concerned with who people handed the bags out to! if someone took one home for their mom or neighbor, left one on a windshield or actually walked up to a stranger to hand it over ; kindness is kindness. people taking a minute to put a bit of extra kindness into the universe is never a bad thing! 
it would be great to do this again, but go in a large group to hand everything out! but this event was super awesome & i felt so very thankful for the folks who decided to make someones day a bit brighter! 
 {picture by my friend Dajon}

Saturday, July 19, 2014

day 236 : switch to WIND POWER

woo hoo!
i love this!
i don't have any photos today, but hey ; i am saving the planet!

blake & i live in an apartment ; so a lot of 'environmental benefits // refunds // special offers' don't apply to us.
{although you could argue that living in an apartment is super energy-efficient!}
last month, we were at a neighborhood fair, saw our energy supplier {xcel, for you local folks} and went over. we were chatting about living in an apartment, having super low-cost energy bills {on average, we pay about $20 a month} and how we would love to be able to take advantage of being more earth // renewable resource // planet -friendly.

we were in luck!
xcel now offers a 'windsource for residents' program!
we are now paying an additional 80 cents a month {seriously, less than $12 a YEAR} for some of our power to be sourced from wind & solar energy!
so, so awesome! 
its an increase we won't really notice & in return we know that we are using natural resources to keep the planet clean.
bonus : for signing up, they gave us one of those really cool, insulated water bottles!

if you are a member of xcel energy in minnesota, you can go here to learn more!
tell us : have you heard of a program like this before? have you joined something similar?

Friday, July 18, 2014

day 235 : kindness carousel {WEEK 17}

kindness carousel is one of my favorite posts to write ; i haven't done it lately, but am excited to share!
each friday, i round up some of the most positive, inspiring links from around the web & share them with you!

i was going through links that i shared last fall // winter and some of them are just too special not to share again!

1) this dad is raising money to write a 'space book' with his 4-year old son!

2) hands down ; still one of my favorite youtube videos of all time!

3) *such* a sweet story AND an incredible reminder that dogs have intuition and skills we still don't fully understand.

4) LOVE THIS ---> you get what you pay for. such a simple reminder that we really don't need tons of 'stuff' to live richly.

5) yay! we can all use a 'buddy bench.' 

6) {from the holidays} // STOP facebooking what you are thankful for!
7) BOOKMARK THIS ONE ----> best books to read this summer!

thats it! 
see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

day 234 : You Are BEAUTIFUL! {yes, YOU!}

one of my all-time favorite things about creating the Be Nice Boxes each month is the opportunity to share some of the most uplifting, creative, awesome products in the universe.
i work really hard to not only find cool things, but to also make sure that the companies are working hard to make this planet a kinder place! 

in the july box, everybody received 8 stickers from the folks at You Are Beautiful. the good deed was simple : leave them somewhere! stick them somewhere cool. leave them {WITHOUT TAKING OFF THE STICKY PART} on someones windshield. drop it in a book. the possibilities are endless! 

i had a couple stickers left over & daph and i decided to 'sticker-bomb' our neighborhood!
we put them on the door of a new-to-me little free library, on a bike rack at the library & on the trash can at the park. this can is almost-always used for smelly dog poop ; so what a way to make someone smile as they are holding dog crap.. ;)

you can order your own stickers here & you can follow their journey with the #yabsticker hashtag on social media! 

tell us : have you stuck yours somewhere yet? 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

day 233 : the 8-year piano player whose concert went viral

you heard about this, right? 
last week, an 8-year old boy in minneapolis created a lawn sign and spent hours promoting his free piano concert to everybody who passed by.
a local guy saw the sign & created a Facebook event, thinking it would be rad for a handful of people to show up to support the boy.
you guys, HUNDREDS of people showed up. in the rain! to listen to an 8-year old kid play the piano. 
so, so awesome! 
i had to work all day, but blake biked over & snapped some photos.
someone live streamed the entire thing & you can listen to it here.
the event has gone viral ; the streamed has been listened to over 20,000 times, there have been news articles all over the world {LA, london, ect} & the story was on the front page of reddit.

i LOVE that people {over 400!} came to this kids concert. i LOVE that people cheered for him, made signs and asked him for autographs. i am sitting here CRYING, thinking about how grateful i am to live in a community where adults {many of whom, no-doubt, had some of their huge dreams shot down by adults when they were kids} stand up and cheer for kids, honor their big dreams & encourage others to dream bigger & reach higher.
each & every day, we have a responsibility to fan the flames of someones dreams! 
you can read some of the press & check out photos here & here.

Monday, July 14, 2014

day 232 : family time {aka : pictures of my dog}

one of my favorite things about summer is the 'cooling down' time an hour or two before the sun goes down. i love the cooler air, seeing so many people being active and the bright colors of the grass & the flowers! blake usually gets home around 630pm, so we always spend that first 60+ min on a long walk as a family of three. a few days a week, we take daphne on the long line {a 50-foot rope} and throw the ball around. since she is banished from daycare and can't handle the dog park, this is a great way for her to work on her commands and also knock out a bunch of energy. 

we always bring a bottle of water and a plastic bowl along, so she can take water breaks when she needs them. i am always amazed at how much energy she has & even when she is dog-tired {get it? ;)}, she just wants to keep going.

last week, we were playing & its the first time ever, she has stopped and just laid in the grass. i think she just loved the breeze & i also think she just really misses us when we are gone during the day. blake came over and sat next to her & i snapped these pictures. this shirt is my favorite of his & my heart just swells seeing how much these two love each other! 

fun fact : it has officially been two years since we saved daphnes life & it makes me all teary thinking about how much we love her. she is not the easiest dog & we have definitely hit some major road bumps with her issues and her 'i am going to destroy everything in my path' phase, but oh my gosh, i love her so much!