Wednesday, April 16, 2014

day 186 : reuniting a lost dog with her owner

a few months ago, i did this same thing.
but, it happened again this weekend.

blake & i were taking daphne for a super long stroll.
about a block ahead, i see this really beautiful dog and shes just running in and out of traffic.
nobody is stopping.
i didn't want to scare her, so i went into the backyard of a house {the garage door was open and a guy was out raking} & asked if she was his dog.
nope. not his.

he came out front with me and the dog starts barking // growling at him ; and wagging her tail at me.
{afraid of guys?}
{daphne is with blake on the other side of the street since she cant handle other dogs...}
another neighbor guy comes out and says 'oh, that dog lives across the street. shes always out, we don't do anything about it. she usually goes back home.'}
i am sitting there, stunned.
you dont do anything?!?
what if she gets hit by a car?!

so, i take some treats, and walk over to her house and she follows me.
i ring the doorbell, no answer.
i sit down on the step and she comes closer.
finally, i was able to see the phone number on her tag and call her humans.
no answer.

so, we sit.
{and daphne is working SO hard not to freak out at the other end of the block!}
and *finally* this woman comes running from the back of the house, looking for her dog.
hooray ; reunited!
as we were walking away, the 'its not a big deal' neighbor waved and said thanks for helping her out!

i would hope to goodness if it was daphne that got loose, someone would hang with her and keep her from running into traffic and getting hurt.

it takes a village to save the world, folks!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

day 185 : quitting things that suck {and why its okay}

lets talk about it! 

a couple weeks ago, carla wrote this post about how its totally okay to be a quitter.

i am not a quitter.
as a kid, i played certain sports, even when i wasn't very good. 
in band, i kept playing, even though i didn't always love it.

as an adult, i have never quit a job.
i have left jobs because i moved, or nanny jobs that ended because the kids went to school ; stuff like that. but, i have never gotten up and walked out.
until last week.

this post isn't entirely about that, though...

not too long ago, i took a job that *sounded* perfect. it was a position that would be awesome for me. a location that was easy to bike and bus to. it was 20 hours a week, which meant i would still be able to work on the Be Nice Box, while also making a decent amount of supplemental income.
sounded great.

you guys, NOT GREAT!
i won't be the guy that blasts an employer on the internet {hello, this is a kindness blog!} BUT, i will say this ; that environment was toxic.
the space, the leadership, the energy ; all of it.
it only took me a few weeks to realize how NOT ME this position was.

the day i quit shouldn't have come as a surprise to the owner. she totally steamrolled me and bullied me in front of the entire staff.
after i finished seething and calmed down ; i composed a professional email and quit.

so, how is this a good deed?
its a lesson in staying true to YOU.
i have a lot of really amazing people in my life. people who are doing unconventional things. people who are leaving lucrative {but awful} jobs to try to follow their own dreams. people who are selling things {homes, cars} so they can fund businesses they dream about every minute of the day.

this life is way too short to be doing things that you hate. things that make you feel sick. things that honestly make you feel like you are having a heart attack.

i know that some people disagree with me {even if you hate something, you should suck it up and do it, anyways...} ; but right now, where i stand and what i stand for ; its so important to do things that have value, meaning and make me feel like i am doing the right thing in the world!

tell us : have you ever quit a job? 

Monday, April 14, 2014

day 184 : spread 'positive change'

this one is super easy!
in the March Be Nice Box, everybody received 10 pennies ; all with smiley face stickers on the 'heads' side.
the mission? 
drop the pennies. hand them out. leave them random places.
spread positive change {get it?} 

they see a penny {with a bright yellow smiley face!}, they pick it up, they feel better {even if its for a second!}

i had a few pennies leftover, so i dropped them on the bus, on the sidewalk, and at the entrance to the library! 
so easy!

and, because its never a bad time to be reminded : 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

day 183 : April Be Nice Box REVEAL

hi everybody! 
happy thursday!! we hit 70* yesterday in minneapolis {first time in 6+ months!} and all the snow is gone! the bike trails are finally clear, which means i can put away my heavy bike with snow tires & get moving on my race bike {woo hoo!}

lets talk about the be nice box! 
the april boxes went out a couple days behind schedule {one of the packages was stuck in illinois for d-a-y-s!} & now that everybody has had time to unbox & share photos on social media ; i thought it would be a perfect time to show you everything that was in this months box! 

Be Nice Box : April Edition! // this month we sent boxes to folks in 17 states {including first-timers Kentucky, Alaska and Oklahoma!!} 
our theme : Tree Huggers & Planet Savers {each good deed this month has to do with taking care of Mother Nature!} 

this months good deeds : 
1) all month long : make an effort to lessen your impact ; use less & recycle more
2) see a piece of not-super-gross garbage? pick it up! {it takes a village!}
3) feed the birds! INCLUDED // bird feeder
4) April 10th is National Sibling Day. send a sibling or friend a rad card! INCLUDED // card from smock paper
5) SELF-CARE! drink more water! {avoid plastic bottles}
6) measure your carbon footprint & share the small changes you will be making
7) April 16th is National Librarian Day! head to the library check out a book or donate one of your favorites
8) offer someone a breath mint. INCLUDED // pack of mints from Project 7
9) attend a community event ; a food drive, school place, sports event, ect
10) April 22nd is EARTH DAY! find a way to volunteer and be involved in your community
11) grab a friend & spend time in nature! refuel with trail mix! INCLUDED // Enjoy Life Nut-free trail mix
12) use a reusable bag wherever you go ; leave it in your car, take it shopping, ect. ask if your store will give you a bag discount

items in the boxes include : bird feeder to hang up // nut-free trail mix from Enjoy Life // breath mints from Project 7 {for every purchase you make, they donate to awesome causes around the world} // bamboo Thank You cards {made in the US, with wind power!} from Smock // handmade coffee sleeve from the women at LIFEline

the april box is one of my favorites! all of these companies are doing really incredible things & i am so happy to be able to share them with our awesome subscribers! 

if you are interested in joining us for may, you can head here to sign up! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

day 182 : take what you need {a good reminder that we all need something}

back in january, i hand drew a 'take what you need' sheet ' and included one in each of the Be Nice Boxes. 
it really was one of my favorite good deeds that has ever gone into the boxes.

last week, blake & i took daph for a super long neighborhood stroll & happened upon someone elses handmade 'take what you need' sheets. 
i think we saw about 4 or 5, all taped to different utility poles around the neighborhood.

i love stuff like this! 
i do! 
signs like this & tiny acts of kindness are the total basis of my 'year of minnesota nice' project & the Be Nice Box! 
small, good deeds that cheer people up & bring a smile to someones face is so powerful! creating small change in your neighborhood leads to big changes in behavior & community! 

so, to the stranger who stapled these all over ; thanks! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

day 181 : hand out a gift card to a stranger

no pictures, today!
one of the good deeds in the march be nice box was to purchase a $5 gift card & hand it to the person behind you in line.

like all other good deeds from the boxes, they are meant to be used as an outline. i love the idea of taking something on the list & then making it your own.

i keep a few small-value gift cards in my wallet. that way, if we are out & a great opportunity arises, i can just reach in, hand one out & make someones day!
a few weeks ago, i had the perfect opportunity.

blake & i were walking down a pretty busy street in the city, getting ready to run a quick errand.
we passed a man on the street with a sign, asking cars at the red light for money & food.
i have a rule that i dont hand out cash to people who are panhandling, but i am happy to help in other ways {i also keep fruit & granola bars with me}

as we passed the man, i remembered that i had a $5 gift card for mcdonalds with me {the gc was gifted to me from klout} i ran over, handed him a gift card & showed him that there was a mcdonalds at the other end of the next block.

super simple & easy!

tell us : do you keep 'kindness emergency' items with you?

Monday, March 24, 2014

day 180 : announcing our April charity {be nice box}

its that time of the month again!
time to announce another super-rad charity that is helping change the world!

this month, we are doing things a bit different over at the Be Nice Box!
in past months, we give $1 to charity for each box sold.
this month, the gift that subscribers are receiving will count as our financial donation.
make sense?

for April, we are supporting L.I.F.E. line ; a CTC international organization.
L.I.F.E. line is one of my favorite groups! we have been supporting them for a couple years!
blake and i have donated money, purchased items for their store {here, here & here} & are always excited to spread the word about what they are doing!

L.I.F.E. line is a group people {makers & manufacturers in kenya} who are creating amazing items. a group of 27 women {most of whom have children with disabilities} handcraft all of the items from this line, while the maasai mums are a co-op of over 400 women who create all of these amazing pieces by hand.
by supporting them, we are giving them a living wage & health insurance, supporting their local economy and providing a safe life & education for their children.
you can read more here.

CTC international also recently launched cafe ubuntu! {you can purchase their coffee in whole foods!}
the cafe itself is the very first coffee shop {EVER} in maai mahiu, kenya! they will serve coffee & pastries & will have indoor bathroom facilities and be a safe meeting ground for travelers, locals and tourists.

so, how are WE helping this month?!
{i cant give everything away because we still want the subscriber gift to be a surprise!} 
the mums from L.I.F.E. life fashion are creating something for cafe ubuntu and we have purchased them!

so this month, our purchase will directly impact the organization we are serving.
also, we have 10 April boxes left! 
they are shipping out at the end of this week, so if you would like to join us {please do!}; you can sign up here.

connect with CTC international :