Friday, May 31, 2013

day 29 : take blake on a surprise date

day 29 ; so fun.
want to see my top 10 acts of awesome from this project, so far?!
check them out here.

tonight, i am taking blake out for a surprise date.
for valentines day, i purchased two spots in a pottery class & its *finally* here!
we will be biking there [about 15 miles round-trip] & then spend 3 hours creating something awesome out of clay.

blake use to work at a clay studio & i dont have much experience ; but i thought it would be super fun!
i would really love to make a planter for my orchid. its still in the plastic pot from the greenhouse & i have some super-cute ideas swirling around.

see you tomorrow!
edit : this class was awesome! i had tons of fun. it was something that was challenging for me & i would love to do it again. blake made a dog bowl for daphne + 2 other small bowls. i made a planter for my orchid + another small pot [maybe for my mini-poinsetta?]

Thursday, May 30, 2013

day 28 : donate an art kit to a child in moore, oklahoma

in two days, it will be 30 days that i have been doing this project!
so cool!
i am really enjoying this. in the beginning i was worried i couldnt keep up or find enough things to do ; but so far, i have been feeling great.
i find that i have been going out of my way to be a bit nicer to most people i encounter [the guy that blew the stop sign while i was on my bike? i wasnt super nice to him..]

today on rachels blog [really one of my favorites] ; she introduced me to art feeds.
do you know them? they are a non-profit based out of joplin, mo. they offer therapeutic art lessons to children experiencing trauma.
remember when that awful tornado tore through joplin in 2011? well, when the moore, oklahoma tornado hit, art feeds jumped at the chance to help.

two elementary schools were hit by the tornado & over 1,200 children attend the two schools.
for $10, one art pack [pens, pencils, paper, markers, colored pencils and crayons] will be given to each child. from there, they will work in a safe, controlled environment to heal & work through trauma through the power of art.
also, [this part is my favorite!] each child will receive a SUPER HERO CAPE [!!] to help them feel safe & secure.
[when i was a kid, the police were called to my house & one of the officers gave me a sticker & told me how strong i was. i remember thinking that sticker was the safest, most powerful thing in my life.]

if you are interested in donating an art pack, go here.
here is the art feeds website. and this is the post from rachel that introduced me to this amazing organization.
also, if you are looking to donate art SUPPLIES [crayons, paper, ect] ; you can do that here.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

day 27 : stand up for something i really, really believe in

today, over on my lifestyle blog, i am talking about the dairy industry.
usually, i avoid 'heavy' blog topics ; but today, after writing 6 different drafts, i hit publish!
if you want to check it out, its over here.
if you eat milk, cheese or yogurt ; its something worth reading [in my opinion ;)]

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

day 26 : answer a trivia question & feed shelter dogs

okay, so i have noticed that 4 [more?] of my good deeds have been 'dog-centered' ; but i have totally become one of those dog people.
last week, i talked a bit about rescuing daphne & what she means to our family [read her full rescue story here] ; but as time goes by, my heart aches when i think about if she hadnt been found // all the other dogs that are looking for families.

i found this amazing website ; its called freekibble & its exactly like it sounds.
you dont have to register & its totally free.
you head over, answer a trivia questions and regardless of your answer [doesnt matter if its incorrect], 10 pieces of dog food will be donated to a shelter.
click here to see which shelters are participating [there are a bunch of awesome rescues in minnesota that are benefitting from this]

more of a cat person? click here to donate cat food!

my challenge for you : head over & answer the question.
tell a few friends and head back for the next few days.

it takes 3 seconds & you are donating food to an animal in need.
also, most shelters exist because of volunteers. when shelters know their animals will be fed ; it makes everything better!

day 25 : create a gift basket for a silent auction benefit

happy tuesday!
a quick thank you to YOU for coming to this little blog. each day, my views are ticking higher & higher! if you have retweeted, left a comment, read a single post or told a couple friends ; i really, really appreciate it!

last week, two boys [9- and 10-years old] were killed in a mudslide on a school field trip. two other boys were trapped & had to be rescued. its been a sad & heartbreaking story to follow.

the schools PTO has been organizing a silent auction [it will be an online nationwide auction] to help benefit the kids, families & classmates that have been affected.

this weekend, i put together a doggy gift basket & dropped it off yesterday.
i put in two bags of treats, 4 rolls of biodegradable poop bags, a handmade wool chew toy & an apple-flavored z-bone [its like a dental chew for pups. i purchased the basket at a second-hand store [75 cents!] & shredded an old edition of the sunday newspaper for filling.

if you want to help, you have til the end of today to drop off a gift basket OR bidding begins this weekend. [i will post the auction address when everything is up & ready]. 
somebody [with 4 legs] was dreaming of her own gift basket all weekend ;)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

day 24 : give someone a free nice ride

i know i say this all the time ; but this is one of my favorites!
you know we love biking, right? we bike most days of the week ; all year round.
this year, our winter was 9 months long & we still havent settled into spring ; but we are still on our bikes as much as we can.

three years ago, 'nice ride' began in minneapolis. do you know it? its one of the first & largest bike sharing programs in the us. you pay $6 & get to rent a bike all day. [you can buy a year pass, too]. there are stations set up all over the cities [st paul, too] ; so every 30 minutes, you dock the bike, get a new one & keep riding.
you can ride for hours & explore so much of the city [you just have to be sure to dock each half hour]
i follow nice ride on twitter & they have been talking about opening 24 new stations this weekend.
we are so pumped that TWO of the stations are within walking distance! [for the locals : one is at the bakken & calhoun, the second is at the harriet bandshell]

since we have our own bikes, we dont use the nice ride bikes super often ; but they have become a staple to the cities & as bikers, we love what they are doing for bike culture.
i was gifted a free 24-hour pass & thought it would be fun to pass it along.

i wrote a little note & placed it [and the pass] in an envelope. we walked down to the new station & taped the envelope to the meter.
i really hope someone found the pass & can take some time to explore the awesome space we live in!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

day 23 : buy a bark box & help animal rescue

happy saturday! 
this is my third post for today [i didnt post ON thursday or friday] & if you are a dog-lover [or know someone who is] ; this one is for you!

last july, blake & i rescued daphne, the naughtiest pup on the planet. she has mellowed out quite a bit ; but to say shes a handful is still an understatement.

she leads a pretty good life [she loves organic coconut oil & enjoys doggy daycare a few times a week].
for the past 6 months, she has been getting a barkbox each month.

barkbox is a monthly subscription for your DOG! each month, your pup receive a combo of treats, toys & other goodies.
[if you want to read a few of our reviews, go here, here and here]

for the next week, one of our local rescues has partnered with barkbox to make the world better.

the deal :
you pay $19 for ONE month of barkbox.
secondhand hounds [the rescue] receives $10.
if 500 people redeem this deal, the rescue will receive OVER $12,000!!
think of all the animals they can save with that much money!

if you are interested, head over here & type in 2NDHBBX1 in the coupon code box!

bringing daphne into our family has been one of the most amazing things i have ever done in my entire life. it breaks my heart to think of all the wonderful dogs that are still looking for families.

daphne says thanks for helping her 4-legged friends!!

day 22 : buy a surprise gift for someone that did something awesome for me

okay, okay!
this one is kind of a secret...
so, at the end of the summer, i am changing careers. after 13 years of working with kids ; i will be shifting my focus and moving on.
a few days ago, blake [who is also changing careers] found my dream job!

i reached out on facebook to see if anybody could help me revise // edit // give advice on my resume & cover letter.
two friends of mine stepped up & helped me create some really, really great content. i was so impressed & grateful that they offered to help. [because lets be honest ; reading a resume isnt the most exciting way to spend a night...]

as a thank you ; i decided to grab a couple of really rad handmade items.
[since they both know this blog exists ; i wont be posting individual photos ; but if you want to know certain artists, leave a comment // email & ill help you out!]
[also, if you are local, all these gifts are from paper hat]

day 21 : take the longer bike route home

days like these are my favorite!
not sure where you are ; but we still havent seen spring here in minneapolis. its been rainy, chilly & foggy ; but mild days like these make me so thankful i can be on my bike.

i bike most days of the week & go about 10 miles round-trip on the weekdays to work & back. when i come home in the evenings, i can take an extra loop & go a few more miles.

i am convinced that biking has made me a better human. i am more kind, more patient & feel 'lighter' in my life. 
so, biking is my act of kindness for the day. better for the planet, my body, my brain & the people i connect with.

tell me : do you bike? 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

day 20 : watch an inspiring video & pass it along

hi everybody.
today, i have a 22-minute video that will change your life.
please [please!] pinky-swear that you will watch it.

zach sobiech was an 18-year old kid from minnesota who has been a big deal on youtube for a while. he was an incredible songwriter, who was diagnosed with bone cancer.

a couple weeks ago, on his 18th birthday, soul pancake released this beautiful documentary on zachs life, his family & how he believed in living life.
this past monday, zach lost his battle to cancer ; but his message will live on.

give yourself 20 minutes [and a bunch of kleenex] & be inspired to live a better life. 
and then pass it on.

zachs song 'clouds' is so very beautiful. you can watch the celebrity music video above.

also, if you are interested in downloading 'clouds' ; money will be donated to childhood cancer research. you can listen // download the song here

i just re-watched the music video as i was writing this & once again have tear-stained cheeks.
this story // video // music will change your life. it will light a fire inspire you to make this world better right now.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

day 19 : help tornado victims in moore, oklahoma

hi everybody!
by now you have heard about the horrible tornado in oklahoma.
when i was a kid, i was a few miles away from a really destructive tornado that really made a mess of a small town. i remember hearing the rain, hail, wind & seeing the downed trees ; not yet comprehending what had happened a couple miles away.

obviously, that was nothing compared to what thousands of families are feeling right now ; but my heart [yours too, right?] is sick over what everybody is going through down there.

today, i am choosing to donate to the oklahoma food bank to help aid in disaster relief. 

we all have $10 [thats just a couple drinks at starbucks, right?].
here is a great post of all the ways you can help in moore, oklahoma.
you can give to the american red cross here.
if you find other ways to help // memorial funds ; please leave them in the comments or send me an email & i will edit this post.

keep oklahoma in your thoughts today!

52 weeks of kindness

Monday, May 20, 2013

day 18 : buy a new book for a toddler

this is so fun!

yesterday, we bought some books at the used book sale benefiting our local library. the little girl i nanny for is 14 months and is in LOVE with books. she loves books with bright colors, and is getting really great with paper pages.

also, her dad is a musician and her parents have done such an awesome job exposing her to 'real' music.  we can play classical, opera, jazz, pop-punk [she loves fall out boy!] or r&b and she will clap, bounce around & tap her foot.

i think books are the best gift you can give a child, so i knew right away this would be a fun book for her & her family.

the pictures are gorgeous & the fonts are great.
if you are looking for a new book for your family ; this one is amazing!

do you have a favorite childrens book? id love to add it to my list!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

day 16 & 17 : volunteer at the farmers market & support the public library

happy sunday! i hope you have had a good weekend. 
i had the weekend off [woo hoo!] and went garage sale-ing, volunteering, to our neighborhood festival & book shopping!

day 16 : 
yesterday, i had the chance to volunteer with our csa, bossy acres at the farmers market. it was so much fun! it was pouring rain [i rode my bike 7 miles in the rain!] & was a bit slow in the beginning ; but i met a lot of people, learned a bunch about micro-greens & bought kimchi for the first time! [it was really good, btw!]

this is my 4th year being a member of a csa [a different one each time] & it was really cool to be able to volunteer and hang out with my farmer. i love being connected to the people that are providing us with fresh, awesome, organic veggies.

day 17 : 
today, our little neighborhood had their annual festival. there is food, mini-donuts [does that count as food?], a silent auction, local artists // vendors & a used book sale that benefits the library.
each year, the library pulls old books & people in the neighborhood donate theirs & all the money raised goes directly to the library for funding, programming, ect.

two years ago, we volunteered at the sale, but today, we spent an hour shopping. i bought 2 books for myself & 8 childrens books. i will give them all away during another 'mn nice' act.
blake & i have both worked with kids for a million years, so we are both super picky when it comes to kids books. we love strong story lines and beautiful illustrations. im excited to share the books i bought.

see you tomorrow!

Friday, May 17, 2013

day 15 : take the high road

i dont have any photos for this one ; but its a good life lesson, regardless.
today, i had someone that was heckling & questioning my motives for this project.
it went on for about an hour & it was just silly.

i am not doing this project so people think 'wow, diana is such a good person. she is saving the whole planet. when i grow up, i want to be her.' '[and own all of her yoga pants...]'
i am doing this project because there are bullies in this world & people that want to bring others down. this project is important to me, because i want to show others that you CAN do this. you can be nice to others. you can take $5 and 3 minutes out of your day to make it better for others.
this project isnt about me. its about encouraging others to be better & shine brighter.

today, i was feeling a bit bullied & targeted [related : i dont have very thick skin]. and i REFUSED to pick a fight // let anger win. i stood up for myself WITHOUT name calling & being a jerk.

this happens to all of us. a snide comment. someone that is rude to us. a mean blog comment. a middle finger on the interstate. 
its not the easiest thing ; but taking the high road ALWAYS makes you a better human!

also, i am SO pumped to announce my first ever 'kindness flash mob' event. either today or tomorrow. really, my heart is feeling huge!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

day 14 : buy a stranger an ice cream

yikes ; running a bit late, today! 
so, we live a few blocks away from a library. we are there quite a bit & its one of my favorite spots in the neighborhood.
when i was asking around for 'kindness' ideas, a few people suggested i take some money & pay off a random persons fine at the library. awesome idea.

so tonight, we walked to the library & i told them about the project and gave them a $5 to put towards someones fine. BOTH librarians told me that it was too much of a hassle & they werent interested in doing it. they said they are too busy [i get it] and this would be one more thing they would have to deal with.
in my mind, they would have put the $5 at the register with a note that said 'use this first for fines' ; but i guess not..
fine. plan b.
well, there is an ice cream [with sorbet!] shop a block away, so we headed there instead. we bought a cup of mango sorbet [so good!] and then gave $5 to be used on a random stranger later tonight.
both girls at the counter were super pumped & thought it was a great idea.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

day 13 : knit a gift a for a new baby

knitting is something i love to do. i have 100s [more?] of skeins of yarn & didnt get much of a chance to knit much this winter.
one of the families i use to work for just had a baby & another is having a baby in a couple weeks.
i thought these hats would be a cute baby gift.
they are made from acrylic yarn & are single-stiched [so they have some stretch]

[can you believe our heads use to be that tiny?!]
one of my tasks is to knit 20 hats to donate to NICU babies ; i have started, but am far from finished. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

day 12 : write my local representative and say thanks

disclaimer : this one is about same-sex marriage*
so, i am not interested in making political // religious statements with this blog because being good to others shouldnt have anything to do with how you vote & what you do on sundays.
BUT, if you have been following the news, minnesota became the 12th state in the country to legalize gay marriage yesterday!
[i totally have goosebumps typing that out]
i have friends and family that are in committed same-sex relationships. some have them have gotten married. some are still waiting. 
one of the reasons blake & i havent gotten married is because we believe that its a right that every single person deserves. there is no reason that our relationship should have more value simply because we are in a man//women partnership.

today, i wanted to send frank hornstein an email. he is the state rep in our district. he voted to legalize same-sex marriage & i wanted to thank him. blake & i both voted for him & he helped our state make history.
if you live in minnesota & want to see how your state rep voted, click here & type in your address.

again, i know that not everybody believes what i do. and if you dont believe in gay marriage, that is your choice. regardless, please dont leave hurtful comments. this is not a place for anger & malice. and also, i will delete them. if you want to have a civil discussion about marriage rights, feel free to email me.

Monday, May 13, 2013

day 11 : donate a book to a little free library

i love little free libraries.
on day 2, i left a 'take a smile' page at one & today, i went to donate a book.
these libraries are awesome. we have 10 of them within walking distance & many, many more around the city. i found this awesome map of all the little free libraries around the country!

and, check out this pinboard FULL of the coolest libraries ever built. [the creativity is ridiculous!]
today, i donated a book that i was finished with. i dropped it off on my way to work.

if you dont have a little free library in your neighborhood, consider donating a book to your local library [ours collects used books to sell at their annual book sale to benefit the library].

Sunday, May 12, 2013

day 10 : buy a surprise gift for someone

yikes; i have been away from my computer these last few days [yay!] ; so my postings have been up pretty late.

today, i wanted to do something to show someone i care about them.
yesterday, our big, huge farmers market opened for the spring season & one of blakes favorite coffee roasters was there.
i dont drink coffee ; but buy it quite a bit for blake. tiny footprint coffee is a local roaster & for each pound of coffee they sell, they plant trees to offset their impact on the forests [love it!]

while we were at the market [i was with family & blake wasnt there] ; i bought a bag for him. for really no other reason than to show him that i care.
gifts can be as simple as a $14 bag of coffee..

Saturday, May 11, 2013

day 9 : help stamp out hunger!

this one is so easy! really.
head to your cupboard, grab a bag of pasta, some canned fruit and you are good.
today is 'national stamp out hunger day.'
every postal worker in the country has you covered.
put your food in a plastic bag and place it out by your mail box and they will take care of the rest. it will be donated to local food shelves around your area.

this morning, we bagged up a couple cans of pears, some kale chips, soup & sunflower seeds.
and even if your mail has already been delivered today ; you can always take some food to a local food bank. [especially now that school is almost out & kids wont be getting school lunch ; families need your help!]

also, for those of you that use twitter, any time you complete an act of kindness, tag it with #mnnice365 so we can all find it!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

day 8 : send 3 cups of coffee to members of the military

$6 & 5 minutes ; thats how long todays act of kindness took.
for $2, you can buy a cup of coffee for a member of our military overseas. [here]
i think this is such an awesome idea. 
when you make your purchase, you can also write a little note & most folks will respond.
i love that idea of creating a connection to the folks that you are helping.
if you have a couple minutes, buy a service member a cup of coffee. or, purchase an entire bag.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

day 7 : support a local author

whoops! i am running a bit behind today!
i had a surprise day off today & took full advantage.
i painted my fingernails, bought some new [thrifted] summer wear, hung out at the library, took a 7 mile bike ride, got some sponsor stuff done AND bought some plants at my favorite greenhouse.

this act was actually completed last night, but its been on my list, so it totally counts ;) 
i am a huge fan of MPR ; i listen to it for hours a day.
a few weeks ago, sharon 'birdchick' stiteler was being interviewed. she is a 'birder' ; something i have been interested in for a bit. [here is her website!]
she just wrote a book & the release party was last night [at a donut shop!] ; so we headed over. bought some donuts [duh] & got my book signed.
the book? : '1001 secrets every birder should know'
i love the idea of supporting local [both the author & the donuts!] ; its super important to blake & i.

also, did you see the awesome sponsors over there? ---------------------->
go check them out!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

day 6 : fill a washer // dryer with quarters

in the past couple of days, i have gotten a few texts // emails // tweets from people saying 'oh, i did _____ for someone' & 'i made sure to say ______ to my bus driver.'
i think its all really awesome.
the main goal of this project is to show that it is SO easy to be kind to one another. it take seconds to practice a good deed. 

our apartment is right across the hall from the laundry room. in our building, we have 3 floors & 4 apartments on each floor. also, the building across the way uses our laundry room as well. [they dont have their own]. so, there is quite a bit of 'clothes-washing' traffic.
if you remember living in the dorms // apartment, you will remember that doing laundry is expensive. and a pain in the butt [most machines are old & dont always do the best job].

so, today, i taped some quarters to the machines, with a little note ; hoping to making someones next load a bit easier.

 super easy. it took 20 seconds. and only cost $1.25.