Friday, June 28, 2013

day 52 : call my grandma

this one is easy!
yesterday, i was out for a walk around the lake & i called my grandma, just to check in.
we usually talk a few times a month & i just wanted to see how she is doing.
shes super important to me & i just wanted to let her know that i was thinking about her.
this photo is so silly. there is this crazy mirror exhibition at the walker art center & over mothers day, we took this photo.
i am standing on one side with the camera, and my mom, sister & grandma are standing on the other side.

i am a day behind, so i will post todays good deed in a bit.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

day 51 : donate to charity, buy a nice gift AND support a start-up company

yep, all three of those things happened today.
yesterday, i posted that we were thisclose to finding emma a fur-ever home. [read it here]
well, it happened! the family that took her home for a 'trial' slumber party last night, totally fell in love with her.
yay x1,000,000! 
the papers were officially signed today and emma now has a rad family that will love her each & every day. [she totally deserves it!]

as a 'thank you for saving this pups life' gift, i headed over to help ink [they are AMAZING, btw!] & bought them this card.

[we have this in a large print ; i think its so special]
the cool thing about help ink, is that for every $5 you spend, $1 goes to the charity of your choice!
[i purchased a 5-pack of cards, and i chose to plant 3 trees with my donation]

so today, emma joined her forever family, i supported a rad start-up business AND planted a few trees.
not bad for a wednesday!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

day 50 : find emma a home [almost, positively, so close, 99.9%]

hey everybody!
last week, blake & i saved emma from doggy death row [you can read her story here]. she has a bit of weight to lose before the rescue officially puts her up for adoption ; but we really wanted to do our part to help her find her family.
she and daphne are s.l.o.w.l.y becoming 'we can tolerate each other in the same room' buds ; but we would love for both of them to exist in a space where neither of them are stressed or worrying about the other.

blake put some feelers out to some folks that he works with and A FAMILY CAME TO HANG OUT WITH HER TODAY! they already have a couple small dogs & are looking to add another pup to their pack. they LOVED emma. and emma loved them. and actually, she went home with them tonight for a 'practice sleep over.'
IF it goes well & they totally fall for her, paperwork will be filed and they will have a new pup in their forever family.
yay yay yay.
paws crossed that this works!
she is such a sweet dog & we really want her to live the rest of her years with a family that will love her each and every minute. she deserves it! 
today, i brought my nanny toddler over to my place for the day and she & emma shared nap time.
i love it!

Monday, June 24, 2013

day 49 // mission : fortify [also known as, support an awesome eatery]

you guys, this one is so fun! 
if you live in the twin cities, i would love to see you get involved in this!
there is a food bloggers group here called fortify: a food community [you can join on facebook here]. 
lynne [the same awesome woman that connected us to our rescue pup emma!] started a new group // project // blog called mission : fortify! 
the idea is to pick one locally owned restaurant, each month & plan to support them.
its that simple. they post the restaurant on the blog, pick the date [it will be a random 'off' day] and whenever you can during that day, you stop in and support them.

tonight was the first 'mission.' blake & i dont go out to eat super often, but supporting local is super important to us.
the restaurant : sun street breads
we ordered two pizzas [we each ordered the veggie] & blake went to pick them up.
the pizzas had goat cheese, greens, sweet potatoes & roasted pine nuts.
SO good.
when blake went in, he was talking to the cashier & she said that they had been packed all day.
one thing about living in a huge city ; you have so many options. which is great. but, it can also mean we get into a rut. you pass by a cafe // shop // ect each & every day and think 'oh, someday, i will go in there.' but, heres the thing ; if YOU dont support local, those businesses cant survive. 
so, bravo to lynne for creating a community to help support local eateries!

if you choose to join, let me know! 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

day 48 : support local farmers

this one is super easy. [both for me & for YOU!]
now that its [kinda] summer here [well, its either really hot or pouring rain...] we are able to go to tons of farmers markets. we are super lucky ; there are 2 markets within walking distance & 3 more we can bike to in less than 30 minutes. both saturdays and sundays, we hit up the markets to stock up for the week. [we are also CSA members ; so we have fresh food *all the time*]
today, we took both dogs down to the market [dogs arent allowed, but they offer free doggy daycare while you are shopping!] & stocked up.
these past few weeks have been super hard for the farmers. we didnt get rid of the snow til MAY & this month there has been way too much rain. its been a slow, rough spring // summer for the farmers. when we are there, we try our best to support lots of different vendors.

this morning, we bought a loaf of bread, 2 pastries, a jar of homemade salsa, a bunch of BEAUTIFUL flowers and a pound of strawberries. [we already have POUNDS of greens in our fridge from our CSA pick-up this week.]
we already ate the entire loaf of bread [seriously, so good!] & the pastries are always a fun brunch treat. i separated the flowers, so there are some in each room. and once i finish my workout tonight, i will dig in to the strawberries.

farmers markets are one of my favorite things on the planet. they are so important ; they support the ecosystem, local farmers and they keep money IN our local economy. and also, the more people that purchase local & organic foods, the more affordable they will become.

see you tomorrow! 

Friday, June 21, 2013

day 47 : share an awesome documentary

day 47!
[woo hoo!]
ps : i have been trying to post this for OVER 2 hours. we just had a nasty storm & the internet // power has been a total booger.

lets talk about documentaries!
do you watch them?
i love them. we have netflix JUST for the docs. also, on our weekly library visits, i always load up with ones i cant find online.

tonight, we finally got around to watching 'my life as a turkey.' have you heard of it? if you love public television, nature or the wonder of wild animals, this is for you!

its a 50 minute doc about a man who imprinted on 16 turkey eggs and was their 'mother hen' for almost 2 years. the storytelling is beautiful and the images are breathtaking.
you can watch it on PBS here.

turkeys get the rep of being a 'big dumb bird' ; but gosh, to hear how incredibly intelligent they are was SO cool.

i highly recommend taking an hour to marvel at the beauty of nature and the animals that are a part of it!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

day 46 : save a dog on doggy death-row

thursday, today!
hope you are doing great ;)

meet emma!
[everybody say 'hi emma!']

last monday, lynn posted emmas picture on twitter.
here is the story : 
emma & another pup [not sure of her name] were living with an older woman & she passed away. when an owner dies, the animals are taken to animal control ['the pound'] for 10 days. in those 10 days, the dog can be claimed by friends // family. if the dog is NOT claimed, they are put down. [which is SO freakin' sad!]. lynn posted a photo saying that emma was on day 10 [meaning, if she didnt find a family by monday, she would be put down tuesday morning]. i called blake, in tears, explaining her situation & feeling so sick. so unfair for this dog to be killed because of something that had nothing to do with her. its not like she attacked anybody. her owner died. also, her dog friend had already been rescued, so she was just sitting in a kennel at animal control for 10 days. i cant imagine the stress & fear that she was feeling.

we connected with a rescue group [here in minneapolis, a foster family has to be secured before an animal rescue can pull a dog from animal control] & offered to take emma.

she was successfully pulled from animal control [yay] ; but then had to sit at the vet for a few days to get her shots, have a tumor removed & her dental work done.

yesterday, we went to pick her up! she is 6 years old & needs to drop quite a bit of weight to be considered healthy [about 15 pounds]. our first overnight did NOT go well. daphne is a bit territorial & is struggling with this transition. blake & i are both running on less than 2 hours of sleep, but i am hoping a few days of routine will make everything easier. [this morning i got up & was super crabby & wanted to start complaining. and then i remembered that this dog was given a second chance to be loved for the rest of her days.]
we do not plan on adopting emma into our family ; just giving her a safe home until she finds a family that cant live without her. [this is nothing personal. daphne isnt ready for a 'fur-ever sibling' & we really need a yard]

with that said, if YOU or anybody you know is looking to give a good dog a great home, let me know. [its okay if you dont live in minneapolis!]
[also, she is totally non-reactive to dogs & kids. she is super 'human' motivated. im guessing after 14 days of being in a scary, locked cage, all she wants is to be pet & loved]

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

day 45 : be a good biker

this one is hard to take photos of because i avoid using my phone while biking ; so all of these photos are ones that have taken while stopped ;)

biking is a huge part of my life. i bike most days of the year [this winter was actually pretty difficult cuz it was so icy // nasty for a million weeks] & i love it. i really do. without a doubt, biking has changed my life.
and living in portland & minneapolis [the top two biking cities in the US] ; i have learned a ton!
we all know // have seen those bikers ; the ones that ride at night without lights, that run stop lights & blow through 4-way stops. the bikes that have no respect for anybody else & make everything a bit more dangerous.

see, i am NOT that biker. i have a 'top of the line' helmet [which i love, btw], have lights on my spokes and always carry 4 backlights with me. i also have 2 front lights.
i always slow way down at stop signs [i do a rolling stop if there are NO cars within sight. if there IS a car anywhere within a 3-5 block radius, i follow the rules of the road]. i ALWAYS stop at stop lights and make myself super predictable on the road [eye contact, signaling my turn, thanking drivers for seeing // respecting me].

i love biking & the culture that comes with it. but it kills me when i see bikes NOT following the same rules they are demanding from cars.

so for today, i will be a good biker. i will thank drivers. greet others that i see on the trails [dogs, runners, bikers, walkers]. i will be extra cautious of my surroundings & will set a good example for bikers in this city!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

day 44 : lend my favorite workout dvds to a neighbor

happy tuesday! 
todays good deed was super simple & only took a minute!
we have lived in our apartment for almost 3 years now, so we know most of our neighbors pretty well.
across the hall, we have a women who we have gotten close to. 
this winter, she slipped on some ice & got pretty banged up. we offered to take her dog out each day to give her a break & keep her off the ice.

as a thank you to us, she bought us tickets to see the twins [which we did last week!]
as i was thanking her for the tickets, she mentioned that now that our 10-month winter was over [seriously!], she was really hoping to get back into better shape.
[months of ice & miserable temps is hard on everyBODY!]
since she has a few chronic injuries, i went through my jumbo stash of workout dvds & gave her a few of my favorites to borrow.
[ps : if you love pilates & are looking for a good workout, the fat-buring pilates video on the bottom of the stack is great. one of my all-time faves!]
so easy!
thanks for reading!

Monday, June 17, 2013

day 43 : gift wrap a package for a stranger

[note : these photos arent good because i was trying to 'sneak attack' them!]

happy monday!
i have 2 jobs, did you know?
a few times a month, i work at a super-cute handmade shop in a nearby neighborhood! we carry tons of local stuff & its all handmade.
the neighborhood is great, too! 

when i work on the weekends, blake will bring daphne & come hang out for an hour or so. its so great for daphne to see, smell & interact with random people.
yesterday, i was working & this guy came in. he had a shopping bag FULL of gear he just bought his brother at the running store across the street. 
he asked if i would gift wrap it for him. he offered to pay & i accepted. [note : we dont offer to gift wrap packages from other shops]
as i was working, he was so great to daphne. [daphne is part pit & i love when people give her a chance!]

i finally finished his package & he pulled out his wallet. i told him the wrapping was on me ; but under one condition! his job was to go out of his way & be really great to a stranger.
he accepted, gave daphne one more pat & went on his way.

i will be honest, when he offered to pay, i was totally going to accept his payment. but, as i was wrapping, i thought it would be such a fun way to pay it forward & brighten his day.

and ps : [greta, if you are reading this ; dont fire me ;)]

Sunday, June 16, 2013

day 42 : make a donation in honor of my grandpa

sunday, today! 
did you see my post about my business cards? i only have 3 left to give away! 

today is fathers day! 
three years ago [later this summer], my grandpa passed away. when i think of the man that taught me life lessons, came to my choir concerts, cheered at my ball games & attended all of my girl scout banquets ; i think about my grandpa. he read me stories when i was little & always brought me donuts for breakfast!

losing my grandpa was awful ; i honestly felt my heart break into a million pieces. 
this picture below was the very last photo he & i ever took. 

the summer after the earthquake in haiti, blake & i went down for a month to help rebuild.
we took this photo a few days before we left for haiti. three days after we got back into the us, he was admitted to the hospital & passed away the next day.
i feel incredibly lucky that i was able to be there with him when he passed away. 

i am this person because of him.
so today, in his memory, i will be donating to cancer research. 
[this is the cancer center that treated him. they were so good to he & my grandma ; i am forever grateful!]

Friday, June 14, 2013

day 41 : share // hand out my *new* business cards

ahh! you guys!
i have been attempting to unplug quite a bit & really be a part of 'real' life. and its been great.
but, unplugging has meant neglecting BOTH of my blogs, emails & social media.
its hard to run an online movement, when you turn off the computer. 

anyways : i am really pumped to share my brand new business cards! 
i already have business cards for my [now closed] etsy shop & my other blog ; but i wanted something that was just for this blog // kindness movement.

i also knew that i didnt want 'traditional' cards. after tons of research & creative mock-ups, i chose to go with this amazing company.
what makes them so rad?!
they are plantable!!
thats right! SO, after you come to the website [&follow me on twitter & facebook ;)] ; you can tuck the card into the ground & grow wildflowers!!
i love this idea.
i have hundreds of business cards from others at home. and usually, they just sit there. that, or people throw them away.
this way, once you are done with the card, you plant it in the ground.
the card biodegrades [yay, no waste!] & who doesnt love flowers?!
you can plant them at home, give them to a neighbor // friend // stranger OR plant them in a vacant lot to add some color!

so, here is the deal!
i would love to send YOU a couple cards!
a couple for you to giveaway [&spread the movement!] & one for you to plant [you can keep it or pass it on!]
are you interested?!
the first 10 people that leave a comment // send me an email [dianapantz at gmail] will receive some cards.

flowers make this world better. they cheer people up. make the landscape more beautiful. and are good for the planet!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

days 38, 39, 40 ; that time i fell behind // cookbooks, volunteers & the thriftstore

hi everybody!
i have continued to do my daily act, but havent been very good at getting them down on 'screen' [remember when we use to say 'paper'?!]
here is a small recap of the last 3 acts :

monday, day 38 : gift a cookbook i am no longer using
we have tons of cookbooks in our house. all are 'local // minnesota // vegan // raw'- themed & we dont use them as much as we should. blake does most of the cooking & hes the type that sees an ingredient & *boom* has created a new recipe.
this weekend, i gifted my sister this vegan cookbook. the writing is great & we have enjoyed quite a few of the recipes inside.
even if you still eat meat, vegan cookbooks are a great way of expanding your kitchen horizons!

tuesday, day 39 : purge a room & donate everything to a secondhand shop
[see also : why in the world didnt i take photos of this?!?]
a few weeks ago, i spent 8 hours [!] cleaning // organizing // rearranging the craft room [the spare room in our apartment]. i ended up with 5 HUGE bags // boxes of yarn, buttons, fabrics & other crafty supplies.
my original plan was to donate it to a school, but the year just ended & i really wanted everything out of that space ; so, to the thrift shop it went.
feels good to have a cleaner space & to know that my items will find a new home. [and that the proceeds of the shop help employ people in my community!]

today, wednesday, day 40 : thank a volunteer for breakfast
this week is 'bike walk week' here in the cities ; there are awesome events // rides happening all over the city.
my goal is to bike to work all 5 days this week.
this morning [we are leaving in 20 minutes], the mayor & some great organizations are handing out free breakfast to any biker // walker that stops by. its at our very favorite bike shop & also quite a bit out of the way from work BUT if businesses want to support bikes, i want to say thanks!
[i will post photos once i get to work]
you can read more about the event here.

Monday, June 10, 2013

day 37 : report a fire to 911

late last night [1030pm], we were taking daphne out for her 'bedtime stroll.' we live a couple blocks away from a high school & its usually part of our daily route. 
as we were approaching the block, we could hear the fire alarms going on & the lights on the middle floor were flashing every couple of seconds. 

we assumed that the fire alarm directly connected to the police station ; but in a case of fires // kids // accidents, i never want to be the person that assumes someone already took action.
so, i called 911 to report the alarm. we didnt smell // see smoke, but the alarms were going like crazy.
the dispatcher said they knew about it & someone had already called in.

we stayed around the area for another 5-6 minutes & saw two cop cars & two fire trucks show up. 
in the end, i dont know if it was a false alarm, or if it was something real ; but we left to allow them to do their jobs.

day 36 : be the family photographer

i am a bit behind on my blog posts [its hard on the weekends!] ; so i am catching up!
this weekend, we drove down to small-town minnesota to celebrate my uncles 60th birthday party.
my family is pretty large. my grandparents had 7 kids, all of them married & had 2-3 kids. a few of my cousins have kids now, too.

another thing about my family : they all live pretty close to each other. the majority of my aunts & uncles live within 10 miles of one another. sometimes i think they take that for granted & dont see each other as much as they could.

since they dont all get together often, there arent a ton of photos of all of them together. so, i decided to be a pain in everyones butt & request a ton of photos throughout the night..
the bar had bad lighting, so my 'good' camera didnt work well ; but i thought that poorly-lit cell phone photos would be better than nothing.

i took about 200 photos, but here are a few of my favorites.
i will print these off & send them to everyone, too!
i took this one with the camera facing us [so we could all see our faces] & my dad and grandpa were blown away by the technology. they thought it was so cool that they could see their faces & then take the picture.

Friday, June 7, 2013

day 35 : honor a fallen cyclist by advocating for protected bike lanes


did you know that blake & i are bikers?
he hasnt owned a car for 6+ years & i have been a bike commuter for over 3.5 years.
the more i bike, the more passionate [and aware] i have become about the rules, politics and infanstructure. living in the bike friendliest city in the country makes it super easy to bike ; but it can also be dangerous. believe it or not, not everybody loves bikes the way i do... i have had things thrown at me, been threatened & swerved at ; all more than once.

i like to think that i am super aware. i dont text, talk or listen to music when i ride. i focus on my surroundings and always ride as if cars cant see me. i am super predictable, always wear a helmet & have 6 lights on my bike for night // early morning riding.

a few months ago, there was a girl [my age] riding home late at night & she was struck & killed by a drunk driver. she lived in a neighborhood that blake use to bike & she worked in our neighborhood. its a good reminder that accidents happen ; no matter how prepared you think you might be.

a few days ago, a guy in chicago [also my age] was biking home from work when he was struck & killed by a drunk driver. in reading articles & forums, it sounds like he was one of the 'good bikers' ; one who always signaled, followed traffic laws, wore a helmet & lights and showed respect on the road.

it breaks my heart that drinking & driving is still a 'thing.' its stupid. and dangerous. and against the law.

bobby [the kid in chicago] worked at groupon & they have really stepped up to the plate in his honor.
you can go here to donate $10. every single penny raised will go to the neighborhood bikeways campaign to help bring protected bike lanes to parts of chicago.
as of yesterday, they had already raised $25,000.

also, pleasepleaseplease pinky-promise that you wont text & drive OR drink & drive.
its so dangerous. and senseless. and unnecessary.
also, even if you are going 30 mph & you hit a biker, there is a large chance you can kill them.
hitting a biker will change lives. yours. your children. your partner. not to mention the biking community & they family of the biker.
when you are on the road ; please focus on the road. 

 see you tomorrow!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

day 34 : give daphne money to help save an injured dog-friend

happy thursday!
at the beginning of this project, daphne decided to send some postcards to 7 kids living with cancer.
[we have been checking the mailbox, but she hasnt heard anything back yet..]
you can read that post here.

blake & i follow a few different animal rescue organization here in minneapolis on both twitter & facebook.
daphne was reading over my shoulder last night & saw that her rescue [the one that saved her life] was needing to raise some money to help save another dogs life.

you can read bear's full story here ; but in short, he was shot in the chest, has a broken leg & was found in a pool of his own blood.
the rescue was looking to raise $750 to help cover his surgery // med costs.
in one hour, all the money had been raised [yay!!]
daphne knew she had to help [she was trapped in a harness when she was found & also needed surgery], so i borrowed her some cash & she sent bear some 'bones' [thats dog-speak for money ;)]

and while bear has met his goal, safe hands rescue exists because of donations. if you are looking to donate, you can do so through bears link here. all extra money will go to help rescue another pup who deserves an awesome family! 

ps : dont forget to enter the giveaway here 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

day 33 : donate my bag discount to charity

did you enter my giveaway yet? its here.

todays act of kindness was super simple & only took a second!
we live a block away from a local co-op ; we are super lucky. i would say we are up there 3-5 times a week. the convenience of having fresh, local food 200 steps away is awesome!

each time you bring your own bag, they give you a small cardboard token. you can choose to donate it to a specific cause // charity, or you can keep them & use them for a discount on your own future purchase [i think each token = 5 cents]

today i went in for some bulk nuts [just made my own peanut butter ; SO good!] & a few other things & decided to donate my bag discount.
i know that its only 10 cents ; but every tiny step helps move mountains!

you can read about the land stewardship project here and here is some info on our local co-op!
tell me : does your co-op // grocery store have a bag discount system?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

day 32 : host a GIVEAWAY for one of my favorite books

you guys! its 930PM!! i came home from work, laid down & *poof* totally fell asleep.
well, here i am ;)

i have my first ever giveaway happening today!
i am giving away one copy of 'the lucky ones, my passionate fight for farm animals,' by jenny brown.

jenny & her husband run an animal sanctuary in new york. blake & i have been planning on driving up there in the next year & spending some time volunteering with the animals.

the book is beautiful. we follow the author on her journey from childhood cancer survivor, to co-owner of one of the most amazing animal havens in the country.

all of the animals on the farm are have been rescued from either small farms, factory farms or found wounded or abandoned. we meet the animals & hear stories about their 'very real' personalities.

i checked this book out from the library, but i will send the winner a brand new copy of her book.
*this giveaway is only open to folks in the us* [sorry ; books are expensive to ship!]
there are a few ways to enter ; all of them easy!

good luck.

Monday, June 3, 2013

day 31 : buy an art print & donate a few books

happy monday!

today, i wanted to share one of my favorite companies, PLUS a super-rad print that we just bought.
blake & i work really hard to ONLY support companies that give back to charity // donate a portion of their profits to good causes. this seems to be happening more often, which is really great. [i also think its the business model of the future!]

we are total dog lovers [our naughty rescue pup daphne has something to do with that...] ; so when i saw this print, i knew it belonged on the walls.

the cool thing about help ink is the variety of prints & artists they use. all of their prints have a 'do good. be good.' feel. i love that.

also, for each $5 you spend, they donate $1. our print was $15. when you order your print, you get to choose which cause you would like to support. [i chose to donate books to a school in africa.]

if you are looking for an awesome gift or for some cool art to add to your home ; i highly recommend help ink! 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

day 30 : participate in a crop mob

happy sunday!
this one is a day late, but im sure you dont mind ;)

two weeks ago, i volunteered at the farmers market with my csa [here]. blake & i belong to a csa called bossy acres. its run by two awesome women & is certified organic [win, win!]

yesterday, they held a crop mob [a group of people come out & help get work done]. the farm is 45 minutes outside the city, so we [plus my good friend chris] came out and planted peppers, tomatoes & eggplant. over the course of the day, 3,000 [!] plants were put into the ground.

we were only there for 90 minutes ; but there is something so amazing about getting your hands dirty & feeling the soil. i love the idea of being so connected to the food we are eating.

about 10 minutes after we finished, the rain came. because of the horizon, we could see the clouds rolling in & the storm starting to form. we dont get to see that happening in the city.