Monday, December 23, 2013

day 139 : seriously, THE coolest planner for 2014!

i know everybody is all 'oh my gosh, its christmas this week!' ; but i am a little more on the 'woo hoo, its almost 2014!' train.
i work tomorrow & the day after christmas, so i wont be going home for christmas. {i worked a similar schedule for thanksgiving, so i didnt get home then, either.} 

i am such a huge fan of planning. of making lists & organizing thoughts & to-dos.
i love the feeling of making a list and checking it twice then crossing things off.
ive never had a 'fancy' planner, though. i usually purchase a notebook at the secondhand store or use a pocket-sized 'field notes' notebook.

a few weeks ago, heather wrote this great post about bloggers {who are also awesome business owners} you can support!
i clicked on all the links {i love learning about new things // artists // info} & found jessicas amazing 'fitting it together' 2014 planner. the colors & clean design totally caught my eye. i also love that each day gets an entire page. no way am i one of those people that can have a whole week on one page {two part-time jobs, one business & a million other things calls for individual pages!}

not too long after i checked out the planner, jessica signed up for the Be Nice Box! one day i reached out & said that i would be happy to trade boxes for the planner. she {so kindly!} replied that she would be happy to send me one with no strings attached!

it came in the mail the other day and i am in LOVE! seriously! there are sticky notes & food tracking sheets & fun stickers to mark events {ladies nights, parties, birthdays, doctor appointments}

also awesome : each day has a 'fit&fab tip' ; a fun food fact, a quick recipe, a reminder to take a moment for you, ect. on the bottom of each page is an inspirational quote {i love stuff like this}

if you are looking for a great way to keep 2014 organized and together, this planner is awesome! 
the colors & design are bright & fun ; the tips are awesome and there is tons of room to write about your food, health, fitness & life goals // to-dos!

head here to purchase the planner. head here to tell jessica that she is awesome!

*disclaimer : jessica DID send me this planner for free, but i really do love it & think everybody should purchase one!*

Friday, December 13, 2013

day 138 : kindness carousel {week 7}

you guys, its my last day of being 29!
i turn 30 {at 12:12am} tomorrow! its pretty cool to think about this brand new decade ahead of me..
i have family coming this weekend & i took the WHOLE weekend off work! tomorrow morning, a dozen of my favorite people are joining me for brunch!

lets talk about kindness!
{kindness carousel is a weekly feature where i link to some of the coolest stories // videos that happened recently!}

1) i love a good flash mob! to honor nelson mandela after his passing, this choir preformed a song {in a grocery store!} that was written during his incarceration during the apartheid.
2) this is what 'minnesota nice' is all about! this woman found $2,800 in a parking lot & then RETURNED IT!
3) want to make a new friend? mary is setting up a pen pal exchange! go here to sign up
4) hahaha ; 28 funniest notes written by kids this year

5) still looking for great gifts? here is a massive list of gifts for everybody!
6) this spring, zach sobiech passed away ; maybe you remember that awesome song 'clouds' that he wrote and preformed? two weeks ago, 5,000 people gathered at the mall of america {zach was from here} to perform his song. unbelievable! {seriously you guys, this is such a *must see!*}
7) a year & a half ago, we brought daphne into our lives to be the third member of our little family. before she was up for adoption, she was living on the street & trapped in a harness. here are 20 photos are dogs who are SO pumped to be headed to their 'forever homes.'
i took this photo the very first day we brought her home. it makes me all emotional to think about her scary 'pre-us' days & then to see how much she loved and trusted us as soon as she entered our family!
{and if you look at the bottom of the photo, you can see her scars from surgery, when they cut the harness off of her}

8) i was on the news this week! i had the chance to head to a local news station and talk about the be nice box for a couple minutes. the clip is below & you can read the article here!
9) jessica wrote two great posts about her december be nice box. here & here {this one is fun! she took one of the ideas & totally made it her own!}

have an awesome weekend!

Monday, December 9, 2013

day 137 : be on tv, bring a gift & don't throw up...

happy monday!
you guys! i go on LIVE TV today! i am so nervous! obviously, i know how to talk & i know how to talk about my business, but i am just nervous! my brain is silly ; sometimes when i am speaking, i become insanely aware of my words, my tongue, my fingers, ect & get tripped up. {tell me its not just me...} i have been practicing what i want to say, but not too much that it sounds rehearsed.
i will be on a 5 minute local news segment talking about the $1,000 business award i just won from Mutual of Omaha. i really want it to go well.

and since my parents always taught me to bring a gift when someone is hosting you, i put together two December Be Nice Boxes for the hosts.

wondering what was in the December boxes?
in this months box : 
a list of 15 acts of kindness to complete around the theme 'see change.'
also included in the box : a 'cold weather kit' to hand out to someone in need, 8 candy canes to hand out to strangers {the note says 'you've been candy cane-d' pass it on!}, 7 mini fair trade chocolates to restock someones chocolate stash, one handmade lavender bath fizzy and a template to make snowflake ballerinas.
the gifts for the subscriber this month : 3 handmade cinnamon applesauce ornaments & a code for a free download of Michael Charles Smith's rendition of the Nutcracker Suite on marimba!

if you want to sign up for january, you can do that here.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

day 136 : carry a coffee in a snowstorm

this one was fun & only took a second. AND it was totally unplanned.
{i dont really 'pre-plan' my good deeds, but i do usually have a few deeds for the week that i want to complete in the back of my mind. i find that having a 'kinda plan' based on my schedule, where i will be & my budget for the week, helps me stay on top of my good deeds.}

a few days ago, blake & i were waiting for the bus to go to the radiation clinic for my tests. it had snowed a few inches overnight & the roads were pretty gross. the bus stop is a block away & in front of a coffee shop. 

while we were waiting, a woman with crutches came out, with a coffee in her hand. the sidewalks were slick & her hands were full.
i asked to walk her coffee to her car ; to make sure she was safe. 
as i looked back to see if the bus was coming, blake took this photo..
the lady was grateful, it was a 15 foot walk and literally took less than 30 seconds.

my challenge for you is to do something similar! i know that not everybody has cold weather and icy sidewalks ; but do you see someone that needs help grabbing something off a high shelf? a grandma that needs help carrying her grocery bags to the car? did someone drop something without noticing?
all of these things show kindness & compassion. they take a second & cant be planned out ; but that moment will make a difference! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

day 135 : kindness carousel {week 6}

i have so many awesome links to share this week!
{ps : i had an ultrasound for my lump two days ago & everything is good! nothing to worry about ; which makes me so incredibly thankful!}

are you new to kindness carousel?
its a weekly post sharing positive & uplifting things that happened around the world!
you can see past weeks here, here, here, here & here!

1) my friend jen & her husband are in the process of an international adoption. her posts are so beautiful & make me so thankful to know people like her

2) you guys know Humans of New York, right?! i follow brandon {the photographer} on facebook, but the tumblr page is pretty great, too. he goes around New York & photographs {and mini-interviews} random folks. the pictures are always incredible & the stories are always inspiring. {the photo below was taken from the website ; credit goes to HONY}

3) obviously i am NOT a fan of stealing ; but the actions of this coffeeshop are pretty awesome! someone stole money from their tip jar & their reaction is awfully kind.

4) a friend of mine shared this article ; had me in tears! this little second grader created a 'buddy bench' at his school to help kids feel less lonely!

5) a waitress in vancouver got an awesome tip & can now follow her dreams! {LOVE stories like this!}

6) we got some snow this week & now its COLD! {like, wind chill of -17* when i took daphne out this morning!} this 98-year old twin cities man *still* shovels the sidewalk of his 'old' neighbors.' {i love this! my grandma is 85 & she gives art shows for 'old ladies at the nursing home.'}

7) anna has a list of 24 free {or super cheap} things you can do this holiday season.

8) j did a fun holiday gift guide ; lots of good ideas!

9) a couple malls in canada are offering special hours for kids on the autism spectrum to meet santa {without all the crazy lights, hustle & noise} ; i LOVE seeing this shift! i was a therapist at an autism school for a couple years & many of the families had never been able to meet santa // have traditional holiday cards because of how over-stimulating the mall can be during the holidays. bravo to canada!
10) lindsay reviewed the december be nice box here & you can go here to enter to win a free january box!

do you have anything awesome to share with us?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

day 134 : give a little money on #givingtuesday

i know, i know ; i have mentioned going to the doctors in every post this week..

over the past couple of years, 'giving tuesday' has become a 'thing.'
it always falls after 'cyber monday' ; the tuesday after thanksgiving.
it was created as a way to stop & give back after all the overindulgent spending we did on friday, saturday & monday.

you pick a cause you care about & give them some support. there is no limit on the amount ; the idea is to support people that are doing great things!

recently, i lost my health insurance.
i have always been covered under blake's plan at work ; but he switched jobs & his new plan doesn't cover me {since we aren't married}. i am pretty healthy, but have been waiting for january 1st, so i can be covered under the affordable care act {obamacare}
well, about 3 weeks after losing healthcare, i found this lump & *had* to get it checked out.
we have a planned parenthood nearby & they did all my preventive care // tests at no cost.
i know that some folks hate on planned parenthood ; but honestly, depending on what all of my tests reveal ; the fact that they offered me a free screening ; it could have saved my life!
{health care is definitely one of my 'soap box' issues! i wont go on ; but i could... ;)}

anyways, i am so very thankful for organizations like planned parenthood.
so, on giving tuesday, i took all the cash out of my wallet & gave it to the receptionist in hopes that another woman can receive the same care i did!

tell us : who did you support on tuesday?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

day 133 : cat food, kites & cheesecake ; oh my!

hi everybody!
thanks SO much for all your comments, texts & emails yesterday. i went to the doctor yesterday {she was so kind when i started *bawling* on the table..} and was referred to a specialist for more tests. after crying to the receptionist on the phone {seriously, so emotional}, she moved my appointment to today. i leave in a little bit & all my fingers are crossed, hoping for good news.

anyways, todays good deed involves donations & free cheesecake!
each year, tami {who runs muddy paws cheesecake} has a cheesecake sampling party! there is live music, awesome local vendors, TONS of free cheesecake samples {everything from beer to mint to *the best* vegan key lime!}
the only way to get in?
you have to bring in a new toy OR a bag of pet food to be donated.

this year, the toys are going to STEP Emergency and Perspectives Family Resource and the pet food is headed to Pet Project.
its such a great cause & we have been going since we moved here!

a few weeks ago, i received a klout perk from hills science diet. they sent me a bag of cat food & two bags of treats. i have no idea why i got cat food, but i am always happy to donate something to a good home. plus, this is my contribution to cat-society ;) 

we are donating a pack of wiki-sticks {these are SO awesome!} and they are made in the US! we also have a brand new kite {still in the package with the price tags on} that i purchased at a garage sale this summer.

blake & i have worked with kids for half our lives & a lot of toys bum us out. the lights, the spinning, the fact that they were put together by young kids in china... stuffed animals, books & toys like blocks, legos & other 'small motor' items are always good gifts!

if you live in minneapolis, the event is TODAY from 430-9pm! here is the FB event!
i am also super excited for all the great local vendors that will be there. everything from hot sauce to energy bars to candles ; people here are so creative!

tell us : have you ever been to anything like this before {bring a donation, eat something awesome?}
and ps : just so its noted, klout & hills science diet did not sponsor this post or ask me to post about them//their product. they provided me with free cat food and i am choosing to donate it to this event.

see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

day 132 : {a vague post on fear, biopsies & doctors appointments}

happy tuesday, everybody!
i know that i run two blogs & am all over the internet ; but for the most part, i am a pretty private person.
when {deep} things happen, i really dont share them outside of my mom & blake. the internet makes me nervous when it comes to spilling deep stuff. i know that people post pictures of their kids, birth stories, ect ; but for me, i like to keep a distance between 'screen life' & 'real life.'
people understand that, right?

i have debated about posting this ; i have gone back & forth {and back and forth}
by the time you read this, i will be at the doctor getting some {scary} tests done.

one of my 'good deeds' for this project was to 'schedule a check-up // doctors appointment.' i consider myself to be in pretty decent health. i dont eat meat or dairy, i work out {complete races // rides}, i dont use chemicals in my life {clothes, body or home} & i am generally pretty active. i have lost two grandparents to cancer & have three family members {myself included} who have had scary 'you have abnormal cells & could develop cancer' conversations with doctors. so, while i work hard to take care of myself, i know that no one is immune from getting sick.

last week, i found a lump {i dont want to share any more than that ; because hello, this is the internet!} & i am pretty scared about it. it might be nothing. it might be something. as soon as i found it, i got on the horn to get in for a check-up.
that check-up is today.

as you are reading this, i dont know any more than you do.
any good vibes you want to send my way would be greatly appreciated. 

a lot of times, we think of 'good deeds' as only being big things that we do for others, but the truth is, simply taking a minute to focus on our own health is also an incredibly kind {and necessary!} thing!

see you tomorrow!

Monday, December 2, 2013

day 131 : shop on black friday {yes, really}

i am not much of a shopper.
let me rephrase that : i dont like shopping.
the crowds. the grumpiness. the overconsumption. the idea that we pay young women in far-away countries *pennies* to create items that we dont even value.
{i digress...}
i avoid shopping at big box stores throughout the year {i havent been in a best buy, kohls or walmart for years & i only go to target a few times a year, if i can help it} ; so i definitely dont seek out sales the day after thanksgiving..

i DO, however, LOVE supporting local. we are really lucky to have some incredible small businesses here in minneapolis. we got up around 8am on friday to support a few of our favorites.
we have a local pet store a mile away & they had a great deal happening.

for each person that walked through the door from 7-9am, they donated one pound of animal food to a local food shelf. if you brought your pet, they donated another two pounds. daph cant handle places like that, so we showed her picture to one of the employees & she donated two pounds for daphne, too!
{seriously, you cannot get this experience at a huge box store!}
bonus : they had free donuts!
we purchased a toy, 4 bags of treats & 3 bags of dog food.

also on friday, we supported a small non-profit & two other local shops.
tell me : did you work? did you shop?

today is the last day to purchase a gift subscription & receive free boxes for yourself! 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

day 130 : kindness carousel {week 5}

happy sunday! 
new month = new goals! 
one of my goals is to be better about documenting my good deeds. i was doing great when i first started this blog, but since i launched the be nice box, {sadly} i havent been updating as frequently.
that changes today! {also known as : please hold me to it ;)}

i am a few days behind, but here are a few of my favorite gems from around the internet :

1) this man has hosted thanksgiving for strangers for 28 years in a row! 
2) last week in minneapolis, a dog fighting ring was discovered in minneapolis. i think they found // rescued 18 dogs. {i hate stories like this} last year, a larger operation was discovered in memphis, tn & here is a short video update on the dogs.
3) heather put together a really awesome post {like always} of ways to support bloggers while completing your holiday shopping! 
4) want to make a new friend this season? emily is hosting her 2nd annual ornament exchange. you can sign up here.
5) hannah & jesse write a great blog ; i adore how rich their lives are & how they intentionally they live well below their means.
6) because everybody loves puppies! here is a {ridiculous} 3 minute video ALL about puppies learning to howl.
7) aundra always does such awesome things on her good deeds blog! my recent fave? she supported a school band by purchasing a box of veggies for the food shelf. when i was little, our fundraisers were wrapping paper & candy bars. i love seeing this charitable shift!  
8) i am loving this new shirt from sevenly! each week, they have new clothes that support new charities. $7 from each piece sold goes to support a great cause! 

9) are you still looking for some great holiday gifts? now through tomorrow night, we have a great deal over on the website! you purchase a gift subscription & we give YOU free boxes for yourself!
{ps : if you already have a sub, your bonus boxes will just be added on}

finally, while we didnt win the $10,000 grant from KIND Snacks, we DID win a $1,000 business award from the awesome people at Mutual of Omaha! because of that, i will be on the local news NEXT WEEK! {more on that as it gets closer!}!

what cool things did you read this week? share with us!

view other kindness carousel posts :