Wednesday, December 31, 2014

day 295 : my 'one little word' for 2015 : LESS

at the beginning of each year, i pick a word to focus on for my next 365 days. a small, simple word, that when used on its own, just adds to a sentence. but when applied all year round, each and every day, helps to define a period of time and everything around it!

and so, on the cusp of another trip around the sun, i have chosen 'LESS' as my word for 2015.

i would like to think that i have always been a bit of a minimalist. i don't need much. i don't want much. i don't purchase much. and the things that i do have, that i no longer need, i am happy to give them away.

blake and i {daphne, too} live a really simple life. we are working hard to become 100% debt-free this year {we are so close!} we live in a small, 2 bedroom apartment. we don't own a car. we spend a lot of time riding bikes, reading books from the library and shopping small in our neighborhood.

the more i am surrounded by 'stuff' and people who really love stuff ; it has made me realize that there is a powerful shift happening in my life, calling me to the word 'LESS.'
we are surrounded by 'MORE.' more debt, more bullshit. more stress. bigger houses. bigger cars.
and you guys, i don't want to be a part of that!

so, in 2015 i will be focusing on LESS. 

below are things i want to work towards in this coming year, while focusing on my word :

*starting tomorrow, i will be deactivating both my business and personal Facebook pages. i find that using FB makes life seem noisy, stressful and clouded, and i don't love it. {for now, i will continue to have semi-active twitter & IG accounts}

*unsubscribe from newsletters & emails that just add to the clutter {i get almost 100 emails a day and very few of them are enriching my life or giving me energy}

*go through all twitter // blog // instagram followers {people that i read // follow} and purge. there are SO many blogs in my reader that i don't read anymore. and some folks that i follow through social media that stress me out with their posts

*clean out my pinterest boards // reorganize and delete. am i really going to make all 500+ meals i have pinned? or make all 200+ of those art projects? if its not on my 'to do' radar ; its out of here!

*re-purge the apartment {we just did this a couple months ago, but it will be good to do it again in a few months}

*stay intentional with gifts {we both work really hard to only give gifts that are local, handmade, useful and thoughtful}


*focus on 'experiences' and not on 'things!' like i posted above, i don't need // want // desire much, when it comes to tangible items. we are able to purchase organic food from our local coop, we shop at the secondhand store across the street for all of our clothes and simple things like doing puzzles, watching old 90s movies on netflix, riding our bikes and reading books are fun for us.
this christmas, we saw so many people just 'buying shit in the name of buying shit' and it bummed us out. i want to focus on EXPERIENCES, rather than MORE STUFF!
for christmas, i bought blake {and myself} tickets in a clay workshop, where we are both going to handbuild our own beer steins! the class will be held at a local brewery and we are both super excited!

*sell our closet full of 'nice stuff that we have no use for' {brand new pair of TOMS that don't fit, a brand new camera bag that is leather, ect} on amazon. we have a lot of nice things that have been gifted to us // we have won & we just have no need for them. i have tried to sell them on craigslist with no luck, so now we are moving to the big league and selling on amazon!

tell us : do YOU have a word that you are striving towards in 2015? 
you can read more about the 'one little word' movement here
and come back tomorrow for my 2015 goals!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

day 294 : HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE for fitness lovers!

*this post is sponsored by pro compression & sweat pink // i received free product, but all opinions are my own*

do you have all your holiday shopping done yet? 
i have a pretty good idea on who is getting what ; its just a matter of going out and grabbing everything.

i put together a list of my top 5 #holidayrunlist gift ideas!
{since its winter // icy here in minnesota, i haven't been spending as much time running outside, but these are great all-around gifts for your favorite fitness lover}

1) PRO Compression
i have been wearing // training in // using pro compression socks for a few years now and i am a HUGE fan! i have this pair & this pair and i LOVE this wool-blend pair {so perfect for winter running // sledding // skating!}
for the past month+, i have been super sick and yoga & walking Daph have been my 'workouts of choice.'
these socks are so great for sore muscles and for bringing relief and circulation back into your legs!
best part? they are made in the US! 
DISCOUNT CODE : type in PINK2 and save 40% on your ENTIRE Pro Compression purchase!

2) Onzie

{another of my favorite made-in-the-us brands} of all the brands // gear i have tried for hot yoga, these products are by far the best! also awesome? they are great for biking, running & look great as leggings under dresses! i have a pair of the long pants, a pair of capris & i recently won a pair of shorts {more on that when they arrive!}
and these gypsy pants are totally on my wish list!

3) vega

yum! vega is my favorite protein powder! pretty much for the last 2+ years, i have had a smoothie with chocolate vega for EVERY SINGLE breakfast!

how about a gift for the fitness lover // do-gooder who has everything? 88 bikes is such a great organization! just $88 will purchase a bike {and train the rider} in a developing nation. their website is so inspirational!

5) You Are Beautiful
this hat is awesome {right?!} and i love the message! i have been supporting YAB for quite a while {we have included their stickers and wrapping paper in past be nice boxes!} this hat looks super warm {i am buying this for myself as a holiday gift!} AND is made in the US! i wear hats most days in the spring, fall & winter! a hat like this is great for running, walking the dog & can totally see myself wearing it on a future snowshoeing trip! 

tell me : what are YOU grabbing for your fitness-loving friends this year? 

Friday, December 12, 2014

day 293: kindness carousel {week 28}

you guys!
its been a month since i have been here! 
i have so much to share ; but today isn't the day!

however, today IS the day that the first batch of winter be nice boxes shipped! we still have quite a few left & you can grab one here

instead, check out some of the best links around the web : 
1) one of my 2015 goals is to take a photo a day {preferably with my 'good' camera} // 13 resources for DSLR users

2) 7 ways to make some else's day! 

3) 4th graders write notes to help get local dogs adopted

4) these are so great ---> 40 ways to practice self-care

5) jetblue is holding a #flyitforward campaign {so cool} 

6) these are MY kind of people! // couple ditches honeymoon to preform acts of kindness in all 50 states! 

7) LOVE THIS! a beauty shop that goes way beyond 'skin deep'

8) you go, people for bikes! this new campaign is AWESOME! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

day 292 : kindness carousel {week 27}

another round of awesome things from the internet!

1) you know how important 'made in the usa' is to me, right? in southern mn, we have a woolen mill that has been around since 1865! last year, blake and i went down to the factory and each purchased a scarf {i have this one}. they are so warm & such incredible quality. this throw is on my wish-list! {they ship worldwide and all of their items would make awesome holiday gifts}

2) speaking of blankets ; this tutorial is on my winter bucket list! {and lets be honest ; you can never have enough blankets during the minnesota winters}

3) this book is so great! its like a modern version of 'alexander & the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.'

4) YES! ---> 6 ways to give generously while on a budget

5) biz post ---> how to get your blog & shop ready for the holidays

6) your purchase of these {bamboo!}notecards donate 100% of profits to saving the bees

7) local folks! drop off any new, unwrapped toy {either at the history center or other locations around the city} & receive a free admission to the history center! {we have been members for 3+ years & the center is one of the coolest places in the cities} {details of the toy drive here}

8) a local apple orchard donated over 12,000 POUNDS of apples to local food shelves. {this makes my heart SO happy!} // story is here

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

day 290 : #52coffees // week 3

week 3 of #52coffees!
{you guys, i am really enjoying this project!}

my sweet friend nicole was in the neighborhood & we took daphne for a nice, long stroll! 
i have known nicole for a couple years now & she really is one of my favorite people in the universe. her energy and her huge heart are just incredible! 

she's in a band {you can check them out here} and she has a blog FULL of awesome vegetarian recipes! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

day 289 : {BOOK REVIEW} The Take Back of Lincoln Junior High

one of my 2014 goals is to read 52 books. right now, i am pretty far behind {i think i've read about 35-ish books} 
a couple months ago, roseanne cheng sponsored my blog! she's an educator, an author and the founder of teachable lit
between blake & i, we have worked with kids our entire adult lives. we have spent HOURS talking about education, behavior management, reform, the role of education in politics, and SO MUCH MORE! 

roseanne's blog is great ; if you love books and/or working with kids ; i recommend you check it out! 
she recently released a book, geared towards middle schoolers and i was lucky enough to receive a copy! 

the book follows a group of 6th graders, whose school has made quite a few financial cuts. big corporations get involved in the school and suddenly, the school is thriving. as the plot advances, we find {just like everything in life} that all that glitters, is not gold.
i really enjoyed this book & think there are so many teachable moments for kids & great reminders for adults! 

for my educator // book-lover // librarian // parent -friends ; i recommend checking out roseanne's blog & her book! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

day 288 : half-marathon training plan {week 2}

here we go! 
i am kicking off week 2 of my half-marathon training.
{you can see my week 1 recap at the bottom of this post}

week 2 //
monday 3rd: 30 min run // run 1min + walk 2min {repeat 10x}
tuesday 4th: cross train 30-60min {hot yoga // bike ride // barre}
wednesday 5th: 28 min run // run 2 min + walk 2 min {repeat 7x}
thursday 6th: rest day
friday 7th: cross train 30-60min {hot yoga // bike ride // barre}
saturday 8th: run 3miles // run 1min + walk 2min
sunday 9th: 60min of hot yoga

week 1 // 
monday 27th: 30 min run // run 1min + walk 2min {repeat 10x}
tuesday 28th: cross train 30-60min {hot yoga // bike ride // barre} // biked for 90 min
wednesday 29th: 30 min run // run 1min + walk 2min {repeat 10x} // skipped the intervals & just ran for 30 min
thursday 30th: rest
friday 31st: cross train 30-60min {hot yoga or bike ride} // HOT YOGA!
saturday 1st: run 3miles // run 1min + walk 2min // took a nice run around lake harriet
sunday 2nd: 60min of hot yoga

{its hard to see, but i have been running in these leggings and LOVE them!}
{ps : i am a spandits! ambassador ; if you grab a pair, mention that i sent you!}

Sunday, November 2, 2014

day 287 : Give Thanks & my favorite graphic designer {FALL BE NICE BOX}

november, you guys! 
the winters here can be cold & brutal, but there is something so amazing about getting ready for a new season {and a new year!}

we made quite a few changes to the be nice box, when we launched the fall box {yep, still available! grab one here} one of those changes was making individual good deed cards. {in the past, there was a treasure map with all of the good deeds drawn on}
there are 30 good deed cards & they turned out SO great! they are small enough to put a couple in your wallet, tape to the fridge or slip in an envelope for a friend // stranger! 

i was so lucky to have my sweet friend dajon design the cards for the box!
also, {because, seriously, she's so great!} she made the gift for the boxes! 
every box contained a fun paper garland that reads 'give thanks!}

if you are looking for a designer, dajon recently launched her newest design project called 'brand happy.' {i highly recommend her!!}

Saturday, November 1, 2014

day 286 : November goals

happy november, folks! 
i have another huge list of things i am shooting to accomplish this month!
{you can find a recap of my october goals at the bottom!}

1) floss and brush each night {yes, this is a goal!} i am so afraid of the dentist & had to get two cavities filled last week. after i left {and finished crying}, i vowed to never get a cavity again!
2) continue following my half-marathon training plan {i will keep blogging my weekly plans}
3) blog 30x {my goal is to have this project finished by mid-january!}
4) purchase a kick-ass birthday gift for blake
5) pay blake & my mom {i owe them each a bit of money & i am trying so hard to get them paid off!}
6) sell out of fall boxes {you can grab one here}
7) pay more attention to my BNB IG, FB & twitter accounts {i have been neglecting them & its been driving me bonkers!}
8) donate everything! {i have a few bags of things that need to be taken to the local thrift store}
9) finish BNB budgets {seriously, i need to get this done!}
10) sell half of the winter be nice boxes {they are here!}
11) visit bogarts donuts!
12) bike on the brand new protected bike lane on 36th {i have been past it on the bus ; it looks SO awesome!}
13) visit the walker library! they reopened this summer & we haven't been yet.
14) attend 2-3 networking events {i am already registered for 3 of them!}
15) put $X into my savings account
16) read 3-4 books {i have 23 books at the library on my 'to-read' list}
17) volunteer 1-2x
18) donate to Give To The Max Day! {def one of my favorite MN traditions!}
19) complete 4 more #52coffees

october 2014 goal recap : 
1) practice yoga // barre 10x // completed 5/10
2) run 10x // ran 6/10
3) make loan payment to mom {my mom gave me some money this spring & i am ready to start paying her back} // not done
4) register for spring half-marathon // not open yet
5) start a new part-time job {i have two jobs lined up, but neither have started yet ; fingers crossed for next wee!} // one didn't pan out & i turned in my final paperwork for the other last week
6) read 4 books {i have 9 library books sitting on my bedside table!} // read 2 books
7) blog 20x {my goal is to finish this project before jan 1st ; ideally, ill have to blog 25-30+ days} // completed 18/20
8) start purging the apartment ; every room and every drawer // shelf. the change in seasons always motivates me to clean out things we aren't using.
9) fulfill a local order for grab bags {fingers crossed for finishing this by saturday}
10) #100happydays for both instagram accounts. i really want to be better with documenting small, everyday moments and want to take a photo a day on both IG accounts  // definitely not done
11) meet 3-4 people for #52coffees {i will blog about this soon, but i am really pumped to try this new social challenge // experiment}
12) make my initial investment back from the Kindness Superhero Box! running a business can be a lot of money up front, man. // so close, but not quite
13) reopen my etsy shop for winter wear // not done
14) launch the Kindness Ambassador Program {another thing i am excited to blog about soon!} // not done
15) plan the winter Be Nice Box
16) get all BNB budgets in order {this has been on my list for MONTHS!} // oh man, NOT DONE
17) update tax sheet and sales maps {also something that i have been meaning to do for a long time} // nope
18) super-purge the craft room {its a tornado in there, guys!}

Friday, October 31, 2014

day 285 : kindness carousel {week 26}

another round of awesome links from around the web! //

1) you have until midnight TONIGHT to vote for Daph {as Harry Paw-ter} in this costume contest!

2) YES! ---> 30 avoidable mistakes first-time entrepreneurs make repeatedly

3) colorado is doing AMAZING things to eradicate homelessness! this coffee shop is working hard to employ folks who are trying to get out of homelessness!

4) this video about kindness on mindy's blog had me in tears ; its so sweet! also, if you love books & want a great blog to read, hers should definitely be in your reader!

5) woohoo! -- simple ways to make someones day better! 

6) i played softball from the age of 4, all through high school. i remember watching the us softball team in the 1996 olympics and being so incredibly blown away by their speed, talent & accuracy! i loved watching mo'ne davis throw out the first pitch for the 2014 world series! 

7) i am a huge believer in purging // decluttering! i really think that we find contentment & happiness {which in turn, makes us kinder humans!} when we strip away all of the materialistic things we don't really need! this article is great!

8) this cotton throw is hand-stitched from reclaimed sari cloth! the colors & quality are SO beautiful! they also have holiday stockings here!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

day 284 : you've been ghosted & carving pumpkins {FALL BE NICE BOX}

the fall be nice box {grab yours here} contains a list of 30 acts of kindness, 10 tangible items & a gift! we still have quite a few fall boxes available ; so, i would love for you to play along with us! 

halloween is tomorrow! our pumpkins are already carved & most of the roasted seeds have already been eaten! 
i will get in a run & some yoga & then blake & i will stay in ; {probably} eat pizza and watch 'its the great pumpkin, charlie brown.' {i have all the charlie brown shows on dvd ; so we watch them every year!}  and to be honest, we will probably also catch up on 'scandal' ; this season is totally scary! ;)
{please forgive the poor photo quality!} mine is a castle & blake carved a skull!

the #9 good deed in the fall be nice box is 'Boo a Neighbor // leave a sweet treat on the doorstep'
all subscribers received these awesome tags from artsyville {grab yours here
you can grab a small bag ; throw in some chocolate, a baked good or a fun mini-gift {fall-smelling soap or candle!} and leave it on a neighbors doorstep! 
i really love fun surprises like this! 

tell us: what are you doing for halloween tomorrow? 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

day 283 : #52coffees // week 2

this is my second outing for my #52coffees project! 
{read about it here & week 1 is here
last week, i met with jen {who runs this great blog! seriously, her photos are beautiful!} jen & i met last spring during a #30daysofbiking social ride. since then, we have been trying to get together & following one another on twitter.
we met at the dunn brothers in linden hills & chatted about biking, jobs, the internet and MORE! 
so far, i am really loving this project! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

day 282 : half-marathon training plan {week 1}

alright, i am going to do it!
sign up for a half-marathon! {this one}
i am really not a huge fan of running {biking comes so much easier to me} ; but have always wanted to be a stronger runner! right now, i am pretty slow ; so i know that following a great plan will help me build my endurance and shave time off my mile.

i am following a 20-week training plan that starts today! i will be using this space to track & record my progress each week. {i use to run a fitness // vegan // lifestyle blog and i actually miss having a space to record race training and my fitness endeavors}

i will be following this run // walk program!
week 1 // 
monday 27th: 30 min run // run 1min + walk 2min {repeat 10x}
tuesday 28th: cross train 30-60min {hot yoga // bike ride // barre}
wednesday 29th: 30 min run // run 1min + walk 2min {repeat 10x}
thursday 30th: rest
friday 31st: cross train 30-60min {hot yoga or bike ride}
saturday 1st: run 3miles // run 1min + walk 2min
sunday 2nd: 60min of hot yoga

i apologize for no photos!
have you completed a half? is there a certain race // ride that you have your sights on?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

day 281 : new plantable flowers in the shop

are you looking for tiny {but super awesome} addition to a gift or card? 
we have a new color of plantable paper flowers in the shop! 
they are all pinks & blue & super fun!

each packet is $1.25 {free shipping!} & you will receive 7-8 flowers in each!
all flowers are paper with wildflower seeds embedded in them!
you can head here to check them out!

i like to include a packet of these coins whenever i send someone a card or a gift!
it adds a fun, planet-saving twist!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

day 280 : apple picking + mini-recipe round-up {Fall Be Nice Box}

the fall be nice box {still available!} contains 30 acts of kindness, 10 tangible items & a rad gift for the subscriber! 
i am going to take the next few weeks to showcase ALL of the good deeds from the box! 
{you can see a full recap of the box here}

todays good deed : #5 go apple // pumpkin picking

this is actually one of the first years in a really long time that we haven't gone to an apple farm to pick our own apples. lucky for us, we live a block away from a co-op and have two weekly farmers markets within 5 blocks of us! there are plenty of local apples for us to purchase! 

apples are easily one of my favorite fruits & i usually eat 2 apples a day {cut up and dipped in peanut butter is my favorite!}

i have gathered a few of my favorite apple recipes below :
1) apple nachos ---> here

2) apple cheddar biscuits ---> here

3) butternut squash & apple pizza ---> here

4) apple quinoa salad ---> here

tell us : have you picked apples yet? whats your favorite way to eat them? 

Friday, October 24, 2014

day 279 : kindness carousel {week 25}

today, i am at a conference about NGOs ; i am super excited to meet awesome folks who are working hard to change the world.
tomorrow is the MN Blog Conference!

check out the links below to find some of the coolest content from around the internet!

1) did you check out my review of manitoba harvest hemp hearts? this recipe for banana chocolate hemp brownies looks awesome!
2) are you a fan of andrew mcmahon? {he's the genius behind something corporate & jack's mannequin!} he just released a new album AND he's coming to the cities next week! he just did this interview & it makes me SO in awe of his talent! {i still remember exactly where i was in 2002, the first time i heard 'if u see jordan' on the local college radio station!}
3) one of my october goals has been to super-purge our apartment! i only have the kitchen left, but have already taken 4 big loads to the recycling AND i have a huge ikea bag FULL of things to donate! this article offers 5 questions to ask when decluttering.
4) this story brought me to tears! the acts of kindness between two rival schools ; proves that there is ALWAYS room for kindness!
5) my sweet friend hannah posted this picture of her friend completing one of the good deeds from the fall box! {ps : fall boxes are STILL available!}

6) LOVE this! photos of children around the world & what they eat for breakfast.

7) another one that makes me cry --> the Boston Opera House launched an Autism-friendly showing of The Lion King! as someone who has worked in the Autism community ; this makes my heart SO full!
8) the folks at Minneapolis Happening wrote this sweet article about the Be Nice Box!

what other awesome things have you read this week?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

day 278 : {REVIEW} Manitoba Hemp Hearts

hey everybody!
this post is sponsored by manitoba harvest & sweat pink, llc! as always, opinions are mine.

the folks at manitoba harvest gave me a bag of hemp hearts to try out! 
i have posted before about being a huge smoothie fan. each and every morning, i make a smoothie {usually banana, peanut butter, chocolate vega & almond milk}. i also make sure to add in a scoop of hemp hearts, chia seeds and/or flax seeds each morning!

hemp hearts are great because they contain 10 grams of protein & 10 grams of omegas. {hemp hearts are a great nutritional option for vegans & vegetarians!}
also, they don't have a weird taste ; they taste slightly nutty, but when added in to smoothies, you can't taste them at all! i know others love adding them to soups, salads & yogurt

want to save 20% on your first // next order of manitoba hemp hearts? 
head here & type in HHSweatPink14! {awesome note : they also sell organic hemp hearts!} 


on top of the great discount code, manitoba harvest is also running a contest to win a 5lb bag of hemp hearts! 
get creative in the kitchen, tag @manitobaharvest, #hemphearts, and #sweatpink in your Instagram and/or Twitter post and you'll be automatically entered!
Contest deadline: November 30, 2014

bonus : they have a really great selection of recipes on their website

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

day 277 : share wedding photos with my family

two weekends ago, my baby sister got married. 
and while they hired a professional photographer {which, by the way, i have seen a couple of sneak peeks & they are going to be SO beautiful!} ; blake spent the day taking photos. {since i was the maid of honor, i didn't take as many.}

i gathered some of my favorite shots {hello, it was outside and the trees were so colorful!}, printed them out & sent them to various family members!

i try to send my grandpa {my dads dad} a couple letters each month. he likes to hear about daphne, our bike trips & 'living in the big city.' i always try to include a few photos, because hello, grandparents love photos! 

this photo of my sister, grandpa & i might be one of my favorite pictures on the planet! i know that the lighting isn't awesome & as far as 'perfect pictures' goes, its not, but LOOK HOW HAPPY HE IS! 

also, another one of the bridesmaids did my makeup {i don't even own makeup outside of one liquid eyeshadow & a mascara!} & it looked so great! and isn't blake's shiny tie awesome?