Friday, February 28, 2014

day 170 : kindness carousel {week 12}

lets welcome in the weekend with another round of kindness carousel!
{kindness carousel is a weekly feature where i share some of the raddest things on the internet! no drama here, only nice, uplifting links!}

1)  have you signed up for the April Be Nice Box yet? we will be working with one of my favorite organizations! 
2) do you live in // around the cities? the wood lake nature center {in richfield} announced their spring events schedule! lots of awesome nature-stuff happening!

3) looking for new music? i am LOVING the newly-released twin forks record! 

4) woo hoo! james patterson is giving away $1MILLION dollars to indie bookstores! 

5) some of these 'before' pictures are so very heartbreaking, but the 'after' stories are beautiful // 13 shelter dog transformations that will make your jaw drop

6) speaking of dogs, here are 13 ways to help your local animal shelter! 

7) i LOVE this shirt!

8) do you live around the twin cities? this group is collecting mens clothes for men experiencing homelessness in minneapolis

Thursday, February 27, 2014

day 169 : put a {paper mache} bird on it!

you guys know ten thousand villages, right? 
they are an awesome {seriously, my favorite!} shop FULL of items made by folks all over the world! everybody is paid a fair wage & treated well! 
ten thousand villages buys items from them & then sells them in their stores all over the country {you can purchase items online, too!}
a few months ago, they opened their newest store just a few blocks from us {hello, AWESOME!}

i absolutely LOVE what they stand for! most of their staff are volunteers and super knowledgable! everything from jewelry, winter wear, paper products, coffee & metal works! handmade by people from around the world. {ah, gives me goosebumps!}

earlier this week, i had to run in and purchase a few gifts for friends and fell in LOVE with these paper mache birds from Haiti! 
cool, right? 
the birds were handmade in Jacmel, Haiti, and hand signed by the artist.
{fun fact : with the money that ten thousand villages paid him for this order, he was able to put his three children in school!}
when blake & i were in Haiti after the earthquake, we actually spent a weekend in Jacmel. we walked to  the water, played games at a boys home, rode a motorbike through rubble {scariest thing in my life!} and had the chance to practice our Creole.
Haiti holds a really special place in our hearts, so i knew that blake would love this bird.
he keeps it on his dresser, so he sees it each morning! {totally melts my heart!}

you can purchase the birds online here
if you are looking for a gift, i highly recommend checking ten thousand villages out! 
also, this ark has been on my 'i would love to own this' list for MONTHS!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

day 168 : announcing our MARCH charity {be nice box}

lets talk about charity & doing good {totally my favorite things!}
{ps : president obama is speaking in st paul today. he will actually be near the childrens museum & since he just announced his new early childhood initiative, blake is hoping he will do a surprise visit to the museum. wouldnt that be so awesome?! id be SO insanely jealous of blake if he gets to meet the president! stay tuned ;)}

the March Be Nice Boxes went out on Monday and all the local boxes will be delivered this afternoon.
today, i wanted to share our March charity partner with you! 

this month, we will be donating $1 from each box sold to Project SUCCESS! they are a minneapolis-based organization with the mission to motivate and inspire young people to dream about the future. they provide them with tools, skills and opportunities to realize and achieve their goals.

they offer planning sessions, theatre experiences, wilderness opportunities {if we don't go back to Haiti this fall, i would LOVE to volunteer with this!} and so much support for young kids to recognize their potential and reach for the stars.

last week, i was visiting with marta from Project SUCCESS and she was telling me all of the amazing things they are doing in our community and it really resonated with me.
i was one of these kids. on my dads side, of all my many {and older} cousins, i was the first to attend and graduate college {with honors!}. i had a massive financial setback that could have kept me from college, but it didnt. i graduated {and have since paid off my student loans}. there wasnt a ton of support or education from my high school and many of my family members.

i empathize with the kids who arent given life on a silver platter. receiving an education is so, so powerful and its really a gift that many of us have to really bust our behinds to make happen. {and even then, life can be so circumstantial, that so many well-derserving kids just never get the chance.}

programs like Project SUCCESS help close that gap. right now, they are serving students in Minneapolis and St. Paul ; but their message is something that resonates throughout the country.

i am excited to be able to support their work through the March box! 
if you live in the twin cities and want to volunteer with Project SUCCESS, you can head here.
connect with project SUCCESS
twitter // facebook

also, if you are interested in joining us for the April box, you can head here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

day 167 : date day & chili for charity

happy tuesday!
i didnt mean to take the last few days off, but thats how it happened...
this weekend, my saturday shift was cancelled and i had sunday off ; and oh my, i love weekends off.
it felt great to relax!

on sunday, there was a neighborhood chili feed, with all proceeds going to the local food shelf.
you know that we love stuff like this, so we made a day out of it.
we took the bus to the center, ate chili {$3, with all of it going to the food shelf!}, made friends with strangers and hung out awhile.

{also, i won a couple things at the raffle ; both of which i dont need, so look for those as future good deeds ;)}

after we were finished eating, we decided to walk the 4 miles home. it was a bit cold out, but thats what long underwear is for ;)
we had gotten about 10 inches of snow a couple days before, so everything looked like a scene from a movie!

good deeds and fresh air!
tomorrow i will be sharing our charity for the march box!

Friday, February 21, 2014

day 166 : kindness carousel {week 11}

we had another burst of winter weather yesterday // overnight. the roads are horrendous and schools are closed again! blake is off today, so i have some work to finish up and then this afternoon, we will make cookies, wear jammies and watch house of cards!

how about some awesome links to kick off the weekend?!
{kindness carousel is a weekly feature where i share links, photos and articles that are helping to make the planet a better place!}

1) i think this 'heart bomb' was meant to happen over valentines day, but if you are crafty {and want to brighten someones day}, you can do this all year long!

2) i know that there are *millions* of dogs in the US that need homes & families, but this article {the pictures!} about US Olympians adopting stray dogs in Sochi warms my heart! also awesome? BarkBox will provide a lifetime supply of boxes to dogs adopted by Canadian or American athletes {here}

3) are you a fan of the Beatles? you can find 5 volumes of Beatles songs covered by awesome Minnesota artists // bands here. bonus : all the money raised goes to help fund music education!

4) my friend jen & her husband are in the process of international adoption. her blog is beautiful and her words are always so moving. i love knowing people who work so hard to make the world a better place.

5) is it bonkers that i want to go to new york just so i can go to this little free library?! {hello, its awesome!}

6) because i really love stories that make me cry... a letter to the woman & her child who sat at table 9

7) bloomington, minnesota {a suburb of minneapolis} is home to the mall of america ; one of the most massive structures in the country. four floors, an aquarium, thousands of shops, a movie theatre and an indoor amusement park. the mall has been around for 16 years {which makes me feel old!} and for the first time EVER, they have emptied all the fountains, brought all the coins out of storage and are going to donate them to The Walk to Cure Diabetes. the total : over $16,000 {IN COINS!!}

8) do you guys know One Hope Wine? they sell bottles of wine & money from each bottle goes to charity {cancer, the environment, education, autism, ect} they now have gift boxes everybody in your life. if you are looking for a great gift {that makes a difference!}, check them out!

9) this past week was a rough one for house fires, here in the city. five children were killed in a house fire & the remaining family members lost all of their belongings. the family of seven that lived below them, also lost everything. a couple days later, a 9-year old girl was trapped in her house {firefighters saved her}, but her family of 7 also lost everything. if you are feeling generous {be grateful for all of things we have!} ; you can find ways to help all three families. here & here

10) and, there are only 3 Be Nice Boxes left for March! if you want to join us, you can sign up here. the boxes will be shipped on Monday! {hooray for being ahead of schedule this month!}

have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

day 165 : help a lost dog find his family!

this one is pretty easy & its one of those good deeds that cant be planned.
{and really, the ones that 'just happen' are the best ones, right?}

so, i follow a facebook page called 'lost dogs of minnesota.' if you are in minnesota {even if you dont have a dog} i *highly* recommend following their page. 
when someone finds a dog, they fill out a form {all the work is done for you, you just fill in fe/male, breed, where you found them, are they wearing a collar, ect} & it gets posted on the website. if you lose a dog, you do the same {name, age, breed, where they got loose, ect} and it goes live.
the site is all volunteer run and super active. there are over 31,000 folks that 'like' the page & there is always a ton of sharing and helpful advice.

we are so very lucky that daphne has never gotten loose, but a site like this is invaluable! 
we have posted, shared and searched for a large number of dogs because of this site.

yesterday, i was working on the boxes and someone found a shiba inu in our neighborhood. she posted a great picture and left all of her contact info {usually, once dogs are found, they almost always find their way back home. i just get so nervous when dogs are loose..}. 
a couple hours later, a post went up from a lady saying she lost her shiba inu in our neighborhood. 
well, same breed, same weight, same area ; same dog, right?
i know that if daphne was lost, i would be out moving mountains trying to find her. i wouldnt be on facebook, checking the comments on my 'lost dog' ad.
so, i called the owner & left her a voicemail saying her dog had been found & left the finders contact info.
and then, i called the finder to tell her about the posting and gave her the owners contact info.
as the finder and i were chatting, the owner called her.
they connected and papi went back home! 

i know that i didnt do much & someone else would have called them if i hadnt ; but it made my heart feel so great knowing that this scared, lost dog would be meeting up with his forever family soon.
also, how awesome of the finder to take time to pull this guy off the street, keep him safe and give him a place to hang! she could have just let him wander away! he could have gotten hit by a car or wandered further from home. but, she stepped in and saved him! 
i am so thankful for the do-ers! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

day 164 : that time i {correctly?} stereotyped a girl on the bus

happy wednesday!
you guys, it was 43* here yesterday! its 14* now & they are saying we could get anywhere from 6 to 12 inches of snow tomorrow..
the snow is beautiful & when it melts, it will be great for the crops, land and lakes ; but right now, i think most of us in minnesota are ready for spring.

yesterday, i was on the bus and i had an 'experience.' im not sure it counts as a random act of kindness {i dont think it does} ; but i am going to count it, because this is my blog ;)

no pictures today, but i think its a story we can all relate to : 

i live in minneapolis ; no doubt, the most diverse city in minnesota. i am from small towns in both iowa & minnesota ; where both are seriously lacking in cultural experiences & education. i moved to a large city so i could have experiences in different cultures.
and while i live in minneapolis & see different faces, hear different languages, ect ; i am still pretty sheltered.
the neighborhood i live in, is one of the safest & wealthiest in the city. i dont know the actual figures, but i am guessing that 98% of the population in my neighborhood is upper-class white folks who own 2-3 cars and speak english.
there are parts of south minneapolis {my neighborhood is in south mpls} that are diverse {native american, hispanic, somali}, but my neighborhood is not.
when you cross over to the north side of minneapolis ; there are lots of assumptions and stereotypes that happen. a lot of folks think of the north side as rundown, dangerous and full of 'black kids in gangs.' the city has done a really great job of developing the south side ; bike trails, community gardens, lots of food co-ops, ect. but we still think of the north side as dirty, dangerous and run-down. there are a lot of organizations working to change that, but it will take years beyond that to reshape our thoughts and stereotypes.

so where does my story start? 
i was on the bus yesterday, coming home from a great meeting {hi marta!}
{side note : i love the bus. i would much rather be on the bike ; but i really enjoy our bus system}
i was sitting towards the back of the bus ; there was a guy sitting in the last row and i was a few seats away.
this young girl {16-ish?} comes flying over to him, shouting and making a fuss.
{a huge bus system that reaches all neighborhoods in the twin cities {500,000 people} ; there is always somebody yelling and making a fuss}
she sits down next to me, talking to him ; a little defensive, a little panicked.
she looks at me and says 'let me have your phone.' 
i shake my head and she rephrases, 'i need to use a phone for something.' 
i told her that i wouldnt give her my phone, but i could look something up for her.
we go back and forth and she says she needs to write her friend on facebook. {i am assuming she was writing her about where // when she would be off the bus}
i was super apprehensive to let her use my phone. finally, i gave it to her, but never let her out of my sight.

i have been replaying the encounter in my head a lot since i got off the bus {with my phone}
i consider myself pretty laid back & extremely liberal. i consider myself really open-minded and respectful of other cultures. but i grew up in communities where it is normal & accepted to be a little {a lot?} racist. i have heard hundreds of racist jokes and come from places where using the n-word isn't always followed by 'oh my gosh, that is not okay!'

i was well-aware that the girl appeared 'brash' and the guy she was talking to seemed 'thuggish.'
i was well-aware that i looked like a 'fancy white person, bussing to the rich neighborhood with a fancy-ass iphone.'
i was well-aware that i run a kindness movement and to share a story about my stereotypes // insecurities makes me seem like a jerk.
i was well-aware that 'apple picking' {a new scam where people ask to use your phones, assault you & steal your phone} has become a growing trend in minneapolis.
i was well-aware that i attempted to have empathy for this girl. she needed to get ahold of her friend and needed to use a phone. if i was in the situation, i would hope that someone would help me out.
i was well-aware that i 'took stock' of her face, features and what she was wearing, in case i had to make a police report.

so, what does this mean?
am i racist? {the kids are black, i am white}
am i an asshole?
was a i just being cautious?
would i have reacted the same way if the kids were asian, or somali or WHITE?
was i watching the girl like a hawk because i was afraid of her or because she held something of value?{i dont really care about the phone ; i care about the 1,700 photos on there}

whats the moral of this story?
i am not sure.
i would like to think that i am a nice person ; willing to help someone out when they need it.
i also think that while i am open-minded and consider myself pretty accepting, i have fears and stereotypes ; just like everybody else.
does it make me a bad person to be cautious?

i would love to hear any stories, thoughts or opinions you have.
has something like this happened to you? have you ever been in a situation where you have felt uncomfortable and realized that you have deep-rooted assumptions // stereotypes?

Monday, February 17, 2014

day 163 : RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS DAY {and a way to help two families who have lost everything}

hi everybody!
today is random acts of kindness day & i have something simple for you to do. {it will cost a small amount of money ; but i promise it will make a huge difference}

this is a pretty sad story.
last week, there was a duplex fire in north minneapolis and five kids were killed.
they were all siblings ; the dad & the two other children are still in the hospital. the mom passed away last fall with heart problems.
i dont even understand the amount of strength and perseverance it would // will take to overcome a tragedy like this. it breaks my heart. i hate that accidents like this happen. hate it. a single father, mourning the death of his wife // the mother of his kids and a terrible tragedy like this happens..
the fire started on the top floor of the house // duplex and while the folks downstairs are safe, they also lost everything in the fire.

if you are looking for a random act of kindness to complete ; these two families could really use your support.
if you are local {or fine paying shipping fees} ; this article has a list of clothes // items that the family in the bottom unit is in need of.
also in the article is an address where you can send financial donations.
if you dont feel comfortable sending a check, gift cards would be great, as well.
gift cards to places like wal-mart, target, cub foods, rainbow foods and secondhand stores like arc's value village and goodwill would all be helpful.
{if you aren't local, you can purchase gift cards online and have them shipped to the donation address.}

i know that different stories touch us all differently and we all compelled to act through different causes.
even a $5 gift card can purchase a small pack of diapers or a gallon of gas.
these families are experiencing great loss right now ; if you can help out in any way, please do! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

day 162 : mini- Valentines Day kindness flash mob!

happy friday // Valentines Day! 
todays good deed was fun & didn't take a ton of time! 
in the February Be Nice Box, everybody received Valentines Day coupons {designed by Jessica} they were in packs of ten and i had three packs leftover after the boxes went out.
so this morning, daphne & i walked around the neighborhood and left them for folks to find.
on the front of each pack, i wrote that the cards were a random act of kindness {otherwise, i always fear that folks will see something on their cars and just think its garbage} 

our first stop was at the co-op ; i left it under the windshield wipers.
stop two was at the liquor store, but as i approached the car, i saw there was a woman sitting in it...
we walked past the vet clinic & one of the cars parked on the street {probably a vet or vet tech} looked inviting, so we placed packet number two.
and the third, we placed into the mail slot of a house at the end of our block. i dont know them, but know they have little kids, so i thought the coupons would be a fun surprise for them.

i would love to 'take back' valentines day & make it more about kindness & good deeds than crappy chocolate and overpriced flowers. i hope that the three random humans who find these coupons pass them on & use today to make others smile! 

did you receive the Feb box? have you passed out your coupons yet? share with us!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

day 161 : receive free stuff & then give it away #bluediamond

hi everybody!
todays good deed is easy and really only took a second.
i have been blogging for quite a few years now ; my topics have been all over the map {scrapbooks, crafting, lifestyle} ; but in the past years and a half, my other blog has become a fitness // vegan lifestyle blog. because of that, i have had the opportunity to work with a ton of really great companies.

last week, the folks from blue diamond sent me two canisters of almonds. {in honor of the olympics, the lids are gold  & there was a lanyard in the box. when you finish a can, you cut up the lid, string it on the lanyard and you have a gold medal!}
almonds are such a great food ; easy to take with you, nutrient dense and you can use them a million different ways.
i decided to keep one canister of almonds {i like to make my own almond milk & butter} & donate the other canister to the food shelf {there is a large box at the entrance of our co-op, so its super easy to shop & donate to others while you are shopping for yourself}

i know that one canister of almonds wont cure hunger, but just think of the impact we could have if we all donated an item or two a week to our local food shelf!

thanks to blue diamond for helping me complete a simple act of kindness!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

day 160 : RSVP to IKEA and donate $1 to Save the Children

do you have an IKEA nearby?
are you looking for something to do on March 8th?

IKEA stores nationwide {not in Portland!} are hosting their 3rd annual BYOF {Bring Your Own Friends} event on March 8th!
there will be free breakfast, deals throughout the store, drawings for big {$500, $1,000!} gift cards & fun in-store activities.
you can head here to RSVP {you have to head to the event website ; i cant find the info ANYWHERE on the IKEA website!}
the best part about RSVP-ing? for each person that does, they will donate $1 {up to $50,000} to Save the Children. {you are also entered into a $1,000 IKEA gift card drawing!}
i have done TONS of research about IKEA and their ethical practices & they really seem to be doing it right ; taking care of folks in factories, always being aware of environmental impact and fighting {hard} against child // forced labor.
i have another big event on the 8th {which i am pumped to share in a few weeks} ; but we will be at IKEA for a bit. if you will be at the twin cities store ; lets connect!

*disclaimer : IKEA doesn't know me or have any idea that this blog exists. i just love IKEA & really love that by RSVP-ing, they will donate money to charity*

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

day 159 : EMPTY BOWLS {changing the face of youth homelessness}

{guys, i love that i am back to blogging ; it feels so great!}

last week, blake & i went to an annual event called 'empty bowls.'
i shared a photo on IG & a few folks said they have something similar in their communities ; i love it!

how does it work? 

the event was held at a community center in south minneapolis.
there were *hundreds* of ceramic bowls, cups & dishes made by local artists & local students.
you could pick out whatever piece you wanted. after you made your choice, a volunteer washed it {good idea!} and then you purchase it.
the suggested donation was $20 per piece ; but they also encouraged 'pay what you can.'
after you paid, you walked to the gym where a bunch of awesome local bakeries & cafes had donated soup, bread & dessert.
then, you fill up your bowl & enjoy a meal.

where does the money go?
100% of each and every donation goes to Nicollet Square ; they are a community housing project that provides low-cost housing to youth {aged 16-21} who have experienced long-term homelessness or who have aged out of the foster care system. there are 42 apartments available & most {90%?} are employed and many {45%?} are enrolled in secondary education. {i cant remember the exact stats off the top of my head, but i *think* i am accurate}

i believe in programs like this! 
i love the idea of providing shelter, counseling & a safe space to get back on your feet. i believe that we are all stronger when we offer a hand to the people in our community who need one. i honestly believe that we, as a country, can end homelessness. this event was packed. it makes me all goosebump-y to think of all the folks who came out in the cold, opened their pockets & helped to create real change in our community. 

tell us : have you ever been to an event like this?

Monday, February 10, 2014

day 158 : its 'clean out your computer' day!

each month, in the Be Nice Box, i try to include a good deed that includes self-care & feeling calm // organized in your own body // space. i think that is so important. a lot of times, people {WOMEN!} think that 'making a difference' is about everybody else & neglect themselves. 
self-care is essential to a good life. eating a donut, taking a yoga class, reading a magazine, ect ect ; i am convinced that all of those things have a 'kindness' ripple effect. i know that for me, when i am calm and in a good head space ; i am a better business owner, partner and human.

today is 'clean out your computer day.' 
i love this! 
since most of my day is spent on my laptop ; i tend to open a billion webpages, have photos all over my desktop {even though i have specific folders for everything} and have an inbox FULL of junk mail that just needs to be deleted // unsubscribed from.

take a small chunk of time today {i dedicated 45 minutes} to clean up your 'online life.' unfollow folks on social media that stress you out. unsubscribe from email lists that you don't read. put all of your photos in a specific space. wipe down your screen & keyboard. check your computer for updates // viruses.

when i sit down to my computer and see all of the 'online clutter' i have accumulated, its just like walking in to a messy house after coming home from vacation. 
a clean space equals a creative and efficient space.

Friday, February 7, 2014

day 157 : kindness carousel {week 10}

happy friday, everybody!
i have another lot of inspiring links to share!
{kindness carousel is a weekly feature where i share positive links that focus on kindness & work to make the planet better}

here we go :

1) doug rauch {a former 'head hauncho' at trader joes} is opening a new store that will 'sell outdated food at junk food prices.' thoughts?

2) jen wrote a post on ways that you can practice digital kindness 

3) YES! lets talk about online bullying & hate blogging // save your energy for shit that matters!

4) ah! the power of social media & kind hearts! six years ago, a man was going to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge. a random stranger approached, talked him down & changed his life. recently, the man who almost jumped searched {and found!} the man who saved his life! here

5) yay for advocacy! 6 kids who are changing the world in the name of animal rights! 

6) eating well & organic is so important to me! here are 12 tips for saving money when shopping at whole foods

7) have you seen this article // video yet? a mentor in houston, texas paid off lunch fines for 60 kids.

8) an inspiring story about ending homelessness! a challenge in rapid-rehousing ; 100 days, 30+ organizations & 545 families moved into homes! way to go, virginia!

9) one of the good deeds in this months box is 'thank an olympian in your life' ; katy did a post about her dad! {as someone who has no relationship with my father, i love this}
10) my friends karla & elizabeth {also owners of my CSA, bossy acres} posted a photo of their Feb Be Nice Box. you can see a full reveal of the box here.

11) this week, a young guy was biking in minneapolis and was hit & killed by a drunk driver. this is a pretty powerful article {most of the comments are good, too!} if you spend any time on the road {biking or driving} ; it really is worth a read.

see you tomorrow!
{ill be back talking about girl scout cookies ;)}

Thursday, February 6, 2014

day 156 : send an article to my grandma

this one was easy!
i am a huge fan of reading newspapers & magazines.
when there are things i want to remember or articles that remind me of other folks, i like to tear them out and mail them.
i have a huge 'real life' pinterest board folder where i keep recipes, workout tips and articles that i dont want to forget.
i know that both my mom and my grandma are the same way.

a couple weeks ago, i was interviewed for the Southwest Journal. {you can read the article here}
since my family is in iowa, they read it online, but would rather have a hard-copy.
so, thats what i did today.
i sent a copy of the article to my grandma.

being creative isn't new in my family. my dad butchers & makes his own wine. my mom is incredible on a sewing machine {and playing the piano}. my grandma is a super talented artist.
my family have all done their 'talents' as side jobs ; i am the first one in my family to try and turn a hobby {this blog and now the box} into a business.

i think that my family is proud of what i am doing, but also sees how incredibly risky it is {i get it..}
sending this article to my grandma is fun for her, but its also a reminder that this kindness movement is real. its important to people. and sometimes, that is worth celebrating!

see you tomorrow! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

day 155 : the February Be Nice Box reveal {come see whats in this months box!}

happy tuesday, everybody!
the sun is shining here & its 5* {seriously, every degree above zero counts this winter..}. i have a lot of work to get done today, so my blinds are open & i'm eating a slice of peanut butter pie for almost-lunch ;)

quite a few folks {that don't subscribe to the be nice box} have mentioned that they wish they could see what is actually IN the boxes. thats a great idea. now that i have been working on the box for four months and have a {somewhat} solid work-from-home balance going, i finally feel ready to share.

another bonus : i will be completing & documenting all 12 of the tasks from the february box this month.
{that way, you can see what is inside and also the fun things that we are doing!}

this months theme : hugs & kisses
number of boxes : 57 people from 19 different states
our charity : the blessings basket project {read more about them here}
{our charity? we donate $1 from each box sold to a new organization each month}

a small blip about the be nice box : 
each box contains a list of 12 acts of kindness to complete throughout the month ; all relating to the theme. along with the list, there are 4 awesome, handmade, tangible items in the box to help complete some of the tasks listed. also in the box? a cool handmade gift for the subscriber as a thank you for making the planet better.

the post today is about the *tangible* items inside the box. there will be posts throughout the month about the good deeds *listed* in the box.

whats in the box? 
{also, i will be sharing more about our awesome artists throughout the month!}

1. fabric fortune cookies handmade by my mom! // 2. you are awesome cards by liv lane // 3. fair trade chocolates from mama ganache & equal exchange // 4. M&M tic tac toe game board {MN folks got a different item in their boxes} // 5. Valentine's coupons by Jessica Locke // 6. *super-beautiful* hand-sewn paper garlands from Marlene Gaige

ahhh, aren't these humans talented?! i was so blown away by how awesome the box fit together this month
note : i have gotten a few emails about people wanting to know where my mom sells the fortune cookies. she doesn't. so, if you would like to purchase some, let me know & we can set it up! 
{same goes for marlene's garlands ; she doesn't sell them in her shop, so let me know if you are interested & i can connect you to her!}

and if you are interested in the march box, you should know that there will be 70 boxes and we only have 28 left! 
{also, we are only shipping throughout the US at this time..}

thanks for following, everybody!
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Monday, February 3, 2014

day 154 : {RECIPE} make a meal & a mini-kindness flash mob

*this post is sponsored by cub foods, but all opinions are my own*

monday! {and february!} i hope you all had an awesome weekend! i had the entire weekend off {first time in months?} and it was awesome. with my three jobs and blakes 3 hour commute each day, i feel like we arent getting a ton of time to connect lately, and this weekend was great. we didnt even do a ton of 'special' stuff ; but just hanging out at REI, running errands, watching netflix and snowshoeing was good enough for me! 
she is never far away when it comes to recipe testing..

i am sharing a recipe today! usually, i save recipes for my other blog {which i am so excited to bring back this month!}, but not today! 

the folks from cub foods {a midwest grocery chain ; i think they go by other names in different parts of the country. i know when i was in portland, win-co was very similar} reached out & offered me some gift cards in exchange for a recipe.

well, i love food! and i love simple, easy & tasty meals.
and the best part? since i didnt use all of my gift cards, i was able to surprise a couple of strangers with free groceries! {more on that in a min}

cinnamon sugar tortilla chips with fruit salsa
{takes 15 minutes & each small tortilla will yield 8 chips}
recipe adapted from here

what you need : 
*tortillas {i used 3 small whole grain tortillas}
*1/2 tsp cinnamon
*2 tbsp sugar
*2 tbsp butter {i use earth balance, which is vegan}

how to do it : 
*preheat your oven to 350*
*take a pizza cutter and slice your tortilla into wedges {triangles}
*brush {or dip} your wedges with melted butter & sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar
*bake for 10-12 minutes {i kept mine in for 10 minutes and they arent super crispy, which is what i like}
{if you want them super crispy // crunchy, 12-13 minutes would be best}

for the fruit salsa : 
what you need : 
*3 peach slices
*5 cherries {pits and stems removed}
*1/4c raspberries
{i used frozen fruit}

how to do it : 
*mix all of the fruit into a blender // food processor {i used the ninja single serve cup} and blend
you might need a bit of water to bind all of the fruit together!
also, if you dont like the fruit that i chose, pick something else! 

the kinda-slushy-ness of the frozen fruit tasted awesome with the buttery chips ; this was such a fun & easy snack // app // dessert! 
{you could even drizzle melted dark chocolate over the tortillas!}

{i got a new phone & for some reason, it wont connect to email, so i cant share the photos of my mini-flash mob ; which is a bummer}

after we bought our groceries, we had a few gift cards left. i brought one home to keep for a 'rainy day good deed' and passed another out to the woman ahead of us in the checkout line. her cart was FULL and as she turned around to smile at us, i handed her the gift card & told her it was my good deed of the day. she looked super shocked and wasnt sure if she should take it. she did. and she was super grateful. she explained that all of the groceries were for the girls ski team in her town & she was making dinner for all of them. a $10 gift card obviously didnt make a huge difference to her $140 bill, but i overheard her telling the cashier that she was just the recipient of a random act of kindness. 
{thats why spreading kindness makes all the difference, folks! people feel loved & appreciated and they also feel compelled to take that energy and pass it forward.}

just another quick thank you to cub foods for allowing us to buy some groceries and to create a few ripples of kindness in our community!