Wednesday, March 26, 2014

day 182 : take what you need {a good reminder that we all need something}

back in january, i hand drew a 'take what you need' sheet ' and included one in each of the Be Nice Boxes. 
it really was one of my favorite good deeds that has ever gone into the boxes.

last week, blake & i took daph for a super long neighborhood stroll & happened upon someone elses handmade 'take what you need' sheets. 
i think we saw about 4 or 5, all taped to different utility poles around the neighborhood.

i love stuff like this! 
i do! 
signs like this & tiny acts of kindness are the total basis of my 'year of minnesota nice' project & the Be Nice Box! 
small, good deeds that cheer people up & bring a smile to someones face is so powerful! creating small change in your neighborhood leads to big changes in behavior & community! 

so, to the stranger who stapled these all over ; thanks! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

day 181 : hand out a gift card to a stranger

no pictures, today!
one of the good deeds in the march be nice box was to purchase a $5 gift card & hand it to the person behind you in line.

like all other good deeds from the boxes, they are meant to be used as an outline. i love the idea of taking something on the list & then making it your own.

i keep a few small-value gift cards in my wallet. that way, if we are out & a great opportunity arises, i can just reach in, hand one out & make someones day!
a few weeks ago, i had the perfect opportunity.

blake & i were walking down a pretty busy street in the city, getting ready to run a quick errand.
we passed a man on the street with a sign, asking cars at the red light for money & food.
i have a rule that i dont hand out cash to people who are panhandling, but i am happy to help in other ways {i also keep fruit & granola bars with me}

as we passed the man, i remembered that i had a $5 gift card for mcdonalds with me {the gc was gifted to me from klout} i ran over, handed him a gift card & showed him that there was a mcdonalds at the other end of the next block.

super simple & easy!

tell us : do you keep 'kindness emergency' items with you?

Monday, March 24, 2014

day 180 : announcing our April charity {be nice box}

its that time of the month again!
time to announce another super-rad charity that is helping change the world!

this month, we are doing things a bit different over at the Be Nice Box!
in past months, we give $1 to charity for each box sold.
this month, the gift that subscribers are receiving will count as our financial donation.
make sense?

for April, we are supporting L.I.F.E. line ; a CTC international organization.
L.I.F.E. line is one of my favorite groups! we have been supporting them for a couple years!
blake and i have donated money, purchased items for their store {here, here & here} & are always excited to spread the word about what they are doing!

L.I.F.E. line is a group people {makers & manufacturers in kenya} who are creating amazing items. a group of 27 women {most of whom have children with disabilities} handcraft all of the items from this line, while the maasai mums are a co-op of over 400 women who create all of these amazing pieces by hand.
by supporting them, we are giving them a living wage & health insurance, supporting their local economy and providing a safe life & education for their children.
you can read more here.

CTC international also recently launched cafe ubuntu! {you can purchase their coffee in whole foods!}
the cafe itself is the very first coffee shop {EVER} in maai mahiu, kenya! they will serve coffee & pastries & will have indoor bathroom facilities and be a safe meeting ground for travelers, locals and tourists.

so, how are WE helping this month?!
{i cant give everything away because we still want the subscriber gift to be a surprise!} 
the mums from L.I.F.E. life fashion are creating something for cafe ubuntu and we have purchased them!

so this month, our purchase will directly impact the organization we are serving.
also, we have 10 April boxes left! 
they are shipping out at the end of this week, so if you would like to join us {please do!}; you can sign up here.

connect with CTC international : 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

day 183 : be inspired, cry during a movie & then eat free pizza

all of those things happened in a matter of a couple hours recently!

last week, b & i were given the chance to see the 2013 diana nyad documentary 'the other shore' for free at our local movie theatre.
luckily, i had the day off & my goodness, i was *so thankful* we went.
you guys, it was incredible! 

diana nyad is the 63-year old woman who swam non-stop from cuba to key west.
you can watch the trailer below & read more about the film here.

her story, her drive, her past, her physical ability ; ah, SO AMAZING! 
after the house lights came on, i looked around and seriously, almost everybody was bawling! 

after the film, there was a small local business fair happening in the lobby.
i was lucky enough to win a $25 gift certificate to a local restaurant.
i also won a steel water bottle {which i gave away to a random woman ; i already have a water bottle} and blake won a travel coffee mug that he is gifting to his coworker! 

since i had the day off, we used the gift card right away! we each had pizza & ended with splitting dessert! 

i will say it again ; renting // watching this documentary is well worth it! 

day 178 : pick up trash

trash {and littering} drives me nuts! 
seriously, of all the things on the planet, watching people litter makes my blood boil.
i am such a strong believer in 'it takes a village' and i get so frustrated when i see people who aren't taking care of their surroundings.
see? mad about trash ;)

the other afternoon, i was waiting for the bus & a young family was waiting near me. the mom gave the little boy a plastic bag to play with & hes ripping it up & running all over the road {this was a good lesson is not judging people!} finally, mom decides its time to go, offers the boy a snack cake & they leave. as they go, he drops the bag & she drops the food wrapper.
*also, they were about 18 inches away from a city trash can!*

so, instead of getting super mad and chasing after them {advantages of turning 30 & maturing!} ; i picked up their garbage and threw it away! 
as the snow & ice are melting, it seems there is a ton more trash around. be the person to pick up a piece or two and place them in the garbage! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

day 177 : drop off {more!} books at a little free library

i think i have used this as a good deed at least 4 or 5 times in the last 177 days!
but, i dont mind!
i absolutely LOVE little free libraries and feel super lucky that we have so many in our neighborhood & community.
{on my new bus route to work, i ride past a few i have never been to & one of these days, i am going to stop, just so i can check them out!}
i recently finished these two books, so i decided to drop them off at a nearby LFL.

not too long ago, i grabbed this book from one of the boxes. i started it, didnt love it & decided to re-read the harry potter series for the 9th time ;)

i love the idea that people come to a central location & either drop off or pick up books. i love it. the thoughts of different people in different homes at different stages // emotions in their life ; all sharing a piece of literature... love it!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

day 176 : attend a *free* fitness class

another super easy good deed! 
{when i first started this project, i was so afraid of running out of ideas. now that i am almost 200 days in, i find that opportunities for good deeds 'just happen.'}

i live a few blocks away from our local athleta shop!
each month, athleta brings in local trainers and fitness professionals & offers free classes.
i don't own a gym membership & because of the weather, i haven't been on my bike all season.
i love the opportunity to work super hard & meet new folks! 

i took a 60 min bootcamp class & my rear was seriously sore for the next 4 days.
{without a doubt, i work far harder in a setting like that than i do by myself with my fitness videos!}  

taking care of my health & supporting a local fitness pro totally counts as a good deed!

Monday, March 17, 2014

day 175 : support a local coffee shop

hi, you guys! 
i havent blogged in such a long time, but i have about 20 good deeds i recently completed ; so that should help me stay on track! ;)

this one was super simple! 
we are members of a really great CSA & each week, we pick up our boxes at blue ox coffee. 
{you have heard it a billion times, but} this winter has been super brutal.
its been pretty hard on a lot of small businesses. when its -35* for long stretches of time, people stay in. and over time, that hurts the 'little guy.'

a couple weeks ago, blue ox posted a super honest plea for help on their facebook page.
christina also wrote a really great article here.

the day after this was posted, blake and i bundled up & headed over to the shop. our small contribution certainly didnt make a huge difference ; but when a community // neighborhood bands together, good things are sure to happen.

if you are local {or know someone who is} ; blue ox could sure use your business.
{bonus : their coffee, service & dedication to their community is awesome!}

Friday, March 7, 2014

day 174 : kindness carousel {week 13}

happy friday, everybody!
lets spread some kindness!
{kindness carousel is a weekly feature where we share some of the kindest, most uplifting links from around the web!}

1) i am always a sucker for posts like these! 33 pictures that will make you proud to be a human being!

2) have you seen these underwear?! they can be used in place of panty liners {!} are odor-resistant and are full of amazing technology! {i am planning on purchasing the 5 pack ; i will report back!} super-bonus : for every pair you buy, they donate 7 reusable pads to girls in need. {YES!}

3) i posted about this earlier this week, but you can go here to send dominic a birthday card!

4) i often check out the website for the city i grew up in {i havent lived there in 20 years ; but some of my family still does} this note in the 'letters to the editor' section made me all warm & fuzzy! {small-town minnesota nice at its finest!}

5) {i am not sure if youll be able to see this because of my facebook privacy settings ; let me know} ; but speaking of random acts of kindness : this note left on someones car... goosebumps, man. strangers spreading kindness ;)

6) live in the twin cities? looking for something fun to do on saturday? how about the edina art crawl! i will be judging the artwork ; if you are coming, let me know. lets hug!

7) are you celebrating lent this year? how about spending the remaining days giving back & creating a stronger sense of community? i love this.

8) did you see this video, yet? folks running a race made a detour to shake hands with {and thank} a 95-year old vet!

9) how about this article? stop performing random acts of kindness! 

10) i feel really lucky to have been interviewed by the super-talented liv lane for this months issue of magazine. you can check out the article here.

have an awesome weekend!
{i am going to try to share a fun good deed on saturday!}

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

day 173 : thank the driver & {I GOT A NEW JOB}

you guys!
the 10-day forecast doesnt show ANY negative temps!
{i am not sure that any 10-day forecast this year showed ALL above-zero temps ; BRING.IT.ON!}

as you read this, i am on my way to day #2 at my new job!
i was going to tell you all about it, but maybe for a different day...
{sometimes i totally struggle with the balance of sharing my 'offline' life & being able to 'keep some of it for myself.' that makes sense, right?}

anyways, because it still looks like this, i am not biking!

my new job is 3 days a week & until it thaws out ; i am bussing it.
if i cant bike, taking the bus is *always* my #2 choice!
the drivers are rad, the routes are pretty easy to navigate {i did get off at the wrong stop the other day, through..} and its pretty affordable.

every single time i get on the bus, i *always* greet the driver & ask them how they are. and when i get off, i *always* thank them. always! {mom, youre proud, right?!} 

yesterday, i got off the bus & my transfer bus was coming in the opposite direction. there was NO WAY i could have made it! i had to cross the street {wait for the light} and then run half a block to catch it. my driver honked the horn, and the second driver waited for me. 

so, while i always make an effort to thank my driver ; i am especially grateful for them this season. our roads are awful! inches of pure, glare ice & crappy conditions.. 

do you ride the bus? 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

day 172 : give Dominic the best birthday EVER!

you guys! 
this one is so sweet! and easy! 
my friend tara recently shared this link with me! 
dominic is 10 {almost 11}, lives in michigan and is dealing with some pretty serious health issues. so serious, that he is home-bound right now and turning 11 at the end of this month.
his parents created this facebook page & are asking folks to flood their mailbox for dominic's 11th birthday.
he cant have a party, so his family is hoping that folks from all over the world will help him celebrate! 

seriously, how awesome is this! 
think about all of the amazing kindness opportunities we have because of technology! 
you can send a little boy you will never meet a card to celebrate his special day! 
i think about my 11th birthday and what it would have meant to have gotten cards and well-wishes from strangers!

not only did my friend tara share this with me, but she bought {and stamped} 13 cards that she is giving out to folks to send to him.
{i feel SO lucky to have people in my life who care so hard about others!}

if you want to participate, you can send cards to : 
Lil D Tyner
P.O Box 1627
Brighton, MI 48116

our card is going out in the mail this afternoon & his birthday is the 28th!
if you send a card, snap a photo & email it to me! id love to share it with others! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

day 171 : the March Be Nice Box reveal!

its march! 
we are already 80+ days into 2014 ; so crazy.. 

the march boxes went out last week, so i thought it would be fun to do another reveal!
you can check out what was in the february box here.

this months theme : talking to strangers ; let's be friends!
{all of the good deeds involve reaching out to people we don't know!}
i will be blogging about the 12 good deeds in the box throughout the month!

our charity : project SUCCESS {they are a Mpls-based organization working super-hard to instill confidence and opportunity into local youth!} you can read more about them here

when i sent out the february boxes, i was just so pumped ; i REALLY loved the feb boxes. i didnt really know where i 'wanted to go' with the march box. i sat on it for a week & the box really came together. i really care about this box! reaching out to strangers is just so powerful! 

i made some changes last month with how i put things together and what the boxes look like ; and i am proud of how this box came together! 

chocolate chip cookies for 'random acts of cookie kindness' {cookies were donated by wild harvest organic} // a pre-stamped card & postcard pack {work by adam turman, myself & junzo terada} // milk & dark chocolate covered raisins // this months gift for subscribers : art prints from lori hetteen {there were six different prints that went out} // 10 pennies with smiley faces to help spread 'positive change' 

stay tuned this month ; im excited to share the acts of kindness that go along with the box!
and if you are interested in april, there are 28 boxes left! sign up here.