Thursday, June 26, 2014

day 223 : {sneak peek} & LAST CHANCE for the July box!

can you believe that july is NEXT WEEK?!
that means we are officially halfway finished with 2014!

want to join us for the next be nice box?
{say yes!}

its going to be super awesome & i am so excited to share!
the theme this month is 'in my city' & everything can be done in your backyard!
i don't usually share photos before the boxes ship, because i love the element of surprise, but i just couldn't help myself this time!
i will be sharing product details, the good deeds & where our money is going once everyone receives their boxes!

boxes ship tomorrow // saturday & will arrive on july 1st!
you can head here to read more and to sign up.

we offer 1, 3, 6 or 12-month subscriptions. we also do gift subs. {how awesome to give as a wedding, anniversary or graduation gift!}

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

day 222 : feed the birds! {homemade bird feeders}

i'm baaaack!
actually, we got back home late sunday night, but the boxes go out this week & i have been working non-stop to get them all ready!
i will share a ton of photos from our 200-mile ride soon!

one of my goals with the trip was to bring along a few small things & complete an act of kindness each day while we were out riding.

on the second day, we stopped at a state park for lunch & i hung up a bird feeder.
i made these a couple months ago for the may box & i have a couple left 
{daphne destroyed most of the extras...}
super easy! 
they are gelatin-free & contain a great mix of seeds.
and what a fun treat for the birds ;)
my recipe was based on this one! 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

day 221 : bring in the paper

seriously, the easiest!
last weekend, i was leaving our apartment building at 630am and it was pouring.
a couple of the people in our building receive the sunday paper, and when i stepped outside, both papers were out in the rain. they were covered in plastic, but it was raining pretty hard.

i picked up both papers and brought them inside.
like i said, the easiest! 
i don't know the people in our building who get the paper, but i'd like to think they would do the same for someone else!

today is the last leg of our 200 mile bike ride!
we will be home by 930pm tonight and oh man, i am ready for a warm bath and to watch Harry Potter!
super excited to edit photos and share everything with you!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

day 220 : take 15 seconds & provide NINE meals to families in need!

as you are reading this, we are about 100 miles in to our 200 mile bike ride!
you can follow the hashtag #bike2bemidji on twitter & instagram to see what we are up to!

you are always looking for rad ways to give back, right?
how about doing something that takes LESS THAN A MINUTE & will provide NINE meals to families in need?
{i am telling you, its that easy!}

the folks at bremer bank partnered up with feeding america to offer a simple quiz about hunger in america.
you take the quiz {its 6 questions and only takes a min!} and regardless of your answers {i got most of them wrong!}, they will donate $1 to feeding america.
$1 sounds so small ; but 9 people can be fed through food banks on $1!

thanks for making a difference, everybody!
ps : you can click here to vote for our KIND Snacks contest!

Friday, June 20, 2014

day 219 : new items in the shop! {more awesome ways to spread kindness!}

i am so excited to announce that we have two new items in the shop! 

each packet contains 5 plantable seed coins! {you guys, they are really awesome!!} 
the coins are the same size & color of real coins, but made from paper AND contain seeds. 
you just pop them in the ground and make the planet better! 
pennies = wildflower // nickels = herbs // dimes = carrots and turnips // quarters = lettuce mix
each packet is $1.25 and ships for free! coins were designed & printed in the us by the awesome folks at leafcutter designs and the tags were designed by my friend nic!

the grab bags are a mini-version of the Be Nice Box! each bag contains a list of 7 acts of kindness to complete, along with three tangible items to help complete some of the items on your list.
all items are from past boxes. you may find bamboo notecards, bird feeders, locally made dog treats, canvas coffee sleeves, 2oz bags of organic coffee AND more inside your bags! the bags don't have themes the way our monthly boxes do. bags are $8 & ship for free!

ps: please don't forget to vote & help us win $10,000! {here

Thursday, June 19, 2014

day 218 : ride a bike for 200 miles!

its happening, folks!
today, blake & i, along with 18 other awesome folks are hopping on bikes and riding 200 miles up to bemidji, minnesota!

we are super lucky in minneapolis {and st paul!} to have the nice ride mn bike sharing system!
blake & i are both members! its so easy {you don't have to be a member to use it!} you head to one of the 170 stations, check out a bike, get on & enjoy. when you are finished {members get 60 min, non-members get 30}, head to a station {either the one you checked it out at, or not} and dock your bike. you can either check out another and keep riding, or head to your destination.

this weekend, the good folks in bemidji will be launching their very own nice ride mn system. their bikes are a little lighter in weight and look a bit different. {and they are orange!}

20 of us are riding the 3-speed vanmoof bikes from minneapolis to bemidji to help launch their program! the grand opening is on sunday & we start riding today! the ride is fully supported {meaning, there is a truck to carry our gear} & we will be riding about 50 miles a day!

i am so stinkin' pumped!
i will share full recaps when we are back {there will be good deeds going up all week long, though!}
if you want to follow our journey on twitter, you can search the hashtag #bike2bemidji!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

day 217 : SUGAR BOOKS! {seriously, the coolest thing ever}

the raddest part of curating the boxes each month, is that i am able to find artists and small businesses who are doing incredible things!
this month, we partnered with leafcutter designs to bring sugar books into each box.
a couple years ago, they ran a kickstarter campaign that we supported and i have been a huge fan ever since! once i saw these sugar packets, i knew we had to feature them in the box!

the theme of the june box is 'full bellies,' so *how* perfect! 
what is a sugar book?
its a packet of sugar {without the sugar!} there are pages in between with a fun prompt and room to write your answer.
so, how does it work?
you take your sugar book to your favorite diner or cafe. open it up, answer the prompt and then leave for the next person! 
and if you find the book, you record your answer, take it with you & leave it another cafe!

a few sundays ago, blake and i went to our favorite place for breakfast and left our first sugar book!
{ps: leafcutter makes 4 different books. i ordered them all & all june subscribers received two. each brand of sugar offers a different prompt.}

the one thing i forgot to do {which i will do next time!} is to mark down WHICH cafe i left the packet. because, if the sugar books travel from cafe to cafe, it would be really awesome to see where they go!

i have some sugar books left over that i will be adding to the shop soon ; awesome, right? 
head here to check out leafcutter designs!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

day 216 : buy a shirt and bring a family together!

happy tuesday, everybody!
this is one of my favorite good deeds to share!

my friend jen & her husband are in the process of adopting siblings from south africa!
you can read their journey on her blog.
i am convinced that people like jen are the ones who make this planet a better place!
this is the girl who saved an injured kitten from the side of the road. and recently adopted a beagle who was used for animal testing. and now, to watch them become parents ; so awesome!
their latest post on adoption is great ; i encourage you to check it out!
their post is also the good deed for MY post today!

jen & ryan are selling locally {nyc} designed & printed batik shirts to help raise funds and create community for their upcoming adoption! there are two styles to choose from & the colors are just beautiful!

when you purchase a shirt, jenny will add your name to the back of her shirt, so when they are in africa, it will be as if we are all traveling together! {i love it!}
also, when they go down to bring their children home, they ask that we all wear our shirts & take photos to show their children how much they are loved. {seriously, you guys ; its so powerful!}

you can purchase the shirts here & read more about this journey on jens blog! 

photos from jens blog

Monday, June 16, 2014

day 214 : YOUR GOOD DEED OF THE DAY // help win $10,000 for the Be Nice Box!

if you have been following me on social media, you know that i have been {obnoxiously?} asking for help!
the awesome folks at KIND Snacks are holding a contest & one 'social good' business will win $10,000!
there are 13 other businesses in the running, and for the past couple of days, we have been holding steady at 3rd place. a few days ago, we were only 9 votes away from 1st and now the gap has gotten much wider! right now, we are 63 votes behind 1st place.
but, i am not super worried!
because i know how awesome you are! 
it is SO easy to vote!
each person can vote up to 4 times. i am asking you to please, please, please vote all 4 times.
if 10 folks vote once, that gives us 10 votes. if those 10 people vote all four times, that gives us 40 votes ; that could be the difference between $10k & second place!

you can head here to vote!
once you vote once, you are able to earn three additional votes by sharing on facebook, twitter & email!
the contest goes through the end of the month ; so we have 14 days to take the lead!

i got the idea for the Be Nice Box on october 1st, while blake and i were out walking daphne! the idea hit me like a lightning bolt and i actually wrote up a business plan that night!
in the two weeks that followed, i added details to my plan & created a website.
i launched the site on october 15th and we sold our first 20 boxes in 3 days!
since then, we have been selling 40-65 boxes every month and have sent boxes to 36 states {and puerto rico!}
this movement has changed my life! 

lets talk about the money! 
$10,000 is a lot of money! all of the money that i spend on the box either comes from my savings or box sales. i don't have any loans or angel investors. i don't have a trust fund or rich family members who send me money each month! blake is awesome and pays for more than his share of groceries and utilities ; but when it comes down to it, the money that goes into this business is my money. and as a new business owner, i don't have a lot of it. haha..
i have huge ideas! HUGE! i have pages and pages of goals & future plans for this business.
this money would change my life and this movement {in the best way possible}!

with $10,000, we will : 
*be able to take this movement international! we will start shipping boxes all over the world
*be able to launch our new Be Nice Box lines ; one for children, another for families & a full 'classroom kindness' curriculum for educators
*partner with a local agency to hire adults with disabilities to help package the boxes each month
*be able to take our packaging to the next level! printed boxes, digital maps and more!
*make this movement bigger and better! i have a HUGE secret i am not able to share yet, but lets just say, this money would allow us to travel with rad folks and do big things with awesome results!
*FLASH MOBS! i'd love to see 'kindness ambassadors' all over the country, working together to surprise 'every day' folks with blasts of kindness!

voting only takes a minute and would mean SO much to me!
if you have already voted, please take a minute to share the link with your friends, family, followers & blog readers!
from the very bottom of my heart {with all of my guts!} THANK YOU!
vote here

Thursday, June 12, 2014

day 215 : speaking at Healthy Living Summit

i know i have mentioned this before, but one of my all-time favorite things that has come from this blog // business // movement is all the of the incredible people i have had the pleasure of meeting!

its been so amazing to connect with people, share stories and realize ways to grow as a human! 

last fall, i had the awesome opportunity to host a kindness flash mob and speak about bike commuting at the Healthy Living Summit. last year, it was hosted in minneapolis & it was such a fun experience getting to explore this city with folks who had never been here.
this flash mob was my 100th act of kindness on the blog. if you haven't seen it yet, i encourage you to do so ; it was so, so fun! {here}

this september, the HLS will take place in madison, wisconsin. blake is coming along for the long weekend {he won't come to the summit, but hes pumped to ride bikes, drink beer and eat vegan cupcakes!}{honestly, its the same thing he does here at home ;)}
i am super excited to once again be speaking // leading a session. i am still working out all of the details {big ideas, man!} ; but i will be leading an interactive session on kindness.
what does that mean?
it means that we will be talking a bit about kindness, but for the most part, we will be creating something to make the planet better. i have some big ideas, but nothing i can share yet. it could be anything from packing backpacks for the food shelf or drawing cards for kids in the hospital. 
if you have any ideas, i would love to hear them!

if you are interested in joining us in madison this september, you can head here for all of the details!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

day 213 : {kindness received} and DOG TREATS

last week, i blogged about my sweet friend tiff, who biked 150 miles this week in the name of finding a cure for MS! 
a few weeks ago, we got together for a bike ride & she gave me a bag of handmade dog treats that she made for daphne.
awesome bonus: the hand-sewn reusable pouch!
{we treat-train daphne because she has so many social issues, so we are always carrying around a bag of treats whenever we leave the house. the cute bag beats the plastic produce bags from the co-op that we use!}
the coolest part of these treats? 
they are made from spent-beer grains! tiffs husband brews beer & the grains that we leftover went into making these treats.

daphne absolutely loves these & i feel really thankful for friends who think about her! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

day 212 : bike date & stopping to smell the flowers {well, trees..}

after one of the longest and coldest winters in minnesota history ; nobody needs to tell me twice to get outside and get on a bike!
a couple weekends ago, blake & i got on our bikes and spent the afternoon riding.
the weather was so beautiful and gosh, these trees were just unbelievable! the smell, the colors, all the petals on the ground..
usually when we ride for speed and distance, we don't spend a lot of time stopping, taking pictures and slowing down. 
i had my good camera with me & these trees were the perfect excuse to slow down and enjoy the scenery! 
one of my absolute favorite moments was each time a bike rode by, all of the petals on the ground flew up, so it looked like all the bikes had cute pink tails! ;) 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

day 211 : the perk of NOT having a car

did you know that blake & i sold our only car a couple months ago?
thats right, we are car-free! 
later this month, i will go into more detail about our choice, what it looks like and how we are doing without {car} wheels.

do you know car2go
if you live in a large city, maybe you have seen them around. they are white smart cars, with blue accents. they are a pay-by-the-minute car service. in minneapolis, there are almost 300 of them. 
you become a member {we are}, reserve the car you want {they don't have designated parking spot, so chances are, there are at least a handful within walking distance of where you are}, open it up & drive away. the super-awesome thing about car2go, is that as long as you are in city limits, you can park it and leave it on any city street. you don't have to return it to the place you picked it up! 

a couple weeks ago, i heard about these guys in austin, texas who are making bike racks for smart cars. i tweeted car2go & mentioned that i know my one//no-car family friends and i would love an option for a car with a bike rack. we tweeted back and forth & it ended with a 'maybe someday.'

a couple days later, i get a phone call from the guys at car2go. they said they have something for me as a thank you for my feedback.
what the what? anybody who knows me knows that i just fall so hard for good customer service. kindness from a business goes SO far & i really think that companies are catching on.

that same day, i get a hand-delivered package. inside is a cupcake from a local food truck, a squishy car2go toy, a handwritten note {LOVE} and a 30-day pass for nice ride {our local bike sharing program.}

so awesome, right? 
constructive feedback and awesome customer service for the win!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

day 210 : seed coins & chocolate chip cookies

one of the raddest things that has come from launching this blog & business? the people i have met! seriously. when i grow up, i want to be like my friends! i have met some of the most positive, inspiring and awesome humans in the past year+.
{it makes me all goosebump-y just thinking about it!}

anyways, a couple weeks ago, i was getting together with some of my friends and wanted to show them how much i appreciate them.
the night before, i made a batch of super awesome cookies {dry mix from great harvest bakery!} & put a couple cookies into individual bags.
on top of each bag, i taped a packet of plantable seed coins.
{the coins will be available in the shop soon. and you guys, they are really cool!}

super easy & always a great reminder to tell your friends // family how much they mean to you!
everybody loves cookies, right?