Friday, August 29, 2014

day 255 : kindness carousel {week 22}

happy friday!
i have another round of awesome links to share with you!
today, i have a few awesome videos ; but instead of embedding them here, i have just provided the links!
{it drives me bonkers that they auto-start}

1) is this german city going to be the first to end hunger?
2) LOVE THIS! such an incredible dose of perspective ----> first world problems read by third world kids <----- seriously, you guys! WATCH THIS VIDEO!
3) {another video} this one came out about 6 months ago, and i still can't write about it without getting all teary! 5,000 people come together to sing 'clouds'
4) small biz inspiration #1 : 11 things i wish i knew when i started my business
5) small biz inspiration #2 : 20 things to do when business is slow
6) this video will get you all pumped up about singing to strangers!
7) finally, do you read Humans of New York? you should! you can follow them through their site or all social media channels. for 50 days, brandon {the photographer} is traveling the world, taking pictures & sharing them. honestly, this website makes me a better human! 

anything awesome to share with us?

Friday, August 22, 2014

day 254 : kindness carousel {week 21}

another friday equals another round of rad links from around the internet.
here we go:
1) looking to donate to the food shelf {say yes!} ; here is a great list of always-needed items!
2) i started this blog almost 18 months ago, largely inspired by the tragedy of the boston bombings. this post is so beautiful & inspiring.
3) libraries are pretty much one of my favorite places in the world. here is a list of 10 of the most unique libraries in the us!
4) so sweet! this 4th grade class wrote letters to help get shelter dogs adopted!
5) another post for dog lovers ------> blind couple marries after their guide dogs fall in love
6) if there is only one link you click on ; make it this one! i love this video!
7) receive the sunday paper? find yourself with coupons you won't use? donate them here for your local food shelf!

have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

day 253 : share some fun news!

if you follow me on social media, you will have noticed i shared these photos yesterday.
the people at Minnesota Monthly magazine have a feature called '5 things.' each month, they pick something {burgers, yoga studios, farmers markets} & pick out the top 5 in the city.
this month, the column is about subscription boxes and {woo hoo} we MADE THE LIST! 
my copy came in the mail yesterday & we have already seen a spike in web traffic & sales! 

also, the boxes ship next week {i will share a sneak-peek soon!} ; and we only have 7 boxes left! 
you can head here to pick one up! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

day 252 : {GIVEAWAY & review} Veggetti Spiralizer

*the folks from veggetti provided me with product, payment & an item to giveaway in exchange for this post. as always, ALL opinions are mine*

happy monday! 
today, i have a fun giveaway, a review AND a recipe from the folks at Veggetti
the spiralizer craze seems to be everywhere right now! a spiralizer is a kitchen tool that shreds fruits & veggies into noodles! 

right now, i am five weeks away from my duathlon & have been spending a lot of time outside training! with that, i have been trying to up my water consumption. i have become one of those people who gets *terrible* headaches when i am dehydrated! 

along with more water & more time spent riding & running {and barre & hot yoga}, we are also in the middle of our weekly CSA bounty! each week, we have been receiving cucumbers, zucchini & squash {along with lots of other stuff!} 
i have been trying to eat a whole {or part of} cucumber a day, because of the high water content. {and because i love dipping things in hummus!}
at the beginning of the season, i started this pin board FULL of veggie-friendly recipes! 

so, how do you use a Veggetti? its shaped like an hourglass & has blades on the top & bottom. one side will give you thin noodles, the other, thick.
i used this recipe to create a mid-morning snack ; lemon cucumber noodles with cumin!
the noodles were crunchy & the cumin added a nice kick!
{if you read the amazon reviews, some folks say that clean up in pretty difficult. i use a small wire brush meant to clean my glass straw & it works great!}

want to win a Veggetti for yourself? 
{so easy, you guys!}
1) head to the comments & let me know your favorite fruit or vegetable
2) share this post // giveaway on social media {leave a separate comment to let me know that you entered} here is the link to this post.

thats it! 
giveaway ends sunday, the 24th.
{don't forget to leave a valid email address with your comment, so i can contact you!}  

Friday, August 15, 2014

day 251 : kindness carousel {week 20}

kindness carousel ; my favorite post to write each week!
below, you will find a round-up of rad things that are happening around the internet.
i actually revisited the 300+ links i have been collecting since october, so some of these links might be from the past, but hello, kindness is kindness! 

1) YES ----> 36 things i wish i had figured out sooner
2) animal lover? me too. 13 creative ways to help out your local shelter
3) i love it when famous people use their money for good! james patterson gave away $1 million to indie bookstores! 
4) $5 if you can read these without bawling! humans are really amazing!
5) i love nora's blog! love it! such an incredible dose of reality, beauty and a great reminder to be so very grateful for the little things.
6) i love all the work that farm sanctuary is doing! you can head here to sponsor a farm animal!
7) last fall, jimmy jensen became the first runner with down syndrome to complete the new york marathon. i came back to this story all the time!

thats it for this week! anything awesome to share with us?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

day 250 : {NEW IN SHOP} // plantable flowers

i added these to the shop last week, but wanted to share them on the blog! 

looking for a fun mini-gift? something to add with your tip at your favorite cafe? a fun add-on to the letter you are sending your grandma? 
these plantable paper flowers are fun! bright colors, full of wildflower seeds & easy to keep in your wallet or purse for that perfect 'be kind' moment! 

each packet contains 6-7 flowers and they ship for FREE! 
they have been selling pretty fast, so right now, there are only 21 packets left! {i am ordering new colors now!}
you can purchase them here.
my friend nic made the tags & the folks at bloomin' made the flowers! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

day 249 : August Be Nice Box {REVEAL}

happy august!
i am running a bit behind with the reveal this month! 
the boxes went out a week behind schedule due to some folks stealing the test tubes & the art prints from my apartment building! 
both artists were SO amazing & understanding in regards to sending replacements in a timely manner!

i have hinted a bit on social media & am not ready to release all of the details yet, but starting with the october boxes, our format will be different! i am super excited to share, but just not yet! ;) 

August Be Nice Box Reveal 

theme // hello, my friend {all good deeds are ways to connect with people in our lives}
gift // {each month, the subscriber receives as small gift as a thank you for making the planet a better place} an awesome assortment of art prints from lindsay at pen+paint

this months good deeds // 
1) surprise a far-away friend with a letter //  INCLUDED happy mail kit
2) UNPLUG! turn off all electronics & play a game or do a puzzle
3) invite a friend to be active! yoga in the park, a bike ride, a walk around the neighborhood
4) spread the message & tell someone she is beautiful // INCLUDED balloons
5) give someone a real 'i love your guts' hug
6) remember birthdays! write them down in a calendar ; don't rely on FB notifications
7) make a lunch date with a friend // INCLUDED lunch date cards
8) tape a silly joke to a co-workers computer monitor
9) spread the word! tell someone about your favorite band, cage, hairdresser or subscription box service ;)
10) leave a plant or fresh flowers on your neighbors doorstep with a note
11) know someone who is stressed out? tram them to a relaxing bath // INCLUDED handmade lavender bath salts 
12) does your friend have a birthday, wedding or anniversary coming up? donate money in her name to a great charity

items included in this months box // 
happy mail kit from sweet heritage paper  // balloons from you are beautiful {search #yabsticker on social media for inspiration!}  //  lunch date cards from invitapaper studios // handmade lavender bath salts 

our artists are awesome & i *always* recommend you check them out, find them on social media & support them! we wouldn't be able to do what we do without the awesome companies we work with! 

there are still spaces available for september! the theme is 'for the littles' and is perfect for young kids & families! {totally awesome for adults w/o kids, too!} // here

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

day 248 : Sweet Heritage Paper & sending pictures to my family

a couple weeks ago, i had a family reunion back in the town i grew up in.
i send my grandpa letters quite often, but other than him, i am not super close to most of my family. and plus, not having a car makes the 90 min journey a bit difficult...

while i was there, we took quite a few photos & i thought it would be nice to send them to my family.

in the august box {which i will reveal this week!}, everybody received a 'happy mail kit' from natalia at sweet heritage paper. {seriously you guys, support her! her cards & envelopes are so fun!} {bonus: she also includes tissue paper confetti for you to put in the envelopes!}
when she sent the package, she included a small kit for me, too! i used all three note cards to send the photos to my dad, sister & grandpa.

want to join us for september? we are making huge changes to the box format ; so the sept box will be the LAST single-month box! no worries, bigger and better changes will be announced soon!

Monday, August 11, 2014

day 247 : my favorite fair-trade wedding gift

this past weekend, my step-sister got married.
we weren't able to attend, but i made sure to send along one of my favorite items as a wedding present.

do you know ten thousand villages? they are a nationwide retail store, ONLY carrying fair-trade handmade items from around the world. their mission is to empower and offer support to families, people and cultures around the globe.
i have been a fan of their company for years & last year, they opened a retail store just a few blocks from our place. 
{photo from their website} 
between them & this shop ; they are my go-to for gifts. 
the gift we chose? 
this awesome handmade basket! weaved from kaisa grass and then covered with recycled saris ; the baskets are made by women in bangladesh. you can read more about the process & organization here.  
{picture from their website}

our store offered three different colors and two different sizes {this basket was the small}. a couple months ago, blakes cousin got married {we didn't make it to that wedding, either!} ; but we gifted them the same basket ; but made with a different colored sari. 

if you are looking for a gift, i highly recommend ten thousand villages! they are such an amazing company & really are doing amazing things to change the world! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

day 246 : save Mr. Jiggles {reuniting a lost dog with his family}

this one was pretty easy.
one of my favorite things about this movement, is that good deeds just 'seem to appear.' i use to be so worried about scheduling or planning them out ; but i find that there are opportunities each and every day to practice kindness.

the other day, daphne and i were finishing our afternoon walk, when we saw a dog across the street, just wandering around. we couldn't approach because daph has issues with other dogs & i didn't want to scare him. we stood across the street for a few minutes, waiting to see his behavior and if he had a human anywhere in sight.

i knew the dog was wearing tags, because i could hear them jingling whenever he moved. a family on bikes came by & i asked if they could hang with him for a min, while i dropped daph off at home. i dropped her off, grabbed an extra leash {we always keep two by the door for this very reason} & some treats. the family had tried to call the numbers on the tag, but nobody answered. the name tag said his name was jiggles.
i slipped the leash on & jiggles and i walked up to the neighborhood vet clinic {its only a block away. seriously, our neighborhood is the best!} we scanned him for a microchip, but he didn't have one. finally, we called his vet clinic {he was wearing a rabies tag} & got a list of phone numbers. 
after about 20 minutes, i got ahold of mr. jiggles' human, who didn't even know he was lost, and he came to pick him up.

the family was so grateful and happy he was safe.
as the owner of a dog with special needs, daph getting loose // lost is one of my greatest fears. her collar has her name, both our numbers, her city id number AND her clinic info. on top of that, she is microchipped. 
mr jiggles wasn't chipped and i called 5 different numbers {two of which were disconnected} before someone answered.

if you have a pet, please make sure all of their {and your!} info is up to date.
and chip your pet! its affordable & easy, and almost guarantees your pet will get home safe! 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

day 245 : send a birthday package to a little boy

a couple weeks ago, a friend of mine shared this article & challenged me to send a birthday package to 6-year old danny, who is fighting an inoperable brain tumor.
no challenge needed ; stuff like this totally tugs at my heart.

danny celebrated his birthday the last week of july, but according to this article, he has received OVER 100,000 cards {!!!} from around the world. obviously, the family wouldn't mind {or notice!} if my package was a week late! ;)
{could you imagine that much mail?!}

i put together a small {and super simple} package! i included two activity books ; one about water safety & the other all about minnesota, along with two 'you are beautiful' balloons, plantable paper flowers, confetti & a little handwritten note.

if you want to send danny a letter or package, there is still time! 
his address is in both articles i linked to above!

Monday, August 4, 2014

day 244 : team vega REVIEW // #fuelyourbetter

happy monday! 
this is a sponsored post. the awesome folks at vega provided me with free product, in partnership with fit approach {because i am a #sweatpink ambassador}. as always, opinions are my own.

any look at my recent instagram photos {you can follow me here}, and you'll always find photos of recent workouts, my bike and smoothies.
i have been vegan for almost 5 years now, and found vega products about 2+ years ago! 
i use their chocolate protein powder every day in my smoothies {flax + almond milk + peanut butter + bananas + vega}. it keeps me full & tastes like dessert! 

the new #fuelyourbetter campaign is great! whatever you are doing, fuel better! 
since i don't own a car, i spend a lot of time on my bike. 
along with that, i am currently training for another duathlon {7 weeks to go!} 
running is pretty hard for me {my body feels so much better on the bike!} ; but i have been making an effort to hit the streets about 3 days a week to work on my speed! 

vega sent me a box of vega sport recovery protein in vanilla. 
 i will admit that i am much more of a 'chocolate' girl than 'vanilla' ; but i just love how vega isn't chalk-y! i have tried a lot of powders, and vega, by far, is my favorite!
{and hello, completely vegan!}

i think my favorite thing about the #fuelyourbetter campaign is that you can head here and actually customize your own fueling plan. i love it! our bodies do so much for us & its important that we understand its needs. i really love hot yoga, and i have learned that the fuel i need after an hour in a 105* yoga room versus what i need after completing a 3-hour bike ride isn't always the same! 

the vanilla flavor was a bit sweet for me, so i ended up splitting my packets in half! 
my favorite smoothie was almond milk + mixed berries + 1/2 packet of the recovery protein + banana + peanut butter! i also love the dark purple color of the smoothie! 
you can head here to check out all of the vega sport performance products!
thanks again to the awesome folks at vega & fit approach!

Friday, August 1, 2014

day 243 : kindness carousel {WEEK 19}

raise your hand if you want to be inspired by humans on the internet!

each week, i share some of the coolest links about kindness!
here we go:

1) looking for a new water bottle? grab this one & help save the world!

2) i try to read a lot about prison life & what is and isn't working in our prison system {i find it so fascinating!} npr did a story about an incredible program offered -----> life after 'life.'

3) I'm such a softy ; stuff like this makes me cry! {here}

4) i know its only august ; but bookmark this for the holiday season
5) another post about the holidays ----> a bit more giving, a bit less getting

6) you guys! my friend amanda wrote a cookbook! she's awesome & this book is great! go go go!
7) yay! 3,000 handwritten notes to cheer up strangers? LOVE IT!

8) want to spread MORE kindness? {on top of the be nice box, of course!} ; you can join the shine circle! 

anything to add?