Thursday, September 25, 2014

day 268 : be a superhero! {NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH}

hi everybody!
i have been absent for almost a week! the fall boxes start shipping on monday & i launched a BRAND NEW product today ; so i have been pretty swamped!

lets talk about the new box! 
i have joined forces with Give Together to bring you the Kindness Superhero Box
woo hoo!
{seriously, so pumped about this!} 

each box contains a list of family-friendly good deeds, four tangible items to make kindness happen, and a felt superhero cape for the kids! 
the goal of this box is to bring families together and to teach children at a young age how fun & awesome spreading kindness can be! 

you can check out the listing HERE on the website for more details!
also, we are donating money from each box sold to Give Together! they work hard in the Bay Area to organize and facilitate family-friendly volunteer opportunities! i love that we are able to help them reach MORE families!

right now, we have a limited number of boxes available for pre-order! the price will increase on the 5th & the boxes start shipping on the 6th of october! once you grab a box, you also have the option of ordering an extra cape or two!

Friday, September 19, 2014

day 267 : kindness carousel {week 23}

happy friday!
i hope you had a great week!
i have been super busy getting ready for the fall boxes, which ship next week. i am also launching a brand new kindness box for FAMILIES next wednesday! annnd, we have been getting our final workouts in before our duathlon TOMORROW! i am suppose to get in one more brick today, but i think i am going to go for a light run and an hour of hot yoga instead!

lets talk about kindness!
below are some of the best, most inspiring links around the web this week!

1) oh my gosh, you guys! if anybody is adding Daphne to their 'holiday gift buying guide,' please buy her this snood! if you followed me online this past winter, you know that her ears rip open and bleed EVERY SINGLE TIME we go outside! they got so bad, that we have to wrap her head in a turban each time we go out! this thing is awesome! and hello, she will look like a giraffe!

2) great post from braid creative about the differences between riches, wealth & success

3) when it comes to things pop culture-related, i am consistently out of the loop! i don't own a car {no radio} or a tv {so, I watch shows that everybody tweeted about 5 years ago!} i just heard 'happy' for the first time two weeks ago and really love it! this version done by the Deaf Film Camp is incredible! i have watched it many, many times & i tear up each and every time!

4) LOVE this article about the first Somali-American Police Liaison Officer in St. Paul! the article touches on cultural and political climates! i really admire Kadra Mohamed, for keeping tradition {wearing her Hijab & speaking her native language} and for breaking barriers {wearing pants and holding close contact with men}. one of my 2015 goals is to meet with 52 interesting people and she is totally on my list! 

5) maybe you've already seen this article? ---> this woman searched for 11 years to locate the people in a photo she found at Ground Zero on September 11th! not only does the story have a happy ending, but her perseverance and kindness over ELEVEN years is admirable!

6) YES! girls on bikes! ---> 21 photos of what REAL women bikers look like! {i would love to have seen more diversity ; other cultures, women of color ; along with older women!}

7) speaking of real women ; LOVE this video of Lupita Nyong'o & Elmo talking about loving your skin!

8) if you live in MN, i highly recommend you follow Lost Dogs of MN on FB. even if you don't own a dog ; they are doing great things & are such a great resource! the lovely folks at Sidewalk Dog recently went behind the scenes with Lost Dogs!

9) and finally, as a lifelong baseball fan, this gatorade commercial had me bawling! such an incredible farewell to one of the greatest ball players of all time! i was reading an article about their filming process & Jeter picked the music and helped with the idea. he really did just get out of the car and start walking. & the reactions you see from the kids & the fans is completely genuine!
also {soapbox}, with all the crummy and irresponsible behaviors we have been seeing from athletes lately, i am SO thankful to have followed the careers of athletes like Derek Jeter! this guy led by incredible example for the past 20 years. as a twins fan, i know i am not allowed to love the yankees, but he is what an athlete should aspire to! ;)

have an awesome weekend! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

day 266 : talking about LIFEline Fashion & empowering women around the world

hey everybody! 
today we are talking about one of my favorite organizations! 
if you joined us for the april be nice box ; you received a hand-sewn canvas coffee sleeve from the folks at LIFEline fashion! if you live near a whole foods, you will be able to find their products or you can check them out here.

LIFEline is based in austin, texas and employs over 400 women in kenya. the women make hand-beaded bracelets, coffee sleeves, reusable tote bags and more! all of the women receive livable, competitive wages, safe working conditions, health care for themselves & their families and their children are able to attend school! many of the women have children with special needs, so a major benefit of this organization is the ability to bring these women together ; to create support and community! also super awesome, is that ALL of the materials the women use are sourced locally {in kenya!} that means that not only is LIFEline changing the lives of the mums, but they are also helping to build jobs & grow the local economy!
i know i have posted this article before, but this is a great piece from NPR about what life is like for families of special need children in kenya! 

a few weeks ago, LIFEline held a contest on instagram {you can follow me here} & i WON! i already have a few coffee sleeves, a reusable bag & a wallet that i have purchased over the past couple of years, but hello, how exciting! for my prize, they sent me a grab bag FULL of awesome products! 

i think the shirt {which they don't sell in the shop} & the bracelets are my favorite! both bracelets are SO beautiful ; the detail is awesome & the band is adjustable, which works for me & my tiny wrists! also, they included two wallets ; one i know i will gift to a friend & the other {the one with the elephant} will replace my old one! the 'save the wino bag' is so clever! blake bought a few of them to gift his coworkers!  

if you are looking for a gift with a greater meaning {hello, handmade AND helping to lift families out of poverty!} ; i highly recommend LIFEline! also, last winter they had holiday stockings {the ones you hang, not the ones you wear} for sale & i didn't purchase any. but this year, my plan is to grab one for myself, blake AND daphne! be on the lookout for those!

and again, i want to thank LIFElife for the sweet grab bag! how exciting to win all this gear that holds such a great mission!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

day 265 : {for the Harry Potter SUPER FANS!} the complete filmmaking journey!

happy tuesday! 
todays post is for the HP fans out there! 
if my friends were given 10 words to describe me, i think that *most* would use 'harry potter' to define me! i really love harry potter! i read the series front to back once a year, i watch the movies on a rotating basis and the characters give me a sense of security and love! in april, blake & i actually went down to orlando to visit the harry potter theme park {you can see my recap here

a couple months ago, i happened to see someones retweet about a 'super-flash sale deal' that amazon was holding! they were selling this amazing set for $130 {with free shipping!} when the 'page to screen' set was originally released, it was priced at $1,000 {HELLO, a thousand dollars!} it was reduced to $600 {thats what its priced at today, too} but for a couple of hours on ONE day this summer, it was marked down to $130!
blake and i decided that he would buy it for me as an early {early} christmas // birthday gift! 

the set arrived a week later ; and OH MY GOSH, so incredible! also, the box weighed 45 pounds! the fedex guy had to actually bring it INTO my apartment! 

the set contains eight books ; including an exact replica of 'the monster book of monsters.' the book opens up and is hollow, so you can actually put things inside! there is an entire book with sketches and descriptions of every single creature from the books and shows how they were created for film. another book is solely dedicated to every single portrait in the movies. seriously, someone painted every single one & the detailed artwork is in the book.
another book is about costumes, and yet another is about every single graphic design label, poster or print from the movies. the 'daily prophet' issues are shown in detail, as well as the products from the Weasley's joke shop. also in the graphic design book, we see every 'educational decree' from the fifth movie.

the set is priced at $600 on amazon, so its crazy for me to recommend someone to purchase it {even as a huge fan, paying $150 would have been my limit!}. but as we are going into the holidays, i suggest watching the price & grabbing it, if it goes down!

this set is really incredible and there are more books & details i didn't even touch on! for any huge harry potter fan in your life ; these books are a must-see! i read the entire 'page to screen' book {the huge blue one with the castle on the front} over the course of a few weeks, but haven't read all of the others cover-to-cover yet. {i have read a few & flipped through most}

tell us: which harry potter book // movie is your favorite? 
{the 7th book for me is just SO amazing & i think my favorite movie is part 2 and/or 'the half-blood prince.' 

Monday, September 15, 2014

day 264 : September Be Nice Box REVEAL

theme // for the littles {all good deeds are ways to help kids, or kids at heart, spread kindness}
gift // {each month, the subscriber receives as small gift as a thank you for making the planet a better place} a super-tasty vegan chocolate bar from meadowlands chocolate

this months good deeds // 
1) back to school! spend $5 or $10 on school supplies ; either bring to a school or drop off in-store
2) embrace your inner child and play on a playground! 
3) LOVE THIS! use your imagination & play with a friend // INCLUDED matchbox theatre
4) draw a hopscotch grid or write a fun message on the sidewalk
5) teach someone a silly knock-knock joke
6) gift or leave a coloring book and crayons for your favorite artists // INCLUDED crayons and mini-coloring book
7) offer a free night of babysitting or petsitting
8) team up with your favorite kid {or kid at heart} and make some cards. you can send them to a school or children's hospital // INCLUDED card kit
9) leave a few pennies next to a fountain ; always encourage the dreamers! 
10) remember your favorite childhood book? buy a copy and donate it ; school, shelter, doctors office or little free library
11) foster creativity // INCLUDED paper dolls
12) see a parent with their arms full? hold the door open. better yet, do this for EVERYBODY!

items included in this months box // 
matchbox theatre from leafcutter designs // crayons from little doodlers // coloring book from the tiny totem // card kit from kreation krate // paper dolls from todd parr {he's my favorite author!} 

throughout the month, i will be sharing more on each awesome artist from this months box! 
if you want to join us for the fall box {remember, we moved to a quarterly format!} ; you can sign up here

also, be sure to use #benicebox to share all of your photos on social media! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

day 263 : DOG BONES! supporting local with Barkley's Bistro

one of my favorite things about being a small business owner is having the opportunity to meet & support other business owners who are doing awesome things! 
last may, in the 'feathers & fur' box, we featured dog biscuits from barkley's bistro! the owners are awesome & its been so fun watching their business grow!

this year, they had a booth at the MN state fair, we knew we had to stop by! 
we bought daph a big bag of blueberry & greek yogurt treats AND a bag of beer treats! the beer bones contain spent grains from a great local brewery!
you guys, she LOVES these treats! i see that they aren't available in their shop yet, but when they are, we will be sure to restock!
 this might be one of my favorite pictures of all time. look at that patient paw waiting for her treat! ;) 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

day 262 : the great minnesota get together {and ALL of the photos}

are you from MN? 
if so, you know the Mn State Fair is a BIG DEAL! millions of people attend every year! people basically spent entire days eating their way through the fair ; so much food and the people-watching is incredible!
this is completely made from grains ; isn't it incredible? 

blake & i go each year. usually, we bike 8 miles to one of the shuttle busses, spend the day walking around, bus back & then ride home! 
the state fair isn't known for being super vegan // vegetarian-friendly, so we don't spend much time with the food! 
below are some of my favorite photos from our 2014 state fair experience! 

we ate : cinnamon almonds // pretzel breaded cheese curds // sweet marthas chocolate chip cookies // apple turnover // risotto poppers // falafel

every year, we spend the bulk of our time in the eco-experience building. so many great resources, companies & exhibits, reminding us to focus on the 'green' part of our lives! 

tell us : do you go to your state fair? did you go this year?