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you know i love me some minnesota nice.

[update: day 2 of my no sugar detox is going well. i seem to have adapted quickly to the lack of simple carbs (no headache today), although the homemade applesauce i had for the recommended snack might have had some sugar in it. however, i am still really wanting cheetos.]

i don’t know how many times i’ve heard that phrase, “minnesota nice”. probably a million. it’s meant to describe how hospitable the residents of this darling state are. and you know what? as much of a cliche as it is, it’s pretty spot on.

strangers here are incredibly nice. they hold doors for you, they make buses wait for you when you’re sprinting in the rain, they chase after you when you drop your sunglasses in a restaurant, and they’re not doing it for any other reason other than it’s what they’d want someone to do for them.

families here are close. i have trouble scheduling time with friends because all of us are too busy hanging out with our families and our significant others’ families. and that’s amazing, to know so many people who are still close with the families they grew up with.

in our new house, we’re surrounded by some wonderful older neighbors who have lived here for years. when i mentioned to them that Mister Man travels a lot, they all gave me their phone numbers so that i could call them “if i ever got scared and needed help”. i mean…come on…is that not the best thing ever? 

and today, a business launched here in the twin cities that is as “minnesota nice” as you can get. the “be nice box” is a subscription box service that exists to spread the nice all over the place. i connected with the mastermind of this “be nice box” on twitter some time ago, and when she asked for help, i told her i would love to help her spread the word.

she’s here today sharing the story of how the “be nice box” got started. read on and go check it out!


hey everybody!

my name is diana.

can we be friends?!

i live in minneapolis, ride my bike, talk about harry potter a lot & really love being nice to people!

see, i run a blog called a year of minnesota nice.’ i started it after the boston bombings in april, with a goal to complete one random act of kindness each day, for an entire year.

so far, i have completed almost 120 acts ; its been such a blast!

you can see a few of my favorite days here, here, here, here & here.

last month, i left my 13-year career in education, *knowing* i wanted to do something new with my life & time. i had no idea what that was, but i knew i was ready.

since i have started the kindness blog, there have been FOUR other women who have started their own blogs about kindness {so awesome}. you can see them here, here, here & here. i have been SO incredibly inspired by the blogs, emails & tweets that others have been sharing! its been so amazing to watch strangers come together, do good deeds & make the planet better.

i kept asking myself ‘how can i use this blog & this platform and turn it into a career i will love?!’

one night, i was out walking my {super naughty} pup & the idea hit me!

and the be nice box was born!

do you want to know more?!

{say yes!!}

what is it? 

the be nice box is a monthly subscription service encouraging YOU to spread your own kindness!

there are 1, 3, 6, & 12-month & gift subscriptions available!

what do i get?

each month, the box will center around a theme & all contents will be a surprise until you open the box.

but, each month you will receive a list of 13-15 fun, awesome & affordable ideas to practice kindness in your area. along with the list, you will also find 5-7 materials, items & handmade products to help you fulfill some of those tasks. and finally, each box will contain a cool, handmade surprise for YOU!

how much does it cost?

a one-month subscription is only $12! 

you can get 3 months for $33 or 6 months for $62.

a 12-month subscription is only $120 {thats like getting two months FOR FREE!}

the best part?

$1 from EACH box sold will be donated to charity.

{each month, the theme & the charity will align. that way, we can make impact, after impact, after impact!}

also, shipping is ALWAYS FREE! there are no hidden fees or marketing tricks!

the price you see is the price you pay!

where can i sign up?

im glad you asked 😉

you can head over here to sign up!

please note : for the first few months, there will be a limited number of boxes available.

if the november boxes sell out, there will be a waiting list for the december box!

how can i stay connected?

lets be friends!

website // twitter // facebook // instagram // pinterest

i love social media & really believe that we can connect with folks we wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to meet!

other things to note : 

the boxes will ship around the 25-28th of october, so they will be on your doorstep by november 1st!



thirsty thursday: blueberry basil gin spritzer.

it’s the last thirsty thursday of july today! i’m back over at trisha’s spot with a delicious (if i do say so myself) hendrick’s gin cocktail. i thought it was only right to finish this series the way we started. with hendrick’s. hop on over to her blog for the recipe!

have a happy day! (click here, here and here for our other thirsty thursday recipes…)

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thirsty thursday: boozy cherry limeade.

thank you everyone for the awesome well-wishes on the new home! we are pretty excited and have started rolling up our sleeves to get the place ready to move into next week. i’ll be taking photos and blogging here and there, but again, need a little help from my friends to keep this baby alive and well.

it’s that time again…thirsty thursday! trisha’s back with maybe one of the best looking drinks i’ve ever seen. cherries, lime, booze. summer nectar is what that is. thank you for the awesome recipe lady, i’m thinking you might need to open a shop that focuses solely on cupcakes and cocktails. i’ll volunteer to test all your recipes! 


It’s no secret that we take cocktails pretty seriously here in Wisconsin. One drink we take almost as seriously as the Green Bay Packers is the Old Fashioned. In fact, here in Madison we even have a restaurant called The Old Fashioned, which serves the best of Wisconsin eats and drinks. Think Friday night fish fry, pickled eggs, bratwursts, prime rib, local beers, and of course, Old Fashioneds. Where am I going with this, you ask?

Well, the key to the perfect Old Fashioned is the muddling. And I just happen to love this part of cocktail making so I incorporated it into a tart, summery beverage, just for you!
cherry limeade

This drink is pretty customizable to your own personal taste. I went more on the tart side of things, but you can certainly make it as sweet or sour as you’d like by adding more sugar, more lime, more bitters, etc.

boozy cherry limeade

Boozy Cherry Limeade

4-6 cherries, stems and pits removed
-I used Bing cherries, but use any type you’ve got. Even go with maraschino if you want this super sweet!
2-4 lime wedges
a few splashes of bitters
-again, as much or as little as you’d like- I used 1 heaping teaspoon
vodka/gin/rum of choice
sparkling water/club soda/Sprite

Place fruit, sugar, bitters, and a splash of sparkling water/club soda/Sprite in a cocktail glass and muddle until cherries are pretty mashed up. At this point you can strain the juice into a new glass if you prefer to have your drink without the chunks of fruit.
Fill glass with ice.
Add booze. 1-2 ounces. 3 if you’re having a rough day.
Top with lemonade and another splash of sparkling water/club soda/Sprite.

Drink it up!

*While I don’t mind a few chunks in my drinks, I did end up straining my drink after cherries clogged my straw within the first few sips. To each their own!


I’d especially like to raise a glass of this goodness to Erin and Mister Man in celebration of their new home! Thanks for having me again lady, and welcome to the world of homeownership!

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working on the fifth of july.

today i had to go to work. and i love my job, but gosh dang it if it doesn’t feel like everyone in the world was on vacation! and gosh dang it if i did not want to be anywhere but the office joining them.

BUT! all is not lost. i got loads of work done. i have three barbecues this weekend to look forward to, along with celebrating the engagement of a dear friend (congrats jess and chris!). i think one day of work before the weekend is a small price to pay for all that fun, don’t you? exactly, me too.


in other fun news, i did a little piece for stephanie over at the lipstick gospel today. she does a series called “the loveliest things”, and i was able to contribute my loveliest things for this friday’s edition. pop over for a visit if you’d like to see them. (she has an amazing eye for photo selection, and i have to say, i’m so partial to the ones she chose for my piece)


i promise that i will be posting more original content here towards the end of the month, and i will also be shaking the dust off the old camera so you kids can have something nice to look at around this place. i know that those of you who follow me on instagram (@hooleywithaz) are probably getting sick of seeing my instagrams being recycled on the blog.

i’m not completely sure what the point of this little post was, other than to say have a happy weekend and i like you guys a lot and thank goodness for barbecues on the weekend to make a girl feel better about working on july 5th. thanks for sticking around.



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