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h4h - Volunteer Day: Habitat For Humanity

Volunteer Day: Habitat For Humanity

Since you all have been sharing your wonderful volunteer stories with us for the Kindness Matters Giveaway, we would like to share our latest volunteer experience with you, too. For our volunteer adventure, we decided to help out with a Habitat for Humanity house here in Minneapolis. It was a wonderful chance for us all to get together, learn something new, and get our hands a little dirty for a great cause.

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School Garden Program: Kindness Matters

We’ve been receiving your Kindness Matters Giveaway entries and are enjoying all of your heartwarming volunteer stories. So many of you are making our world a positive place to live in every single day. Below is a letter we received from our bud, Anne, sharing her experience with coordinating a garden program at her sons school: 

Hello!

I saw your blog post about volunteer week. I am the volunteer coordinator for my son’s elementary school garden program.  Our school garden teaches kids about healthy food, climate change, the eco system, sustainability  and of course organic gardening.  Each grade Pre-K through 5th grade has a lesson in the garden twice a year.

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First Grade planting lettuce in hoop houses in the Annex Garden, April 4th, 2013

As the coordinator I act as the liaison between the school and the sponsor Growe Foundation who provides garden support.  I organize lessons, work with teachers, work with the administration, coordinate with the PTA, I attend all of the lessons and work with the kids.

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This one is actually me, after a long work day with some Girl Scouts. We painted the flower boxes we are a posing with. (I’m on the left, sitting down & that’s my son in the middle)

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My son posing with my “Volunteer Tea” rose (my reward from the school for volunteering, lol) in front of the Annex Garden where the lettuce is planted.  We plant the lettuce on the East side of the school because we have such strong winds here in Colorado.  The lettuce is harvested by the 2nd graders and eaten as part of Rainbow Day inMay. Last year we had a record harvest of about 90 lbs!

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This is the garden last fall.  As you can see, this path is not even very accessible for kids with disabilities. 

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This is where the new path is to be laid.  (those yucky tiles are being replaced too)

Additionally, I help organize fundraisers and garden projects. Most recently I initiated the project to build a ADA accessible path through our main garden.  We partnered with Justin’s Nut Butter, PACT Apparel and raised funds through an Indigogo campaign.  I’m happy to say we reached our goal, and we will be installing the new path this spring as part of two work days, the first in participation with SeLebration as part of Project Yes, and the second my own Garden Work Day in which we have volunteers from Home Depot assisting alongside parents from the school.  

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The garden in bloom! 

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Btw, this is what it looked like before I took the reigns as the coordinator.  There had been no one in charge before me, and the program was in jeopardy of being dismantled.  (That’s not going to happen now! =) 


In addition to the garden, I also volunteer as part of the Green Team.  Basically I oversee the Waste Station during lunch in the school cafeteria one day a week.  I help kids sort their recycling  trash, and compost.  Since this program was initiated, our school has been honored as a Green Star school.

Parents and teachers often thank me for doing what I do, but why I really do it is because I believe that the way to leave a better planet for our youth, is to teach the youth to treat the planet better.  Plus, I love being involved in my son’s education by getting to know the teachers and students that are a part of a major part of his life =)

I hope you enjoyed my story!  

Sincerely,

Anne Spear

 

 Thank you, Anne, for making our world a happier place! 
By the way, buds, there are still more $25 coupon codes to be claimed,  so feel free to enter our Kindness Matters Giveaway and share your volunteer story and photo with us.
For more information on how to enter, please click here! 🙂

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Wrapping Gifts with Nature

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We’re LOVING Alisa Burke’s Wrapping with Nature gift ideas. Can you imagine receiving a present like this? So perfect! The best part is that all you need to accomplish such gorgeous gift wrapping is a paper bag and some outdoor goodies such as twigs, pine cones, or leaves – the only potential cost would be for string or paints, other than that, this wrapping project is free. sAweetness! 

 

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Twigs and branches can easily be altered and used in gift wrapping with paint or thread-
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1. Use embroidery floss and wrap it around a branch. 2. Wrap driftwood with colorful twine. 3. Pair sticks and branches with feathers and wrap together with thread or ribbon. 4. Paint twigs with stripes and dots. 5. Paint branches an unexpected color.
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Paint Leaves!

 

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Check out more awesome Wrapping with Nature gift ideas over at Alisa Burke’s blog Redifine Creativity

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Affordable Gifts that Ship for Less

Did you know you can get cheaper shipping at Soul-Flower.com if your total order weighs 13 ounces or less? True, true! Rule of thumb is, if it’s 13 ounces or less, it’s a First Class go!  Here are some rockin’ 13 ounces or less Soul Flower gifts of awesomeness that you can send to buds while saving!
 
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Top left: Jewelry, Pippi Over the Knee Socks, Patch it Up Mini Bag, Crazy Daisy Headband or Ragin’ Reggae Sunglasses
Basically, you just want to think small and light. Once you get the hang of thinking in terms of 13 ounces or less, the creative mailing possibilities are endless. If you’re shopping on a tight budget, shopping according to product weight will definitely prove helpful. If you shop Soul Flower according to cost, most every item in the $10-$25 gift range falls into the 13 ounces or less category, as well!
 
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Top left: Fraggle Fingerless Gloves, Glowing Mushrooms Organic Scarf, Heart of Iowa Handmade Soap, Oversized Beanie or a T-shirt like our Camp Give a Hoot
Quick Glance Ideas:
Hat or gloves
Scarf
Arm/leg Warmers
Socks
Lip Balm
Koozie
Tank top

If you mix and matched these items just right, you could even send 2 or 3 items and still qualify for the 13 ounces or less shipping! For even more gifting inspiration check out our Winter Lookbook: Give Light Give Love!

Will you be mailing out any Soul Flower presents this year? 🙂

your bud JacQ

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Beach Plastic Turned Art : Saving Our Oceans

The other day I was at the beach and a little girl of about 3 was tiptoeing quickly along the hot sand, she came to a sudden stop, squatted down and picked up a piece of garbage, “Trash, mommy!” she exclaimed, as she handed it over to be placed in the garbage where it rightfully belonged. I smiled at the cuteness of it, but as the thought settled in I began to realize how many people were at the beach; how many of us had just kept walking on by that very piece of garbage? Sitting nearby, I hadn’t even noticed it.

As a cancer sign, I have a soul that is drawn to water. It gives me a sense of peace and rejuvenation. So it bothers me to know that this problem of garbage in and on our earth’s beaches extends beyond that little piece of garbage at my local beach. Overall our oceans are in pretty bad shape.

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I recently discovered a couple, Richard and Judith Lang, that walk their local Kehoe Beach collecting plastica lot of it. Since 1999 they have been taking these pieces of plastic, cleaning them, and turning them into a myriad of creative art from murals to jewelry. Their main goal: to draw attention to the problem of water pollution, and the misuse of plastic, and push people toward cleaning up their beaches. 

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Here’s an excerpt from the Smithsonian Mag article, Making Beautiful Art out of Beach Plastic
“During our two hours on Kehoe, we find plenty of common items: white Tiparillo tips, old Bic lighters, shriveled balloons, corroded SuperBalls, nylon rope and shotgun wads: the frayed plastic cores of shotgun shells, expelled when a shot is fired. The Langs scour the tide line and search below the rocky cliffs with Zen-like concentration. In the past, diligence has rewarded them with everything from vintage toy soldiers to tiny red Monopoly houses. But finding plastic on the beach, even if it’s your main art material, is always bittersweet. Vastly outnumbering those rare treasures are single-use water bottles, sun lotion tubes, soft-drink lids—and tiny round pellets called nurdles.”
Read more of the article and view more pics here
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Richard and Judith Lang prove that every “little bit” of garbage we pick up can make a difference. It’s one less piece of plastic for a bird or fish to swallow, and one more step towards making our waters clean again.  Our world’s limited water supply has given us a lot of peace and sustenance, the least we can do is return the favor. 

Let’s make our oceans, lakes and rivers a cleaner work of art. 

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50 Ways to Stay Cool

With all the heat going on here lately, we feel like we’ve become professionals at keeping things cooool! We’ve learned from experience that there’s no need to get your new threads all sweaty – you don’t even need AC!

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Here’s our top 50 ways to beat the heat!
  • Keep a wet cloth in your cooler and place it across the back of your neck
  • Keep your water bottle with you and stay hydrated
  • Have an ice cream or  Popsicle!
  • Eat some ice cubes (share some with your pet!)
  • Place your feet in chilly water
  • On a cool day, plant a tree or two in your yard to have more shade in the future
  • Keep your beverage cold with a Freaker Knit Koozie
  • Run through a sprinkler
  • Make a slip ‘n’ slide in your backyard  
  • Stay in the shade

 

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  • Go to the BEACH!!
  • Put your hair up in a high bun and get it off your neck
  • Chop your hair for a new summer look?
  • Rock a hemp hat and keep the sun off your face
  • Water fight!!
  • Drink more water (Again!)
  • Sit right smack in front of the fan
  • Clip a mini fan onto your hip pack
  • Make Italian Ice
  • Set up a slumber party for your family in the cool part of your house
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  • Go to a water park
  • Make homemade shakes
  • Freeze fruit and eat it all chilly – it will taste as yummy as any Popsicle!
  • Run cold water over your wrists for a few seconds to bring down your body temp
  • Take a cold shower or bath
  • Go inside a shop or restaurant with AC to cool off
  • Read a book under a tree while lying on your favorite tapestry
  • Exercise in the early morning or late evening when the sun is no longer at its peak
  • No trees around? Shade your self with a fun umbrella
  • Wear white or light colored clothing, avoid black
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  • Keep aloe vera in your frig so it’s nice and chilly when you apply it
  • Wear hemp clothing; hemp provides more UV protection than average cotton
  • Put your towel in a plastic bag and place it in your freezer. It will feel awesome wrapped around you
  • Keep your sunscreen in your cooler at the beach
  • Recycle paper by folding it into a fan
  • Flap a Soul Flower catalog in front of your face
  • Exercise in a pool! Lift water weights, walk & swim laps without breaking a sweat
  • Make a variety of homemade beverages such as flavored ice teas and lemonade
  • Add mint, lemon or cucumber to your water for an even cooler taste (yup, water…Again!)
  • Avoid getting sunburn, that prickly hot feeling doesn’t help anyone feel cool
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  • Slow down. Real hot days are a time to take it easy; don’t over stress your body.
  • Keep your blinds shut to prevent the sun from heating your house
  • Don’t turn on house lights unless you absolutely have to
  • Place fans near windows to circulate air better
  • Avoid using your oven; make cold sandwiches and salads instead
  • Don’t layer your clothing
  • Heck, wear only your swimsuit all day if you can (but don’t forget SUNSCREEN!)
  • Have a party or movie a-thon in your basement
  • Play games in the pool all day like volleyball and badminton
  • Wear sandals to avoid overheating your feet
How have you been staying cool?

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Make Old T-Shirts Into Pillows

Did the pillows in our Spring/Summer 2012 catalog look familiar? Perhaps they reminded you of our tapestries and T-shirts? Because that’s exactly what they are! Our bud, Karly, took our slightly damaged Soul Flower tees and tapestries and upcycled them into the most adorable pillows for our photoshoot. 

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Tapestries and T-shirts turned pillows – oh my!

It started out with a simple daydream of an amazing indoor fort with tons of pillows sprawled about. Once we had that in our heads, there was no turning back…you just can’t forget an idea that cozy! So at first we were asking each other to bring whatever couch pillows we have at home, but then Karly pipped in with an even better idea – she could turn our old T-shirts into pillows!

Best part is, she says it’s easy, so you can do this very pillow upcycle in your own home! 
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Here’s a simple tutorial from Ruffles & Stuff that you can follow in order to turn your old Soul Flower favorites into pillows, too. 
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Better yet, two of you won’t even have to make your own – we’re giving a couple away!

One winner will receive our one-of-a-kind Take a Hike pillow, and the second winner will snag our handmade Be Yourself Pillow with butterflies.

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The designs on each of these pillows are Soul Flower originals and are hand drawn.

For a chance to win, simply  leave a friendly comment below sharing which pillow you would like & why. We’ll randomly select 2 lucky winners on Thursday June 14, 2012! 🙂

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Hemp History Week – Legalize Hemp

This week, June 4-10, is Hemp History Week! Hemp is an environmentally sustainable plant that can be used in a multitude of earth-friendly ways. Here at Soul Flower we believe this miracle plant Industrial Hemp is something that should be legalized to be grown in the USA. It can do so much, including Hemp Clothing, Hemp Accessories, Hemp Food and Medicine!

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Via: Dispelling Myths About Hemp

Hemp clothing, such as these stylish pieces, are a smart, eco-friendly choice. Hemp uses less resources, such as land and water, and unlike many other plants, hemp actually revitalizes the soil as it grows.  It’s also insanely durable, and is known to have three times the strength of cotton fibers!  And, did you know, hemp is UV and mold resistant? Yeah, it’s a pretty versatile, beneficial and amazing plant!  The environmental benefits of hemp go far beyond what I’ve listed above…if I get into it all now, this blog post would never end! 😉

If you are unfamiliar with hemp, the official Hemp History site is a great place to read up. They have info on the many ways hemp can be used, why it’s beneficial, and clears up the misconception about hemp and cannabis being one and the same; hemp is NOT a drug.

They also have great information on the history of hemp (of course!) which includes a helpful timeline. Did you know that in 1942 Henry Ford made an experimental car door using hemp fibers, which turned out to be ten times stronger than steel! I didn’t. Learning something new everyday here! 🙂

Happy Hemp Week, Buds! 

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How Our Grandmothers Taught us to be Green

“Did your grandma do anything green back in the day?” That’s what I asked my buds here at Soul Flower, and you know what? None of them said no.
Here’s the wonderful things they did say:
 
“Gramma has composted ever since I was a little girl. I used to always poke at the steamy mess with a stick. My grandparents also have organic gardens, and I remember going out to fill my ice cream bucket, picking and eating green beans as I went. I’d always come back to the house with dirt between my teeth! In their hometown of Fargo, they even supplied stores with their produce – Talk about keepin’ it local!” –Bri

 

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“My grandma grew all her own veggies & canned everything – she knew how to preserve all of her veggies so they would last throughout winter.” –Peggy
“She always had her homemade clothes on the line outside, and a garden. I know growing up my grandma had all sorts of duties on the family farm in Italy. Instead of plopping us in front of the TV, she’d read to us and take us for walks; luckily, she didn’t see TV as a way to distract us and keep us busy.” –Jenn

 

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Via
“Besides the usual carpooling, wearing hand-me-downs, and repurposing leftovers, one cool thing that my grandparents did at their house was make their basement energy-efficient. They built a wall and door to enclose a small corner of the basement where the TV and couches were, so instead of heating the whole chilly basement, you just heat that one little room!” –Leiah

 

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“She taught me that beauty can be taken from the fridge and cupboard. All that fancy spa stuff is already in my house. I hated the egg whites mask she’d make me wear; I’d have to wait till it dried and it would pull at my skin…Uck! Lol…but she insisted it would make my skin great! Now that I’m older, I’m happy to know that things such as honey, olive oil, sugar and then some can achieve just as much as all those cosmetic chemicals we’re told we need.” –Jacqueline

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“She ate a lot out of her very own garden. Freezing and canning to make things last, and sharing with us so we weren’t eating a tomato off some truck from far off locations. I remember going through the garden, picking and trying everything…it was all so good and we grew it!” – Brit

“My grandma has a garden and is all about home cookin’ – no fast food at her house! Her idea of vacation is close to home, usually camping or horseback riding, no cruises or long flights. Hey, you remember that one poster that said something about reusing and making do? That makes me think of her.” –Joe

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Yes, I do, Joe! And now I realize there were many posters like this, especially during the war.

See, our ideas of green being the new black, and all that, they aren’t new. Our grandmother’s were doing all of these things before we ever decided to call it cool. And they did it with that brand of hard work and dedication we should all strive for. This Mother’s Day, we just want our Grandma’s to know, we appreciate all you’ve done to keep Mother Earth beautiful, and we’re thankful you’ve taught us what amazing things the earth can give us.

 
We couldn’t “make-do” without you! Happy Mother’s Day! 

May your smile be gritted with dirt! 😉
Your buds at Soul Flower

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Hippie Tapestry Decor

Are you a Hippie Tapestry lover? Well we are! And we love finding inspiration on how to use  hippie tapestry decor in rooms and otherwise, so read on to find out more about how to decorate with a hippie tapestry and Free Your Room!

I never wake up and decide to spring clean. When a flower blooms, I do not get an inclination to run inside and dust…I just tend to recline outside and, well, stare aimlessly at the flowers. Not that I’m messy….not that I’m a neat freak, neither; I just don’t pencil in a spring cleaning, I guess.

Spring does, however, get me thinking about – Possibilities.

Sometimes our surroundings no longer feel like “us” and we need to spruce them up, and add that this-is-me flair to our places & spaces. Soul Flower’s hippie tapestries always get me thinking about alllll the possibilities my lil one bedroom apartment really has. Because tapestries have a way of adding freedom to the smallest of rooms…they just do; it’s in their bohemian spirit. Check out this hippie tapestry decor:

🙂Hippie Tapestry

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And while this living room doesn’t have a Soul Flower tapestry in it, I love!! the idea of FRAMING a tapestry! How boho-tastic is this room?? That print there does look a lot like our Mandala Tapestry, so it wouldn’t be too difficult to snag this look after all by taking a Soul Flower Mandala Tapestry and cutting the center of it to frame!

Mandala Hippie Tapestries: Mandalas!
The look below is a Soul Flower tapestry mixed with Christmas lights – this is a look I’m  going to mimic in my apartment with Soul Flower’s World Tree Tapestry! I heart, heart, HEART how it works as a headboard, and elongates the bedroom while giving it that needed pop of color.  
It’s just amazing how much style a single tapestry can add to a room.
I’m also a fan of tapestries used as curtains.
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Decorating a dorm room or bedroom with a variety of tapestries is even a really fun look! 

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Our dorm has: Into the Mystic as a curtain, Sanganeer as a couch cover, and canopied on the ceiling is our World Tree Tapestry.

So, who said you can only put one tapestry in a room?
 Lalalala,  caaaan’t hear ’em. 😉

I’ve even had customers write me and say they’ve sewn their hippie tapestry into a shower curtain! I haven’t been sent a picture of this, yet, but if any of you have decorated your home with one (or some) of our Soul Flower tapestries, I’d loooove to see it! Feel free to share your pics on our Facebook wall!

And, maybe your awesome hippie tapestry decor will convince me to do a little more spring cleaning than usual…Mmm…maybe. If anything, I’ll for sure add a tapestry to my mess! *high-five* to that. 😉

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Double Headband Magic Tutorial

 

Our new boho tube headbands are colorful, stylish, and multi-functional. Our bud Brit shows off how to rock ’em in her video, but here’s one more way to mix it up: Wear 2!
Two headbands in a knot style! How does one conjur such magic? you may be asking. Read on.
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Start with 2 of your fav headbands:

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Lay them out in oval shapes:

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Overlap those ovals so it looks like red, purple, red, purple:

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Pick up both sides of the bottom headband (purple):

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Start lifting that purple one:

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Grab the red in one hand, purple in the other:

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Pull them apart & you’re ready to wear!

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Wear it as a headband:

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Or use it as a necklace:

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Wear it off to the side:

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You can pull apart the fabric to better show off the print:

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I’d like to make a note that while 2 headbands knotted together in this way looks sweet, it does cause the headband(s) to fit more snugly against your head. Definitely tighter than one headband on its own. Be cautious and don’t squish your pretty little head! 🙂

PEACE!
Leiah

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Earth Day Every Day

Here at Soul Flower we try our very best to keep Mother Earth in mind…not just for Earth Day, but Every day. We keep the Kenyan proverb, “Treat the earth well. It was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children.” close to heart. After all, what we make of our world today, is the world we must live in tomorrow.

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Here are a few of the things we do to make Soul Flower and our earth a greener, kinder place. 
  • We carry eco-friendly clothing items, many of which contain organic cotton, recycled fibers and hemp.
  • We have an extensive line of Soul Flower Original designs using eco friendly & organic fabrics, that are printed in small batches in the USA with natural inks.
  • We support fair trade organizations to ensure that local artisans work in a healthy environment and receive a fair wage.
  • We carry many products made from repurposed and recycled items.
  • We offset our climate footprint through Carbon Fund to support renewable energy and reforestation projects that reduce CO2.
  • We ship all of our UPS packages using their Carbon Neutral Shipping Option which helps us offset the environmental cost of sending your goods from Minnesota.
  • We reuse paper, boxes and envelopes whenever possible. Don’t be surprised to see your items packaged in reused boxes or envelopes…remember reusing is even better than recycling!
  • We are Green Office Certified through the Greenline Paper Co., which means we use energy wisely, we recycle, we use recycled products & we are overall environmentally savvy.
  • We use Priority Mail boxes (which are post consumer recycled) and rarely add packaging materials. But, when we must, we reuse packing materials that have been sent to us by others. In the last 7 years we haven’t bought a single padded envelope or packing peanut.
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  • All day-to-day printing is done on recycled paper & we always use both sides.
  • We recycle all unusable paper, cardboard, newsprint, plastic, metal and glass.
  • We recycle unusable Tyvec envelopes through an agreement with Dupont, who uses them to make park benches and playground equipment.
  • We print our catalog using soy-based inks on recycled paper with at least 10% post consumer content.
  • We plant two trees for every one tree used in our catalog production through a collaboration with the Arbor Day Foundation.
  • We make regular donations to organizations working hard to further environmental efforts, including theIowa Natural Heritage FoundationGreen AmericaArbor Day Foundation, and CarbonFund.
If you have any other ideas that would help us do even better, please let us know! 

What are you doing for Earth Day this weekend? 🙂

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DIY Tin Can Planters

Every Earth Day I end up having memories of grade school. That day I’d bring my tin can to class, play in the dirt,  and plant some seeds. As I gave my seed its first watering, I truly believed my life was about to become a reenactment of Jack and the Beanstalk. I had the name covered, I snagged the seeds without trading a cow, and now this baby was going to grow into something my parents would be proud of. I’d check on my little tin can numerous times a day, hovering over it with a watchful and curious eye, expecting that it would burst through the dirt into a leafy explosion of awesomeness… any. moment. now. Even though it was never quick or theatrical, I was always thrilled the second I saw that itty-bitty bud poking through the dirt. Honestly, I still am. Checking out creative tin planters like these definitely get the green thumb itching: 🙂

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Print cans have amazing vintage appeal!
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Recycle thick paper for a funky, fun look .
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Get retro & put all those soda & beer cans to use.
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Let the kiddos paint their tin cans to happy brightness!
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Then they can hover over their own tin can planter, waiting for their beanstalk to arrive. 
Will you be planting anything green for Mother Earth this weekend? Anyone in your home making their tin cans? If so, I hope you’re feeling inspired; it’s so fun figuring out new ways to turn trash to treasure. 🙂
 

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Top 10 Places a Gypsy Soul Should Wander

I was born with a gypsy soul. For as long as I can remember my dad has called me his little gypsy girl. I think I’ve done well by that nickname. I’ve seen the sun rise over the Atlantic and set over the Pacific, and the gorgeous land that stretches in between. You know, I really love a good road trip, I think it’s my absolute favorite thing to do. In November 2010, I took the most epic road trip via Route 66. Just me and my friend Steph in a white convertible taking in some of the most amazingly weird sights our country has to offer. Everyone should take that trip once in their lifetime. Just take my word for it…

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In true gypsy spirit, I’m gonna share with you my top ten favorite places/sites to see. I’m always up for suggestions myself, so feel free to share some of your favorite places to gypsy off to. Before you go, be sure to get yourself a Gypsy Soul Tee from Soul Flower to wear on your travels. When Soul Flower added this item, I couldn’t believe it. If ever a tee was so apropos for me, it’s surely this one.

Cam’s Top Ten Places For All Gypsies To See In This Amazing Land Of Ours

1. Savannah, Georgia— an eclectic mixture of characters in a truly beautiful & historical setting. Pirates, Spanish Moss, & River Street, oh my! Added bonus: it’s home of the ‘Go Cup’, where else can you walk around downtown with a good adult beverage in your hand? The simply isn’t any other place like it.
2. Nashville, Tennessee— the bouncers downtown wear cowboy hats. True Story. Grab your cowboy boots & guitar and head down to Music Row.
3. San Francisco— standing on the corner of Haight & Ashbury felt like an amazing psychic connection to a time I wish I could have been around to see.
4. The Grand Canyon— a place to just go and be small and take it all in. We are a part of something beautiful here on earth.
5. Las Vegas— because if you’ve been, you know why…for better or worse. And, if you haven’t…there is no way I can properly explain it to you. I saw The Beatles Love Show by Cirque, and it was almost a religious experience.
6. Live Oak, Florida— come for Wanee at the Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park, it’s the Allman Brothers Music Festival held annually in April. Last year, we saw the Bros, Widespread Panic, Robert Plant, Steve Miller Band, Stephen Marley, Ween, …and, so many more talented musicians. This year, the Bros will be back headlining with Further, also among many others are Government Mule and Ray Manzarek of The Doors. As a lifelong Doors fan (credit to my dad), I am beyond psyched to see Ray. You can find me down front when he takes the stage…
7. Yasgur’s Farm— the only place on the list I haven’t been to yet, but it’s on my short list for upcoming road trips. I’m gonna go soak up some hippie vibes, who’s with me?
8. Big Sur, California— where the mountains meet the sea. Watching the sun set into the Pacific ocean was a moment I took in in complete solitude & silence…just blessed to have been a witness.
9. Seligman, Az— my favorite Route 66 destination. A small map dot (but, you’re gonna love the scenery on the way there!) serving as a lasting tribute to the Mother Road. Be sure to stay at the Route 66 Motel, eat at the Road Kill Cafe, and pop in at the Snow Cap for a real treat. On the menu? Dead Chicken. That’s what it says 🙂
10. The Rockies & The Appalachian Mountains…for compare & contrast. Okay, I definitely cheated a little on that. But, you really do have to see both.

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I haven’t spent much time in the northeast, but my gypsy husband, Berg has and he says NYC is another place to check out. Also, someday I’d like to see the Mall in Washington DC.

Don’t forget to share your travels with me in the comments, buds. And, grab your Gypsy Soul Tee from Soul Flower before you take some trips this summer. Maybe we’ll see you on the road 🙂

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Warm Threads Video: Scarf Tutorial

We have several stylish scarves here at Soul Flower, and they can be super fun and versatile once you know more than one way to wear them. So, we compiled a video of some of our favorite ways to keep those scarves looking sassy no matter what you’re wearing! 🙂

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Creative & Eco-Friendly Ways to Wrap

Sometimes wrapping gifts the old fashioned way can become a bit boring, and if you’re buying rolls and rolls of brand new wrapping paper, it isn’t exactly great for the environment, either. One quick fix is to grab old magazines, newspapers and all those gift bags you received last year. For our Holiday Lookbook, we mainly used recycled magazines and cut up paper bags, and it really added some festive color under the tree. It’s also a  wonderful way to make your gifts feel more personal.

 

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Outside of using recycled paper to wrap gifts, why not get creative and wrap a gift inside of a gift? It’s certainly an easy way to get your bud super excited (you know, that: WhoooooA!- I -want- the- outside -of- that- package- soooo- bad- what- could- possibly -be- IN -IT!?!  kind of excited)!

A few simple ways to accomplish this over-the-top enthusiasm:

Use a belt instead of ribbon

 

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Wrap the present in a scarf

 

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Use a Grateful Dead Bandanna for smaller presents, we tied this one shut with hemp twine and added a Soul Flower button for an extra special touch. 

 

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Mudmee Tie-Dye Skirts work great for wrapping larger gifts, and the elastic band ends up looking like a funky ribbon on top. If you have a super huge present, try using a tapestry (who wouldn’t flip over a tapestry wrapped present?)

 

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Soul Flower Coolies are just the right size for small jewelry boxes

 

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Long socks, gloves, or arm warmers make for super cute bows. 
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And, Mukluks make for awesome stockings; a lotta goodies can fit in there!

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DIY Upcycled Magazine Wreath

One of our favorite Do It Yourself crafts this holiday season is the Magazine Wreath. Not only is it easy, but it looks really freakin’ cool! Trust me; none of us are Martha Stewart here, so if we can manage to make this wreath, anyone can. 😉

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Restoring a True Travel Happy Bus

Owning a Volkwagen bus, the iconic ‘hippie bus’, is a blast, buds! I own four, a ’79 Bay & a ’67 Kombi will be the ones I keep, but I also have another Bay & another Kombi as parts buses. Basically, I operate on a happy hippie bus vibe. It’s a good place to be.

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One thing I can tell you about having a Vw bus… everybody has a story to share of a bus they owned, or someone they know owned, and those stories are usually a hoot to hear. Mainly because Vw buses are finicky little creatures with distinct personalities and particulars. It’s always an adventure in a Vw bus! Another thing is that Vw owners are one eclectic group of peeps. I’ve been introduced to some really flipped-out characters along the way. There’s a strong possibility I’m a flipped-out character myself 😉

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If owning a bus is a labor of love, restoring one is a test of endurance. I’ve been working on my ’79 Bay for almost two years. I wanted to be part of the entire restoration. My hands have sanded every square inch of my bus. I was part of the engine removal from my parts Bay. See, that sounds easy enough, but what it really means is that I was crawling all around underneath it and even jumping up and down on a crowbar at one point! I’ve been greasy and I’ve been tired, but I am still in love with that bus.

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That’s why the Travel Happy Bus tee is perfect for me! When it popped up on the New! tab, I just laughed out loud. Soul Flower, you just get me….you really do. The tee is made from organic cotton, which makes me happy. It is a soft tee and feels great when you’re wearing it. The color is natural, not a bright white. And, just like the real thing, the Happy (hippie) Bus tee is a conversation starter. People smile when they see you wearing it and they want to know where you got it!

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If you’ve caught the bus vibe and just have to have one of your own, my advice to you is to check out Craigslist and the mecca of all things Vw…thesamba.com. Come on and take a free ride, buds! Peace!!

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Growing Up Organic

My love for these little onesies runs deep. Of course the messages on them are right up my peacenik alley. As a dyed-in-the-wool pacifist who wants her kiddos to spread love not war, I am proud to have my baby wear her “Pick Flowers, Not Fights” message. And that’s saying a lot for me because in general I am not a fan of clothing with words, but this is an exception indeed. And the “Let It Grow” onesie is just too sweet. If there is one thing babies do like crazy (aside from poop) it’s GROW!

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Sometime baby onesies are paper thin or rough and poorly sewn. I guess people figure because your kiddo will grow out of it so quickly, why bother? Not these though! The fabric is thick and soft and it’s very well made overall. It’s the sort of onesie that will take a lot of abuse as my baby scooches around the floor and will still have plenty of life left to pass the love on to the next little bud.

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~Cindy

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Bonnaroo Bound: Festival Packing Tips & Picks

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Woohooooo!! Bonnaroo is this weekend! Got your tickets ready and your bags packed?

Packing always seems like it’s going to be so much easier than it is; damn tricky bags and their size limits! But it doesn’t have to be so bad. Considering all the sweet festivals that will be making this summer amazing, we figured we’d help you out with a few Soul Flower picks that are perfect for packing! So, here goes:

You’re going to want to bring a hat to protect yourself from the hot rays of the sun. Better yet, you’ll get to see the bands way better without the sun making you all squinty-eyed. Soul Flower has quite a few hats to choose from, but the Wander Trucker Hat and the Follow Your Bliss Corps Hat are our latest faves!

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They’re the kind of accessories that match just about anything, so you won’t have to worry about matching a hat to this or that outfit. One hat and a whole weekend of lookin’ good wear sounds wonderful to us!

The best outfits to pack are wrinkle free, because it really won’t matter what weird ways you choose to pack; you can roll ‘em up, ball ‘em up, and shove ‘em any which way to make room. Either way, these clothes are going to look as good coming out of that crammed suitcase as they would your closet.

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Sanya’s Scarf Dress is great since it doesn’t hold wrinkles, whereas, our new Spring Flowers Dress is ideal because the material already has a slightly “crushed and crinkled” appearance.

Definitely don’t forget to bring a bag! You’re going to want one on you at all times. Our newest fave is the Dove Messenger Bag, rain or shine these peaceful birds like to party! This particular bag falls right at the hip and has adjustable straps, but if you’re looking for a different style, we have several bags to choose from! Just be sure it’s large enough to carry water bottles, ponchos, and sunscreen.

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But, let’s be honest; camping for any festival isn’t the cleanest affair. We get muddy, sweaty, and all kinds of dirty, which is why we’d recommend our Prairieland Herbs Solid Perfumes. Another plus side to solid perfume is that you won’t have to worry about spillage, and the teeny-tiny things don’t take up any space. Our solid perfumes come in a variety of sensual scents, and every single one of them will save you from the smellies.

 

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Just keep the music funky, right?  😉

And whatever you do: DON’T FORGET TO BE COMFY!! You’re there to make memories and get your groove on! – Nothing will ruin that faster than wearing the wrong thing! It’s hard to throw just a few Soul-Flower picks at ya here, because they’re all so darn comfortable.  But, since we must, our festively comfy picks for packing are: The Native Tank, Men’s Cargo Shorts, Girls Wanna Have Fun Capris, and the Milkshake Maxi Dress.

These picks will definitely keep you happy whether you’re jumping around or lounging around.

Most importantly, for the sake of comfort, avoid getting a wicked burn by slathering on the sunscreen, and be sure to stay hydrated and drink lots and lots of water!

 

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Overall, buds, our best advice for Bonnaroo, or any other festival, is to get lost in the music, smile too much, take too many pictures, and have the time of your life!

~What’s your favorite Soul Flower item to pack for festivals? We’d love to know!~

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