Stories

Tree Houses for “Grown-ups”

 

Tree House

A tree house, a free house,
A secret you and me house,
A high up in the leafy branches
Cozy as can be house.
A street house, a neat house,
Be sure and wipe your feet house
Is not my kind of house at all–
Let’s go live in a tree house.
-Shel Silverstein

 
Via


Via

Dedicated to our photographer, Jenn, whose daydreams are kept in high up leafy branches

 
To making tree houses happen!
JacQ 

Helping the Arbor Day Foundation

Did you know that the Soul Flower catalog is printed with soy ink on 90% recycled materials? Each year we take strides to make our online boutique more eco-friendly than the year before. One of those ways is by helping out the Arbor Day Foundation. For every tree used to print our catalog , 3 trees are planted.

This year the Arbor Day Foundation sent us a wonderful email informing us that our donations have been used for planting 2,000 Jack pine trees in Pere Marquette State Forest in Northwestern Michigan  to improve the habitat for the endangered Kirtland’s warbler.

Via

This little birdy makes its home in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan. It is often referred to as the “bird of fire” because, oddly enough, its survival depends on the burning of its native Jack pine forest to nest, but since natural forest fires are often suppressed, the Kirtland’s have been placed in jeopardy. Back in 1971 only 201 pairs of these warblers remained. Luckily, due to habitat preservation through the planting of Jack pine trees, the population has grown to more than 1,800 males, and the Kirtland’s may soon be removed from the endangered species list! 🙂

We’ve been happy to help, and if you love your trees and feathered friends as much as we do, you can help too: http://www.arborday.org/takeaction/index.cfm

Peace,
Your Buds at Soul Flower

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

“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

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

“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

“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

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

An Elephant Never Forgets

It is said that elephants never forget. Is this true? A better question may be: How would we know?? Did some perky pachyderm spill the beans one day? I don’t know, but that saying has stuck with me my whole life.

Adrienne (our newest Karma Krewe member!) =)

My love for elephants began early in life, my mom and I used to visit Packy (a longtime resident) at the Portland Zoo when I was young. I remember eating a slice of a giant sized cake on Packy’s birthday in the early 80’s.

Another great time was when my dad took me on a camping tour of Oregon when I was about 7. On that trip I had the opportunity, at a wildlife park, to take a ride on an elephant. Being that up-close with such a magnificent creature really touched me. Feeling its rough, dry skin and gazing into those big, soulful eyes…well, I fell in love right then. I have had an ever-growing collection of elephant things since then. Everyone knows I love them and I get many as gifts.

That trip and those times with my parents are some of the greatest memories of my life. To me that’s what “elephants never forget” means – it reminds me to never forget the special times in life. I hold on tight to remembrances of my past. I can taste my Grandma Rosie’s famous strawberry jam and can still feel the wind from riding with my Grandpa Jack in his ’64 Mustang convertible to the old country store for ice cream. Many long summer afternoons were spent with my cousins running around the hills of Astoria, building forts in the woods of my grandparents’ property, and hitting the arcade & beach in Seaside.

One summer I drove cross-country with my grandparents and met many of my distant relatives in the tiniest town of Birchtree, Missouri. I got to see the cabin my Grandfather was born in and the schoolhouse he attended. I remember how hot it was that summer and the endless hours of AM country radio as my Grandma sang along.  Another great trip was when my family moved from Oregon to Michigan the summer I was twelve; many fun memories were made on that long drive, the best being when we took old-timey photos in Wyoming.

For me these memories are magical, a glimpse into the happiest and most carefree days of my life.  They keep me focused on my family and remind me that the most important things surround me every day…my home, husband, children, family and community.  Now that I’m a parent I am very aware that every day we are creating these same sacred memories for my children. Extraordinary moments in an ordinary day can be the most special times of all. I remind myself often that “elephants never forget” and neither will I. I keep my life and heart open to accept the gifts offered to us every day.

Wearing my wonderful clothes from Soul Flower keeps me in a positive, grounded state of mind and reminds me to live comfortably, naturally and with a conscience. These are the days that will stick with me forever. I choose to live with moxie and style and make the most of every day!

As the seasons are changing and the sun is warming the Earth, I encourage everyone to pause for a moment each day and appreciate the memories you are making. Share a moment with someone special – dance in the rain, splash in a puddle, take joy in the small moments in life and by all means, live like an elephant and Never Forget!

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Happy Birthday, Janis Joplin!

Today, January 19, is Janis Joplin’s 69th Birthday!! We will never forget her unique, strong spirit, her soulful sound, or her inspiring style.

And if you’re in the Minneapolis area, come out to The Cabooze for a tribute to the life and music of Janis Joplin, Saturday January 21 to party it up!!

Rock on out! Happy Birthday, Janis! 


 

What T-shirts are Telling Tweens

These are the words that come to mind when I think of a young girl:

These days, I step into a mall and wonder where all the young girls have gone. A tween should not be a rude, sassy, sexualized t-shirt paired with a mini skirt, and hot pink lipstick; and I don’t think this is a case of being old fashioned. It seems like this shouldn’t even be up for debate, whether tarting up a child with negativity is right or wrong. Kids are starting to look like little Bratz dolls, and it’s weirding me out. But, that’s just me. I was born in 1984. Growing up, all of my favorite outfits were the playful ones: princess-like night gowns, skirt-pants, black mary janes, bibs, tie-dye, and let’s not forget, anything that sparkled. I wore makeup when I played dress-up. As a tween I was wearing baggy Disney t-shirts, and I concerned myself with trying to hide the fact that I still liked to play with Barbie dolls; I had no anxieties whatsoever about my level of sex appeal. No tween girl should.

Take for example Urban Outfitters “Eat Less” T-shirt. Thankfully, due to blogger outrage, this shirt was pulled, but the fact that it was being marketed and sold to anyone is troubling. What kind of educational message is a shirt like this giving a young girl; a girl just beginning to acknowledge her reflection in the mirror?  Sadly, there are many shirts out there with messages similar to this that aren’t being pulled; there are more trendy, mean t-shirts out there than I’d care to count.

So, when did we start forgetting how to let kids be kids? Innocent, playful, goofy, optimistic, kids

🙁 The irony of it all.

What we wear says so much to others. On a no shower and sweats day I would prefer not to believe this, 😉 but it’s true. Our clothes are like a public letter, so we might as well invest our time (and money) in some positivity.

Totally Tween Girl

That being said, kids have such worthwhile, colorful, cheery messages to send! Why on earth would we want to sabotage that? One thing that makes me super proud to work for Soul Flower is that our clothes have such upbeat, encouraging messages. The Soul Flower Originals teach us to embrace ourselves, the Earth, confidence and happiness. There’s no negativity here! Just simple messages of “Be Yourself,” “Take it Easy,” and “Love your Momma.”

Kids absorb things like sponges, so why feed them such rude unhealthiness? It’s completely unnecessary! I think it’s time to take back innocence and playfulness, and encourage little girls to be just that – little girls. No padded bras. No provocative clothes. No more mean messages! It’s time for the good vibe. After all, these little girls will grow to be women someday; let’s teach them to be strong; let’s teach them to be happy. Just please, for the love of playgrounds, don’t rush them!


What positive message/quote would you put on a t-shirt for all to see?

Love & Happiness,
Jacqueline Lee

This is Halloween! HALLOWEEN!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, BUDS!!!
We started to party yesterday!
Boogey-down-man! 😉
Ride ’em Cowboy!
Aloha!
Who you calling a scaredy cat?
Soul Flower’s Customer Service is a multitasking octopus!

 

Lean Meat!
Lean meats nemesis… 😉
Halloween Eye Candy!!
Happy Halloween!

 

 What’s your costume going to be this weekend? What was your ultimate costume?
 Trick or Treat!
 Your Soul Flower Buds

Minnesota State Fair: Happiness on a Stick

Is every State Fair in America as captivated by food on a stick as the Midwest?

Cheesecake on a Stick & A Heart-Shaped Beer Battered Cheese Nugget!

Foot long corn dogs, buffalo, alligator, cookie dough, cheese and chocolate dipped cheesecake, you name it and you can likely find it on a stick. I haven’t traveled to enough State Fairs to know if this is an American wide pandemic, but honestly, part of me wouldn’t mind if it was.

Definitely the only place that could say so 😉

There’s just something about this childlike captivation with food on a stick that captures exactly what I’ve always loved about State Fair.  The demand for everyday foods on a stick is, after all, a childlike desire. It screams “I’m at the fair and I’m going to eat everything I want on a stick! Nothing’s impossible, no food shall go ignored, better yet, if we can deep fry it AND stick it; we shall! WE are at the State Fairs of Fairs!”

My State Fair Experience Captured in a Soul Flower T-Shirt 🙂

State Fair is our not-so-little playland


This was my first time attending the Minnesota State Fair, and I was pleased to find that it wasn’t all that different from my adored Wisconsin State Fair. I found fewer cheese stands to be still my beating heart, and fewer vendors, but overall the similarities were uncanny.  One thing that seems to be true of both state fairs (and possibly all State Fairs) is the ability for adults to return to their childhood state of mind.

Butter. Seriously. People play with butter at State Fair. When’s the last time your mom let you sculpt the butter?

Full-fledged adults wander around wearing paper animal crowns, like it’s their Birthday at Burger King. I didn’t do a headcount, but I’m pretty sure I saw more adults toting silly crowns on their heads than little ones. They were walking about petting baby animals, talking to horses, competitively carving butter, eating dessert on a stick before their dinner on stick, and going on enough twirling, flipping, and dipping rides to shake the brain giggly.

I was one of those “adults”

The State Fair seems to be the one place where mass amounts of adults can let loose and simply be kids again. I’m normally a pretty lighthearted girl; I live with a certain amount of Peter Pan mentality, but even I found myself laughing harder than usual at the fair this year. My boyfriend, Johnathan, and I went on my favorite ride, the Tilt-O-Whirl, and we kept scooting our butts left and right in a successful attempt to make the ride spin faster. We were laughing so hard together, my stomach hurt and I pretty much cried!

I mean, part of why State Fair is such a huge success is that we’re simply not willing to lose our childlike innocence. We all need a day of laughter, and a huge mob-like crowd of people doesn’t stop us from getting it!  At least, it sure didn’t stop me! I got my beer battered cheese curds (as every WI girl should), and my chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick, and I got the laughter….I definitely got the laughter! 🙂

Did you hit up your State Fair this year? Which state? What did you enjoy most? I’m starting to get curious about other State Fairs now that I tried one newbie. 🙂

Peace & Happiness, Buds!

Jacqueline Lee

One Reason to Love the Summer Heat!

It’s full summer here in the southern U.S., and that means that the long days are hot, sultry, and sticky.  Luckily, I’ve been spending my days whitewater raft guiding and staying cool in the water; but the long days in the sun steering thousands of pounds through technical sections of whitewater leave me sunburned and exhausted.  After a long day in “the office,” I am stoked to peel the wet clothes from my skin and slip on this super soft organic cotton Sun and Surf Eco Sundress and kick back with a cold sangria.

I fell in love with this dress because of two reasons:  the super soft, cool, and comfy cotton for our southern summers, and I admire the beautiful waves decorating the dress.

Since I live this active, wet lifestyle, I am always searching for clothes that feel comfortable when it’s time to dry off; and Soul Flower’s signature soft, organic cotton fits the bill perfectly.  I need a dress that is not binding—that moves and stretches with me and that feels soft against my skin.  I am also searching for something that I can go eat sushi in as well as break out some yoga poses on the bank of a river.  This sundress has been perfect for all of that!

I am a water person and I love being in the water all the time.  I got into whitewater paddling as a way to play in the water, and I stuck with it because the river is a fascinating medium. Becoming involved with rivers has changed my life, so that is what the waves on this dress mean to me—the waves represent the waves that I surf and play on everyday.  I love the clear, fresh flowing water in rivers where as I surf, I can look down and see the carved rocks of the river bed and feel the energy of the wave with my boat.  Also, the fact that this dress is made using organic cotton is important to me because organic cotton does not pollute our waterways.

This sundress is more than a dress too—it also works as a bathing suit cover up.  So, if you are planning to hit the river or the ocean, and you are looking for that soft cover up to drape over sunburned skin that you can then wear into an evening sipping cocktails, eating dinner by candlelight, and/or dancing under the moon until 3am, this sundress is the only one you’ll need to pack.  And since it only weighs a few ounces and folds up really small, no matter how you’re traveling, you can be “travelin’ light.”

Enjoy Summer!
Andria

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