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We’re Growing Good Things Together: Introducing Purposeful Partnerships!

Last December, we chose our word of the year: rise. We believe in rising together because we know our mission is not just for us–it's for us, and you, and the many women we haven't met yet!

Unsurprisingly, the best part of our work is hearing stories of transformation–of people rising as they dig in to cultivate what matters, right where they are. We have the privilege of being participants in these stories, but our most fulfilling moments come when we aren't at the center of them. That's why I'm thrilled today to officially introduce our new Purposeful Partnerships program!

We shared a lot more about our new Purposeful Partnerships program on the website, but here are the basics: Every month, we donate a portion of our sales to our partner organization on behalf of our community. Every order placed in the Cultivate Shop–whether it's for PowerSheets, Write the Word journals, prints, or Tending Tape–helps to plant a garden.

Big_Green_Gardener

Why? As cultivators, we believe good things grow over time, little by little, and that includes goals, flowers, babies, and good things to eat, too!

By partnering with Big Green, we have the opportunity to create a ripple effect that goes far beyond us. Big Green's mission is to build a healthier future for kids through a nationwide network of learning gardens and food literacy programs. Their vision is to build a learning garden in every low-income school across the country, bringing real food to millions of kids every day, and to teach them about nutrition through hands-on and project-based learning – ultimately empowering these kids to make healthier choices for the rest of their lives.

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Over the past seven years, Big Green has built more than 465 learning gardens across the country in 7 communities, with a goal to be in 10 communities with 1,000 learning gardens by 2020. Not only do they build dynamic outdoor classrooms, but they also provide teacher curriculums, teacher training workshops, and garden educators who work alongside the teachers and students in helping them tend to what they're growing, little by little.

Sound familiar? 😉 With April's donation alone, we've had the privilege of funding 16 gardens with seedlings for the season, 6 garden harvest kits, 4 kitchen kits to help a teacher prepare fresh produce in their classroom, and 4 garden summer learning experiences for students.

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When we say "we", we really mean you, the Cultivate family. Your purchase in the Cultivate Shop plants a seed–pun intended–for a brighter and healthier future for children across the country.

Just as each purchase of a Cultivate product creates change in your life and the lives of those you love, through our giving initiative, your purchase also creates change in local communities.

As cultivators, we are firm believers in community. We share our goals, encouraging others along the way, instead of trying to do it all alone. Together, we are seed planters, and we believe in growing what lasts longer than us! We can't wait to share the stories of the good things we're helping to grow through Big Green together.

To stay in the know about all the wonderful things Big Green is doing across the country, follow them on Instagram and sign up for their email newsletters!

We'd love to hear from you! We are actively looking to add partner organizations who are growing good things in local communities. Drop a comment below if you know of an organization that might be a good fit!

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Less is Actually More: What is a Low-Information Diet, and Is it Right for You?

The end of 2017 rolled around, and I felt myself craving margin. Life was full–full of some really good things–but full nonetheless. As I sat down to do my PowerSheetsPrep Work, I started to see a theme.

I had too much stuff.
I felt unsteady, wavering back and forth based on circumstances instead of truth.
I was no longer doing something I loved: reading.
My eyes were heavy.

The root of all those things? Information overload.

I had too much stuff because I was on every single shop mailing list. I felt unsteady because I spent too much time on Instagram, silently comparing myself during the scrolling. I was reading less because my free time was full of work and wedding planning and traveling. I was tired because I spent a lot of time staring at a screen–both for work, and after-hours while wedding planning.

It was a stark wake-up call. I immediately knew one of my PowerSheets goals needed to be "Phone Down, Eyes Up." Short, simple, but packs a big punch (the best kinds of goals often do that!).

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What is a Low-Information Diet? 

A Low-Information Diet means you're limiting the consumption of media in your life. Tim Ferris coined the term "Low-Information Diet" in his book The 4-Hour Work Week, where he talks about the importance of cultivating selective ignorance. "Selective" is an important word here! He doesn't talk about complete ignorance in all things, but instead talks about the disservice consuming what doesn't concern you does to yourself and those around you.

“Just as modern man consumes both too many calories and calories of no nutritional vale, information workers eat data both in excess and from the wrong sources.” -Tim Ferris

What's going to matter to you when you're 80?
What are the things you will look back on and want more of?

Not sure what those things are? That's okay! PowerSheets can help you uncover what matters most and make a plan to cultivate those things–the right things.

View More: http://ginazeidler.pass.us/cultivate2018springsummer

Those are the things you can start to cultivate now. Nothing says you have to wait until January 1st to start making changes. As cultivators, we're big believers in little by little progress!

Trying to decide if embracing a Low-Information Diet is right for you? Here are my three checkpoints I'd encourage you to try:

Check the phone usage in your battery life. On my iPhone, I can go to my Settings > Battery and it will show me what apps have used the largest percentage of my battery life over the past 24 hours or 7 days. This is eye-opening!

Answer this question: What is the first thing you reach for when you wake up each morning? If it's your cell phone to open your email, social media, or blog reader, your television remote, or a newspaper, it could be a sign it's time to take a step back.

Download the Moment app. Moment automatically tracks how much you use your iPhone and iPad each day, and it allows you to set limits based on the information you see!

Go-Do-Life

There's no better time than the start of summer to kick a bad habit to the curb. This can be your summer to thrive! Fill those longer days with the things that fire you up. Make your own list of things to do instead of scrolling or watching television, and start checking those off one-by-one!

We'll be kicking off a series on cultivating a Low-Information Diet over the next few weeks, and we're excited to learn together! Up next, practical ways to set yourself up for success and how to use your PowerSheets to keep the momentum going!
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The 2018 Cultivate Team Summit

When our team gathered together in early April for our annual Cultivate Team Summit, it's safe to say we were in the midst of one of our fullest seasons–preparing for a summer launch, on-boarding new team members, 2019 PowerSheets development, and much more. On paper, it might not have made the most sense to take two days to strategize, dream, and enjoy each other's company.

However, we knew it would be fruitful. We knew gathering together would refuel and reinvigorate our work. In the same way the prep work in the PowerSheets Goal Planners calls you to pause and helps lay the groundwork for what lies ahead, these two days together were an intentional choice to do the same thing. We took the opportunity to pause to remember the things that fall to the wayside in the midst of growing to-do lists. We went back to our why–what fuels us, what motivates us, what matters most.

With that as our goal, we walked into out time together knowing it would be fruitful, and we weren't disappointed!

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Ahead of each team summit, we send our team members happy mail with an agenda, packing list, and a few fun surprises! This year, we filled custom Cultivate sprout piñatas from Cute Piñata Creations with candy, and we tucked in a walk in love t-shirt to help our team stay cozy while traveling!

Our friend Heidi and her team at the Carolina Inn kept us well-rested and well-fed during our entire stay, and we couldn't be more thankful for their hospitality! Heidi's entire team uses PowerSheets, and we love knowing we get to play a small role in cheering them on as they cultivate what matters most in their lives–both personally and professionally!

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We started Monday morning bright and early with biscuits, coffee, and a few fun surprises for the ladies! Meanwhile Back on the Farm sent us bags so we had a way to carry around our PowerSheets, clipboards, and all of our fun accessories throughout the summit. (Modeled beautifully here by our own Kristin Winchester!)

After passing out new t-shirts (sign up for our email list to be the first to know when these are available for purchase!) and May Designs notebooks, our team was ready to dig in.

Up first, a company history presented in emoji form. This gave us a chance to look back on where we've been and introduce our story to the two newest team members who were in attendance.

 

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Next, Kaylee and Marissa led us in a review of our Vision Tracker Organizer, and we jumped deeper into discussing EOS as a team. If you've been following Lara's blog, you know we're been working through implementing the traction model and Entrepreneurial Operating System into our company for many months. If you're interested in learning more, here are a few of our favorite resources: TractionEOS Worldwide, and What the Heck is EOS?

We then walked through a healthy organizational check-up, and came away with a few action steps. The areas where our team is thriving? Team culture and people! You can call me biased, but I firmly believe we are one of the best teams out there. And good news, we're hiring! 😉

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One thing this team does well is celebrate others, and celebrate we did during lunch! They planned a surprise wedding shower for me and offered me encouragement, advice, and a whole lot of laughs (and a few happy tears, too!).

In the afternoon, we dove into studying how we can build on what we've learned from our Enneagram types to make us better communicators and team members. The Enneagram is different than many personality typologies -- instead of explaining your behavior, it explains the motivation behind it. We studied and discussed how we can best get along with and offer feedback to fellow team members.

We're often asked what our favorite resources are, so here are a few of my personal favorites: Enneagram: A Christian Perspective, The Road Back to You, The 9 Types of Leadership, and The Enneagram Institute.

We ended the day with more vision planning and strategizing before heading to eat lots of yummy tacos at one of our new favorite restaurants in Chapel Hill.

After a wonderful first day, we wanted to set our ladies up for a great day two! They came back to their rooms with a cozy set of Plum Pretty Sugar pajamas, Skin Savior from our friends at One Love Organics, and jewelry from Goldenstrand.

Day_One_Evening

We dove right into day two of our team summit by syncing up with Amber for an in-depth strategy planning meeting for the rest of our year. We talked about two very important things:

  • How can we best serve our Cultivate family for the remainder of 2018?
  • How do we prepare well now for our 2019 PowerSheets launch?

We came away with lots of great ideas, but more importantly, for every one thing we decided to do, we said no to two things. We revisited our company PowerSheets to remind us what we're saying yes and no to for the rest of the year, and it was enlightening!

Strategy_Meeting_Amber

We had the chance to surprise our team with two fun gifts to remind them to cultivate what matters most: bracelets with our PowerSheetsword of the year from Genuine & Ginger and monogrammed yoga jackets from Marley Lilly to help us continue to prioritize wellness as a team (bring on those Monday FitBit challenges!).

WOTY_PowerSheets

After our strategy session, we headed to grab famous BLTs from Merritt's Grill, where we soaked up sunshine and conversation with the team.

To us, the recipe for a great team summit is simple: 50% strategy and planning and 50% fun and team-building. When we came back from lunch, our team moved into what Marissa and I called a "A Barking Good Time!"

We ordered The Great Follicle Debacle mystery game, arranged for a few costumes and props (no one went home empty-handed), and had a barking good time uncovering which pup was responsible for pouring the hair remover in Petunia the Poodle's shampoo bottle! Each lady fully embraced their role (we have quite a few talented actresses in our midst), and luckily Petunia wasn't too mad at the culprit, Casey!

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We ended the evening around a dinner table laughing out loud at a game of team trivia and full of gratitude for how our friendships have flourished over the years we've spent working and doing life together.

As a tangible reminder to continue to grow good things, each lady went home with a copy of Cut Flower Garden and zinnia seeds for our friends at Floret Flowers, Belvoir Fruit Farms lemonades and Carolina Inn cookies, a Belle & Union Co. tea towel, and a Swoozies travel bag.

We recognize that having time together is a gift, and we are so grateful for this chance to celebrate all that's happened and look ahead at the good things to come! We've grown a lot as a team over the years -- thanks largely to Lara's leadership and commitment to our vision -- and we can't wait to continue to bring you all on this journey with us.

As the resident gifting fairy, it fires me up to tangibly say thank you to the ladies on our team who pour their hearts in the work we do each day. A huge thank you to our incredible sponsors and friends: Belle & Union Co., Belvoir Fruit FarmsCute Piñata Creations, Floret Flower, Genuine & Ginger, Goldenstrand Jewelry, Marley Lilly, May Designs, Meanwhile Back on the Farm, One Love Organics, Plum Pretty Sugar, Swoozies, The Carolina Inn, and walk in love.

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46 Productive Things to Do Instead of Scrolling Social Media

We're big fans of social media when it is used purposefully! It is, after all, how we connect with so many of you on a regular basis! Like so many things in our lives, when used purposefully, it can create a beautiful home for encouragement and support.

However, we know there are time when we are guilty of replacing real life with Instagram, and we spend precious time mindlessly scrolling through social media instead of accomplishing the things that matter most to us.

Our team is sharing 46 productive things you can do instead of scrolling on your phone today, and we hope it inspires you to start prioritizing what matters most to you!

  1. Unsubscribe from email promotional emails
  2. Plan a coffee date with a friend
  3. Delete photos from your camera roll
  4. Floss your teeth
  5. Go to bed early
  6. Take a walk
  7. Write a thank you note
  8. Read a magazine
  9. Check off a daily goal on your Tending List
  10. Organize your bedside table
  11. Volunteer your time
  12. Make a to-do list, and check one thing off your to-do list
  13. Write out a social media mission statement
  14. Wash the dishes
  15. Make your bed
  16. Choose ten pieces of clothing to donate
  17. Read a book
  18. Learn a new language
  19. Call your best friend
  20. Kiss your significant other
  21. Take out the trash
  22. Get your finances in order
  23. Make a sweet treat for your neighbor
  24. Go to the library, and check out a new book
  25. Write the Word
  26. Clean out your pantry
  27. Do a puzzle with your child
  28. Write down your goals
  29. Unload the dishwasher
  30. Choose one new recipe to try
  31. Print a few of your favorite photos to display
  32. Plan a gathering in your home
  33. Make a new friend
  34. Exercise
  35. Doodle
  36. Start a gratitude journal
  37. Reply to five emails in your inbox
  38. Organize your bathroom cabinet
  39. Apply for a passport
  40. Prep your meals for the week
  41. Reply to your text messages
  42. Start one load of laundry
  43. Clean out your junk drawer
  44. Watch a TED talk
  45. Organize your desk
  46. Make an inspiring playlist

We'd love to hear from you! Leave a a comment, and tell us what else would you add to this list! The possibilities are endless, and we can't wait to hear your creativity!

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Want to cultivate your faith? Introducing our two new Write the Word Journals!

Many, many months ago on Instagram stories, I asked you if you had a particular volume you'd like to see in our Write the Word collection. And boy did you deliver! After having the post up for only an hour, I had hundreds of messages to cull through, and I removed the post (to spare my thumbs from replying to hundreds of messages). We knew we could count on your ladies for good ideas!

Well, our team mulled on your suggestions and discussed them in countless product development meetings and conversations, and we kept coming back to these themes of our two newest volumes: Cultivate Prayer and Cultivate Forgiveness. Why these two? Well, they fit so closely together. Can we accept the grace given to us from our Father and offer it freely to others without prayer? Can we cultivate a healthy prayer life in complete freedom without forgiving those in our lives?

Not only were these themes you requested over and over again, but we as a team knew we'd learn and grow from them, too!

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Write the Word // Cultivate Forgiveness was created to help you experience God's transforming grace and power. Learn to forgive as we have been forgiven and experience the freedom that comes with grace as you let go and let God.

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Write the Word // Cultivate Prayer is filled with scriptures specifically selected to help you grow your daily connection with the source of life Himself. Flourish in your faith through the gift and practice of prayer with this journal!

View More: http://ginazeidler.pass.us/cultivate2018springsummer

We know that "quiet time" isn't always quiet, and it isn't always long either, so we created the Write the Word journals to give you a simple and impactful way to connect with God, right where you are!

We've carefully selected key thematic verses to write out on each page and included an On My Heart section to write your thoughts, prayers, or anything else God places on your heart each day. Write the Word journals can be used by any woman in any season of life! These journals are all digging into God's life-giving truth. The best part? They all help you cultivate a different part of your faith life!

 

View More: http://ginazeidler.pass.us/cultivate2018springsummer

Don't our two newest volumes look like they've been here all along? We love how happy and bright they are in our line-up of all the volumes. We can't wait to hear stories of how these journals continue to plant seeds of faith in your lives.

Shop our Write the Word volumes here!

We'd love to hear from you! Is there a particular theme you'd like to see in a future volume of Write the Word? We tuck all your ideas away for safe-keeping ;)

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