‘Tis the season for stress, procrastination, and heavy pours in your rocks glass. This year I’ve taken the usual 25 cocktails of the Alcoholidays and upped it to 31 – a full month of tasty libations, if and when you want one. Want even more? Check out recipes from years past: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
The Birthday Party Project
Our goal is to make every child feel known and loved. Your gift helps us reach children in your backyard, and all across the country. At our parties, every birthday child receives a birthday badge, individual birthday cake, and a birthday gift. All the kids and families enjoying the party participate in crafts, games, and activities and leave with cupcakes and party favors.
RAINN aka The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, online.rainn.org y rainn.org/es) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.
Support a classroom. Build a future. Teachers and students all over the U.S. need your help to bring their classroom dreams to life. Get crayons, books, telescopes, field trips, and more for a classroom today.
The Sierra Club Foundation
The Sierra Club Foundation promotes climate solutions, conservation, and movement building through a powerful combination of strategic philanthropy and grassroots advocacy. The Foundation is the fiscal sponsor of Sierra Club’s charitable environmental programs.
The Feeding America network is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, working to connect people with food and end hunger. Donors, staff, and volunteers all play an important role in our efforts to end hunger in the United States.
The Humane Society of the United States
With your help, we fight the big fights, working to end all forms of animal cruelty and achieve the vision behind our name: A humane society. (Or Google your local branch and donate directly!)
Big Brother Big Sisters of America
Big Brothers Big Sisters helps children realize their potential and build their futures. We nurture children and strengthen communities. And we couldn’t do any of it without you.
Planned Parenthood is a trusted health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world. Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide. (You can also directly donate or volunteer at your local branch!)
Defending our rights in the courts, empowering communities across the U.S., and influencing public policy with a powerful voice.
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. Autism Speaks enhances lives today and is accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow.
Our full-service companion animal resource community serves our region by providing approximately 15,000 spay/neuter surgeries annually, and impacting more than 120,000 lives through humane education, pet behavior classes, pet therapy and our pet food bank each year. Animal Friends is proud to continue to save lives simply put, because it’s what we do.
Center for Victims
For more than 42 years, Center for Victims has provided effective and quality services to hundreds of thousands of victims of all crimes including: domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, child sexual assault and physical abuse, elder abuse, homicide, burglary and incidents of mass violence. CV’s staff provides critical crime victim support and training and education that meet the diverse needs of all people regardless of age, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical disability or socioeconomic status.
Our mission is to advance ethical leaders and build leadership capacity in order to create a more connected and inclusive community where people of all backgrounds and circumstances participate in making their community more livable for everyone.
We work to end the cycle of poverty for single parent families by providing housing, education and career support, and community connections so that parents can achieve self-sufficiency and their children can succeed in school.
Girls Rock! Pittsburgh
Girls Rock! Pittsburgh is an empowerment program for female youths of all definitions, abilities, and backgrounds. Our program utilizes the process of making music to instill tools for the amplification of self-confidence, creative expression, independent thinking, mutual respect, and cooperation while cultivating a supportive and inclusive community of peers and mentors.
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
The mission of Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is to feed people in need and mobilize our community to eliminate hunger. We work toward our mission daily, guided by commitments to nutrition, sustainability, inclusion and more.
Humane Animal Rescue
We strive to provide all aspects of care to abandoned, neglected, and injured animals; reunite lost pets with their caregivers or seek new families for them; educate the community on humane care and interactions with all animals with the goal of reducing pet overpopulation and negative relationships with native wildlife; reinforce a standard of living for animals and prevent cruelty; and provide assistance and medical care to injured, orphaned, or ill native Pennsylvania wildlife with a goal of returning them to their natural habitat. Our open door policy ensures that no animal is ever refused shelter.
THRIVE Southwest PA
THRIVE envisions educational communities where students, educators, and families can celebrate, learn about, and thrive in diversity of gender identity, expression, and sexual orientation. Their mission is to nurture and empower educational communities where students, educators, and families create and sustain LGBTQ-inclusive environments in which everyone reaches their full potential.
Half of November is gone already, so if you include an advent calendar in your holiday traditions it’s time to start thinking about this year’s. Here are 25 you can buy or DIY – no judgement either way! The Tree Advent Calendar is what we’ll be using to countdown the days in my home this December.
These pieces all work together to create one incredible table full of glass, metal, and wood with cool undertones. But they also make great additions to whatever you already own because of their neutral simplicity. (Forever my go-to pieces.) Similarly the decor pieces I lean towards are transitional, great for fall and Thanksgiving but just as seasonal as we move into December’s holidays and beyond!
For the past six years our Thanksgiving coverage has always included You’re Invited, a post featuring a menu, tabletop, and decor that made up my idea of the perfect holiday setup for that November. This year things are changing up, and I really hope you enjoy it as much as you’ve liked the turkey posts of the past! I’ll still be sharing Thanksgiving tabletop and decor ideas in a later post, but this one is for those of you missing bits of a menu, inspiration for what to take to the potluck you’ve been invited to, or ultimately planning an entire meal if you’re playing host next Thursday. (I like to call it Choose Your Own Adventure after the popular book series.) Follow the prompts to create your own perfect meal – my suggestions are based on 10 to 12 dinner guests so adjust accordingly!
Because it’s only two weeks from yesterday if you live in the States and will be celebrating. Thanksgiving legitimately snuck up on me this year, which is unfortunate since it’s the holiday I host. I have no clue what I’ll be wearing either – most likely something from my closet that I add to. Maybe that’s your plan as well? A roomy shirt or sweater so you don’t have to suck it in, or a sweet dress that will transition well to all of those holiday parties next month, or just adding a great piece of jewelry to an outfit you already own to mix things up. All fine plans of action.
Whether you’re having a spirited party this weekend and are on the hunt for a few signature drinks or just want some autumnal libations to unwind with at the end of the day, you’re sure to find more than a few with potential below. Cheers!
Have you carved your jack o’ lanterns already or are you waiting for the weekend? Ours probably won’t be done until a few days before Halloween, and I suspect they’ll be old school with faces. If that’s not your plan – maybe you’re looking for something a little more outside the box – check out these clever ideas for decorating your gourds!