Sunday, December 8, 2019

Service Sunday: Support Pet Shelters

Another Service Sunday! Today is a roundup of pet-related charities as I received a ton of information regarding all different types of charities. I absolutely LOVE that so many of you are also advocates for pets and adoption. Pet adoption is truly important to me and something I am passionate about. 

If you have been considering adopting a pet, and are able to afford it and take on the responsibility, I could not recommend it more. We adopted our family dog Mac (from Washington Humane Society) and he brought SO MUCH happiness to our family. He passed away in February 2018 and I miss him dearly. I adopted Henry in December 2017 and you all know how much I love my Henry. We rescued him from Tracy's Dogs.

A lot of shelters are way too full in the country. When you adopt a dog, you save two dogs. One because you leave a spot open in a shelter and two because of the dog you save. In our case, we saved 3 dogs: 1 spot opened up in the shelter, one spot opened up with Tracy's Dogs and we saved Henry. It's truly a wonderful thing you can do and I cannot even begin to put into words the joy and happiness Henry brings to our lives. We adopted Henry from Southern Texas where they have a severe stray dog population. This is because the dogs are not being neutered and spayed and just keep reproducing. It's a big issue and the shelters aren't big enough and simply can't afford to save them all so a lot of shelters are high-kill shelters. It's heartbreaking. Henry was literally saved from being euthanized in a south Texas shelter because of Tracy's Dogs. Tracy's Dogs was the organization that saved him from the kill-shelter and then they got him up to date on everything, socialized him, etc. and he then came to us. Seriously, it is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my entire life. I was nervous about the cost and responsibility and in hindsight, I should have never been worried. 

However, I know not everyone wants a pet and a lot of you are probably like us: we personally cannot handle/care for more dogs at this time! But, there is still a lot you can do to help and make a difference. 

First, I am going to share the many ways you can help. It obviously differs from charity to charity, but these will give you a starting point to think of what you can do personally. Then, I'll share some local Pittsburgh non-profits (as those are the ones I received the most submissions for) but I'll also share some national ones that have been sent in by readers (and some that I already knew about, too). 

How You Can Help
Obviously, the first thing you can do is to donate money. I know a lot of people would rather volunteer or donate actual items and whatnot, but money in these instances can help SO much. A lot of the humane societies and pet organizations have high medical bills because of all of the animals they treat. Even just spaying and neutering is an expense. A lot of charities, which are INCREDIBLE, also will pay for your dog's medical bills if you cannot afford them. Also, with money, they are able to buy all the supplies they need! A lot of non-profits give you the option to make a monthly donation (which is what I have set up to do) and it is so easy and makes donating more money possible! 

Fostering dogs is another great option. I have never done this so I can't really speak too much about it but you are giving a dog a warm and loving home until they can either recover from illness or until they are adopted. A lot of sick dogs or older dogs simply can't be in a shelter and there are so many scared, emaciated dogs who would thrive in a warm and loving home. It's SUCH a selfless thing to do.

Donating items is an option at a lot of non-profits. Most websites have wish-lists of items they could use and I've seen some even post their Amazon wish lists so you can go on and so easily donate something they can truly use. You can also donate your old towels at some places... not all accept this but if you have old towels you don't use, consider calling around to see if any shelters in your area can use them! 

Volunteering is another great option! A lot of shelters and the like require training first, but a lot of times, if you just want to provide interaction and companionship, you might not need to go through all of the training. Dogs just want to be loved and human interaction enriches their lives SO much. Even just from being with Henry all the time- he always wants to be petted or played with and he even finds so much peace and relaxation when he just lays right up against me.

Local Pittsburgh Pet Non-Profits:

National Pet Non-Profits:
- Tracy's Dogs (where we got Henry!)
- ACDRA (this is a site I was heavily checking before I found Henry)

I also found this really great resource for a list of charities that will help you to pay for your dog's medical needs should you be unable to. It's great to donate to organizations like these but it's also great to share this resource if you know anyone that has an animal in need and can't afford the medical costs. Which, if you didn't know, can get crazy expensive- we had an emergency incident with Henry and had to take him to the emergency vet one year ago and we were fortunate enough to be able to afford whatever he needed but there are so many people who can't. I think our bill (for a one night stay and treatment) was over $1500!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Saturday Shopping

Happy weekend, friends! We are in Philadelphia this weekend for a wedding! This is our last wedding of 2019 and ours is next, AH!

I can't believe we are just about 3 weeks from Christmas, isn't that crazy? I've been, of course, browsing for gifts like a madwoman lately so I wanted to share what I have been loving from this week!
See My Gift Guides Here:
Cyber Week Guides:

2018 Gift Guides that still have a lot of great items in stock 
Stocking Stuffers
Gifts for Coworkers (love this one!!)
2017 Under $100 (most items are still in stock)
2017 Under $100 (most items are still in stock)

Friday, December 6, 2019

What I Listen To While I Work (holiday edition)

What I Listen To While I Work (holiday edition)

What I Listen To While I Work (holiday edition)
Pullover// Joggers (both c/o) 

A while back, on Instagram stories, I shared that I often play Wynton Marsalis (holiday) station on Pandora during November/December. I talked about how it is a great Christmas music station that can be played in the background as I work and doesn't disrupt or distract me. 

Since then, I have received countless DM's asking me to remind them of the music I had shared so I thought I'd share my big list full of great holiday stations for when you need to focus! 

These are all songs/channels/stations that I listen to when I need to get it all done. They're mostly calming and a lot of the songs don't have words. I can't work in silence!! 

- Wynton Marsalis Holiday Radio- A jazzy favorite on Pandora

- Kenny G Holiday Radio- Another station with jazzy vibes. I love Kenny G. It's a bit elevator music-ish but it's so good. 

- GRP Christmas Albums- There are 3 (on Spotify) and I grew up with them. They are not your traditional Christmas songs and a lot are jazzy/don't have words. 

- Vince Guaraldi Trio Holiday Radio- Another jazzy Pandora favorite... and of course A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi. Honestly, this should be at the top of the list. The. Best. 

- Miles Davis Holiday- Can you tell that I love jazz yet? 

- Home Alone Soundtrack- So classic and so cozy. 

- Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Holiday Radio- This is definitely more classical and has Nutcracker vibes. 

- The Holiday Soundtrack- You can stream this on Spotify. I love Definitely Unexpected. Anything Nancy Meyers touches is brilliant- even if she didn't compose or produce this music, it still has that NM vibe. 

- The Grinch Soundtrack (the original)- It's basically the Original Grinch movie without the picture. 

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Holiday weeks are nuts but it's getting back into the swing of things post-holiday that is even nuttier. Cyber week is a doozy for me and most bloggers, so I am SO GLAD we have that behind us! Phew! Now this time period between Thanksgiving and New Year's is a bit wild because I always have to alter my routine a lot due to so many different variables. Lots of FUN things, yes, but I also thrive on a routine. The routine that I've had for the last several months is so good and I'm in such a good groove. So, I'm trying to keep things on track as much as possible this holiday season and carry this great routine and good habits into the new year.

This week was the perfect example of 'not on track', ha! I was sick Sunday/Monday/Tuesday and then our furnace decided to stop working on Wednesday. It was nutty but I'm glad everything is back to 'normal'. We are actually headed to Philadelphia for a wedding- it will be the last wedding of 2019 and we don't have another wedding until our own wedding in the spring (AH!).

I'm going to do a life update post because I have too much to post!

Wearing: One of my favorite cashmere brands, White and Warren, sent me this beautiful navy and cream sweater. You all already know my love for these cashmere wraps, but they also make so many other beautiful cashmere pieces. This sweater is so thick and chunky and the slight balloon sleeves are a great update on an otherwise classic silhouette. It is one of the nicest made sweaters I have ever worn.

Eating: This is an odd food preference of mine, but I LOVE creamed spinach. It's truly one of my favorite foods of all time. It's actually pretty easy to make, too. I try to limit myself from eating it because it's not exactly healthy with all of that fat, but I came across Aldi's creamed spinach and tried it because I was intrigued and it was SO GOOD. You guys. I went back to Aldi to specifically buy alllll of the creamed spinach. I literally bought 5 packages of it. 

Drinking: Have you guys tried this cranberry ginger ale? We discovered it years ago and love it as a festive cocktail mixer. It pairs nicely with vodka and you can garnish with a skewer of cranberries. The ginger ale is quite sweet (obviously) and I don't like super sweet/sugary cocktails so you can easily cut the calories and sugar by adding in the addition of Trader Joe's cranberry and lime seltzer and then just top off with the cranberry ginger ale. 
Sale-ing: These are the leggings I keep raving about on instastories. They are SO soft and remind me so much of my favorite lululemon wunder under leggings... except these are just $32. They run true to size, I'm wearing a size small. They wash wonderfully and I have worn them to Orange Theory many times now and they hold up so well. I highly recommend these! 

 Over the Thanksgiving holiday/long weekend, we watched the series, Safe, on Netflix and it was so good! A dad's daughter goes missing and it's a wild mystery that eventually reveals where she is. I highly recommend it and was a great show for my fiancĂ© and me to watch together. 

Loving: I love Henry's bow collar. It really pops against his dark fur and anytime I see the bow it just gives me a chuckle. I have loved seeing all of you share your pups in the bow collar, too!

Loving II: Did you guys see the Stoney Clover x Loveshack Fancy collaboration? I love it and it definitely has early 90s Laura Ashley vibes. 

Wanting: These custom name hair clips are SO cute. You all know I can't resist anything personalized, but these are just so fun! I LOVE this cashmere sweater. It's so chic. 

Traveling: We are headed to Philadelphia for a wedding this weekend!
Recommending: I shared this Color Correcting Stick with you all on instastories and got a lot of questions! It's a peach stick that is meant to go on your under eyes before you apply your concealer. The peach color cancels out the purple/blue of under-eye circles. You then apply Concealer overtop of the peach color and your dark circles are gone. It seriously works and is worth every penny. 

Quoting: 'If it's out of your hands, it deserves freedom from your mind, too' // See more of my favorites, here. 

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