Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Your Guide to Giving Tuesday: Ways to give this holiday season

Now that we've surpassed Cyber Week, it's time to talk about something much more important-- and really what the entire holiday season is about and that is giving.

Giving Tuesday is a nationwide day dedicated to giving. Give time, money, love--whatever you have to give. Obviously, it's great to give often, but it's a worldwide effort today to remind people to be generous with what they have.

We all know giving is important, I know you are all so incredibly giving and so I don't need to preach to you or anyone. But sometimes, and I can only speak for myself, I can get caught up in the busyness of day-to-day life and it's nice to get a gentle reminder to think of others. I also find it helpful to be reminded of ways to give. Kindness, empathy, patience, time, money, whatever you have to give- it always feels so good when you do it, right?! 

Now, as a disclaimer, I couldn't possibly share every single non-profit and I'm sure I'm leaving out SO many wonderful organizations. This is meant to be a positive post to inspire you to give and potentially provide you with a jumping-off point- NOT the be-all and end-all. 

Give to Organizations:

Ronald McDonald House
Since I met my husband, the Ronald McDonald House has really hit home for me. My husband's brother passed away from leukemia when they were growing up and although I have heard of the struggles, it's still so hard for me to fathom the loss of a sibling or having your child pass away. Life is hard and stressful even when it's going OK, the added heartbreak of having a sick child is just too much!!! The goal is to provide families who have sick children in the hospital a place to stay for an extended period of time. This is so they can keep their other worries to a minimum so that they can focus on their child's health. At the house, meals are served daily, there are common rooms/playrooms for children, and the locations are very close to the hospitals, too.

This non-profit fulfills wishes for children with critical illnesses. This is where you can donate for the local PA/WV chapter. And this is where you can find your local chapter

WFS provides behavioral healthcare services and support programs to children, adults, and families over the course of their lives so that they are empowered to reach their full potential. 

There is nothing worse than being cold during the winter and in Pittsburgh, the cold is unbearable at times. No one should ever have to be without a coat. Project Bundle-Up has helped since 1986!

This is similar to Project Bundle-Up but on a national level. I just learned about it last year. You can put in your zip code and see if there are local chapters and many of them will come and pick them up. There are tons of non-profits here in Pittsburgh that will accept the coats and pick them up. They take gently used coats, but if you don't have any of those, Costco has tons of really affordable coat options. Many are under $30. 

Shriners Hospitals for Children
The organization raises money for Shriner hospitals around the country that provide care to children at no cost to the families, specifically burn care, orthopedics, cleft lip and palate, and spinal cord injury treatment and care. My dad and grandfather are both Shriners! They've helped over one million children in need.

Pittsburgh Food Bank
Unfortunately, the need is so great here in Pittsburgh. I imagine this is sadly a similar situation in a lot of other cities and towns across the country. Donate, donate, donate! I have found myself donating to the food bank here in Pittsburgh every few months monetarily, but even just recently our Orange Theory collected food and it was SO heartwarming to see how much all of us donated. They have guidelines on what they accept so be sure to take a look at their website to review those.

Washington Area Humane Society
This is a no-kill 501(c)(3) animal shelter and where we saved Mac, our Australian Cattle Dog- he passed away almost 4 years ago (I can't believe it's been that long), but he was the absolute BEST. I'm a huge dog person. Tracy's Dogs, where we adopted Henry is no longer functioning (SO SAD) but there are so many local shelters all over the country that you can help. If I could adopt all the dogs in the world and give them safe, warm, happy homes, I would. Since I can't, and most can't do that, adopting just one dog can help! I know SO many of you have done just that this year and seeing our local shelter's adoption posts warm my heart. If a dog is not for you, you can also donate your time or money to help! Another shelter in the Pittsburgh area is Animal Friends, which is also no-kill.

I am a huge advocate for pet adoption. There are SO many dogs who need good homes and giving the gift of a wonderful life for a pet is so selfless and wonderful. Although, adopting Henry was the best thing I have ever done and I'm pretty sure I benefitted even more than he did. When you adopt from any organization or shelter around the world, you are actually saving 2 dogs. You save the dog you adopt and the dog that gets that open spot in a shelter. If you go through an organization like Tracy's Dogs, you end up saving 3 dogs because you open a spot at the organization, too. 

Meals on Wheels
This serves older Pittsburghers and those who are unable to prepare nutritious meals for themselves. It's a great organization and you can help by donating your time, money or in-kind donations such as food and/or kitchen supplies.

Children's Hospital
One of the worst things is having something happen to one of your loved ones. It's truly heartbreaking. If you are a Pittsburgher, consider donating to Children's Hospital. There are Children's hospitals all over the country, so be sure to look up one near you if you are not in the Pittsburgh area.

American Red Cross 
They're always there when disaster strikes. Donate your time, money, blood, food, anything you can to help. You can choose what you specifically donate to!

Dress for Success
This promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women. I love that one of my favorite brands, Talbots, hosts a big drive for this non-profit every year.

United Way
There are so many ways that you can help the United Way of Allegheny County and there are so many ways that the United Way helps so many of the people in your local community. From children to adults to senior citizens, there are programs that support every member of the community.

The Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh
The Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh not only collect donations but also collect old cell phones that can help women who have been victims of intimate partner violence. Maybe you have an old phone sitting in a drawer somewhere and could be a big help to someone in need!

Toys for Tots
Looking back on Christmases growing up, my sister and I were so fortunate to always wake up to gifts from Santa under our tree. Many are not that fortunate. Toys for Tots provides gifts for kids that may not have otherwise received any gifts for Christmas. I participated in this in college. One day I got to go pick up a child from his elementary school, and take him out for lunch and to shop! We went to Target and picked up all sorts of things that he wanted. When I found out he had a brother, we had fun picking out surprises for his brother, too! It was such a fun day and so enjoyable to see how excited he was!

Spread Love and Happiness...

- Pay for someone's coffee or toll ticket behind you. It's harder to pay for the toll now that EZ pass is so prevalent, but coffee is so easy to do at the drive-through at Starbucks! 

- Help the elderly by delivering their groceries to them or placing an online order for them so that they can get the items they need to be delivered safely to them. Check on your neighbors and see if they need anything. I think it can be helpful even if you just let someone know 'hey I'm placing my grocery order, do you need anything' to anyone you're close with. It's nice to save someone a trip to the store if they just need something like eggs or whatnot for a recipe they are making!

- Tip your full bill amount To me, this one is SO much fun. 

- Give someone a genuine and encouraging compliment. Whether that be on social media or in person or by text. 

- If you are not having your annual holiday party this year, in lieu of gifts ask for donations to a charity of your choice. 

- Use a local florist to send flowers to someone 'just because'. You are supporting a small business and making someone's day!

- If you pray, say a prayer.

- If you have an Amazon account, remember to shop through Amazon Smile which automatically donates to the charity/cause of your choice. This one is a no-brainer! 

- Recognize those who help you on a day-to-day basis: ex. mailmen/UPS/FedEx/etc., coaches at your local gym, your neighbors, valet, doormen, coworkers, etc. We put out the treat basket for our delivery people, we always tip our garbage men and when I lived in a doorman/valet building, I always gave them tips and gifts! If you don't have money to give, show your appreciation by writing a note of thanks! It's always nice to be appreciated for the job you do! 

- Help local businesses that you love in your community by going online and reviewing them or recommending them to your friends and family on social media. 

- Be a mentor. Whether it's professionally or personally, be someone that can help a person pursue their goals and dreams and guide them in the right direction. I have so many great mentors in my life and am so lucky to have them. I'm also a mentor to several and it is so much fun to cheer someone on while they are pursuing their dreams.

- Take on an in-kind project. For example, if you are a web designer and have some extra time, help design a struggling startup's website. Or if you're an accountant and know a family that is struggling, offer to help them create a great budget.

- Start a 'you've been jingled' chain. This happened to us during Halloween- it was 'you've been boo'd' and it was so cute. I found a holiday version, here, and explains how it works. It was so much fun to do and adorable for children!
Brands that Give Back
Brands that give back in both big and small ways are amazing and make you feel good about placing an order! I know I am missing a ton of brands so if you have any good ones, let everyone know in the comments! 

DS is launching a limited-edition blanket (today!!!) made from repurposed fleece fabric - for every blanket purchased, one will be donated to a St. Jude’s patient. I ordered one for my MIL last year!

Leesa Mattresses (we LOVE our Leesa mattress!)

Bark Box (Henry loves his BarkBox toys!)

Rusi Hats (sent in by a follower whose family member started this!)

Monday, November 29, 2021

Cyber Monday Sales 2021

I hope you all have the most wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones and hopefully you got to relax or do something fun this past weekend!! We had such a nice holiday and then had a few plans this weekend with some family and friends which was great. I was not ready for this week to start!!

Today is the last day of Cyber Week! Phew!! I wanted to share some more sale content with you all and then we are back to regular programming here tomorrow!!! All of these outfits include several pieces that are on sale! 

This first casual outfit is one of my favorites. Everything fits true to size. The sweater is oversized and very roomy but I am still wearing my usual size small! 

This is a simple monochromatic outfit that you can dress up and down. This is the same top as my beloved blue and white striped top just in black. I love it. It's so easy to wear- it is honestly like wearing a t-shirt it is so comfortable. These leggings are also amazing as they are so thick and soft. Everything I am wearing is true to size, I'd say if anything, size down in both pieces if you are between sizes. The tunic is mean to be oversized. 

These boots are not on sale but I LOVE them so much. They make me feel so sophisticated and chic in a casual way. However, my sweater and jeans are both on sale. Both run true to size and the sweater is cut pretty oversized! The jeans do not have any stretch to them so keep that in mind!

Top and bottoms both fit true to size!! 

List of Sales
Anthropologie// 30% off everything, extra 50% off sale
Barrington// Use code SANTABABY and get 15% off + free shipping, or spend $200+ and get 20% off, or spend $300+ and get 25% off!  
Club Monaco// 30% off everything, code: CYBERMONDAY
Dudley Stephens// 25% off site-wide using code GIVECOZY
Dermstore// Up to 30% off
J.Crew// 40% off your purchase, and an extra 60% off sale with code CYBER
J.McLaughlin// Up to 40% off
Kate Spade// Up to 50% off 
Kosas// 30% off everything
Lands End// Up to 70% off with code CRANBERRY.
Lilly Pulitzer// $20 off every $100 spent
Lisi Lerch// 30% off and $5 shipping
LL Bean// 15% off wicked good slippers
Mark and Graham// Up to 50% off and free shipping, extra 30% off sale with code MERRY,
Sarah Flint// $50 off one pair, $100 off two pair, $150 off 3 pairs, and $200 off 4+ pairs. Use code SARAHFLINT-HOLIDAY at checkout. 
Serena and Lily//25% off everything with code ITSHERE
Shopbop// Up to 50% off with code HOLIDAY
Talbots// 50% off of 1 item until 12pm, Plus 40% off entire purchase all day
The Company Store// 15% off $100, 25% off $225, 30% off $300, 40% off Cyber Monday deals, use code CYBER21
Tory Burch// 30% off full-price, up to 60% off sale items on all order $250+ with code THANKS.
Tuckernuck// 20% off entire site, 25% off 500+, 30% off $1000+, use code SHOWTIME.
Vineyard Vines// Up to 70% off with code CYBER21
Williams-Sonoma// Up to 50% off and an extra 20% off clearance with code EXTRA. 

Cyber Week Best Sellers So Far
I pulled my analytics up and these were the top 9 most purchased items from 11/22 to now! It's always so interesting to see what you all end up purchasing. I, obviously, cannot see who purchases what, but I can see the number of purchases. It's also so interesting to see something that has tons of clicks but not a ton of purchases! 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Black Friday Sales Worth Shopping

Cable Sweater (wearing small TTS, 40% off)// Jeans (wearing 27 TTS, 20-30% off!)
Bean Boots// Similar Vest (mine is older JCrew)// Sunglasses (30% off!)

J.Crew's cyber sale has begun!!! You get 40% off almost everything and 60% off sale, and free shipping with code BESTFRIDAY.

Faux Fur Vest//  (both run TTS, if anything both roomy)

Slip Skirt (TTS)

Sweater (runs really big, size down)

Sweater Blazer (runs roomy, wearing small)
Kick Crop Pants (TTS, they don't wrinkle, great for travel)

I've found so many great pieces from J.Crew this fall season and have been loving so much of their fun and festive holiday pieces. I will share some of the items I have and have been loving lately! 

Select new cashmere staples are included- just not everything, unfortunately! However, I have paid full price for their cashmere (like these sweatpants are AMAZING) and I LOVE it- worth every penny. If you haven't heard, they got new cashmere this year and it's every bit as good as sweaters that are double, even triple the price! BUT, they do have some sale cashmere styles that are available, too, so keep an eye out for those! 

Talbots is 50% off of 1 item until 12pm, plus 40% off your entire purchase all-day. Spend $150 or more, get a JOY embroidered tartan fleece holiday blanket! See this blog post for some great Talbots pieces styled! 
Dermstore up to 30% off. Obagi products are 25% off with code BLACK. This is the Vitamin C serum that I swear by. You can read the full review post about it, here. 

J.McLaughlin is having an up to 40% off sale as well as 25% off their puffer coats! The puffer coat sale is today only! 

The Company Store down throw 20% off with code FRIYAY21.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Cyber Week Sale Items That I Love

Cyber Week Sale Items That I Love

Happy day-before-Thanksgiving! Are you all working today or taking the day off? I will be working and so is my husband, but we are so excited to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday!!!! 

So far, for Cyber week, I have covered Lake Pajamas//Dudley Stephens, and Tuckernuck. Today I'm sharing a bunch of items from all different brands that have started their sales. There were SO many great things on sale. This took me sooooo many hours to sift through and make sure what I was sharing was not only a great item but also a good sale price! 

So whether you are shopping for yourself or for someone on your list, these items are approved by me. I have almost 90% of these things and would recommend them. 

There will be more sales on Friday/Monday as I am sure you are all aware. Some brands have shared their sales with me before they go live so I know what to expect (well... at least somewhat haha) and some sales will get better Friday/Monday but many will stay the same but just change their promo code, so shop now if you think it will sell out or if you see that this is the brand's sale that extends through 11/29. This is why I shared Dudley, Lake, and Tuckernuck as their sales will all be the same through to 11/29! I want to make sure you all get the best prices so check back here on Friday for a few more things. But for now, this is what I have found!! 

I will be taking tomorrow (Thanksgiving) off from posting here on my website and I just want to say that I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your loved ones. I am thankful for you all for coming to visit my corner of the internet when you have the time and for your kindness and support. It means so much to me!!! 
Cyber Week Sale Items That I Love

More Cyber Week Content:

Gift Guides (lots from my guides on sale):

Christmas Gift Ideas For Kids

I have a niece and nephew- through my husband's family- not through my sister haha! So crazy to be an aunt!! So for the past few years, I have been buying toys for them for Christmas. The youngest person in my extended family is over 21 so we haven't had children in our family for quite some time. So needless to say, I don't do a ton of toy shopping so I LOVE to shop for the kids! For our wedding, I got them monogrammed canvas totes and filled them with goodies as a thank you for being in our wedding and sourcing the things to put in their bags brought me so much joy!!! Sometimes I just snag things for no reason to bring to them when I see them. When I was a child, my aunts would always bring me gifts and I just remember that so clearly and now appreciate it so much as an adult that they were always thinking of me! Trying to be the 'cool' aunt here, haha!! 

I love my Walmart+ membership. I have been using it for almost a year now. I actually just had a grocery order delivered this week. So today I'm partnering with Walmart on this post because it's such a good resource when shopping for gifts for children! The Walmart+ membership is $98/year and you can sign up for a free 15-day trial before committing. You can also select a monthly plan for $12.95/month. With the one-year option, rather than the monthly option, you save $57.40/year in membership fees.

Shop the Items:
This year my niece wants to re-decorate her room (I mean a girl after my own heart!!!). How cute are these glow-in-the-dark blankets and this tinsel pillow and this unicorn clock?! My nephew wants STEAM toys- he likes to build things! I got him this magnetic tile building kit and this robot that he can build! I also think these Wiki Stix look like fun! Walmart has it all and with my Walmart+ membership, I can have things shipped right to my door in 2 days! 

This quick shipping was especially helpful when I wanted to add another string of lights to our tree to really make it glow! These lights (seen on our tree!) are great and can be shipped for free with Walmart+!

I was also able to snag this beautiful set of plaid wrapping paper. I love to wrap gifts in plaid so this was such a fun find! 

Thank you to Walmart for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Tuckernuck Cyber Week Sale 2021

Tuckernuck Cyber Week Sale 2021

Tuckernuck is one of my most favorite sites to shop. They have the BEST things. It is dangerous for me to visit their site because I can literally always find something I love and want on their site... like this woven tote. LOVE. 

The sale details are:

20% off sitewide, no minimum! 
25% off orders over $500
30% off orders over $1000 

Use code SHOWTIME at checkout! The sale begins today and goes through 11/29. 

There are some restrictions but really not too many! Dudley Stephens is even included! 

This is such a gorgeous, classic plaid tunic. The fabric has a beautiful sheen to it so it really looks dressy! I love that the collar stays standing on its own. It's a very crisp and clean look and oh so festive!!! I have been wearing it a lot as it's to easy to throw on with black pants and look nice! It runs true to size, if anything it runs roomy so if you are between sizes, size down! You can see this top in action more, here

You can see a full post about this dress, here. This is such a good one when you're not sure what to wear because it's like a blank canvas. I have it styled neutrally for daytime here, but you can dress it up for nighttime, too! This runs true to size. 
These are leggings from the Tucekrnuck Sport line- I LOVE their sport line. Everything is so high quality and modest in terms of coverage. Everything I've gotten so far fits true to size! I'm wearing a small in the leggings you see above. I actually just wore them to Orange Theory on Sunday. Great for walking or a HIIT workout!

This dress is definitely one of my favorites because of the comfortable but cute fit. It's very roomy. I am wearing a size small but if anything size down. The fabric is really nice and thick but light enough that you can wear it in the summer. 

The tennis shoes are a pair I have had for many years and wear often. They're just a simple classic and very comfortable. They go with everything! 

I absolutely love this top. One of my most favorites in my closet. I have to restrain myself from wearing it all of the time. I am wearing a size small and it's very oversized but not in a frumpy way. The fabric doesn't wrinkle easily and is so lightweight and cooling. I did a whole blog post on this top, here

This is such a beautiful dress. The photos don't even do it justice. It's a thick wool/flannel fabric and fully lined. It is so well made. It has a swing fit so it's roomier in the hips. The perfect thing for a holiday event! It runs true to size. 

This top is true to size, but roomy so you could definitely size down. I wear this top all of the time so you are probably not surprised. I did a full blog post on this top, here

These are basically Hermes look-alike sandals and I love them so much I have been considering getting the Hermes version because I wear these so often. The only thing holding me back is that I have the Hermes Oasis sandals and I like them but don't love them. I think the flats are definitely a bit different, though, but for now these are so nice. They are real leather and very comfortable! 

I love all of the Tuckernuck sport collection. The prints, the fabrics, everything is SO good. It's so high quality. The fabric is thick and the shorts have a grip around the legs to hold them in place. This runs true to size. 

This is a beautifully knit sweater. It no longer comes in this camel color but comes in a beautiful pink! This also has a slight swing fit to it. It runs true to size. I really love the thicker ribbed crewneck on this. 

I feel like I don't even need to explain these cashmere travel wraps anymore. They're so luxurious and a wardrobe staple for me! Would make a VERY nice gift. 

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