2019 Gift Guide: Organizations to Support on Giving Tuesday and Beyond

In honor of Giving Tuesday, I wanted to share a few organizations that could use your support this holiday season and beyond. I decided to focus on seven organizations that I personally support; but there are a million amazing organizations working in a variety of sectors, so if you have a favorite cause or organization – feel free to mention them in the comments below! These days, I’m personally very much focused on organizations working to protect and reform our democratic systems (and they’re mostly non-partisan!), as well as organizations seeking to help asylum seekers impacted by the Trump administration’s disastrous immigration policies. Maybe you’re already familiar with these organizations, but if not I’m thrilled to help introduce you to a few organizations doing amazing work around the country. Every little bit helps!

2019 Gift Guide: Organizations to Support on Giving Tuesday and Beyond

POLITICAL NON-PROFITS

Run for Something

Run for Something has the fantastic mission of supporting young, progressive candidates running for state and local office. Run for Something aims to lower the barriers to entry for these candidates by helping them with seed money, organization building, and the training they need to be successful. They want to permanently improve and expand the definition of “politician” – making it something honorable again, and not just something for rich old white dudes or slimeballs – and bring it back to public service. They just launched in January 2017 and have already recruited more than 45,000 candidates across all 50 states. Yes to more young people in public office!

Fair Fight Action

Fair Fight (founded by Stacey Abrams) promotes fair elections in key states around the country, encourages voter participation in elections, and educates voters about elections and their voting rights. Fair Fight brings awareness to the public on election reform, advocates for election reform at all levels, and engages in targeted voter registration and other voter outreach programs and communications. Fair Fight is particularly focused on countering voter suppression – particularly young voters and voters of color – and they’re doing some really important work in many 2020 swing states.

She Should Run

She Should Run is a nonpartisan nonprofit promoting leadership and encouraging women from all walks of life to run for office by providing training and other assistance for female candidates. Women are underrepresented at all levels in the 500,000+ elected offices across the United States. She Should Run is committed to getting at least 250,000 women to run for local, state, and federal offices by 2030! 

 

Resistbot

Resistbot is a free service that helps you contact your elected officials or local newspaper via email, text message, fax, or postal letter – it makes engaging with our elected officials SO EASY! Because the goal of Resistbot is to deliver your correspondence to elected officials, their activities technically fall under the IRS definition of lobbying – and they need our donations to keep the service running! 

 

Represent Us

Represent Us is a grassroots organization bringing together conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between to pass powerful anti-corruption laws that stop political bribery, end secret money, and fix our broken elections by passing anti-corruption measures at the state and local level. So important!

 

 

IMMIGRATION/REFUGEE ASSISTANCE

Al Otro Lado

Al Otro Lado provides legal and medical assistance to asylum seekers, migrants, and deportees, including cross-border support for families separated under the family separation policy and families currently impacted by the Remain in Mexico policy program. Your donations to Al Otro Lado go directly to serving indigent deportees, migrants, and refugees in Tijuana and Los Angeles!

 

Aldea

Aldea – The People’s Justice Center provides pro-bono or discounted legal services for members of the immigrant community, including unaccompanied minors and minor immigrant children. They’re active throughout the United States, but focus largely on families and children detained at the Berks Detention Center. You can also donate via Facebook.

In addition to Al Otro Lado and Aldea PJC, you can also donate to Las Americas, an immigrant advocacy organization based in El Paso, or donate to support families impacted by the ICE raids in Mississippi earlier this year right here.

2019 Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for Kids

Our next gift guide is all about the kiddos! I have two girls, age 5 and 7, so this guide is mostly geared towards kids in the 5-9 year old range – but if you have kids in that age range I’ve got a lot of great ideas for you! If you’re looking for gift ideas for younger kids, check out my gift guides from previous years to see our favorite toys for those ages! (Hint: Magnatiles is pretty much always the answer.)

2019 Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for Kids 5-8 Years Old

1. I’m kind of obsessed with this wood castle set. It’s completely modular, so your kids can build any castle that comes to mind. I can totally see my kids creating a castle filled with their favorite figurines!

2. This might be pretty specific to my kids, but they play with these Lightfury and Toothless figurines for hours – so I thought I’d include them! I try not to have a million dolls and figurines in the house, but these seem to inspire a lot of imaginative play so they get my stamp of approval.

3. If dragons aren’t your kids’ thing, my kids are also super into all things horses and Spirit. This walking Spirit is at the top of their Christmas list, but they love any horse figurine like this or this with long hair that they can comb and braid.

4. This star projector would be so beautiful as a bedroom nightlight.

5. We discovered these Peaceable Kingdom board games at our local game shop, Labyrinth, over the summer – and we already have three of them! The games are cooperative, meaning everyone wins together and there are no losers (especially tiny younger siblings) with hurt feelings. Feed the Woozle is probably our favorite so far, but we also love Gnomes at Night and this Fairy Game! We also really love this bug building game from Lakeshore Learning.

6. My kids scooter all over the neighborhood – this one folds flat and has light up wheels

7. Thank goodness for beautiful wood toys. I love the colors in this Montessori counting toy for younger kids, and this minimalist wood counting toy for kids above first grade.

8. This shapes puzzle set is perfect for visually-oriented kids! Let them build something entirely from their imagination or work on their problem-solving skills by trying to build the designs shown on the cards. Would make a fantastic travel toy, too!

9. I’m thrilled that Polly Pocket is making a comeback! We have a couple sets already and my girls love them – and they’re small enough to be fun stocking stuffers, too! This unicorn set is on my list.

10. My kids are absolutely obsessed with temporary tattoos – especially metallic tattoos! This Melissa & Doug temporary tattoo book would also be a wonderful stocking stuffer.

11. Bracelets with secret messages! So fun!

12. We took the kids to the International Spy Museum a few weeks ago, and they’ve been obsessed with all things secret and sleuthy ever since! I feel like we’d get a lot of mileage out of this Super Sleuth kit – but an invisible ink pen also makes a wonderful stocking stuffer!

13. Give me all the STEM kits! This Snap Circuits kit looks like so much fun, and there’s also a Magic Rocks kit and a build-your-own Robot Spider kit

2019 Gift Guide: Cocktails + Entertaining

If you’re searching for the perfect gift for someone who loves to entertain and make cocktails at home, today’s gift guide is just for you. We rounded up a few of the things that we love using for making cocktails or entertaining at home, from books to bar tools to my all-time favorite candle. You can also find some fantastic ideas on our gift guides from previous years, which you can check out right here!

2019 Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for Cocktails and Entertaining

1. Absolutely obsessed with this gorgeous platter from Honeycomb Studio, with carvings and gold decorations inspired by tidal movement. So beautiful!

2. A mixing glass is an essential tool for classic cocktails like martinis, manhattans, the old fashioned, etc. I love this gold foil version, and don’t forget a beautiful bar spoon!

3. Cocktail books! Our current reading list includes Spirits Sugar Water Bitters, a history of the cocktail’s birth, rise, fall, and eventual resurrection by our own DC-based cocktail guru Derek Brown. By the Smoke and the Smell by Thad Vogler takes readers around the world, celebrating the vivid characters who produce hand-made spirits like rum, scotch, cognac, and mezcal. If you love Tiki drinks, check out this modern Tiki cocktail recipe book by Shannon Mustipher.

4. Candles make wonderful hosting gifts. This Santal candle by Brooklyn Candle Co. is my all-time favorite scent, and burns for 70 hours!

5. This little herb stripper is perfect for both cooking and cocktail purposes.

6. Love the colors in this speckled vessel from O–M Ceramics. I think it would be really beautiful as a kitchen utensil holder!

7. A ceramic pie plate for someone who really loves holiday entertaining! These beauties from Jars of Dust are almost sold out, but I found a couple similar versions on Etsy here and here!

8. This bartender’s backpack is a wonderful gift idea for serious cocktail enthusiasts. My husband is constantly bringing drinks to dinner parties and gatherings, and this backpack would make things so much easier!

9. The prettiest minimalist tapered candle holders to decorate a table or mantel any time of year.

10. How cute is this ceramic pour over coffee set? You can use it to make a single cup or a small pot for guests, and the colors are absolutely GORGEOUS.

2019 Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for Creatives

It’s time for our annual gift guides – starting with gift ideas for creatives! I try not to duplicate items from year to year, so please do go back and check out the gift guides from previous years if you’re searching for the perfect gift for a creative person in your life. There are tons of great ideas in there, from creative tools to classes. This year’s gift guide features two things I desperately want for myself (the pink camera strap and insulated coffee mug), the cutest magnetic letterboard, and a bunch of books!

2019 Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for Creatives

1. Votes for Women pin from And Here We Are. Wear it proudly in 2020!

2. I love the colors of these magnetic boards from The Type Set Co., and the magnetic letters are SO much easier than traditional letterboards. 

3. + 4. Know someone who wants to learn calligraphy or watercolor painting, but doesn’t have easy access to classes or workshops? Books are the perfect solution! Molly Suber Thorpe’s new book, Mastering Modern Calligraphy, is perfect for intermediate calligraphers, while Jenna Rainey’s Everyday Watercolor Flowers teaches the basics for creating a variety of beautiful watercolor blooms. 

5. The prettiest camera strap EVER. Comes in a variety of colors and styles, and can even be customized with initials or logos!

6. Every creative person I know listens to podcasts and music all. day. long. Keep those airpods close with these beautiful cases from Rifle Paper Co.

7. I have a Zojirushi travel coffee mug that keeps my coffee warm when I’m out and about, but I really want one of these insulated Yeti mugs for when I’m working at home! They come in so many beautiful colors. 

8. I’ve been obsessed with these magic flags from Secret Holiday Co. for a couple years now. This cyan blue is so pretty and there’s also an ochre version!

9. More books! I love gifting books for any type of design enthusiast. We’ve got Paris by Design and Travel Home for global design enthusiasts, along with Grit by Angela Duckworth and Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller for entrepreneurs looking to take their creative businesses to the next level.

10. Creatives can never have too many notebooks and notepads! I love these new metallic Field Notes notebooks and the sentiment behind this notepad from People I’ve Loved.

11. Vintage stamps are essential for stationery styling. Angela Liguori sells the most perfect little bags of gorgeous international vintage stamps! 

Holiday Cocktail Recipes

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We’re up at my in-law’s house getting ready for dinner, and I’m thinking about cocktails as we put the finishing touches on our holiday menu. I thought I would quickly share a few favorite holiday cocktail recipes in case you’re in the same situation! We’ve got a few punch recipes, some wine-based cocktail recipes, a couple coffee cocktails, and more. Enjoy!

Holiday Cocktail Recipe Ideas

Punch Recipes

Okay, let’s start with the punches – the large batch cocktails that will keep everyone happy throughout the night. Our Spiced Winter Punch is one of our favorite recipes and can be made with vodka, rum, gin, or whiskey, you can go traditional with a Hot Rum Punch, or mix things up with a tequila-based (!!) Yuletide Punch. If you’re feeling extra theatrical, you can light the Charles Dickens Punch on fire before drinking (please be extra careful). Fish House punch is just a rather strange name for a Caribbean rum punch, while Allspice Punch is warm and spicy.

Spiced Winter Punch Holiday Cocktail Recipe

Spiced Winter Punch

Allspice Punch Cocktail RecipeCharles Dickens Punch Recipe by Liquorary

Allspice Punch // Charles Dickens Punch

Traditional Hot Rum Punch

Rum Punch Holiday Cocktail RecipeYuletide Punch Holiday Cocktail Recipe

Fish House Punch // Yuletide Punch

Wine Cocktails

If you’re not super into spirits, try a mulled wine for the holidays! We love a good Swedish Glögg, which is basically a bottle of wine thrown together with whatever spirits and spices you might already have on hand. We made ours with brandy and white port, but you could easily go with rum, whiskey, or just about anything else. Same goes for the Mulled Winter Sangria, which can be served warm or over ice!

Swedish Mulled Wine Glogg Recipe / Hygge Cocktail Ideas

Traditional Swedish Glögg

Mulled Winter Sangria Recipe / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Mulled Winter Sangria

Warm Coffee Cocktails

Warm cocktails are perfect for cold winter nights, and couldn’t we all use the extra energy from a bit of black coffee?? Our Spiced Irish Coffee and Scotch Coffee recipes are basically just variations on a theme, but we added cardamom and rosewater to the Irish coffee while the vanilla bean Scotch coffee has a smokey warmth that I really love this time of year. 

Irish Coffee Recipe / Liquorary x Bushmills

Spiced Irish Coffee

Scotch Coffee Cocktail Recipe

Vanilla Bean Scotch Coffee

Smashes

If you’re looking for crowd-pleasing small batch cocktail recipes to make over the holidays, these two vanilla-bean smashes – the Pear Vanilla Bean Bourbon Smash and Orange Vanilla Bean Scotch Smash – are my absolute favorites. Even if you don’t think you like Scotch or Bourbon, you’ll love these drinks. Promise!

Bourbon Pear Vanilla Bean Cocktail Recipe

Pear Vanilla Bean Bourbon Smash

Orange Vanilla Bean Scotch Smash Recipe

Orange Vanilla Bean Scotch Smash

Happy holidays everyone!