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A few weeks ago, I sampled and loved Just Add Cooking. It came at a time where cooking was just not something I was loving, and the box took the thinking out of meal planning and preparation, which was amazing. I loved that the food was sourced locally, and it was delicious.

And now I love that Just Add Cooking is giving back to the Boston community this holiday season.

Just Add Cooking

First of all, first time customers receive a special trial price starting at $39. More importantly though, this week, Just Add Cooking will donate $1 per box sold to the Greater Boston Food Bank; each dollar  will allow them to provide three meals to people in need.  Hunger hurts year-round, but winter makes it even more unbearable, and every meal counts. I hope you will help me spread the word so that this initiative can reach as many people interested as possible. If you were thinking about trying a meal service, there’s no time like right now!

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Tags: Boston, charity, events, holidays, Just Add Cooking

It’s amazing how, the second Labor Day weekend was over, my email inbox starting filling up with event invitations. August was dead quiet, and I not-so-secretly like that. Summer is for barefoot evenings curled up in a patio chair enjoying the sunset. Fall, however, is for reconnecting, catching up, and kicking off events’ season. I am always a fan of wine for a good cause and am happy to share Raise Your Glass for Jimmy, a wine event happening this October 2. Please see below for details.

The sixth annual Raise Your Glass for Jimmy presented by the Jimmy Fund Council of Greater Boston will take place 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2at the Battery Wharf Hotel in Boston. All proceeds support adult and pediatric cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Admission to the event includes a wide variety of beers and wines to taste from August West Wines, Blue Hills Brewery, Boston Bottle, Gordon’s Fine Wines and Liquors, Mayflower Brewery, Medusa Brewery, M.S. Walker, Plymouth Bay Winery, and Wormtown Brewery. The event also includes hors d’oeuvres, live music, and a silent auction.

Tickets are $75 per person, and early bird pricing is available with two tickets for $125 if purchased before Sept. 21. The first 150 guests at the door will receive a $25 gift certificate from Tresca. For more information, visit www.jimmyfund.org/raise-your-glass.

About The Jimmy Fund

The Jimmy Fund (www.JimmyFund.org) solely supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, raising funds for adult and pediatric cancer care and research to improve the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world. The Jimmy Fund is the official charity of the Boston Red Sox, the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Pan-Mass Challenge, and the Variety Children’s Charity of New England. Since 1948, the generosity of millions of people has helped the Jimmy Fund save countless lives and reduce the burden of cancer for patients and families worldwide. Follow the Jimmy Fund on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thejimmyfund and on Twitter: @TheJimmyFund.

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Tags: beer, Boston, Boston blogger, charity, events, Jimmy Fund, wine

On our first full day in Tanzania, we had breakfast and a briefing at Moivaro Lodge, our home for the first two nights of the trip, and then we all piled into a bus for our day at Shanga & Riverhouse, about 20 minutes away.

Kindness About Shanga:

Set under the towering Acacia trees of Tanzania, East Africa, Shanga is a heartwarming project dedicated to supporting and empowering disabled community members. With breaking down obstacles for disabled Tanzanians and a commitment to environmentally sustainable business practises as its core values, Shanga is a for-profit company that raises standards. Now comprised of a bustling workshop, open-air restaurant, and three trendy boutiques, Shanga has grown exponentially from what started with one beaded necklace and a desire to help those in need.

Shanga is simply amazing. People with disabilities, some who might otherwise be tossed away or ignored by society, are empowered through art, and they make some beautiful things on-site using recycled materials. Trash is a big problem in Tanzania; people burn it, and there was plenty along the side of the road, so being able to channel that trash into beautiful merchandise goes a long way in keeping this beautiful country clean.

Before we took a tour at Shanga, we had a sign language lesson where we also learned some Swahili words. Our lesson was held on a sprawling lawn on pink and green couches made from old beds. It was a stunning, festive space, and we had a great time learning and laughing.

 

Shanga and River House After our lesson we toured Shanga’s art workshop areas and got to meet some of the artisans behind the glassware, beads, paintings, and fabrics for sale in the store.  Our guide Paul was kind and fun, and he really showed pride in the people working with him.

craft demonstration

recycled glass As we wound our way through Shanga, we marveled at beautiful decor like walls of recycled wine bottles that magnified the warm light and made a lovely noise when gently moved.

beads

Shanga Tanzania Shanga has people making beaded jewelry and cloth from recycled materials. We all fell in love with stuffed elephants made from mens’ shirts. I think we bought most of their supply for kids in our lives.

colorful cloth

weaving There was so much talent, pride, and focus in the artists at Shanga, and it was fun to watch them work.

Shanga and River House At the end of our tour, we had time to check out the on-site restaurant, which was to die for. I want to go back and have another wedding there.

River House

We left Shanga with hand blown glass Champagne flutes, stuffed elephants, and a beaded Christmas ornament to remind us of our travels, along with a major respect for the people living and working at Shanga. It was well worth the trip and an enchanting place to spend the day.

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Tags: Africa, art, charity, Tanzania, Travel, travel blog, Travel Tuesday

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