We can always use an excuse to celebrate—especially as the days get shorter and the weather gets colder. From fun food holidays, to creative family outings, to your much-anticipated Thanksgiving feast, here are 30 ways to make your November a little bit happier.
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Vegan food isn’t just bland tofu and veggies anymore. These days, there are tons of alternatives for your favorite non-vegan foods—from desserts, to bacon to burgers that actually look rare. Sample some veggie fare with some of our tasty vegan recipes, like vegan chili “cheese” dip, tofu “crab” cakes and dairy-free, cherry cheesecake. We promise you won’t even miss the non-vegan-friendly ingredients!
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It’s been said that the humble sandwich is the perfect food. And we certainly don’t disagree—the right bread, meats, cheeses, veggies and condiments can totally transform a sad work lunch. From classic peanut butter and jelly sammies, to super indulgent (and super inventive) combos, the possibilities are endless (and delicious).
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November 4 – Book Lovers Day
Whether you're reading for work, school or fun, books help us experience new people and places, learn things we didn’t know before, and they are pretty darn entertaining, too. Needless to say, books are magical—and worth celebrating! Kick back in your favorite cozy spot with a good (free!) book to honor this day. Continue to 5 of 30 below.
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November 5 – National Doughnut Appreciation Day
As if you really need an entire day to appreciate (and eat) doughnuts! Although the origin of the doughnut is heavily debated, basic doughnuts—or rings of fried dough—first began to appear in literature in the mid-19th century. Since then, they’ve only gotten better. Check out these recipes for doughnuts that are frosted, stuffed with marshmallows or topped with bacon.
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November 7 – Hug a Bear Day
Grab your old teddy bear from the attic and give her a good squeeze 'cause today is Hug a Bear Day. If you donated all of your old stuffed animals in a Marie Kondo-frenzy, celebrate by whipping up a new fuzzy friend with one of these free teddy bear patterns.
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November 8 – Cook Something Bold DayContinue to 9 of 30 below.
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November 9 – Go to an Art Museum Day
Whether you’re visiting one of New York City’s world-famous museums, checking out the offering at your local museum or creating your own collection with your kids, there are few things more inspiring than admiring some amazing artwork.
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November 10 – Forget-Me-Not Day
Between work, household chores and childcare, it can be tough to keep in touch with faraway friends and family. Take a few minutes today to reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while, whether it’s over the phone, email or social media. Or, if you're feeling extra creative, send someone a homemade card!
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November 11 – Veterans Day
On Veterans Day, Americans honor the brave men and women, both living and deceased, who served in the military. Take some time to learn how Veterans Day became a holiday, teach your children about the importance of the day and call your favorite veteran to thank him or her for their selfless service–or consider donating to one of the many charitable organizations that serves veterans.
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November 12 – Happy Hour DayContinue to 13 of 30 below.
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November 13 – World Kindness Day
These days, we could all use a little extra kindness. Spread the love by doing a good deed, like raking an elderly neighbor’s yard or collecting their newspapers, writing a letter to an old friend or surprising your partner with their favorite dessert. Not only will it make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but it’ll put some positivity out into the universe, too.
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November 14 – National Pickle Day
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When was the last time you gave your refrigerator a good scrub down? Banish stains, smells and spoiled food by dedicating a few minutes to the ol’ icebox today. Start by tossing all of the expired food and condiments (we’re looking at you, crusty, two-year-old ketchup) and then use our deep cleaning guide to really get your fridge like new again.
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November 16 – The Great American Smokeout
We all know smoking has many negative effects on our health, but quitting can be hard. Each year, the American Cancer Society encourages smokers to finally kick the habit, if only for one day. It may be tough, but with the right tools and resources, it is doable. Need a little extra incentive? Consider quitting for your kids, pets and home.Continue to 17 of 30 below.
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November 17 – Homemade Bread Day
If you’ve ever made your own bread or simply walked into a local bakery you know the smell of freshly baked bread is totally intoxicating. Making homemade bread may seem a little intimidating, but it’s actually really simple—the trick to achieving a crusty, outer layer is using steam during the baking process. Whether you bake basic bread, pumpernickel or pita, one thing is certain: Today will be a very carb heavy day.
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November 18 – National Vichyssoise Day
Say bonjour to your new favorite soup recipe! This French soup combines pureed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream and chicken stock for a simple, but delicious dish. Although it’s traditionally served chilled, it can be warmed for those chilly, late-fall days.
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Thanksgiving is all about the sides! Although Thanksgiving is only a few days away, there’s truly no wrong time to eat (and enjoy) your favorite stuffing recipe. Check out our ideas for classic stuffing, sausage stuffing and even savory, gluten-free stuffing... and get extra excited for your impending feast.
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November 22 – Go for a Ride Day
Get a little pre-Thanksgiving calorie burn on by taking the family out for a bike ride. It’s a fun, easy way to sneak in extra exercise… and spend some time with your kids and partner before you’re totally surrounded by extended family.
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November 23 – Thanksgiving
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November 25 – Small Business Saturday
Support your local businesses and get shopping! Touted as the antidote to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is meant to boost your town’s economy by supporting local restaurants, retailers and other businesses.
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November 27 – National Electric Guitar Day
Put on your favorite rock and roll album, grab your air guitar and start wailing! Alternately, if you can actually play the electric guitar, spend a few minutes strumming your favorite songs in honor of all the iconic, rock legends who used their guitars to transform music (and society) as we know it.
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Here’s a fun fact for National French Toast Day: It wasn’t invented in France! It actually dates back to 4th century Rome. So, do like the Romans do—and give yourself a little history lesson—with one of these decadent french toast recipes.Continue to 29 of 30 below.
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November 29 – Throw Out Your Leftovers Day
There’s nothing better than a plate piled high with Thanksgiving leftovers. But after a week, it’s time to toss those Turkey Day eats. Don’t fret—you’ll always have the memories. Once you’ve thrown away all of your leftovers, give the refrigerator a good wipe down and reorganize its contents. You don’t want to undo all of that cleaning you did earlier in the month, right?
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November 30 – Stay at Home Because You’re Well Day
Staying home because you’re sick is miserable; staying home because you’re well is fun! Today, play hooky from work—solo or with the entire family—and enjoy a day of relaxing at home. Kick back with a classic grilled cheese and a good book or your favorite movie for the best day ever.