Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Feeling Thankful - Spread it Around

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. You get to eat a lot and think about why you're thankful. I'm willing to bet we all have something to be thankful for even during these hard economic times.

Some of the things I'm happy about this year:

- I have a good paying job that I like
- I have OYFP!
- I get to have two Thanksgiving dinners, one with my family and one with my boyfriend's family --- mmmmm pie!

If you want to help other people keep some full bellies or perhaps have an empty belly yourself, consider donating to or visiting the following local food banks and food pantries:

- Greater Boston Food Bank, 99 Atkinson Rd, Boston
- Boston Medical Center Food Pantry, 801 Massachusetts Ave, Boston

Or check out's list of pantries and shelters who could use a little assistance this season, and really, all year long.

Happy Turkey Day!

Some of the family and friends I'm grateful for (I'm on the far left)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holiday Shopping & BYOBag

This Thursday like many other US Americans I will be eating my weight in turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing. I will inevitably fall into a food coma and wake up on Friday with the energy and stamina needed to shop on Black Friday.

Before I am out the door I will do the mandatory check-list; wallet-yep, game plan to hit the sales-yep, cell phone for emergency calls only-yep, and reusable bag-yep. Wait a second reusable bag? The stores you will be going to have bags so it isn't a requirement for you to bring one, yet it is extremely important for the enviornment that you bring one.

We have written to you before about how important it is to be green and reduce your carbon foot print as much as possible. Bringing your reusable bags for shopping can continue this trend and would reduce the amount of trees needing to be cut for paper bags and reduce the amount of plastic in our landfills.

If mother earth isn't a good enough reason for you to think about bringing your reusable bag. Then consider you won't be a FREE walking add for whatever store you purchased items from. Stores pay big bucks for advertisements on billboards, magazines, & TV adds, yet they don't pay you for walking around with their name brand on your bag, essentially its free marketing for them.

I bring this up because I rarely see people use reusable bags while shopping, with the exception of a grocery store. I bring my reusable bag whenever I am going shopping, even if its just an outing with the girls. It really doesn't take a lot of effort either, just leave your reusable bag by your purse or wallet. Then, before you leave you grab both your reusable bag alongside of your holder of money and you are out the door. Easy right?

Well it is easy to me, but I would be curious why people are reluctant to use reusable bags for other purposes than grocery shopping? Is it a trend that hasn't caught on yet?

Related Posts: To Have or Not to Have Plastic Bags; The Greenest Generation; Green Tips for the New Year

Photo courtesy of:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sobriety Checkpoints Keeping Us Safe

After a particularily debaucherous night two summers ago, my boyfriend and I hailed a cab and fell into it, laughing and feeling lucky we got the little yellow car to stop for us. We sat in the back seat recounting the evening's events, when suddenly --BAM-- the car behind us hit our cab! It was odd, since we had been sitting at the light for awhile, as had she. The cabby got out to check for damage, and upon finding none, got back in the car.

Meanwhile, this drive drove swerved around us, went through the red light, and jerkily made her way onto 93N. This woman was Lindsay Lohan drunk, stuff your face with pizza drunk, throw up in a trash can drunk, and she was behind the wheel of a car.

Scary. I mean it. I feel like drunk driving is one of those things you learn you're not supposed to do far before you have your license. All of us have probably driven "on the edge," but blatent drunk driving is like giving, well, giving a drunk person a huge 3,600 pound weapon. Not good.

Why bring this all up now? Well for the first time ever, I drove through a sobriety checkpoint in Boston. I was damn happy to do so, too. After all, it was 1:30 AM on Friday night (slash early Saturday morning), prime time to head home. We even saw one girl who tried to turn around to avoid the checkpoint getting her car towed and probably in a lot of trouble.

It's the holiday season, we'll all be getting a little merry... but don't drink and drive. It's stupid, dangerous, and you will get caught. There's plenty of ways to get home without getting behind the wheel of a car, or you can just couch surf for an evening.

Oh, and yes, I did drink that night, but only a glass of wine and a beer.... four hours prior to when I was driving.

A sobriety checkpoint in Connecticut

Related Posts: Apple Picking & Wine Tasting; Voting experience on Nov 4; Boston Bike Sharing; Unexpected Volunteering

Photo of sign from McBlog97, and of the CT sobriety checkpoint from versageek.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Feel like giving back on Thanksgiving?

On November 27th, Tavern in the Square (Central Square) will host their 2nd annual Thanksgiving Dinner.

Dinner will be served to those who have nowhere else to go by a full staff of volunteers from 11:00am to 2:00pm. This is an opportunity to help feed the elderly, the homeless, along with families who maybe having a difficult times.

If you are interested in volunteering on Thanksgiving call 617-868-8800.”

Get out, Get up, Get On Your Feet.

Picture from:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fashion, Fun, and For a Cause

I have only one word to say about Christopher's Catwalk, FIERCE! I think we really out did ourselves with this one and I couldn't be more proud to be a member of On Your Feet Project!

After you entered the door you knew you were in for a treat. You heard he jammin' grooves of DJ Justin Fishlin which made you want to shake your thang. As you perused the scene you saw all the chic donated items for auction and raffle prizes. Seriously, who wouldn't want a sock monkey for their very own?

When you were done perusing all that OYFP had to offer you were called to the stage as the fashion show began. Jami Hollingshead started us off with some astounding vocals. She was so on key that if I didn't see it with my own eyes I would think that this was a record being played by the DJ!

Then the show started with The Velvet Fly, and the dresses were gorgeous! I am such a fan of vintage clothing so I will be sure to check out the store over on Hanover street! After the Velvet Fly, Bless By Bless Couture came on with their fashion inspired by hope, faith and love. The designs were very hot; hoodies with boy shorts, need I say more?

Next up for the runway was Oak, with handmade clothes from her Gloucester St shop. I am definitely going to have to take a road trip over there soon to get me an original outfit or two! Rounding out the show was Rick Walker's, Rock'n'Roll Cowboy attire. Cowboy boots are in right now so make sure you pop on over to Newbury street and check them out.

A big thank you to James Joseph Studio on Newbury Street for making the models' hair look Fab-u-lous and who were also kind enough to donate raffle prizes as well. Big-ups to the models, make-up artists, and photographers, as the event could not have been possible without each of their individual help.

What really touched me about the whole event is how cancer has affected so many people around us. I was taking with one of the make-up artists and she was telling me about her mom's bout with cancer and that is why she donated her time and talent to help such a worthy cause.

We may not be able to come up with the cure for cancer but we can come together as a community and show those who are currently dealing with cancer that we are here for them in their time of need. This is why we put on these great social benefit events, to show the community we care and can make a difference in someone's life today.

On behalf of OYFP I would like to thank all that donated their time, talent, and effort to make this event a huge success for everyone involved.

To see more photos of Christopher's Catwalk, click here!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Christian - A Christopher's Haven Kid

We don't have a recap of last night's events... yet. Hey, some of us didn't get home until 1 or 2 AM, so give us a break!

However, in the mean time we would like to share the story of Christian Meyer, one of the little boys with a brain tumor who received treatment at MGH before he died, and whose family received support from Christopher's Haven. In fact, the "best day of [Christian's] life" (as proclaimed by Christian) was the day he got to sit in the Red Sox dugout with Kevin Youkilis, whose foundation supports Christopher's Haven.

So - know that your donations last night are going to a really great foundation that will help other kids like Christian and their families while they're going through treatment, and what may be a battle for their lives.

Bowen Community Buries a "Shining Light"

Seven-year-old Christian Meyer walked out of Bowen School and looked up at a large concrete truck parked out front.

The little, blond boy grinned widely as his picture stared back down at him.

He pushed his walker to the front of a crowd of classmates who had gathered at the foot of the large machine, walking with an ease and flexibility matched only in those who had mastered their handicap.

Perched above the wheel of the truck, Christian fielded questions from the other elementary school students, much like he was conducting a press conference, his dad said later.

Christian, who was battling a tumor that kept resurfacing on his brain, knew he didn’t have much time left with his classmates. But he spoke with a sense of optimism and lightheartedness as he shared what he knew about his terminal cancer and why his picture was on the side of the truck above the words “Orphan Cancers.”

“He made everyone feel comfortable,” said his father, Doug Meyer. “And he always knew the right thing to say to put people at ease.”

Christian never made it to the second grade. He passed away at his home on Oct. 27, one month after his eighth birthday [Read More].

To read the rest of the article, please visit the Wicked Local Newton site.
Chrissie Long (author of this original article) can be reached at


To contribute to the Meyer Family Trust, send a check to c/o John Talvacchia Eckert, Seamans LLC, One International Place Boston, MA 02110 or — in honor of Christian Daniel Meyer — to c/o Massachusetts General Hospital, Pediatric Brain Tumor Fund, 165 Cambridge St., Suite 600, Boston, MA 02114.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Read the paper!

This is Casey's mom blogging at the OYFP event at Parris - the bar above Ned Devine's at Fanuel Hall. It was hard to find because I didn't know where I was going because I'm not that hip.

When I saw the great photo for this event in the G section of the Globe at 7 am as I turned towards the Bridge column, I immediately called Casey. Conveniently, her phone number was listed in the event description.

In acting before thinking, I realized that it was only 7 am, which explained why Casey sounded like she had just woken up.

"My alarm was about to go off," Casey said, I think to make me feel better.

I wanted her to see the article in the Globe.

I wanted her to buy a copy of the Globe.

I want every 20-something to buy the Globe regularly if they want the Globe to continue as a brand.

But 20-somethings don't buy newspapers, much less have time to read them. When you do, it's online, for free.

The first newspaper was started in Germany in the 1500s to report on how the government was spending tax revenue and if it was going to raise taxes! We need journalism as the fourth branch of government, to comment on our policy makers, to inform, to educate, to entertain.

The Internet is killing journalism. Newspapers used to make a killing on classifieds. It was the only way to buy and sell things and post and find jobs. Now we can do it more efficiently online.

Should newspapers go the way of General Motors, which was once the biggest company in the world? I think GM considered itself invincible and had license to build inane vehicles like the Hummer. Now they're in trouble and I have no sympathy.

Are newspapers in the same trouble? For centuries, newspapers have been the paper of record. We have relied on them as institutions to provide balanced information and commentary on our society.

--Casey's mom, a former journalist

Well, what do you think? Are newspapers in trouble? Some are certainly trying to re-invent themselves with an online presence... but are having limited success. Remember BostonNOW? Yeah... it's gone. Not because it wasn't profitable, but because the corporate parent decided it was a risk they couldn't take. So. Are newspapers going the way of the typewriter - gone, but not forgotten?

-- Casey

Related Posts: BostonNOW is no more; More News about News; Boston Globe and OYFP; We're good enough for.. (1) and (2)

Read Casey's Mom's blog about living the green life, and the mysteries of chickens at

Fashion Show - Live Feed

We're at the OYFP fashion show right now. Stay up to date by following Casey W's tweets at Her feed:

We're good enough for... (2)

We're good enough for... the Boston Globe's trendy new "G" section.... are we good enough for you?

From top left: OYFP's John R and fashion show director Adrienne P; photo of the event in the Boston Globe's G Section.
Catie F, one of tonight's models, holding the Boston Globe Section G.

Casey's talking about the OYFP Fashion Show Christopher's Catwalk, tonight Nov 13 from 8 PM to 11 PM. Tickets are just $20 online or $25 at the door, all proceeds go to Christopher's Haven. Online ticket sales close today at 4 PM.

Still on the fence? Read Casey's Top Ten Reasons To Go Out Thursday Night.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We're good enough for.... (1)

We're good enough for... the Boston Herald Style Calendar to pun about... are we good enough for you?
Here's a big shout-out to all the Boston area blogs and beyond who have posted about our event:

- Beantown Bloggery "Your guide to anything and everything Boston"
- New Brahmin, which "creates a much-needed home for fashion, style and shopping news in the Boston area"
- JQ Lounge, a local Boston babe's blog
- Boston Fashion, your source for all things fashion-related
-, with information about Boston condos, lofts, and more
-, the writer of which is "the girl who always knows what to wear and how to wear it"
- Bostonista, who is "23, Model Junkie, Fashion Obsessed"
- NEW: What's Up 2 Night, where you can learn about all kinds of goings on in Boston

Thank you ever so much for supporting your fellow Boston bloggers and charities.

See you Thursday night!!!

Casey's talking about the OYFP Fashion Show Christopher's Catwalk, Nov 13 from 8 PM to 11 PM. Tickets are just $20, all proceeds go to Christopher's Haven.

Related Posts: We're good enough for... (2); Children get cancer

Top Ten Reasons to Go Out Thursday Night

1. You have a chance to help kids with cancer and have fun. Contrary to popular belief, the two are not mutually exclusive.

2. No one likes a couch potato, even in french fry form. Get your butt off the couch already! Just because it's getting chilly out doesn't mean you should become a shut-in.

3. The fashions being shown range the gamut from some hawt booty shorts to classic vintage designs and trendy cowboy boots. There's a little something for everyone, including the males in the group.

4. There will be music that you'll want to move to. DJ Justin will be spinning, and we'll also have a lovely vocalist as a treat.

5. You could win something special in the raffle if you choose to buy a ticket. At the very least, if you're one of the first 100, you'll get a gift bag.

6. There will be a feast for the eyes. Besides the fashions, there will be art for you to analyze.

7. Auction up! Bid away! Feel famous! Bid on some of our prizes, including signed items by Kevin Youkalis.

8. Rum samples. Need I say more?

9. The kids with cancer are really, really cute, and really, really sick. The very least you can do is help them by donating $20 for your ticket.

10. If you're pumped up (slash tipsy) after the event, you can spend the rest of the evening at Ned Devine's dancing the night away!

11. (BONUS ROUND!) You can hang out with the dedicated OYFP members who put the event on! We're fun, we're social, we're good looking, what more could you ask for?

Those are the ten reasons I'll be at the event.. what are yours?

Get your tickets for Christopher's Catwalk online now for $20, or pay $25 at the door. The event takes place Thursday, Nov 13 from 8 PM to 11 PM at Parris, which is at the back of Ned Devine's.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Children Get Cancer, but you can help!

Before the age of 19, one in every 330 children in the United States will develop some form of cancer. Cancer is the number one cause of death due to disease in children aged one through adolescence. Brain tumors are the second-leading cause of childhood cancer, accounting for 15% of all childhood malignancies and occur mainly in children between the ages of five and 10 (National Children's Cancer Foundation, 1997).

Sobering statistics.

I mean, dang. Kids with cancer? Geez. Not to mention even if they recover, they can often fight an uphill battle trying to fit back into their old lives.

So what can you do? Diagnosis from this blogger is simple: Attend our upcoming charity fashion show and lounge party called "Christopher's Catwalk" on Thursday, Nov. 13. Even if you don't consider yourself a fashionista, chances are you'll enjoy this shindig. There will be music, art, rum samples, and an auction, and tickets are just $20 if you get on it and buy them online before Thursday night.

Since OYFP's own fashionista Adrienne has gotten most of the items for the event donated, close to 100% of the funds from your ticket price will go to help kids with cancer. That's right, those 1 in 330 who get cancer when they're under the age of 13. OYFP's partner Christopher's Haven helps kids with brain cancer and their families while the kids are getting treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital.

No excuses, folks. There's fun, there's goodwill, and there's us! See you Thursday night!

Purchase tickets online at

Monday, November 10, 2008

Clothing as Self Expression

With the upcoming OYFP charity fashion show this Thursday, my thoughts this week have turned to clothing. Just exactly why do we take it so seriously? And when does this obsession (for some of us) start?

In every culture, communication is not just what comes out of our mouth, it's our body language, it's how we fashion our hair, it's who we gather around us, it's what we put on our bodies, that communicates our message to those who know us (or don't).

Typically we start to become more aware of what we put on our bodies when we're teens. "Mom, I cannnnn'tttttt wear that!!!!! NO NO no NO No No!" This is the period when we're a little bit lost (psychologically) and trying to fit in with our identified group until we figure it all out, and it is of upmost importance we don't misstep, though invariably we always do.

Really, though, this doesn't change much even as we age. We continue throughout our lives to wear clothing similar to that of our friends, or perhaps similar to that of people with whom we would like to be friends. Researchers have postulated that clothing helps us satisfy our "higher order needs" of belonging and self-esteem. Some adults take it even farther - for them, clothing has been found to contribute to a sense of well-being or quality of life.

Think about it - we all have that favorite t-shirt or dress, and it's not only because of how it fits, but because of how it makes us feel. Even guys who proclaim "I don't care what I wear" can't help but feel good when they're wearing that blue tshirt that they know makes their eyes look good, or a suit that makes them look sharp.

So. Where do you fall on the scale of caring about what you wear? Or don't you?

Related Posts: Who is Happier?; How to be Happier
Related Events: OYFP Fashion Show, Nov 13 from 8 PM to 11 PM. Tickets are just $20, all proceeds go to Christopher's Haven.

This blog post was based on research I read about from the paper Clothing in the Self-System of Adolescents by M. Suzanne Sontag, Mihaela Peteu, and Jongnam Lee (1997).

Friday, November 7, 2008

TGIF: Streaming video feed of puppies

Thank Goodness It's Friday, folks. The week has been chock full of excitement, from the election to OYFP's preparation for our upcoming charity fashion show.

To take a little of the edge off, check out this streaming puppy feed:

Related Posts: Talking to Animals; TGIF from OYFP: Cats on a treadmill; Moose Plays Dead;Recycling Dog; Sock monkeys for charity; Don't forget about your pet

Book Drive THIS Saturday

Just finished that book you were reading on the T? Running out of space on your bookshelf? Want to spread goodwill this Saturday? Well come on down to the Brighton Allston Congregational Church to declutter you home of books and donated them to the The Great American Book Drive.

The goal is to use these books to promote literacy amongst everyone! Your used books get to be enjoyed by someone else and you can live the minimalist lifestyle you have always wanted.

The Details:

Saturday, November 8th
Time: 10 am - 3 pm
Brighton-Allston Congregational Church
404 Washington Street, Brighton, MA
For MBTA stops nearby, click here

For complete information visit

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting Orange

Tropicana sponsored a site that compiles all election-related "tweets" from Twitter (a micro-blogging platform) and graphs them. It's fascinating for two reasons: One, because of the information it's showing about what people all over the world are saying about the elections in real time, and Two because it's a fantastically smart way to take advantage of current events to get your brand name out there.

Voting Experience on Nov 4

I voted this morning. Did you?

Smooth Process
Sure, I had to wait in line. I went at the peak of the morning rush at 8 AM, but only had to wait 30 minutes, and at my voting location there were two separate precincts! Two women would go down the line verifying your precinct location. Once you knew that, you could get in the correct line inside. And once inside, there were plenty of volunteers to help you with the ballot, or to translate. I saw a Japanese translator, a Russian translator, and a Chinese translator.

Once we voted, we were directed to a checkout location where a cop checked our name off of a list. I didn't have to show ID, or (all things considered) wait that long. My only complaint was that the little community room was crowded!

Long Waits

My friend who lives in Brookline had to wait 1 hour and 20 minutes to vote. Apparently the polling location didn't have enough volunteers. There was one "little old lady" checking people in, and she was hard of hearing, so the process was slow.

The result was that there were only four to six booths out of 18 booths open at any one time. This friend saw quite a few people leave - they didn't have time or the flexibility with their jobs to wait for over an hour to vote. And that's unfortunate. Hopefully they'll return later today - maybe on an extended lunch break...?

Food and Fuel?

I wrote on Friday about Mayor Menino's Food and Fuel drive. I even separated out some non-perishable food items to bring with me to vote... but I left them on the counter. Good thing, though - I didn't see any volunteers to receive the food, nor did anyone else in line have food to donate.


What was your experience? If the wait was long and you had to leave, will you be going back later today to vote?

Related Posts: Food and Fuel drive during the election; Casting About: Your Massachusetts State Ballot; Presidential Election and Free Speech; 2008 Vote: Whys and Hows of the Electoral College; Are you making your decision based on looks?; Passive Electioneering; Presidential Election, Registering to Vote, and the Ballot Questions; Google wants you to vote

Photos courtesy of Casey. See more election photos on her Flickr page.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Day Tips for MA Residents

In case you haven't heard, there's a presidential election tomorrow, not to mention several important state ballot initiatives up for decision. Here are a few tips to help make your voting day a little easier:

1. Not sure where to vote? Find your local Massachusetts polling location by simply inputting your street address.

2. Not registered to vote? If you live in MA, you'll have to wait to vote until the next presidential election. There's no same day registration here. :-(

3. When are the polls open? Most polls are open 7 AM to 8 PM. Contact your town hall to find out specific hours for each location.

4. Will I have to show ID? You may have to show ID, depending on when you first registered to vote and whether or not this is your first time voting. Acceptable forms of ID include a driver's license, current utility bill, bank statement, or some sort of government document with your address on it.

5. What happens when I walk in? You simply check in at the front desk - tell them your name and address. You will then be given further instructions.

6. What do I do if I'm not on the voter registration list? This happened to me once - you may be on the list of voters at another precinct in the same municipality (like if you moved from Brighton to Allston), in which case you can vote once this is confirmed. You also could be on the list of "inactive" voters. You may need to cast a provisional ballot if you're not on either list.

7. What kinds of voting machines does Massachusetts use? The type of ballot and machine used varies by town. In my experience, it has always been the standardized test type, where you simply color in the circle that corresponds with the candidate or answer you want. See a demonstration of the ballot style you'll be using tomorrow on the League of Women Voters site.

8. What else should I bring besides ID? If you live in Boston, make sure to bring non-perishable food items for the mayor's Food and Fuel drive!

9. I want to campaign at my polling place - Can I? Sure! As long as you stay at least 150 feet away from the polling place. And keep it respectful, people.

Make sure to check out this list of Voter's rights before you go. Heck, you can even print it out and bring it with you!

If you live in my 'hood, I'll see you at the Washington Street Elderly complex in the Rosalind B. Freed community room tomorrow morning.

Happy Voting!

Related Posts: Food and Fuel drive during the election; Casting About: Your Massachusetts State Ballot; Presidential Election and Free Speech; 2008 Vote: Whys and Hows of the Electoral College; Are you making your decision based on looks?; Passive Electioneering; Presidential Election, Registering to Vote, and the Ballot Questions; Google wants you to vote
Photo courtesy of Muffet.