Photo Blogging Challenge – Outside the Box


The theme for the May photo blogging challenge was “Outside the Box”.

I had fun with this theme and let photo opportunities find me, instead of going into a month with a planned set of photos to fit the theme.


I found this art in Davis Square in Somerville, MA

My husband Dave & I were visiting shops for Free Comic Book day, and I knew as soon as I saw this art that I wanted it to be a part of my “Outside the Box” post this month!

Red Sox

I volunteered at Community Servings Gala in May, staffing the sports section of their silent auction. I thought the way they created eye catching displays for each item was “outside of the box”.


It must have taken some “outside of the box” thinking to add a live canary to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum library room.

Finally, I’ve written before about how much I love walking on the Rose Kennedy Greenway on a nice day. My last 2 pictures are both from the Rose Kennedy Greenway.


This is Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads by Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei

I think it definitely took “outside of the box” thinking to display the animals of the zodiac this way – but it’s captivating and beautiful!


Greenway Carousel

I could write a whole post on my love of the Greenway Carousel. I was there the day it opened to be one of the 1st to go for a ride. (I let kids go first – I’m not a monster.)

What makes this carousel one-of-a-kind and embody “outside of the box” thinking is that every animal on the carousel is native to Boston! Animals include: lobster, cod, fox, squirrel, grasshopper, peregrine falcon, turtle, butterfly, skunk, oarfish, whale, rabbit, owl, and harbor seal.

The Carousel was designed to be accessible to individuals with physical, cognitive, and sensory disabilities. I always appreciate when sites plan for everyone to be able to enjoy them!

This monthly photo blogging challenge is facilitated by PJ of the Northeast Bloggers Network.

Thanks for inspiring me to take more photos!

Fundraising for RACE Cancer Foundation

I’ve written here before about being on the board of RACE Cancer Foundation.

On Wednesday morning, I had the privilege of touring a cancer research lab at Mass General Hospital that got funds from RACE Cancer Foundation.

Thank you to Dr. Nabeel Bardeesy for the presentation on your work and tour of the lab.

It’s very cutting edge work that could end up curing Cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer). They’ve already discovered that cancers that have an “unknown primary site” are most often actually this type of cancer.

I’m fundraising for RACE Cancer Foundation:

Will you support me with a donation?
Thanks to donors like you, RACE Cancer Foundation can support research and supply free sunscreen in hopes of preventing sun exposure caused cancers.

Thanks to everyone who’s already donated for bringing me to 25% of my fundraising goal raised!

Race Cancer 25%

Groupon Coupons

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.


Graphic from Frugal Foodie Mama

Readers, you may not know this about me, but I consider myself a coupon queen.

You won’t fine me on an episode of “Extreme Couponing” anytime soon, but I do pride myself on being able to save big using coupons – especially in my weekly food shopping. (Hilariously, the coupons I have the most trouble with being scanned are usually from the supermarket itself, scanning issues caused by low ink in the machines that print them at the register.)

I always check for coupon codes before buying anything online, and see if I can find coupons to print or show on my phone before shopping at a retail location or heading to a chain restaurant.

I recently found out Groupon Coupons. You already know Groupon can save you money on experiences. (The Groupon Health & Fitness section is my favorite.)

Now, they can save you money with coupons too – often with exclusive coupons!

I can see myself using the Groupon Coupons section for Fitness & Diet and Clothing quite often. You can also search Groupon Coupons by store, like Lane Bryant, for example.

Who doesn’t like a great deal? Groupon Coupons will definitely be added to my list of must search sites before shopping.

All the Groupon Coupons are free to use and you don’t have to be a Groupon member to view them. Best part is, most coupons can be scanned straight from your phone, eliminating scanning issues at the register and saving your printer ink!

Have you used Groupon Coupons yet? If so, what’s your favorite coupon find from Groupon?

Communications Lessons from Boston’s Olympic Bid

If you don’t live in MA, you may not know that there was a bid to host the 2024 Olympics in Boston, MA. The bid was accepted buy the IOC, but lack of support in MA lead to it ultimately being withdrawn.

A great article that gives a timeline of what happened is Let’s Get Our Facts Straight With Boston 2024.

Last Tuesday, I attended Communications Network of Boston, “Lessons from Boston’s Olympic Bid”.

It was a very interesting night!


From right to left in the photo above –

Moderator: Lauren Dezenski of Politico (formerly Dorchester Reporter)

Panelists: Chris Dempsey of No Boston Olympics
Robin Jacks of NoBoston2024
Steve Koczela of MassINC Polling
Eric Reddy of the Boston 2024 Organizing Committee

It was great to have both sides of the issue represented.

Chris Dempsey pointed out that they were able to take a reactive approach easier the the organizing committee could since “we had less people needing to approve our actions – we could act quickly.”

Chris described the origin of No Boston Olympics as “No one was in a position to stop the games, so we formed. News outlets paid attention to us because conflict is more interesting than agreement.”

Robin Jacks has past experience as an Occupy protester and NoBoston2024 took a more adversarial approach. They were able to use the freedom of information act to make organizing committee records public.

On working with Robin, Chris said, “We wanted Robin to join us originally, but we’re glad NoBoston2024 stayed as a separate group with their own tactics. Both were needed for success.”

Steve Koczela of MassINC Polling commented, “the public didn’t know there were 2 opposition groups.” Opposition in Boston was always high – and the snow made people who ride the T daily more likely to oppose the Olympic games.

Eric Reddy of the Boston 2024 Organizing Committee said “We were a big ship – that takes time to turn.” “We tried to be as transparent as possible but we were still competing with other cities for the Olympic bid.” “The bid was always meant to be a rough idea but the public took it as gospel.” “We didn’t communicate well that the bid documents weren’t final because the IOC required secrecy.”

Chris Dempsey agreed with Eric calling it “The boosters dilemma.” “The public wanted one thing but the IOC required otherwise.” “At first, we were reluctant to talk about the taxpayer guarantee. Then, we realized that the IOC required it.”

Steve Koczela added, “It seemed like the ship had already sailed when the public found out.” “The main benefit of hosting the Olympics wasn’t clearly communicated.”

Robin Jacks said, “We had ‘no’ in our name but instead we talked about what we wanted for Boston.”

Chris Dempsey also talked about how No Boston Olympics brought signs to a public meeting on the Boston Olympic bid. They were the only ones with signs, so it looked like the whole crowd was opposed and the media used that image often.

The final question of the night asked if Boston just likes to say no to all new events, and “If the Boston Marathon were new and proposed today, would you support it.”

Robin said, “We’re not just naysayers to everything. We’re saving lives.”

Chris said, “Boston is good at building traditions. Even the Boston Marathon started small and built to were it is today.”

Robin closed with “You can’t make people love something. We have to grow to love it on our own.”

All the panelists agreed that there was no time to “grow to love” the Olympics in Boston.

Walking in Boston – Rose Kennedy Greenway in May

Tuesday, May 10th was a beautiful sunny, warm day in Boston. (A welcomed change from the weeks of rain we’ve been having out here.)

I realized I had 2 networking events in the same building a few hours apart from each other – so I decided I’d spend time walking and enjoying the weather!

The day started out with a Women in Development (Fundraising) of Greater Boston meeting in the Nonprofit Center, near South Station.


After that meeting, I headed to the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

First, I sat on a chair on one of the lawns reading a book.

When I finished the book, I continued walking.


This is one of my favorite pieces of public art on the Greenway.

It’s motion sensitive and releases steam/changes the light pattern when you walk close to it.


Kids were having a blast running through this fountain on the warm day. 


The zodiac sculpture surrounding the fountain is new this year, and the animal faces are beautiful.

Next, I headed to the New England Aquarium, to watch the seals in their outdoor tank. (It’s is free to view.)


I laughed when I saw that I caught this unintentional selfie when I tried to get a photo of the seals.

The gray the right side is the seal I was trying to take a photo of.

There’s also a seal near my head on the left side of the photo.

I walked to the carousel on the Greenway, and thought about riding it – but I decided instead to come back on a day I wasn’t wearing a dress to ride it.

Then, I walked to Faneuil Hall and took a selfie with the fruit tree (below) to save on my phone for future free admission to the Museum of Fine Arts.


By then, it was time to head back to the Nonprofit Center for a Communications Network Boston meeting on “Lessons Learned from the Olympic Bid”. That event was so interesting, that I plan to write a separate post just on that.


Representatives both for and against bringing the Olympic Games to Boston

I ended the day taking the T back to Quincy to attend a Friends of the Thomas Crane Library meeting.

I should have worn sunscreen because I got sunburned. (Note to self, buy a small bottle of sunscreen to keep in your purse to keep from getting caught without it again.)

I had a great day though, feeling like a tourist in my own city – between some very interesting events.

I’m glad the weather cooperated to allow such an enjoyable walk.

Free Comic Book Day 2016

Free comic

May 7th was Free Comic Book Day this year.

My husband Dave & I had a blast.

We went to 5 comic shops – starting in Quincy Center, than going to Davis Square, Harvard Square, and Brockton. The shops were: New England Comics Quincy, Comicazi, New England Comics Davis Square, Million Year Picnic, and New England Comics in Brockton.

Every shop had different fun stuff going on: from cosplayers to artists/creators signing their work.

I easily got in my 10,000 steps that day and had fun chatting with some indie comic creators.

The creator of Rapid City Below Zero was holding a contest to win tickets to see Captain America Civil War with him that night.

I tweeted the required photo to enter (bottom left above) and guess who won?!

My husband Dave & I got to see Captain America with Josh Dahl, and as an added surprise, Bob Salley, Writer and Creator of The Salvagers comic book series and the web comic Jasper’s Starlight Tavern was there too! Bob gave us signed copies of his comics.

The last shop we visited made Dave’s night! He asked Mark Texeira sign a Swamp Thing book and Mark totally jumped down memory lane saying “this is the book that I dropped out of college to work on!”

I’m looking forward to Northeast Comic Con in June – so I can continue to get lots of steps in while nerding out about comics.

Ditching the Diet, Healthy is Sexy: Nutrition Workshops

My friend Laura wrote a book on nutrition that launched in paperback the week of the Boston Marathon. (Some of you know Laura as the DJ for November Project Boston.)


She’s hosting some free workshops in Boston called Ditching the Diet, Healthy is Sexy: Nutrition Workshops on May 11, May 18, June 1, & June 8.

I’ve already registered for all 4 workshops and I encourage you do the same!

Here’s what I wrote in a Goodreads review of Laura’s book:

Laura nails the argument that healthy is much more important than skinny.

I’m a woman in my 30s that’s successfully dieted, but never kept the weight off in the long run.

Thank you to Laura for writing exactly what I needed to hear to stop blaming myself for my body size and focus on health instead.

Will I see you at the workshops?

Also, if you’re interested in reading Laura’s book, the Kindle version will be free for five days starting tomorrow, 5/5.