Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Safari Style #3: Cratchit!

Ebeneezer Scrooge didn't have it all together, but he did have one thing right: saving money is a good thing.  If you're looking to save a little money this holiday season and give something unique, try the following local shops (and grab something nice for yourself too):

Lola's Urban Vintage (187 Harvard Ave) - A little store that packs a big punch with period jewelry, hats, and fascinators.  If someone on your shopping list loves unique vintage, this shop is not to miss.

Buffalo Exchange (180 Harvard Ave) - Pat yourself on the shoulder, because I blinked too.  Yes, Buffalo Exchange has opened an Allston location.  While not as big as the Davis Square location, this is still a great stop for holiday consignment shopping.  Within minutes of entering the store, I scored a new pair of dark gray Chuck Taylors for $16 (applause).

Roslindale Village
Regeneration (20 Birch Street) - located in the lovely Roslindale Village, Regeneration offers both vintage and new clothing.  If you're looking for unique outerwear, this place has it.  The shop also has great novelty items - perfect for the stylish geek.  Parking is free and conveniently located right in front of the shop.

Jamaica Plain
Dame (68 South Street) - Shop in Betty, Joan, and Peggy's closet.  Find a dress perfect for any holiday party or celebratory night out with someone special.  Dame is chic at a great price. 

Image credits: http://www.buffaloexchange.com/index.php?pg=25&id=35

Friday, November 12, 2010

Safari #17: Getting Crafty

Lately, I've been wanting to get back in touch with my crafty side.  The drawback?  Supplies and workspace.  Enter Grey's Fabric and Notions (450 Harrison Ave) located at the SOWA market in the South End offering inspired, beautiful fabrics and a gorgeous storefront.

On Thursday nights from 6 to 9pm, Sarah, the shop's owner, holds sewing classes that are appropriate for beginners (and those who haven't sewn in awhile, ahem, ahem).  In addition to sewing lessons, Sarah offers a great selection of fabrics and pattern books.  If you don't have fabric, you can easily purchase some before class - just as I did.

After a three hour class, including sewing basics and stitching lessons, I (and my trusty machine, Millicent) created a lovely, reusable, tote bag perfect for small grocery shopping.

Check out Grey's Facebook page for contact information and the class schedule.


  • Be fearless and have fun!  It's ok to make mistakes.  Focus on learning as much as you can and enjoy what you make.  
  • Practice.  Grey's offers open sewing hours during the week.  Stop in and practice your stitches! Be sure to contact the shop for details.
  • Feel like driving?  Go ahead.  Parking is free at SOWA.  

*Grey's Fabric and Notions logo from the shop's Facebook page.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Safari #16: Get Out, Give Back

There is only one thing at the top of my list this holiday season: getting out and giving back.  Fellow safari travelers, with this posting,  I hope to encourage you to do the same.  If you're not sure how, here's one idea to get you started.

The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is the largest food bank facility in New England.  It acts largely as a processing and distribution center where donated food is sorted, boxed, and shipped for delivery to local soup kitchens, community centers, and religious organizations.  As a volunteer, you can work within the main distribution center sorting and packing food.  Shifts occur daily in the morning (9:30 to 12:00pm) and afternoon (1 to 3:30pm).

Before your shift, GBFB employees will provide you with all of the training that you need to handle and sort a wide range of non-perishable foods.  Training lasts about 15 to 20 minutes.  Charts and how-to sheets are also placed throughout the facility to assist you.

Last Saturday, I volunteered with 67 others and enjoyed every minute of it. In the short amount of time that we volunteered, my group sorted 4,869 pounds of food making a total of 3,752 meals possible for those in need.  The sad part is that we could have done much more.  Our shift ended 45 minutes early because we ran out of food.

If you're interested in helping the GBFB this holiday season (or at any other time), here's how:
  • Donate Food.  Using the GBFB's Virtual Food Drive tool, you can purchase food at wholesale price for donation directly into the bank.  You can also bring boxes of food directly Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4pm.  Be sure to contact the Food Donations Manager to arrange a drop-off time.
  • Donate a Turkey.  During the holiday season, the FoodBank provides thousands of turkeys to shelters and soup kitchens in the community.  Turkey's are only $13.
  • Volunteer.  All you need to do is complete a volunteer registration form, and you're ready to go.
**Please watch for additional posts this holiday season to help you find ways to do more.