Friday, July 20, 2012

Blogs and Websites I Love

I probably spend too much time on the internet.  I'd like to think I mitigate that by reading way more books that the average American reads and by spending my time creating things (writing, crafts, art...).  I had the unique experience of growing up at the same time the internet was growing.  It is an amazing tool (and an amazing time suck).  I can see things through my computer that I may never get to see in my life.  I can learn about people I would never have met due to distance constraints.  I can learn about any topic I want with the click of a few keys.  Living with the internet is a balance, though.  For every amazing nature photo I gape at I need to make time for the real world outside.  For every person's blog I read I need to connect with a real person in my life.  When I choose to spend time on the internet, I try to spend the most amount of time on sites I either admire or sites that make my life easier.


A Beautiful Mess

This is an insanely popular blog.  If I could do a fraction of what these sisters do, I'd be over the moon.  They craft, cook, create, and cultivate really beautiful lives.  It has been said that we should hang around with people who lift us up rather than tear us down.  In high school and college I sought friends who made me smile, but also ones that made me want to meet their work ethics.  I didn't hang around with lazy people in the School of Education.  They threatened to pull me down with them.  These sisters are my online version of my School of Ed friends.  They accomplish so much and do so beautifully.  They appreciate the little things in life while tackling big, fun projects.  I may not have the same aesthic for clothes, crafts, and decor that they do, but I admire them nonetheless.

Enjoy It

This woman is another powerhouse.  How do these people do all they do?  They should bottle their energy and sell it!  Elise writes about her life in a frank manner while maintaining a positive outlook.  Seeing as she is married to a man in the military, this can be hard.  She has great tips and tricks to share regarding running a popular blog and starting her own business (A Beautiful Mess does this too).  She takes stunning photos that chronicle her life in California.  I read about her struggles to maintain friendships after a cross country move and it inspired me to write my Midwestern Girl's Guide to Moving post. 

North Carolina Charm

Here is another blogger I wish I could be like.  She brings a Southern Charm to the internet.  Her home decor, recipes, and party planning are all super cute.  She makes me want to bring out my inner Martha Stewart.  Like the first two bloggers, she brings positivity to the internet.  None of these ladies lament.  I do because it is in my nature, but I always try to make my frustrating posts funny.  She has some really good tricks and tips for making life at home a little easier. 


I don't even know HOW I stumbled across this blog.  I do know it was when I first moved to Miami.  I really admire this blogger for having a full time job (unlike some bloggers who blog full time) while posting frequently.  He gives thoughtful, concise book reviews.  I've read one or two of his suggestions.  He really likes older titles and mystery books.  I haven't read Agatha Christie since high school, but I still appreciate his well thought out reviews on her work.  I think that it is really cool that he reads books that might be a little older.  I have the problem of wanting to read the latest things that get mentions in magazines or the New York Times.  Older titles need loving too.


I've written about this site twice before because I love it.  If you want to challenge yourself to read more the statistic feature on this site is a great way to push yourself to keep reading.  You can set reading goals and Shelfari will tell you if you are ahead of your goal or behind.  It also allows you to change your goal because -hey!- it's life, sometimes things come up.  I'm currently ahead of my goal having read 24 books out of my goal of 40 this year. 


Remember how I wrote about amazing nature photos at the beginning of this post?  Yeah, I just drool over the Science and Nature category on this site.  Pinterest started as a place for people to "pin" ideas to a "board".  Crafting and DIY are prominent topics on this site.  I found Enjoy It! and North Carolina Charm through "pins" people had added.  You can curate "boards" for various topics.  Teachers like to have "boards" for lesson plan ideas or classroom organization.  Some people like to "pin" gift wrapping ideas.  Other people like to "pin" inspiring pictures or sayings.  Basically, this is an internet version of taking clippings from magazines or newspapers and saving them for future reference.  As an avid idea collector it appeals to me.  As a minimalist who hates clutter, it appeals to me even more.


I need to challenge myself to be willing to make more connections with bloggers and blog readers.  That is one of the best ways to grow readership.  It's also a good way to make friends.  I like having "pen-pals."  Check these websites out.  I wouldn't recommend them if I didn't think they had merit.  After jumping on these sites for a quick peek, you might find that you spend a lot of time there! Enjoy.

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