Really Useful, Amusing, or Just Generally Interesting Links for April 2012

Here are a few that I stumbled upon in my computer time:

  1.   This specific article had some good ideas and suggestions for items for an easter basket that are not candy, some for toys I haven’t even seen (not that that means much, I don’t go out shopping much these days.  Amazon is my friend!)  As for the rest of the site – there are video game reviews, toy reviews, movie reviews and so forth.  It has a staff of editors, web folks, and a sales group.  It is definitely worth taking a look at.
  2.  This is a short list of non-candy ideas and even has a recipe for dough for kids to play with included (as a link).  You can make some of these items yourself, saving some money or at least adding a special touch to the gift.   One idea I loved was uploading personal pictures to a website that will make stickers out of them – then you can provide a sticker book to go with them.  I know my son loves stickers so this would be great for him.  I have to say, looks like a fun site overall for parents.  It has sections for various stages of parenthood/childhood, Mom, Dad, blogs and more.
  3.  This looks like a fantastic site – it is fairly easy to guess what it is all about from the title.  However, there is more to it than the sections of crafts for various seasons/holidays.  There is a section of kids crafts, links to favorite sites, and a “crafts for all seasons” shop.  This is definitely worth browsing for ideas, inspiration, and even tips and techniques.
  4. http://www.craftsolutions.-com/index.asp.  This is another great site – great for ideas, patterns, news, and articles.  They are also on Facebook and Twitter, in case you need other ways to contact them or interact.  The pattern section in particular is a very nice gathering of craft patterns from many sources.  I love this site and will definitely be going back when I have more time.
  5.  This link is actually a list of links to project ideas from different authors on Squidoo.  It is a fantastic list and I definitely want to spend more time looking at each link in more detail.  I haven’t looked at Squidoo before (which may mean I don’t get out much, or online much, I’m not sure ) but it looks like an interesting community as well.  If a page on Squidoo does well, and they are each by an individual author, it earns royalties for the author or for a charity.  It is an interesting idea – enabling authors to organize their interests, their passions, online and share them with others.
  6.  This is fantastic and huge.  There are newsletters, videos, recipes, a blog, radio interviews, and so much more.  It is an incredible source of “green” news of all sorts, as well as so much more.  There are sections on design, technology, living, transportation, and energy, among others.  I read articles on America’s Best, an Indian man planting a forest by himself, and a recipe for sangria.   Definitely an interesting website.
  7. – very interesting site for music.  They list live shows, store locations (there are three, in California), and movies and news/contests, as well as Amoeba gear.  They also say that it is always free shipping on music and movies.  There is also a section on thinking green – they are doing their part by supporting various “green” groups and by raising funds.  There is a list of tips for living more environmentally aware.  Check it out – looks like an interesting site for music, a bit off of the beaten path.
  8.  Ok, ok.  I know that PLENTY of people are aware of Powells, so this link really does show my East Coast (of the US) bias I’m afraid.  I was originally told about Powells by a wonderful friend from Oregon who swears by them.  She has been on the East Coast for over a decade – possibly closer to two by now – and still swears this is the best place to go for books.  What more can I say?  They have a newsletter, a book club from the looks of it, and the normal sections to browse through.  I like the selection, and I like the fact that there is free shipping for orders over $50, though my wallet may not appreciate it.
  9.  Pandora radio is also new to me.  It is a fascinating idea – you type the name of your favorite artist or your favorite genre of music into it, and it goes through its entire collection, putting together a collection of similar works/music for you, creating a “channel.”  You can have up to 100 channels.  I entered Queen as a trial.  “We Are the Champions” started playing and the lyrics appeared underneath an album cover.  There was a blurb of information about the group followed by a short list of similar groups.  I like it.
  10.  I was looking for sources of information on government spending, voting, candidates and the like and I found and VoteSmart.  Another source of information listed by FedSpending is  All three are worth taking a look at, if you want to make yourself more aware of how the government spends, as well as the candidates.
  12.    This has a great deal of information and is  non-partisan.  Here is a link for “how to use Open Congress“.  I really think that more people need to take a closer look at how their politicians, of EITHER party, are behaving, voting, and so forth.  It really doesn’t take that much effort to find information, look through it, and try to make better decisions.
  13.  This is a fantastic site and can lead to a LOT of time browsing and reading and getting off track/topic .  I looked at recipes, how-to guides, and more.  So many categories to browse through, so little time.  One that I looked at had a list of links for more by the author, a beautiful and colorful “cover”, ways to embed and copy the link, and ways to like on Facebook, Google+ and more.
  14.    Dipity is an interesting site, though I know not everyone will agree.  You can create an online timeline.  There is a timeline, flip book, map, and list for each timeline, apparently.  I took a look at Thomas Kinkade’s timeline just as a sample, and the list consisted of links to articles concerning him, including recent ones regarding an autopsy  that will be performed.  The flip book showed pictures which also were linked to articles that mentioned Thomas Kinkade.
  17.  This is a fantastic list of websites for preschoolers from the Youth Library in Tempe, AZ.
  18.  Widgets for websites – you can create your own or use others that are on the site.  Good for blogs, you can find things like weather widgets, virtual pets, games, and countdowns.  Just a fun site to look through!
  19.  Great source for amusing gift ideas – like the self-stirring mug for those too busy (or lazy!) to stir their own coffee.  Another cute item: glow in the dark toilet paper…I never claimed these things were incredibly necessary for a full and happy life but they did make me smile.  But I MUST have the remote-controlled shark…wow!  Go check it out – the site is really great – one downside is that they don’t necessarily have links to the companies that actually sell these items (i.e., the remote-controlled shark…sigh.)
  20.  Great list of boredom busters and rainy day activities.  Not huge, but worth a look, if you’re like me and run out of inspiration after a while!

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