Category Archives: Review

May 2013 Useful, Amusing, or Odd Websites

DIY sites

http://www.diynetwork.com/topics/crafting/index.html:  The DIYNETWORK.COM site in general looks like a terrific place to spend some time (hours, days…lol).  There are sections on home improvement, made & remade, TV shows, experts and hosts and so on.  You can even search for projects that you see on TV, which is fantastic.  On the front page of the DIY section, you can easily find the editors picks, most popular, and videos, as well as repin of the week.  I highly recommend checking this one out; there are some great ideas and tips to be found.

http://www.sheknows.com/tags/diy-crafts:  Ok, I like SheKnows.com – I believe I may have already mentioned this site before.  It bears repeating.  This link goes to a list of crafts, as you can tell.  Currently chalkboards seem to be fairly popular, but there are homemade crafts for Mother’s Day, gifts using printable templates, giant fringe photo props, and an article on how to upcycle a dresser.  The website in general has the following categories to explore:

  • Entertainment
  • Beauty
  • Love
  • Parenting
  • Pets
  • Home
  • Living
  • And more

http://www.geeksugar.com/Geeky-DIY-Crafts-22651317:  Ok I am going to have to explore this site in general at some point, but this is a good article on “20 Fun and Geeky DIYs for Your Weekend.”  I am ALL about quick crafts, since I have two young children and a job.  The first is a paper iPhone stand, for the cost of a sturdy piece of card stock paper.  For the Star Wars geek in your life (or yourself, if that is YOU…lol), the second project described is a custom Star Wars poster.  I don’t know that this is up my alley, but it is a good idea!  The idea that I love MOST is the cross-stitch iPhone 4 Cover – though I’d have to adjust for my phone which isn’t an iPhone 4.  Still – this is fantastic.  The kit comes with a grid case, three colors of thread, a needle and a booklet of patterns to chose from.  And those are just the beginning…I can feel my crafty urge bubbling to the surface…

http://www.countryliving.com/crafts/projects/: I can tell that I could spend a LOT of time at this site.  First of all, I saw that there is an “Outdoor Makeover sweepstakes” that you can enter.  Also they have sections on home and decorating, food and entertaining, crafts and DIY projects, as well as outdoor living and more.    So many sections, so little time on my part. The crafts section currently shows how to stain furniture, a bloggers’ best furniture makeovers, as well as 37 Crafts Made with Recycled Materials.  In addition, there is “Crafty Christmas Gifts, “ “12 Great Gift-Wrapping Ideas”, and more.

Well-being Sites

http://livewellnetwork.com/index: This just looks like it would be such fun to explore.  Food, frying, buns in hair, videos on cooking, “Six Weeks to Sleeveless” in Mirror/Mirror.  Fashion and beauty also appear.  Fitness includes a playground workout that I may have to look at – I hate having to choose between exercising and taking my kids to the park.  There is even an article on Online Groceries – it could save you time and money.  Anyway, I found a LOT to look at here and a lot to think about as well.  Excellent site.

http://www.rainn.org/get-information/sexual-assault-recovery/self-care-for-survivors:  On a much more serious note, this is a fantastic article on self-care for survivors (of rape, sexual assault, incest, and sexual abuse).  Self-care can be a challenge for anyone, but for people in those situations it can be even more challenging – and an important part of the healing process.  I found this article thought out, and very good.  It even includes a warning to be wary of certain people who may not make recovery easier, as well as a suggestion to set limits.  Very, very important advice.  I have been through all of this and I need to absorb the advice here.

http://www.gaiam.com/self-care/10000515,default,sc.html:  Ok, I will be honest: this site sells things.  I haven’t tried anything from here yet. But, I do find it fun to look around.    They have home goods, clothing, wellness section, yoga, fitness and videos.  The link I’m sharing shares some examples for self-care: pure soap, organic cotton sheets, rainfall showerhead, and so on.

http://www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content_node.jsp?nodeid=847.  This is a good article for self-care and caregivers.  I have a special needs child and I find that if I don’t stop and take care of myself once in a while, I really don’t have it in me to deal calmly with issues that arise.  This describes why it is important, as well as why you should take responsibility for your own care, and how to identify personal barriers to your own self-care.  Then there are several tools suggested.  Good reading!

http://crisisclinic.org/find-help/crisis-line/self-care-strategies/.  From a crisis center come some very good suggestions for dealing with stress, trauma and crisis.  There is such an incredible strain on people these days that I thought this would be a good article to include.  This appears to be from WA State, but no doubt you can find one from your own state, along with the contact numbers, if you look on Google. (And of course, for your own area if you are out of the United States – I admit that I write with a US bias… )

 

On a lighter note:

http://www.sanitaryum.com/.  I was looking for some funny things and I found this.  Now, I get a kick out of some off-color humor as much as anyone, but sometimes it is nice to find something to share with just about anyone.  This site has cute comments, videos, and more.  There is a blog and a shop as well, but to be honest, I didn’t check those out.  I’m looking to browse, not buy!

http://www.laughdirectory.com/clean-humor – this is a link for a list of links to places to find clean humor.  I cannot vouch for all of them – I don’t have THAT much time to search, but this looks like a good place to start.  In addition, to the left of the list are folders for other types of humor, including practical jokes and pranks, science fiction and fantasy, job humor, and bizarre.

 

Oddities

In case you didn’t already realize just how strange this world and its inhabitants are, I bring you:

http://www.oddnews.org/

http://www.reuters.com/news/oddlyEnough

http://www.snopes.com/daily/

http://oddest.newsvine.com/

http://www.usnews.com/news/offbeat

http://www.dailybreeze.com/offbeat

http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/strange-sea-animals-2#slide-1

http://www.livescience.com/25707-10-weirdest-animal-discoveries.html

http://science.discovery.com/creatures/10-weirdest-sea-creatures.htm

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Really Useful Websites – November 2011

Rainy day ideas – since fall and winter can have plenty of days that are “inside days”…

Fall Holidays

  • http://www.kaboose.com/ is a family oriented website that has so much to offer.  They have Thanksgiving things up now (like http://holidays.kaboose.com/thanksgiving/) but there are also sections entitled Fall Family Fun 2011, Kaboose Games, and Kaboose Features.  There are also sections on Food, Health, and so forth.
  • www.holidays.net – this is a fantastic site.  There is a section for fun and wacky holidays, a holiday blog which contains blurbs on holidays as they come up, holiday travel, as well as one for holiday recipes.  There are also crafts for various holidays as well.  Very well done and enjoyable.
  • http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0909585.html.  This is a nice list of holidays around the world, with a blurb about the holiday and other links to related subjects.  The base site, however, is the real draw.  There is such a wide variety of things on the site.  There are sections on the fifty states, holidays in the US, people, science, math and money, and country profiles, among other things.  It is a wonderful resource.
  • http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving.  History.com is wonderful overall, but I really do like this section.  There are links to related people, events, and themes.  There is a nice history of Thanksgiving in the US, including links to article son the Pilgrims, Plymouth Colony, and so much more.  If you enjoy history and really want to know more about the background, this is the place to start.
  • http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Thanksgiving.shtml.  This site is brief but has good links to travel tips, food tips and safety, and so forth.
  • http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/thanksgiving/index.html.  Where else to go for recipes?  Of course, there are many places to go, but this is very nice.  There is a section on Holidays and Parties that has a nice selection of articles on turkey recipes, various sides, wine-friendly meals, and more.  There is even a section on gifts.

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April 2010 Really Useful (Or Amusing) Websites

Disclaimer:  some of these sites are actually professional sites, offering things to purchase (services, etc) and I am not affiliated in any way with any of them.  If I have referred to a site like that, it is simply because I found information on their site helpful or interesting, not because I have used their services – unless I specifically say that I have.

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March 2010 – Really Useful Websites

Ok, I have to admit some of these are strictly for fun and amusement…but that is certainly useful as well.  You can’t be serious all of the time…

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve included some history, some sources for coloring sheets, and other related tidbits:

  • http://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day History.com does a wonderful job with the history of St. Patrick’s day (go figure!).  They also include links to related articles on traditions, facts, and recipes as well.
  • http://www.theholidayspot.com/patrick/historyofpatrick.htm The Holiday Spot is another good source of “facts”, tidbits,  recipes, songs, games, wallpapers, and more.  They even have coloring pages for kids …and ringtones.  (I can’t say that it ever occurred to me before this that I might WANT a St. Patrick’s Day ringtone!)
  • How could you possibly look for St. Patrick’s Day information and bypass http://www.st-patricks-day.com/ ?  At any rate, they include a countdown, which might be useful a little farther out from the holiday…as well as information on Irish pubs worldwide, shopping, Irish dancing, Runs and Walks, and parades and events, among many other selections.

Another seasonal topic – colds, flus, and allergies…unfortunately all three seem to be all too common at this time of year.  Sources of good tips on how to prevent/avoid/lessen the effects of that I have found include the following (keeping in mind I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV…:-D):

And now that we’re moving away from snowy days…we are moving straight to rainy days…sigh.  As the mother of a 2-1/2-year-old and a 4-1/2-year-old, I can testify that children with stretch your creative abilities.  So, I decided to seek out some ideas for rainy days.  Some are for the kids, some are for us bigger kids:

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Really Good Websites (December 2008)

  1. Picasa – this isn’t a website but hey…it is really useful.  I’ve been using it for several years now and just updated to Picasa 3.  I LOVE it.  Picasa is a Google product.
  2. Stepcase Lifehack – what caught my eye was this article on over 100 Quick and Easy Healthy Foods.  In light of the holidays, I was looking for quick and easy meals, but I also wanted healthy meals.  This is what I discovered: pretty much something for everyone.
  3. Be Well at Stanford – this is a wonderful site with communities, tips, articles, and so much more.  You can join for free and get personalized news and track your goals, but you can also read the articles without joining.  Go take a bit of time and explore – there are communities for health, fitness, green living, stress management, allergies, and so much more.
  4. Dumb Little Man – fantastic site.  Lots of interesting articles.  The article that caught my eye was 30+ Useful Websites You Probably Didn’t Know About, but there is so much more here.  Their purpose is to provide a handful of tips weekly – on a variety of subjects.  When I looked at the site (very recently), I found articles on differentiating between “real” wants and “should” wants – if only I had read that about 20 years ago!  I also like the fact that you can easily find articles by theme, as well as the most popular.  Go check it out – there is a lot of good reading there.  Another plus: it is possible to submit articles!
  5. What Should I Read Next – type in the name of the book you are reading and it will recommend books for you.  You can also register for more accurate results.
  6. Make Use of – This is a wonderful site – full of a wide range of information.  It describes cool websites and software, and has internet tips as well.  There are categories such as Browsers/Addons, Lists of tools, Windows, Gaming,  and Mac.  One article I found particularly interesting was Store Your Thoughts, Ideas, and Anything Else in Your WikiPad.  I highly recommend checking it out – you can even subscribe.
  7. Simply Checklists – if you want a pre-made checklist or if you want to make sure you haven’t left something important off the one you came up with, this is the site for you.  There are work checklists (like Interview Checklist), sports/hobbies  checklists like Day Hiking, and Emergency and Storm checklists.  Pretty helpful, if you ask me!
  8. Amusing Facts – this is, well, an amusing site.  Good for passing time, filling in a bit here and there.  I don’t know if everything there is true or not, but I read a wide range of amusing tidbits and followed up with “more detail” when I found something that really interested me.  There is a wide range of categories from Entertainment to Household Products to Food and Drink.  I don’t know that I would spend hours there, but when I have five or ten minutes to kill, this would be a good place to spend them!
  9. Instructables – ok, this is a terrific website and I would spend a TREMENDOUS amount of time here … if I had it.  Still, it is going to be bookmarked.  Categories of how-to’s include Crafts, Food, Games, Home, Offbeat, Outdoors, Science, and Tech.  I saw any number of things under crafts that I want to try and others under Offbeat I just want to take a closer look at.  Trust me, there is something for just about anyone here!
  10. Solitaire Central – ok, this one will NOT increase your productivity.  It won’t make you a well-rounded individual.  It is entertaining, though, and sometimes that is all that matters.   There are solitaire rules, downloads, and online versions – quite a selection of those, by the way.  Check it out, when you have some time!
  11. Orisinal – this is a wonderful site for cute, simple games.  I’ve loved this one for years, and I felt I should share it with others who may not have found it yet.   Cranky Crabs and Pocketful of Stars are two of my favorites.
  12. 43 Folders – this is one of those “I’ll check it out now and then, when I need something” sort of sites.  I won’t necessarily read everything on it, but I will “graze” through it, searching for the nudge I need, the inspiration I need to push me to get moving.

I’m afraid this month’s edition of my list is a short one, due to the holiday and all the “hustle and bustle” involved.  I have two children – both under 4 – so my time has been short.  I hope you enjoy my selections.  If you have any recommendations, please feel free to drop me a note or comment.

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Really Useful Websites (November 2008)

This month’s theme: frugality (in case you can’t guess from the links below!).  I found a great deal of information, ideas, and helpful hints on these sites.  If you are looking for ways to save money (which most of us are these days), I’d like to think this list is a good start.

1. http://frugalliving.about.com/ – this is a collection of articles on everything from using Thanksgiving leftovers to second-hand gifts. I found it fairly helpful. Topics you can browse through include “Frugal Living 101,” “Money Management,” “Food Savings,” “Frugal Fun,” and “Do It Yourself.” Yes, there are ads throughout on the page, but I found it easy enough to ignore those.

2. http://zenhabits.net/2007/08/the-cheapskate-guide-50-tips-for-frugal-living/ – Zenhabits is a wonderful, wonderful site. I know I’ve recommended various articles from that site before, but it bears repeating. I love the ideas in this article and can tell you that you CAN save a lot this way. For example, one suggestion is to “look for used first.” My husband and I just bought a much-needed dining room table from The Salvation Army; it has some dents and dings, but it was $125 as opposed to the current going price which, for the size table that we bought would be about $600. It also came with four chairs that are in great shape.

3. Frugal Living this site has a range of articles on frugal living, from summer fun tips to “63 Gift Ideas under $10” and “Gifts from The Kitchen”. They also have sections on “Frugal Recipes,” “Frugal Parenting,” and “Gas Saving Tips.” Take some time and look around; you may not use everything you find, but I’d have to say there is something here for everyone.

4. Frugal Village – I love this site. It is well done – with a lot of content, but not cluttered or “fussy.” It is easy to find things here. There are sections on lifestyle, home and family, leisure, food, money, and so forth. You can even search the site. Wonderful site!

5. Hillbilly Housewife – a wealth of information and recipes here. There are beginner tips, cooking secrets, and even a blog.

6. Frugal Dad – I found some really interesting articles here. For example, there is an article on “Cyber Monday Frugal Gift Ideas” and “A Thanksgiving Story: What the Pilgrims Taught Us About Capitalism.” You can even sign up for updates via email or RSS.

7. Dumb Little Man To make this relate specifically to this theme, go to the article 30 Ways to Save Money. However, the whole site is very interesting. The author(s) provide a “handful of tips” on a variety of subjects. Take some time to check it out!

8. The Dollar Stretcher – There are articles related to holiday gifts, using your fever to prevent food waste, and sections for baby boomers, family, going green, lifestyle, and “in critical condition.” Under each section, there are subsections and articles. Excellent site to spend some time browsing for ideas and tips! For example, under Family, there are subsections for Automobiles, Babies, Budgeting, Children, and Christmas. Under Christmas, there are ideas for decorating, gift ideas, and gifts for kids. I love it!

9. Livestrong – Specifically, this article on 5 Ways to Save Money caught my eye, but the whole site is interesting. There are sections on getting healthy, being active, eating well, finding balance, and staying young, among others. I found a lot of interesting articles on various interests – now if I can only find the time to go back and read them all! I think I need to start with finding balance!

10. The Bargainist – This site has articles on things like 20 Ways to Save Money on Gas . There are also sections on deals, coupons, tips, and freebies. I highly recommend checking it out.

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Really Good Websites (October 2008)

It is that time again – well, actually, well past that time, but hey, I’ve got a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old.  I’m doing my best!  I’ve got a list of fifteen interesting, excellent, useful, weird, and/or wonderful websites to share.  Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. TypeRacer – a useful site that will help you build typing speed in a competitive environment.  In addition, you can add it to MySpace, or so they say, so you can race your friends.  I joined and I’ve been enjoying this for a while each night.
  2. The Simple Dollar:  in particular, this article:  http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/02/06/little-steps-100-great-tips-for-saving-money-for-those-just-getting-started  .  This site has some great articles and wonderful advice for those trying to save some money.
  3. Zen Habits – ok, I know I’ve mentioned this site before; it bears repeating.  This is a wonderful article for those trying to pinch pennies.  I highly recommend looking at the site overall.
  4. The Dollar Stretcher – I found some great ideas here.  There is a wide variety of information: articles on whether to sell the truck or not,  credit card tips for college students, 401(k) considerations, home furnishings, and 8 ways to consolidate debt.  I recommend taking a look; not everything will appeal to everyone and – as always, for serious issues, consider the source and think about whether you need more research.  Still, I think this is a good source for ideas.
  5. Being Frugal – here is a GREAT source of information, tips, and advice.  This is actually a reference to a specific article, but I found the home a good source of information too.  Poke around, check it out, do some reading.  I expect that all of us, regardless of income and financial situation, could use ways to save some money.
  6. The Frugal Law Student – I found this article particularly helpful.  It contains tips the author found through articles, blogs, etc., on ways to save money.  You should certainly be able to find SOME that apply to you, or some that you find helpful here.    In terms of the blog itself, there are sections on Law School, Frugality, Personal Finance, Productivity, and Career.  I highly recommend taking a look at it.
  7. Homeschool.com – as a parent, I found this a particularly interesting site.  I fully intend to spend some time browsing there, once I find a few minutes.  This article on the top 100 Educational Sites is very good.
  8. Solve Your Problem – this site has self-improvement, self-help, and personal growth articles.  I can’t vouch for everything – there is simply too much to see and read.  However, I will say that there is a lot of information/advice/etc.  there.

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