I spend a lot of time sitting at my desk during the day. I’ll say at least 70% of my day is spent sitting at my computer (mostly working, some shopping, some reading 🙂 ). It’s a lot. It’s actually kind of embarrassing to admit that because I am not generally a lazy person, but it’s just the nature of my job. So, needless to say, I surf the web A LOT. However, believe it or not, I don’t spend all of my time shopping online (it’s a significant portion but certainly not all of it). There are tons of websites that are my go-tos when I need something to look at, read, or otherwise occupy my down time. And they’re not all to do with fashion. Absurd, right?
I want to share some of these sites with you because they all inspire me in some way or another. And when I’m inspired, I want to write. And this reading and writing bring sparkle to my life, no matter the subject. I am, after all, always seeking sparkle. Desperately.
1. Food blogs. My newest obsession. Pretty much since I started using Pinterest (pinterest is amazing and gets its own category) I have been following food blogs. I gravitate towards those that make delicious food that is healthy and wholesome. I am endlessly searching for recipes to try that do not sacrifice taste for calories. It’s challenging, especially because my husband and I are picky eaters. But food blogs are definitely the way to go to find recipes! Here are some of my current favorites:
*Skinny Taste. The founder, Gina, develops all of her recipes, and has been featured in numerous magazines and publications. I’ve found that the recipes on her blog are fairly easy and very delicious. They definitely don’t taste healthy. Favorite Recipes: Crock pot chicken taco chili, chicken rollatini stuffed with zucchini (one of my favorite recipes of all time), and chicken pot pie soup . We eat a lot of chicken.
*Can you stay for dinner? Andie is a completely inspirational person in every way. A few years ago, she lost 135 pounds by healthy diet and exercise and has kept it off for 5 years. She is realistic in the way she approaches diet and exercise and reading her blog inspires me. I also love that as part of her weekly blog routine, she answers readers emails. Favorite recipes from this blog: Lemon Chicken Gyros, and Chicken and Cornbread Casserole.
*Eat Drink Smile. I’ve only just started following this blog, so I haven’t tried making anything yet, but I like it so far. The creator, Beth, resides in Nashville and, in addition to featuring recipes on the blog, writes about food she discovers in restaurants and other fantastic finds. Recipes I want to try: best ever mac & cheese, grilled tomato and brie sandwiches , salted caramel pecan bars.
*Hungry Girl. This is a site I’ve been following for a couple of years. It’s not technically a blog, but it features tons and tons of recipes, tips on how to eat well and great products to find in the grocery store. It’s definitely a focus on being healthy without giving up the foods you really love. I like some of the recipes (buffalo chicken dip. amazing.), but a lot of them substitute items that I just won’t. For example, I don’t like the tofu noodles she uses for pasta, so I just use whole wheat pasta and take the extra calories. There are a lot of great recipes for appetizers/noshes for parties, though. Check it out and sign up for the emails!
2. Pinterest. For those of you who haven’t discovered (read: become addicted to) Pinterest yet, it is high time you do. Hm, how can i describe it? You create ‘boards,’ each with any subject you want (examples: food, clothes, home decor, etc.) and then you peruse the website “pinning” items onto these boards. If I like a dress that I see, I will pin it onto my pinboard. And, adding another element to it and making it slightly more like facebook, you have followers and people who you follow. Follow your friends or anyone who pins things that you like. I am officially obsessed with it and I get a lot of food/clothing/decor ideas from it. And it can even be inspiration for the blog. Another good things about it is there is an app for it, so you can be pinning while on the go. (I think it requires an invite, so if you need one just let me know 🙂 )
3. InStyle. InStyle is my favorite fashion magazine. It features high fashion, affordable fashion, tells me how to wear certain items and colors and much much more. The website is also great because it features more than what’s just in the magazine. And it’s a great way to keep up with trends if you don’t want to subscribe to a fashion magazine.
4. Groupon, Living Social, etc. These sites are great for finding deals on restaurants, hair services, spa treatments and much more (anyone up for sky diving??). We mostly use them for restaurants that we want to try or those that we have been to and love. It’s a great way to try out a new salon, restaurant, or experience. I’m always the most tempted by the massage and/or facial services!
5. Celebrity gossip sites. I have a slight celebrity obsession (at least with those who do things deserving of celebrity status. Sorry Kim K. and all of the real housewives). I am interested in what they’re doing, wearing, where they’re shopping, who they’re dating and what pets they have. I think it comes from liking them onscreen in TV and movies and just wanting to feel connected to them. Whatever it is, I’m only slightly ashamed of it. I tell myself it’s mostly about the clothes and their style. People and E!Online are the most reputable.
6. Msnbc. Because, you know, it’s cool to know what’s going on in the world and who is winning the Republican primaries.
7. Gilt Groupe, Ruelala, Ideeli, HauteLook. I know I talk endlessly about these sites, but that’s because they are so great. Imagine wanting a Kate Spade purse that costs $450 retail. If you want until it’s on one of the sites (usually every few months on at least one of them) you could get it for over half the price. It’s like magic! Lately, I’ve been looking for jewelry on them more than anything, but they also feature great jeans (Hudson, J Brand, Citizens of Humanity), dresses (BCBG, Max & Cleo, just to name a couple) and purses. I make it a part of my daily routine to check them (sometimes on my iPhone which isn’t quite as good as the real thing, but works). And you can set reminders about sales that you’re looking forward to. If anyone needs an invite, let me know!
8. Shopping sites. Nordstrom, Piperlime, Amazon, and so many more. Clothing, accessories, and shoes go on sale all the time on Nordstrom and Piperlime. And I could peruse Amazon all day just looking at books, music, movies, tv shows, clothes, kitchen tools, etc finding so many things that I just have to have.
So yes, I spend a lot of time online. But I’m pretty sure the inventor(s) of the internet wanted it that way (embarrassed that I don’t know who invented it…fail.). I do also read books. Books that I find out about on pinterest and people and buy on Amazon. 🙂