I spend a lot of time online. I don’t mean to brag or anything, but when it comes to blowing hours staring at a computer screen doing nothing of importance, I’m kind of an expert. Here are some of my current favorite sites to kill time with:
1. Missy Sue – http://www.missysue.com – Everyone has that friend who always looks flawless. You know which one I’m talking about. Perfect skin, perfect outfit, perfect hair that endures a windstorm only to fall perfectly back in place. Whenever you see this friend un-showered, or hungover, or going through a breakup, she somehow still looks better than you. What’s worse is you can’t even resent her for it because she’s great. Somewhere out there, Missy Sue is that friend to someone (or many). She’s got a fantastic hair blog where she patiently teaches you how to do your hair. From simple braids to the most mind-boggling ‘dos that appear to come straight from Game of Thrones, this girl manages to make it really easy for you to figure out even the most complicated styles. She also dabbles in beauty and fashion blogging, but her hair tutorials are killer. She even has a whole part of her blog devoted to teaching you how to curl your hair properly. Even through an entire pregnancy she always had perfect makeup, perfect outfits, perfectly lit photos. I want to be friends with her only to discover what her well-hidden flaws are. Seriously, Missy Sue, give me something to indicate that you’re human.
2. Skinnytaste – http://www.skinnytaste.com – I’m getting married in May. I really want to lose 20 lb before walking down the aisle, but unfortunately I really love food. I am hungry all the time. Don’t worry, it’s not a medical condition. It’s just that I love food so much that anytime mentions pizza or tacos or hell, even something in another language, I immediately get an intense craving and my stomach starts growling. I’m basically Mindy Lahiri on The Mindy Project but way less adorable. Fortunately for me, the internet is a vast wonderland full of dieting tips and recipes. Unfortunately for me, I don’t have THAT much time to sort through the thousands of them. My friend Erin shares my desire to constantly eat things, so she introduced me to Skinnytaste. It’s a site packed full of healthy(ish) recipes that are not hard to make. From brownies to steak and everything in between, this site gives you recipe alternatives to normally hugely fat-laden foods. I haven’t managed to browse through Gina Homolka’s hundreds of recipes yet, but they all look SO GOOD. The food is beautifully photographed and Gina strives to keep her recipes healthy but really delicious. Great, now I’m hungry.
3. Thredup – http://www.thredup.com – Yet another one of Erin’s recommendations, this site is the best thing ever. It’s an online consignment shop. The clothes are (very) gently used and extremely cheap. They are picky about the brands they’ll take, so it’s mostly good stuff, and a lot of it. I managed to score 8 dresses for less than $100. Half of them were Ann Taylor and indie brands that are not cheap. Their return policy is pretty good, though I haven’t had to use it yet. From shoes to handbags (Kate Spade bags for $50-$100?!?) and clothes, this site has become my go-to. Plus, if you use my link up there you’ll get $10 off your first purchase (here it is again). I have heard that it’s not great to sell on, but I haven’t sold anything through them. I will say this though, every consignment shop I’ve sold clothes through had the same issues people complain about with Thredup. It’s consignment and they’re a business, you can’t expect to get $20 for your Old Navy jeans.
4. Ebates – http://www.ebates.com – Ah, Ebates. If you haven’t joined Ebates by now you must hate free money. Seriously, why do you hate free money? You do nothing but shop and get free money. FREE MONEY. It sounds too good to be true, but it is not. Stores pay them to market their names and then they pay you for it. I’ve gotten almost $500 back so far. I mean, I shop a lot but I seriously use Ebates all the time whenever I shop online. Plus it’s easy. You just go to the Ebates site, search for whatever site you’re shopping on, and click through to get cash back on that purchase. There is a chrome extension for Ebates that will show you if there is an ebate available for that site and will flash red when you’re not activated (click on it to activate it). It’s so ridiculously easy to get free money that it is insane that you aren’t using it. Use the link above and get me some referral money! Oh yeah, you get referral money – and they are generous. Here is my link again!
5. Duolingo – http://www.duolingo.com – Ever wanted to learn a new language? How about learning it for free? Duolingo offers free language courses for 18 differnet languages! I have been meaning to brush up on my Italian before heading back to Florence for my honeymoon and I discovered Duolingo from a google search. This site is seriously awesome. It’s like Rosetta Stone but free. I love free! Plus if I ever want to learn how to say more than “grilled meat” in Vietnamese or “delicious food” in Russian, I’ve now got a place to do that. For free!
So there you go. The next time you’re online, check out these awesome sites (and use my referral links for the ones who have them!) They will make your workday go a lot faster, or at least make it more interesting.