My Favorite Blogs & Why You Should Read Them

 

Want to know how I got into reading blogs? If not, too bad.

If you’re reading this, you didn’t close out the window. Thank you and yes, my jokes are always this good 🙂

It all began one lunch break when I decided I was going to have an Odwalla smoothie instead of eating food because of a food allergy that made my mouth hurt. I thought a smoothie would be soothing and when I went to the drugstore to pick one out, there were about 20 options. I decided to google “Is Odwalla healthy” because I was having a nostalgic moment where I missed Ask Jeeves and that awesome butler who figured out how to turn my questions into reliable search terms. RIP Ask Jeeves. You are now Ask.com and lame.

At any rate, I stumbled upon thehealthyapron.com (which sadly is no longer a blog) and started clicking around. The author was a registered dietitian and covered topics includng health, food, recipes, and body image.  I loved her peanut butter chocolate chip blueberry bars (which sound terrible but are delicious and now that her blog is gone I don’t have the recipe for). I really liked that I could look at it everyday and there would be something new to read. The rest I discovered when other blogs referenced them or  or via Pintrest.

Momfessionals is written by Andrea, a teacher and her family. I love her sense of style! When I don’t know what to wear, I look at her blog. I kind of want to be her because I can’t pull off some of the things she does. I like reading about teaching – how she does lesson plans, how she reviews material before tests, or how she writes tests, probably because wanted to be a teacher when I was in grade school and would spend hours playing school. Andrea also has a side graphic design business designing blog plug-ins and cards, which is really creative and fun. I aspire to channel creativity as well as she does.

Runs for Cookies – Katie lost over 100lbs and is completely honest about the ups, downs, and struggles of losing weight and maintaining weight loss. She also learned how to run and enjoy it, which is something I aspire to do. She has a love/hate relationship with running which is refreshing and how I envision my relationship with running would be if I were a runner.

Peanut Butter Fingers – Julie’s theme is food & fitness with a little lifestyle thrown in. Julie’s blog is how I learned about Stitch Fix, which is a website that mails you clothes chosen by a stylist who looks at your pintrest board and a style profile you fill out. Julie’s blog usually posts what she eats and her daily workouts. Have you ever looked at someone and wondered ‘what would I have to eat and how would I have to exercise to look like her?’ I know I have. That question obviously ignores a number of factors about different inherent make-ups and body chemistry, but seeing some of her healthy meals and exercise routines sparks my interest or motivates me to try something new. Another fun thing is that Julie started a blog just for fun but ended up leaving her marketing job to pursue blogging full-time after her blog took off.

Mix and Match Mama – Shay is The Bachelor Sean Lowe’s sister. She posts on her daily life as a stay-at-home mom/blogger/travel agent. She posts some pretty simple meals that look tasty and how she wakes up at 4:30am every morning. I would like to train myself to do this but I have had the hardest time waking up early. I’m just naturally a night person. Her 50 Shades of Shay series has fun posts about things she likes – wedges, easy outfits, sunscreen, hair products, traveling, and getting organized to move. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but sometimes I like mom style blogs better than some of the style blogs for younger people. The reason is moms tend to choose outfits that are usually easy to put together, easy to clean, and easy to move around in. Those are all pretty important to me when picking out an outfit 🙂

Modern Mrs. Darcy – The author Anne had me at Mrs. Darcy. I knew we’d at least have a love of Pride and Prejudice in common. Her general theme is books and reading, but she also posts about her life. I like her favorite Trader Joe’s items, Kindle deals, and posts on personality types. I love learning about personalities because I it explains a lot about why a person thinks and behaves the way that they do and the unique strengths that come with each personality. Anne also posts about how to improve your Stitch Fixes if you’re finding Stitch Fix to be hit or miss.

Life in Leggings – I actually found Heather’s blog through Instagram. She is a former NBA dancer and current personal trainer. She mostly posts on what she eats and her workouts. I appreciate Heather’s honesty about how she had to move away from family, how her marriage started just as her husband lost his job, and how she budgets.

Life of Bon – Bonnie is a high school English teacher with a wry sense of humor. She is also a writer working on a novel, so of course I enjoy reading about that. Her posts on teaching are often hilarious since high schoolers can be a handful. She noted that people always comment on how hard they think teaching high school is and how difficult teenagers are, and how it’s tiring to hear that over and over. Teenagers are challenging but also really great normal people! She’s  honest about how she went into teaching thinking she’d be the teacher that would inspire her students and get through to the kids who struggled. After teaching for a year or two she learned that it is heart breaking, but there is only so much you can do. Teachers also need to take care of themselves and can’t spend personal time with every student that might need it, especially if that student isn’t willing to meet them half way. She also asks interesting questions like if she should allow students to turn in make-up work or how to handle tricky situations with school districts mandating certain curricula. I like her book club too.

Zen Habits – Leo is the master of developing good habits. He lost weight, quit smoking, started running, got out of debt, and generally became a much more disciplined person over the course of a few of years. He describes ways to develop good habits (hint, one small step at a time is crucial) and how to practice mindfulness.

GenTwenty – I can relate to almost every post from this blog. Posts range from “How to Practice Patience in a World of Instant Gratification” and “Why Self-Reflection is Crucial in Your 20s” to “5 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills at Work.” If you’re a millennial, this is a great blog to read.

Fun Cheap or Free – Jordan is a stay at home mom who worked her way out of debt within a year. She has really great tips on budgeting that are applicable to a lot of situations and lifestyles. She has tips for how to save money on pretty much anything, how to budget, and how to cut down on the 2nd largest cost for most families: groceries. She shops at Walmart for her grocery savings. I choose not to shop at Walmart but I’m not here to judge if you do, You need to do what works for you!

Honorable mentions:

The Lovely Side – Jessica posts about decorating on a budget and has a cool retro vintage-y DIY style that really works. Some DIY budget decorating blogs aren’t my cup of tea because painting a dated piece of furniture and chevron print pillows only get you so far. She also posts about writing which I like reading about

Twenty-Something Travel – this is a great resource for travel and how it’s not as scary or expensive as you think.

The Muse – This has really great tips for career guidance. I perused it a lot while job hunting. It has good ideas for searching for the right job, interviewing, starting & succeeding at a job or career, and handling job-related problems. Some of my favorite posts are about questions to ask your interviewer during a job interview and benefits & perks that aren’t as great as they seem.

east& – I like east & because it’s the direction I envision my blog going. It’s generally a lifestyle blog and Nadine posts about whatever is on her mind. I liked 12 BEAUTIFUL & UNIQUE DESTINATIONS TO SEE IN YOUR 20S, HOW WORKING IN A HOSPITAL HAS CHANGED MY BODY IMAGE, HOW WE GOT RID OF HALF OF OUR STUFF, and HOW TO SHOP AT GOODWILL (AND FIND ALL THE BEST STUFF!) Her site is where I learned about free sources for photos.

What they have in common:

1. There’s something I want to learn from them – fitness, nutrition, habits, writing, style

2. I want to be like the author in some way (they inspire me) and the blog feels personal

I learned that it’s a good idea to blog about what you’re passionate about and what interests you. Even if you think your life isn’t that interesting, it probably is to someone with completely different experiences.