Amanda is smart (she done went to Harvard, y'all - yes, you may be impressed), funny, has wonderful taste, and is one of those people who's always on the ball and pays attention - you know what I mean? She's got lots of ideas and makes them happen. Plus she's pretty and skinny and always well-dressed and has a really cute husband and two darling children and a gorgeous house and is a great cook and can totally hold her liquor. Okay, I guess we should probably all hate her.
But no, we should not, because she's also really nice, and she reads me regularly, so she MUST have amazing taste and judgment. I find her to be an excellent source for all things excellent.
Here are Amanda's latest favorite websites, shared for your enjoyment...
1. The Book Mama - Book Mama is a terrific resource for book-loving moms. She reviews children's books (Amanda says her reviews are "spot on"), provides Best Books lists and writes book-themed articles (who knew that September 13th was Roald Dahl Day? Dang, I'd have celebrated!). She organizes her archives into age/reading level categories - Reluctant Reader, Ages 4-8, Ages 8-12, Ages 12-Up, and Grown Up Books . She also provides handy links to Amazon if you happen to be an impulsive book buyer like me.
2. Common Sense Media - Another wonderful parenting resource. Common Sense Media lists reviews and ratings for movies, games, tv, books, music, mobile apps and websites and they provide a really clear "age appropriate" meter for everything. Their search function is extremely helpful - you can search by form of media, genre, or age of your child. It's very thorough. They offer their recommendations as well as parent recommendations and kids recommendations. They list both new media and things that have been out for years. I've found it to be a great way to find out if something I watched 20 years ago (back when I wasn't watching for kid-friendly content) is appropriate for Jude. I totally agree with Amanda that this is an extremely valuable site.
3. Catalog Living - Hysterical. Just hysterical.
4. Smitten Kitchen - Part food site, part mommy blog, always enjoyable. This is a beautiful foodie blog, with gorgeous photographs. And her writing is very funny and readable. Amanda has found her recipes to be extremely reliable. Her recipe index is easy to navigate. I just found a recipe for Balsamic Braised Brussels Sprouts With Pancetta that is making my whole body salivate. Mmmmmm..........
5.Rue La La - Uber cool online discount boutique. Flash sales go up every day at 11:00 am ET and only last for two days. High-end products at incredible discounts. It's kind of addicting, because the sales are so drastic, and you have to snag them fast or they'll be sold out. Amanda warns that you should buy something immediately, because if you're too slow, something could actually be snagged out of your online shopping cart! They give you a wonderful tease by letting you know what products are coming up, but you have to show up to find out exactly what's being offered and what kind of deal you can get.
6. Sleep Talkin' Man - A wife. A sleep talking hubby. A tape recorder. A blog. Fame. Really funny.
7. Omiru - Amanda's favorite fashion site. In their words "Omiru is a style and shopping guide dedicated to real style for real people. We cover figure flattery, fashion trends, and an assortment of articles aimed at making style accessible to all." Amanda loves it because they provide handy links below every picture so you can buy something that catches your eye. Even if you can't afford to purchase, it's great window shopping!
8. How Fast Time Flies - Amanda is an avid digital scrapbooker, and this is her favorite place to get it done. I'm afraid the whole digital scrapbooking thing scares me because it looks so addicting! I know that if I start I'll get obsessed. But were I to succumb, this site looks beautiful and user-friendly and has gorgeous graphics and fonts.
9. Dinner: A Love Story - Another beautifully photographed food site. What makes this site special is that it's devoted to "helping parents figure out how to get family dinner on the table." No preaching here, no chastising you for giving your kids a frozen pizza. Her goal is "to provide recipes and strategies that inspire you to keep fighting the fight." I'm afraid that Amanda's son Eli is one of the only children I know who is almost as much of a picky eater as Jude. And she's found this site to be a wealthy of knowledge. The other night she made the recipe for "Grilled Chicken For People Who Hate Grilled Chicken", and she said that Eli ate an ENTIRE CHICKEN BREAST. Impressive.
10. Parent Hacks - A blog of random parenting hints, written by their readers themselves. Amanda says it's a bit hit or miss, but I guess that's the nature of the place. Lots of contributors, so you can scroll through and read what looks interesting to you.
You know what? This is all so helpful that I'm going to submit it to Works For Me Wednesday. It works for Amanda, so it should work for you too!