>At the Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged conference, we all pinky swore to post our top ten list of favorite blogs we read, as well as the reasons they captivate us. Without further ado (and definitely in no particular order):
1. Catherine et les fées (Catherine & the Fairies) Yes, I am a confessed francophile and it is in French, but stick with me! This is my all-time favorite. It’s visually stunning, each paragraph is translated into English (plus, surely you know where to find a page translator) and drips with the rural French countryside home-schooling experience-based lifestyle that I have with my kids… in my head. Just peek once – it’s a treat.
2. Penelope Trunk: Brazen Careerist You’ll laugh. You’ll snort. You’ll relate. This gal is some kinda funny with large doses of life lessons and irreverence. It’s like the Pioneer Woman, sort of – big city gal falls for cute farmer. I suppose technically she is kind of a life/career coach, but whatever. Just read it.
3. Seth’s Blog If you were at the Arkansas Women Bloggers conference (if you weren’t, shame on you!), you heard me mention Seth Godin. He’s a marketing genius with searing wit. This is one of just a few blogs that I highly recommend subscribing to via email or text message. His daily missives are short, digestable and thought-altering. If you want someone to occasionally (or daily) slap you upside the head with a dose of reality, this is your blog. He’s also the source of one of my all-time favorite directives on marketingand social media: earn the right to whisper. The idea is that in marketing you can shout through a megaphone all day long, but you’ll only succeed when you develop relationships and earn the right to whisper in someone’s ear – that trust means they are listening. This guy is a complete anomaly. He’s the author of Tribes, Linchpin and many other amazing books, but also just gives his books like Spreading the Ideavirus away… yeah, free. He’ll even summarize the entire book if you don’t have time to read it. Wowza.
4. Simple Mom Tsh Oxenreider has created an amazing online resource mecca – Simple Living Media. I’m kind of cheating on this entry because I’m really sending you to all of their other blogs: Simple Bites, SimpleKids, Simple Organic, Simple Bites, Simple Marriage and Simple Homeschool. You’ll find them all on that main page. However, Simple Mom is my very favorite, and Tsh remains the primary writer/editor. Check out all the sites and subscribe to one or several. From inspiration to great projects, tips and ideas – they’re all fantastic. As an example, I don’t homeschool but have picked up more great activity ideas from that blog than you can imagine. They are all written with simple (obviously), soulful tones. Plus, the giveaways are handpicked and amazing. Not just stuff, by any means!
5. The Park Wife I would clearly be remiss if I didn’t mention one of my favorite women on the planet. I adopted her fast and furiously, and she has allowed me into her home without fear. She is everything that she appears to be to each of you – honest, sincere, funny, a devoted wife who reminds us all how to simply love the one you’re with, an amazing mom and a gal who is thoughtfully and effectively changing the world around her every day. I know I’m not the only one on the edge of my seat for her debut book! I especially love her take on “raising warriors.” She inspires me every day, even when I’m not reading her blog posts.
6. NWA Foodie Again – a friend but also a must-read. Lyndi explores food with a zest that is hard to describe, and whether you’re in her neck of the woods and can visit the places she mentions or reading from afar and following her cooking antics, you won’t be sorry. Gluten-free or not, here’s a gal you’ll want to connect with if you care about food. In addition, she is simply a rock star human being in her own right.
7. Mommy Wants Vodka Ok, this blog is not for the faint of heart, but there’s a lot to gain if you are not turned off by the occasional (ok, frequent) foul word. And when I say foul, I mean really foul. Do not visit if that makes you uncomfortable. I don’t want anyone to be unwarned and offended. “Your Aunt Becky” delivers frequent doses of belly laughs with her impudence, but if you dig deep beyond her scathing bio you’ll find a touching March of Dimes mom of an autistic child and a child with a neural tube defect who has brought me to tears with laughter as much as with reality. She also founded Mushroom Printing, a site where people with the lowest of luck and saddest of fates have an outlet to tell people to take a hike. Again, Aunt Becky is R rated – but she is also genuine and amazing. I don’t suppose her blog could be any more polar opposite from the sweetness that is Catherine et les fées!
8. Practically Green I love this website (amazing, outside the norm tips for green living beyond “you should recycle and use CFLs”), and the blog is a great resource. It’s all approachable and… well, practical. Take the quiz on the main site and keep up with the blog for tips from people all over. You may even see a post from yours truly in the not so distant future!
9. Cool Mom Tech A smattering of apps, tips, habits and products, but never forced on you in a “hurry and buy this right this minute!” way – i.e. with a megaphone, #AWBU ladies. It’s a treat to skim and keeps me hopping and thinking!
10. Mashable There are several blogs available on the news and social media site Mashable, and I recommend either the main one or the Social Good blog, which is full of companies maximizing social media to influence positive change. It’s full of trendy tips and news snippets. Good reading.
I think this is the first list I’ve compiled that does not include predominantly foodie, locavore and gardening references, but it’s today’s top ten list, not my all time list – that would be impossible! And, apologies in advance – these recommendations run the gamut from inspiring to appalling, yummy to green and techy and naughty. C’est la vie!
AWBU attendees, I’m looking forward to your lists as well! What are your top ten blogs?