how to find scintillating blogs

Source: via Jillee on Pinterest


It’s sometimes difficult to find beneficial, enticing blogs that you can’t wait to catch up on. I have several “go tos,” but it’s always nice to periodically add a few more! Here’s how I find worthwhile blogs:

Blog rolls– once you find blogs that you love, see what blogs they love {blog rolls are generally found on the right sidebar}

Tags on WordPress– click here for a list of the most common tags or on your WordPress homepage, click the “Read Blogs” tab. You can add topics there {I have added “Raleigh,” “Social Enterprise,” and “Gluten-Free Cooking.”

FoodPress.comtheir tagline is “Serving up the hottest dishes on WordPress” and they are indeed! Search through posts that have been “FoodPressed” to find new recipes on new blogs {one of my posts popped up on the site one time!}

Google Reader– once you have added a subscription, click “Feed settings,” then “More like this”

Comments– I periodically browse through the comments on my favorite blogs. Commenters are often bloggers and you can follow their URLs back to their pages!

Pinterest– This newbie platform is quickly shifting the game of blogging. It’s incredible to me that I can send a picture to Pinterest and have hundreds of hits to my blog within minutes. Search for random interesting topics to find a carefully curated group of results, which ultimately link back to blogs.

How else do you find cool blogs to follow? 


the trouble with blogs is…

Photo credit

Sometimes I sit for long periods browsing mindlessly and half-heartedly  through my Google Reader blog roll. Even worse, sometimes I scroll intently through the posts, enraptured by the delicious meal that so and so ate or the new skinny jeans that so and so bought over the weekend.

When I finally come out of my blog-induced stupor, I often feel an overwhelming sense of frivolity.


characterized by lack of seriousness or sense: frivolous
self-indulgently carefree; unconcerned about or lacking any serious purpose
of little or no weight, worth, or importance; not worthy of serious notice

Did reading about a certain blogger’s luxury-infused trip or new purchase improve my life or, even more importantly, the lives of others?

I hate to describe anyone’s blog as frivolous, because I know how I would feel if someone assigned  that unfortunate adjective to Scintillating Simplicity. But, as Elisabeth pointed out, lifestyle blogs can often be a form of escapism.

But then I read blogs like Branch of Jasmine by Kathleen, which details her time working with a women’s empowerment organization in Rwanda. Or McArabia’s and Chipsy by Sarah, which she updates as she works on her Fulbright on the evolution of food systems in Egypt. And I remember how important it is to balance time spent perusing fun, carefree blogs with time spent on blogs that address interesting, pertinent issues.

Do you ever feel frivolous when reading lifestyle blogs? What are some of your favorite “deep” blogs? 

call for young female bloggers in the triangle!

As we speak, I’m supposed to be en route to Goldsboro to help my bachelor friend pull off a fall BBQ. I offered to go out early to make  corn on the cob with jalapeno lime butter- and to generally provide my finely-tuned domestic skill set amongst a crowd of Air Force guys 🙂

But alas, I’m sitting on my couch in my pajamas watching There’s Something About Mary, surrounded by tissues, tea, Martha Stewart Living, and my 400 Soups Cookbook. I vow that this is my last sick day but that I will make the most of it since I don’t get too many free days.

On my incredibly exhausting and mentally stimulating to do list (hard life, huh?): Watch Erin Brockovich. Catch up on my Google reader. Finish Martha Stewart Living. Pick 5 soups to make in the next few weeks. Drink seltzer water + OJ + acai Emergen-C. Anddd….

Make a list of young (18-35) female bloggers in the Triangle to reach out to about a bloggers’ group!

I love reading the blogs of cool, inspirational young women but I haven’t found too many based out of the Triangle. I always hear about the incredible real-life friendships that can come from the virtual world of blogging. I’ve experienced that online-to-offline connection on Twitter but not through blogging yet. So I figured, since one of my favorite words is proactive (and of course, scintillating!), I should make it happen!

So, if you’re a young female blogger in the Triangle (or know of any!), please comment on this post, email me, or tweet me! Looking forward to meeting you all 🙂

So far I’ve discovered (or had people tell me about!):

*Appearance on this list does not necessarily mean that the individuals behind these blogs have expressed interest in a bloggers’ group. It is simply a list of blogs based out of the Triangle that I have come across.

what i love today

I’m a firm believer in turning your hobbies/interests/loves into your job or career. I love cooking, I started GW Bites. I love community building, I now co-own a coworking space.

But when your job gets stressful, you have to remember what you love outside of work.

So here’s is today’s edition of Things Besides Work that Cristina Loves:

what i’m browsing [online] articles and tips for those of us who pride ourselves on our frugality based on the notion that “it’s not ideas; it’s about making ideas happen” decorating for small [urban] spaces how to effectively manage the 168 hours in your week 15 new and innovative business ideas per week

Charlie Sheen + Winning: seriously. it’s addictive

bhg: better homes and gardens- this is a given 🙂

TastingTable: “the free daily email for adventurous eaters everywhere”

New Year’s Inspiration

Just in time for the new year, here is my list of websites and people who inspire me in different areas of life!




Personal development

Social enterprise

  • SocialEarth
  • Nest: Empowers female artisans around the world
  • Grant Tudor: A friend and GW alum! His tweets about social innovation are always interesting!

Business inspiration

  • The99Percent: It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.
  • SpringWise: New business trends, ideas, and innovation

I’m baaack

I’ve been following several inspirational blogs (Kimberly Wilson’s Tranquility du Jour, Analiese’s Tulips and Tea, Kaileen Elise’s blog, etc), as well as regularly checking the Better Homes and Gardens website, Apartment, and

All of these sites and blogs revolve around simple, chic everyday living- seeking tranquility, being mindful, cooking satisfying and healthful meals, being productive and goal-oriented, and being surrounded by aesthetically-pleasing things.

I find myself thinking about these elements frequently- I carry a moleskin notebook to jot down new ideas; I regularly update the inspiration board above my dining room table; I’ve tried several new (and delicious!) recipes in the last week; and I keep a bulletin board with my past to do lists, which showcases my productivity!

Essentially, these small everyday activities motivate me, inspire me…and most importantly, are fun for me. Along the same vein, keeping a blog keeps me accountable and encourages me to keep actively pursing new opportunities for self-development!

So, long story short…I’m back to blogging!