Wednesday, September 25, 2013

10 Website Recommendations & Reviews

Oh, I remember these!

So my husband finally read my blog yesterday and said my article on Fashion was "not my best work."  Guess who's having kibble for dinner tonight?  Anyway, he also rolled his eyes at my review of Vintage Seltzer, despite the fact that we spend probably hundreds of dollars on seltzer because we drink so much of it.

Thanks to his derision, I have decided to dedicate this blog post to 10 Website Recommendations & Reviews (not in any particular order) .  Again, I echo the sentiment expressed in my first post that these are merely my unbiased opinions and hold as much credibility as you give me. 

1. ( If you love to play vocabulary games online and love to help people, this is a place for you!  According to the site, learning new vocabulary has lots of benefits (yada, yada, yada) including helping you write more effective papers, emails, letters, etc.  So how does Freerice help people?  For each answer you get right, the site's sponsors donate ten grains of rice through the World Food Programme to help end hunger.  Okay, so ten grains doesn't sound like much, but if millions of people play, that's a lot of rice. offers a bunch of different subjects (math, science, geography, art history, etc.) and you can play in different languages.  When you get a question wrong, the site will repeat it a few turns later to give you a second chance at it.  So you learn while those who are hungry get fed.  It's a win-win and an enjoyable site to play on.

2. ( - Type in your kids' spelling lists and, bippity-boppity-boo, those words will be inserted in some online games your kids can play. The games are fun and a great alternative to mindless video games.  Tip Alert:  If you have more time on your hands, grab your kids' spelling words and some paper and make a Spelling Word Bingo Game.  I did this last year with graph paper, some slips of paper used as markers, and index cards.  Diva went to town and we wound up taking the game on vacation with us, plus she bragged to her friends that her mom makes board games.  I got an extra tight hug out of that 10-minute effort.  Yeah!

3. ( - I think KidsSpell is part of this totally free learning network and it is amazing!  It's mission is "To Provide The Highest Quality Educational Activities, Products, Movies, Music, Games, Articles, Text Books, Learning Programs, Lesson Plans, Worksheets, And Distribute Them Completely Free of Charge."  They have tons of games to help anyone learn Chemistry, Geology, Math, Improve Memory, and more.  It's also a terrific site for those of us who have forgotten some of what we learned in school and need to help our kids with their homework. 

4.  Coursera ( - A great website for adults, it allows you to choose from more than 400 online courses which you can take for FREE!  Sign up, watch some short video lectures, take interactive quizzes, complete peer graded assessments, and interact live with your new classmates and teachers.  Amazing!

5.  Freebies At About.Com ( - This site offers freebies every day, however, some are not really "free."  Depending on the offer, they'll ask you to "like" them on Facebook which can mean they are at liberty to post on your Facebook page.  Yeah, I'm not doing that.  Also, if you don't respond to the offers immediately, they're often sold out.  This is a fun site to peruse, but don't get your hopes up that you're going to get oodles of freebies here. 

6.  Reader's Digest ( - You see the magazine while you're on the Checkout line at the supermarket.  "Oh," you think, "my Nana had that on her coffee table," so you don't pick it up.  BIG MISTAKE!  Reader's Digest is a great source of advice, jokes, games, cartoons, and stories.  But don't buy it - read it online for FREE without the annoying advertising cards that fall out of the paper version. 

7.  Eat This, Not That ( - I don't know if you've seen the book series Eat This, Not That which basically offers healthy alternatives to foods you may already be eating.  The site is fantastic because I've learned which restaurants habitually load their dishes with extra fat and calories.  Anyway, Eat This, Not That is chock-a-block full of lists of things like healthy desserts, the best groceries to buy, foods you "should" eat every day, etc.  What I especially love is their ratings of which restaurants are the healthiest to eat in and which to avoid like the plague.  A MUST site for when you travel, hubby learned that his favorite restaurant which he frequented on business was really loading even their salads with extra fat (their "grilled" chicken turned out to be 800 calories).  Just beware that if you sign up for their newsletter you will get a few emails/advertisements every single day.

8.  Cozi Family Calendar ( - This free online calendar helps you manage the family's calendar.  You can color code activities for family members and each person can download the free app to tap into your family's calendar so everyone can see who's doing what and when.  You can also set it so that once a week, each member will get a calendar showing what's coming up for the week.  In addition, the site also allows you to create shopping lists, to-do lists, and a family journal (I haven't tried any of these free extras).  My family has been using this for a few weeks and it's been awesome - no more multiple "Mom, when's my soccer game?" conversations anymore. 

9.  Free US Government Publications ( - You'll find oodles of information here on a variety of topics such as Computers, Consumer Protection, Federal Programs, Cars, Family, Health, and Money.  Much of the data is free, but some is not.    Some of the titles I found intriguing including: "Know Your Rights:  A Guide For Victims & Witnesses Of Crime;" "Which Helmet For Which Activity;" "Keeping Listeria Out Of Your Kitchen;" and "How To Understand And Influence Older Drivers."   This could be a really useful website to recommend to a Web-savvy senior.

10.  Lyric Finder ( - So your 5-year old is saying the words to a song and you can't quite figure out what she's saying.  Plug the lyric and/or artist into this site and you can see exactly what the words are.  Or say there's a lyric stuck in your head at midnight and you're going nuts trying to figure out what song it came from.  Plug it into the site's search engine and the agonizing is over!   The site is not all-inclusive, however, and I've stumped it on a few occasions, but it's a good place to start, especially when you think your kid is singing one thing and you find out that the song's artist actually said something quite different (yikes!!!). 

Special thanks to my eyebrow-raising hubby for challenging me to up my game on this blog.  Thanks for reading and I'll hopefully see you in another day or so.  TTFN!

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