I love blogs. I devour them. I go through hundreds of them every morning and nearly had a fit when I caught wind of Google pulling the plug on their subscriber-based, aggregate program, Reader. The subject matter of my dailyreads run the gamut, from interior design to culture, food to fashion, and I am attached to them with nearly the same addictive behavior as a smoker: Don't bother me 'til I've ingested my daily dose of hi-res images. I was a loyal reader even before the savvy industry pioneers started to use affiliate links to make money and were poached by agents to manage their hefty brand contracts. I've been along for the ride to see bloggers rise to legitimate celebrity status and get excited because I feel like I know them. And while I love myself a beautiful, crisp, "Outfit Of The Day," sometimes I need a palette cleanser of sorts to remind myself that I'm not reading these guys out of habit, but because I actually value them as tastemakers. When the images, topics and styles start bleeding together, these four remind me why I love the Internet:
1. Joanna Goddard of Cup of Jo. The former magazine writer made the leap to full-time blogger, and boy, am I glad she did. Though she may be in a totally different life stage than I am, I lap up her marriage and mommy tips because there are times she truly reinvents the wheel. For instance, Joanna and her family spent a weekend renting an apartment inBrooklyn so they could be sure they liked the neighborhood before buying property in the hip borough. Brilliant! The topics on the site include honest (and endearingly bashful) discussions on sex, bodily functions (she breastfeeds in public, and genuinely wants to know if you pee in front of your significant other), with reader comments that sound like a conversation between girlfriends. Extra points for self-produced hair tutorials, make-up tips and frequent special discount codes for some of the coolest e-tailers out there.
2. East Side Bride. An anonymous, delightfully snarky, self-described hipster bride who expertly answers all those niggling questions about your upcoming nuptials in the most blunt waypossible. I've written in to her. She called my question boring. I still love her. A much darker, matrimony focused version of Dear Abby, ESB is often the logic-based sounding board for women veering towards bridezilla-ville who need help with their dresses, shoes and families (in fact, there were so many women writing in about their awful bridesmaids, she started an offshoot site called "My Maid of Honor is a C*nt"). Her wedding style choices are always uber-cool, under the radar type pieces. Think: Loeffler Randall for shoes, Anna Sheffield for jewelry (they have brunch!) and Ann Demeulemeester tie-dye gowns. She also gets her cool friends to do city roundups for honeymooners and destination wedding-planners. And just when you think she's ice cold, she answers with advice like: "It's not worth the bad karma to un-invite [people you've already invited]." I come for her awesome taste, and lurk for all the zingers.
3. Girls of a Certain Age: After her decade long stint as Editor-in-Chief of Lucky Magazine, Kim France has moved on to this new venture with the same cool-older-sister voice that once belonged to the shopping mag she helped launched. And though she may not be an editor anymore, she hasn't lost that discerning eye, compiling round-ups of the gauziest embroidered shirts, most comfortable flatform shoes and best inscribed business card holders. A couple of months ago, she claimed that she could shop anywhere, as in finding pretty items from catalogs like Country Creek, Soft Surroundings and Modest Mom: Comments flew in to challenge France, and she nailed it (I've never pressed refresh so many times on one post. The comments were awesome and hilarious). According to the Girls of a Certain Age About Us page, if you've ever wanted to be Tatum O'Neal in Bad News Bears, or Brooke Shields in Endless Love, then you've stumbled onto your happy place.
4. The Glow. Less of a blog and more of a glossy website, this beautifully designed and stunningly photographed website is focused on successful women in fashion, beauty and entertainment making huge waves in their respective fields -- all the while juggling a home life. Portraits and interviewees include Amy Smilovic, creator of Tibi, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, owner of her masterful eponymous store, Josie Maran, model and creator of an organic makeup line, actress Busy Phillips and a slew of other business-savvy mothers. If anything, it's an aspirational site (the spotless houses and beautifully manicured women and children are truly awe-inducing) and though my sink is full of dirty dishes and I haven't made my bed in a week, maybe there's hope for me yet.