Monday, April 5, 2010

10 Things You Should Know About: Web Edition

{Quick Caveat: You may have noticed I have a brand new blog header. My old one was created haphazardly by yours truly in powerpoint (should have saved that for a confessions post!). My new one was created lovingly and slavishly by a good friend and great graphic designer, Greg Shutters. If you like his work, check out his site. I also promised him I'd mention what a terrible client from hell I was because I like tacky things and he refuses to make tacky designs. Thanks, Greg!}

I'm all for sharing information, so I thought I'd share a few gems I've discovered throughout my time on the internet. Hopefully one of the following websites is for you!


You’ve probably all heard of this before. But for those of you who’ve been living under a rock: you sign in with a web cam and are randomly paired with another person. If you feel like talking to that person you can, or else you can skip them (or they can skip you!). There are lots of creepy men (and puppets) on this site doing unmentionable things, but if you can get past them, you might just meet a new friend or have an interesting interaction.

It got weird, didn’t it?


I think this website is for people who are looking to buy a home (and perhaps some of you are?) but I use it to see what my home and my friends’ homes are worth (heh heh so devious…). This doesn’t really make my life better or more convenient in any way, but it’s kind of cool to see if your mansion in the boonies is actually worth less than your friend’s shack near the city. You can also use it to see what the housing costs are in any town across the country, either because you’re moving there or because you have nothing better to do with your time.

According to the site, I can only afford this metal effigy of a house.

The Grad Cafe

I know a few of my readers are currently still waiting on grad school responses. Grad Café is the best way to assuage your waiting-game stomachaches, or perhaps feed your obsession. Here’s how it works: when you get accepted, rejected, or waitlisted from a program, you upload it to the site (anonymously). Then when Joe Schmo gets waitlisted at his dream school, he can sign on and see that 5 people have already been accepted. Sorry, Mr. Schmo; it’s not looking good. Or maybe Jane Doe was waitlisted and sees that 5 people have already been rejected. Count your lucky stars, Miss Doe; at least you’re better than those poor schmucks. The site also has a forum and some blogs all about the grad school admission process. If anything, it’s something to do in the meantime.

Beat My Price

Before you buy anything online, enter it into this site first. You may just find it at a different store for less. You can enter the name of a product, specific or general (ie. Women's Zetta Solid Rainboots – Yellow or just Yellow Rain Boots) or you can enter the webpage you found it at and the price you want it to beat. It’s worth a shot, especially if you’re buying something expensive.

I said "beat my price," not "beat my chicken leg!"

The Thrift Shopper

I used to search for thrift stores on google maps, which wasn’t the ideal situation, since all kinds of crazy results would show up. Being a non-native Milwaukeean, I didn’t know my way around the thrifting scene and had to settle for word-of-mouth thrifting advice. Not anymore! At this site you just enter your location and a comprehensive list of all the charity-driven thrift stores in your area come up, along with their address, hours of operation, distance from you, and a rating. You can even add thrift stores to the list if they’re missing one, or talk to other thrifting-enthusiasts on the message boards.

Don’t lie, ironic indie girl!


It’s like the ultimate jukebox. If you’ve got a song stuck in your head or are just the kind of person who needs instant gratification and can’t bother themselves to wait for that new Top 40 hit to download, this site is for you. Just type in the name of the song, the artist, or the album and it’ll pop up, waiting to be listened to by you. You can create playlists, set it to random (à la Pandora) or just listen to the same song on repeat ad nauseum. You can’t keep the song files, but you can listen to them anywhere that you have a computer and an internet connection.

Flashcard Exchange

Ever wanted to make flashcards for that big test coming up but you didn’t have notecards to use? Or maybe you just type faster than you write, or you’d rather store your flashcards online than lug that huge stack around with you wherever you go. Additional features of this site include the ability to study 3-sided flashcards (def can’t do that with a tangible card), computer-randomized stacks, reports of your past studying history, and the ability to share your flashcard sets with others and use theirs in return. You’ll never fail a test

It can even help you learn to count!


If you’re a n00b at sewing like I am, you probably still suffer from sticker shock when you calculate just how much it’s going to cost you to laboriously make that dress from scratch. For the non-sewers out there: it can often cost way, waaaay more to diy. Sometimes the pattern alone costs more than I would spend on an article of clothing (granted, I am a cheap college student…). Burdastyle to the rescue! I swear their tagline used to be “open source sewing” but maybe I made that up. Either way, the site is chock full of free patterns, along with photos of fellow sewers’ creations, and joining burdastyle is like joining a community of like-minded seamstresses.

Is nothing sacred, you damn kitty??

Multicolr Search Lab

This tool searches Flickr for images by color. You can search for up to 10 colors at a time, or just one if you prefer. It’s great for making collages and inspiration boards and just general dicking around.


For those who have tried counting calories and just can’t wield the ol’ calculator anymore—I present sparkpeople. On this FREE website, you can enter everything you ate for the day along with every physical activity you did, and it will calculate how many calories you took in and how many you burned off. It also will suggest meal plans and recipes, work out routines, and includes other diet/fitness aids, such as email newsletters/articles, free workout videos, and, as with the other sites, a community of people all pulling for the same goals.

If you don’t join, this is you.

Have you used any of these sites before? What sites should I know about that didn't make the list?


  1. I love the Hello Kitty picture!!! This post is really funny :) xx

  2. Zillow is my nemesis...We live in Florida where home values have plummeted and I totally depress myself by looking up our house. Ah ha ha. Oh and that freaky cat dude...ewwwwwww!

  3. i love reading your opinions on everything!

  4. Some fab websites but Pandora isn't available to me!

    They'll be selling Hello Kitty toilet paper next!

  5. Very funny! Love the new header! Yellow and black is classy.

  6. nice info! i had heard about chatroulette, and got a kick out of john stewart's little segment on it...don't know if i'd subject myself to it, though!

    i'll have to check out a few of those. the sparkpeople one kind of reminds me of the women's activity tracker at

    although, the latter site is more about physical activity than caloric intake - but it has a bunch of great info! (and it's a government site, so it's pretty legit)

    thanks for the good read! :)

  7. whoa... i almost lost my lunch. anyways, i am so excited to learn about "beat my price!" i am going to use it today. thanks for filling me in!

  8. New header! Looks great. Thanks for sharing some of those sites (I think :)

  9. The boy went on Chatroulette one night after reading about it on CNN and it was super creepy, we saw at least 6 penises. Intense. And I am OBSESSED with Zillow, I can't get enough. I go on there all the time to see how much people's houses I know have dropped (especially when I'm dating someone who's parents buy, remodel and sell houses for a hobby, the family is real estate obsessed). I love to see how much they spent on it and so on. I love it, it's so sneaky and terrible but I just don't care. It's the best. In fact I get kind of bummed when people hear about the website cause it means my secrets out :)

  10. I was reading your about me and I am totally a list maker too! Everything is on a list somewhere for me. These are some great sites, a few I have been to and some I can't wait to check out. This should totally be a weekly thing for you. You should make another button for it! :)

  11. ok, so i have a profile on sparkpeople now. are you actually on it? if so, we should be buddies! ;) you could send me a message on here with your username or something.

  12. Thanks for this links, I'm always hungry for new information!

    Your new site is lovely :D

  13. Im back for the Friday Follow! I am already a follower, but I would love for you to come and enter my brand new giveaway.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  14. Whoa I'm with Carissa I almost lost my lunch LOL... oh and I am super excited to learn about beat my price!

    Thanks so much for your sweet comment today :0)

  15. Thanks Karisa!!! LOL

  16. yuck the last one is scary!

    For everything about fashion:


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