Archive for December, 2010

Top 100 health and fitness blogs

Dec. 30th 2010

Now that you have some good ideas about how to incorporate fitness into your new healthy lifestyle, here are some health bloggers that will offer you all types of delicious recipes, tips for attaining health and fitness, and inspiration to maintain your new healthy lifestyle wherever you are – Oregon, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Virginia – doesn’t matter!

Crazy, Sexy Life

Kris Carr is an author, wellness coach, and motivational speaker, who directed and starred in Crazy, Sexy Cancer, a documentary for TLC. Through her film, her books, and her blog, she aims to “teach you how to live like you mean it!” In addition to recipes for tasty and nutritious vegan dishes and smoothies, you’ll find a lot of advice about reducing stress, changing your attitudes towards health, overcoming bad habits, and finding joy and inspiration in your everyday life. Recommendations are often made for outside resources such as books, DVDs, food products and more.

The Fitnessista

The Fitnessista (Gina) is a personal trainer and spin and zumba instructor. Her blog shares not only her own daily diet (with recipes and tips), but also exercise ideas, video workouts, product reviews, and much, much more. Resources include extensive recipes (her breakfast cookie is one delicious staple), a “fitnessista workout,” workout playlists, product recommendations, and more. There are also frequent giveaways. Gina’s fun style and fresh ideas are sure to help you break out of a fitness/diet rut or to embark on a healthy new plan this year!

Choosing Raw

Choosing Raw offers those interested in healthy eating a compassionate and thoughtful point of view on how to make positive changes. Gena is a certified clinical nutritionist who eats a vegan and mostly raw diet. “I want Choosing Raw to be an open, honest, and welcoming forum for people of all backgrounds to discuss vegan nutrition, body image, and health. Whether you’re seriously considering a plant-based diet, or you’re simply curious about the lifestyle, I hope I can provide answers and inspiration.” In addition to providing numerous healthful recipes, her blog also answers many questions about healthy and/or raw eating and offers insightful discussions about healthy eating, body image, and fitness. This is a great blog for anyone interested in health and wellness — whether you are interested in a vegan or raw diet or not.

Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef

“Her blog is a lively mix of recipes and life experiences…[She] is clearly a woman who loves the path she’s on, and she writes with intelligence, passion, and humor,” says The Seattle Times. Shauna’s blog offers a heart-felt look into gluten-free living and reconnecting with a love of food. She offers recommendations, video tutorials and lots of tasty gluten-free recipes. She has even published a gluten-free cookbook, which was recognized by The New York Times.

The Clean Eating Mama

The Clean Eating Mama (a.k.a. Tasha) has learned to eat healthy, whole foods in her efforts to lose weight and to find a healthy balance. Posts frequently focus on healthy recipes and other food inspiration — such as how to make great oats, the benefits of apple cider vinegar, pantry staples, and more. If you’re just starting out, Tasha’s blog is a great place to start as there are frequent discussions about nutrition and great meal ideas.

NYCollege Eats

Who says you can’t eat healthy as a busy, college student? Ada shows how she manages to eat healthy despite her busy schedule, and how she squeezes in workouts. You’ll also learn about living in New York, along the way! A great blog for college students looking for a day-by-day example of healthy living.

Pure 2 Raw

Twins Lori and Michelle operate a raw, gluten-free bakery in Raleigh, North Carolina, and their blog shares many of their delicious recipes. But you’ll find a lot more than just cookies and cakes; there are recipes for smoothies, main dishes, snacks, appetizers, and much more. The twins also share their own personal journey with health through their blog, and their posts include a lot of helpful advice and great ideas of how to incorporate healthy eating into your lifestyle.

30 Bucks a Week

Tina and Phil set out to prove that you can eat both healthy and cheap. Their blog documents their efforts to spend only $30 a week on groceries for both of them — living in Brooklyn, NY! Restaurants and alcohol are not counted toward the $30 a week. “Dinner parties can get tricky, etc. etc., but the point is really for us to make our best effort to transition to spending less money and more time and attention on our food (while reducing waste). If we end up spend $32 for a week’s food every once in a while, so be it.” The diet is vegetarian, with allowances for eggs and dairy. The couple share recipes and a list of their favorite cookbooks.

The Hungry Yogini

Courtney is a certified yoga teacher and finance student who plans to attend culinary school in New York after she graduates. Her diet focuses on natural and organic ingredients, limits packaged and processed foods,and using seasonal ingredients. But, she cautions, “while health is my ultimate goal, I also aim to ‘let loose’ and enjoy myself! I LOVE chocolate and sweets and indulge in moderation, the key to having it all! Food shouldn’t be a means of punishment or restriction, but a way to explore yourself and your creativity. Who says health food can’t taste good!?” She has not posted much recently, but there is still plenty of good information on the blog, including recipes, advice on yoga practice and reflections on healthy living.

Go Raw, Have Fun

Thought about going raw? Or trying a detox diet? This blog will help you get started with the diet that Demi Moore and many other celebrities have used to get healthy. There are lists of books and resources, and the posts cover all aspects of the raw lifestyle, from how to detox, to choosing produce, to creating your own milks. If you’re just getting started, you can browse the posts by category to get caught up on the basics.

Her Fitness Blog

Rose began her fitness journey after her doctor told her that she needed to lose weight to address high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Through her blog, she shares her own workouts and inspirations, as well as offers tips, product reviews, healthy recipes, and more.

Rawmazing

Packed full of recipes and resources about the raw food lifestyle, this blog has everything you need to get started with this new diet and makeover your health. Posts discuss the benefits of a raw food diet and the best ways to organize and plan to incorporate it seamlessly into your life. Recipes are categorizes according to type, making it easy to find specific meal ideas. Other resources include classes and workshops and an online store.

Hungry, Hungry Hippie

Elise — who is “94.6% vegan (just a rough guess)” — chronicles her journey with health and her day-to-day eats on this blog. Like many other health bloggers, Elise made changes to her diet after struggling with digestive issues, and she found that a whole-food, mostly plant-based diet improved her overall health and vitality. Her blog shares her own daily menu (which offers a good glimpse into what healthy, mostly vegan eating looks like for a busy professional), as well as recipes and tutorials. Some how-to’s include making seitan, pressing tofu, and making spaghetti squash.

Fannetastic Food

Fannetastic Anne is studying to become a registered dietician, and her blog shares her nutritional knowledge, health tips, exercise suggestions, and more. You can browse the blog for recipes, training plans (including for running and for strength training), health tips, and more.

Kristen’s Raw

This comprehensive blog endorses a living foods diet as a way to promote health and longer life. Kristen shares her personal experiences, as well as recipes, tutorials, products reviews and more. There are also videos for some of her recipes/tutorials, so you can be sure that you’re doing it right. For whatever is not answered or provided on the blog, Kristen also has a store and numerous recipe books (available in electronic format).

Ginger is the New Pink

Lauren is a “20 something Vegan Foodie with Crohn’s Disease,” and her blog documents her efforts to heal with vegan and raw foods. Her posts share daily snacks and meals (with wonderful color photos…), showcasing dozens of ideas for a healthy menu. And for all those who think that healthy eating is too difficult, or there isn’t enough time to cook healthy meals: Lauren maintained her healthy diet throughout her pregnancy (her baby is just about a month old now) and through the holidays. You are sure to find inspiration here!

Running Raw

Want to try out a vegan or raw diet, but don’t feel like it will leave you with enough energy to workout? Tim Van Orden sets out to prove that you can thrive on a raw foods diet, even as an athlete, and that you can “Change your diet. Change your life. Change the planet.” This thorough blog includes a lot of helpful information about nutrition (check out recent post Leafy Greens and Heart Disease), training (check out Winter Running Tips to Keep You Safe, Warm and Happy), and overall wellness (read Physical Activity and Brain Health). You won’t find a daily food journal or a lot of recipes, but there is a wealth of information here to help you understand how to incorporate a healthier diet and activity into your life.

Julie’s Raw Ambition

Julie Kalivretenos started a raw foods diet just over three years ago after looking for healthful diets to alleviate symptoms of her Crohn’s disease. She started her blog as a way of “sharing healthful, beautiful cuisine, discussing wellness, and to celebrate healing – and the spirit of giving.” In addition to sharing recipes and guidance, her posts also explore health and overall wellness. For example, Why Your Diet is Not Enough is a thoughtful post on integrating health and wellness into your life — perfect for anyone starting that journey or trying to find purpose and motivation once again.

The Healthy Apron

Erin is a registered dietician, and her blog is loaded with helpful information about nutrition and healthy living. Her diet philosophy emphasizes eating whole foods, especially lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. She offers tips about healthy weight loss, nutritional information (such as good v. bad carbs, healthy fats, and pomegranate juice), making healthy choices through the holidays and a busy schedule, and much more. She even offers the “your best self one month makeover.”

Chocolate-Covered Katie

Who says eating healthy has to mean a boring diet? Or that it has to mean giving up the foods you love? Katie follows a diet that incorporates healthy eating and chocolate — and all other foods that she likes. Foods are often vegan and raw, and Katie shares pictures and recipes. Some of her most famous treats are her Fudge Babies — treats made from nuts and chocolate and a variety of other ingredients to make flavors such as chocolate-chip cookie dough, peanut butter cookie, and more.

Sound Eats

Sound Eats espouses “practicing the art of being in tune with one’s health.” Lindsey currently follows a vegan diet and practices p90x and beach body workouts. Some popular posts regarding veganism include Out of Town Vegan Reflections, The Vegan Venture, and Non-Vegan Cravings. You’ll also find lots of great recipes and reviews of various healthy food products.

Love Veggies and Yoga

Averie eats a plant-based diet that emphasizes raw vegan food, but she cautions, “I do not like dogmatic thinking, too many rules, or labels. I believe in making Food & Exercise Choices that facilitate an individual’s Optimal Health & Well-Being! My food choices and what I feed myself and my family are just one aspect of my life.” Her blog talks about her personal life as a mother, a yoga teacher, and a part-time model, as well. Of course, there is a lot of information about health and diet, as well. You’ll find tips and poses for yoga, sample gym workouts, recipes, and more.

Run, Eat, Repeat

Monica started this blog to “document my journey of weight loss, healthy eats, training for a marathon and travels.” She has been running for about 5 years, and she says, “I love running, but I also love eating, and unfortunately I eat more than I burn,” leading to ongoing weight struggles. She follows intuitive eating guidelines, and her blog shares her diet, recipes, tips on running, reflections on health, and much more.

Meals and Miles

Meghann began her blog after losing 20 pounds by making healthy diet changes and taking up running. Posts often share her daily diet, offer running tips, share recipes, offer advice on how to stick to healthy choices, reflect on health, and much more.

Iowa Girl Eats

Kirstin is a self-proclaimed junk-food junkie who strives for healthy eating and healthy living. “Obviously, junk food does not do a body good, so I try and live by the 80/20 rule: 80% clean and healthy eating, 20% sanity-keeping splurges. Some days it’s more like 60/40 – but hey, we do the best we can.” Find extensive recipe lists here (broken down by type such as dinner, summer dinner, lunch, etc.), workout tips and ideas, and more.

Oh, She Glows

Angela shares her struggles with disordered eating over many years — vacillating between restricting food intake and binging. According to Angela, the blog “documents how I got my glow back, after years of deprivation, and discovered that food and exercise could be fun! I hope that I can inspire you to find your inner and outer glow in the process.” There is a joy that infuses her posts, which present healthful recipes, race tips, and more. Angela also runs the “Glo Bakery,” where she sells organic, dairy-free, refined-sugar-free energy bars.

Veggie Girl

This blog presents “the adventures of a girl living with Crohn’s disease and many food allergies, and her ability to live life to the fullest in spite of that.” Veggie Girl cautions, “I am constantly experimenting with my diet for health reasons. The blog URL does not define me. Period.” The blog focuses on her personal life, but there are plenty of posts about diet and health, with occasional recipes and tips for healthy living.

Prior Fat Girl

Jen, Amanda, Elle, and Lindsay — all “prior fat girl”s — share their successes and failures in their journey to find health. You won’t find a food journal here, or a lot of recipes or workout ideas. What you will find is an honest account of what it takes to get healthy, and maybe a bit of inspiration for how to incorporate these changes into your own life.

Say What You Need to Say

Lauren explains her blog this way: “You see, my whole philosophy is that a healthy lifestyle is ultimately found when one stops trying to be healthy and just lives healthy. Eventually, you will not feel as though it is a struggle to obtain but rather a way of life that you subconsciously live by.” In addition to her personal experiences, Lauren shares her regular meals (often with recipes) and advice for healthy living.

Tropical Eats

Shannon is a Florida native recently transplanted to New York City. She balances fitness with a moderate diet. “For the most part, I try to whip up something healthy, but fried chicken, cornbread, and sweet sizzlin’ barbecue sauce are more my thing.” Find inspiration from her blog on how to strike balance between health and eating what you love.

MegaNerd Runs

Remember: “Number crunching won’t do anything for your abs…” Megan is an avid runner, and she shares her journey with training and racing, as well as her healthy eating habits. If you’re interested in taking up running, or just want to find inspiration in a fellow runner, this is a great blog for you!

Tales of Expansion

At first glance, a blog titled “Tales of Expansion” with a promise for “finding a home for every last crumb” might not seem like a health blog. But as Sarah explains, the blog “chronicles my attempts to take part in my favorite activity (eating, of course) while minimizing food waste and maintaining some semblance of a waistline. Join me as I pursue a healthy, balanced lifestyle that just happens to include a minor obsession with finding a home for every last crumb.” You’ll find lots of recipes and reviews, and a true appreciation for food.

Inside I’m Still Dancing

Ellie is a 20-something who has struggled with anorexia since she was 12. Her blog chronicles her attempts to develop a healthy relationship with food. Therefore, ” I don’t post a full day’s intake because I don’t see that as being helpful for me right now. I have often fallen into the trap of comparing my intake to others and feeling guilty because I don’t eat a clean/raw/vegan/organic diet.” Many posts share healthy meals (and their recipes), and there is much reflection about acquiring true health and wellness.

Runner’s Kitchen

Megan is a 20-something living in New York City, and she documents her experiences with competitive running (she recently ran in the NYC Marathon and qualified for the Boston Marathon) and fueling her activity with healthy eating. Her diet emphasizes eating whole fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. There are a lot of great posts about running, such as Overcomign Running Obstacles, The Long Run-Workout Combo, and Surviving Winter Running.

Healthy Tipping Point

Caitlin Boyle chronicles her food and fitness habits as she strives to find healthy balance. Caitlin once struggled with her weight, and she now is a dedicated runner, running everything from a 5k to a marathon. She is a vegetarian and shares many recipes, as well as fitness tips and other advice on healthful living. Her follows an approach that endorses total wellness, including a positive self image, and even helps run Operation Beautiful, which will be featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show in January.

Kath Eats Real Food

Kath is a 28-year-old registered dietician who started blogging in 2006 when she set out to lose 30 pounds. Her blog includes extensive recipes (with a whole section on “A Tribute to Oatmeal”), videos for creating key dishes, and an online store. Posts often share Kath’s day-to-day activities and meals, and she offers advice and reflections on healthful living along the way.

Peas and Thank You

Sarah is a lawyer turned writer, a stay-at-home mom, and a vegan. Her posts share her experiences as a stay-at-home mother to her two girls, and she shares healthy recipes along the way. She will also be releasing a cookbook (and more) in the coming year.

The Healthy Everythingtarian

Everythingtarian Holly explains: “It’s just a mix of everything: lots of fruits and veggies, a pinch of yoga, a dash of running, whole yummy grains, LOTS of sleep, bucketloads of water, maybe some occasional trashy TV and most importantly, regular doses of dessert.” To find out how Holly has progressed on her journey, read her first post and How I Became an Everythingtarian. Read about her ongoing journey and pick up some health tips and ideas along the way, as well as some great recipes.

A Foodie Stays Fit

Teri teaches group fitness classes part time (spin and weight lifting), and her food philosophy follows the philosophy espoused in In Defense of Food. “On a daily basis, I eat a lot of produce, whole grains, yogurt, beans and legumes, and nut butters.” She eats a primarily vegetarian diet, but sometimes includes meat. Her blog includes a lot of healthy recipes, fitness challenges, workout play lists and much more.

Live Laugh Eat

This blog exhorts readers to “Live Every Moment. Laugh Every Day. Eat Good Food.” Allie explains that she turned to running in college after struggling with loneliness and depression, but also experienced periods of deprivation. Her blog documents her attempts to eat healthier, to exercise for fun and fitness, and to accept her body. Her blog offers a lot of guidance and inspiration to others looking to make the same journey, including advice on workout gear, recipes, and more.

Bran Appetit

Brandi struggled with her weight, but finally attained her goal after three bouts with Weight Watchers. Her journey towards health started after family members experienced health problems, and she realized that health meant more than just a goal weight. Now, she strives for balance and overall well-being. She says, “Nothing is off limits or ever will be.” Readers can find inspiration in her journey and try to incorporate some of her healthy habits. Her blog typically includes a recipe with each post, and she makes product recommendations.

Adventures in Clean Eating

Suzanne once struggled with her weight and now eats a “balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. I do count calories, because I’m still teaching myself to eat intuitively, however I don’t have a set-in-stone goal for each day.” Her blog offers a lot of practical advice for others trying to get fit and eat healthier. Posts include detailed workouts, recipes, “fit gifts,” a peek into marathon training and more.

Train Happy

This training blog follows Niki’s routines for swimming, biking, and running to prepare for various triathlons and other races. Niki shares the details or her routines — such as her times, distances, and splits — and her experiences. Readers can pick up some tips or some inspiration for their own fitness goals.

Thinspired

Lara started Thinspired as a food journal to lose weight for her wedding in 2008, and she continues to blog to document her “struggles and success to maintain a healthy weight loss.” Her blog includes a lot of tutorials and recipes, as well as product recommendations and other thinspiration.

Carrots ‘N’ Cake

Tina’s blog is part food journal, part workout journal, part health inspiration. She shares many of her daily eats, with a lot of recipes thrown in. She also shares a lot of her own workouts and her experiences with running and marathon training. Her diet philosophy is as follows: “I allow myself to indulge almost everyday, so my goal is always to find a healthy balance. By posting what I eat everyday, I hope others will gain some insight into how to incorporate good nutrition and the occasional splurge into their diets.”

Hangry Pants

Heather and Mark started Hangry Pants to record their progress during “Meatless Month” in 2008, and have continued to try other challenges, including Raw Month and Break the Habit Month. “Our goal is not to tell you what to do. Our goal is to share the good food and good times that keep us healthy and happy in hopes that you will want to find what you love and what will make you happy and healthy.” Their blog includes a lot of healthy recipes and videos, and shares their experiences with everyday healthful living.

Eat, Live, Run

Jenna is a runner and a pastry chef who loves food. She promises that her blog will include “recipes, musings, and culinary lore.” You’ll find much more than salads and vegetables here, with many recipes for decadent desserts and other rich foods provided. However, many are made more healthy through ingredient substitution. But the focus of the blog is not health food, but rather in finding a healthy balance.

Greens and Jeans

Despite a lifelong exposure to healthy food and exercise, Madeline struggled with extra weight. Now that she has found a healthier balance, she blogs in order to hold herself accountable for maintaining healthy habits. Her blog shares her experiences — as well as a healthy love of fashion.

Heather’s Dish

Heather explains, “what started as a way to pass the time has now turned into a venue to share my food, exercise, relational, and overall life choices with you on a daily basis!” Part of that mission is to talk about being joyful and being joyful in the kitchen.

Bitt of Raw

Bitt is a long-time vegetarian who has been on a raw-foods diet for the last two years or so in an attempt to alleviate symptoms of Celiac disease and to improve health. Her blog shares many delicious raw recipes, offers restaurant and product reviews, and poses interesting discussions about health and the ethical treatment of animals.

The Discerning Kitchen

Cami’s blog is dedicated to “delicious food that happens to be free of major allergens.” On the cut list: corn, soy, dairy, eggs, and gluten. Cami is also vegan. But don’t expect boring fare: Some recent recipes include marshmallow frosting, pancakes, graham crackers and a caesar salad with spicy mustard dressing. Posts also discuss healthful living and veganism (including fashion and other products that may contain animal byproducts).

Sketch-free Vegan Eating

Jennifer and Jaclyn are twin sisters who became passionate about healthy eating after trying a raw food cleanse and realizing how good their bodies could feel by eating healthy foods. Now they share vegan, gluten-free (and sometimes raw) recipes on their blog. Posts consist almost entirely of recipes, with each labeled according to whether it is vegan or gluten free. Delicious holiday fare such as raw cashew cheese, gingerbread walnut muffins, and raw apple pie pudding are some of the recent features.

The Daily Dietribe

This blog is about a “gluten-free love affair.” Iris tried out a gluten-free diet to alleviate IBS symptoms and immediately noticed an improvement in her mood. She then started the blog, in which she “write(s) about my gluten-free journey, and about the ups and downs of living this new lifestyle. But I also write about food as a recovering binge eater, as a weight loss consultant, and as a registered dietitian to be.” There are a lot of great recipes, some inspiration, and some frank discussions about healthy eating and relationships with food.

Gluten-Free Goddess

This comprehensive blog is a great resource for anyone interested in a gluten-free diet. There are, of course, a variety of healthy (gluten-free) recipes, as well as a lot of helpful information about a gluten-free diet (including how to incorporate the diet into your lifestyle, what ingredients to watch out for, substitutions to make, cooking tips and more). There are also links to numerous gluten-free resources.

Hyper-Nerdy Veganism

“Vulgar Wheat” shares what it’s like to be a vegan student at “not the most vegan-friendly college” — a college that seems “to think I want to eat naught but peanut butter and hummus.” This food diary of a college student will offer inspiration on how to eat healthy vegan fare on even the most limited resources.

Restricted Gourmet

The promise of this blog is simple: “Really good food without the ingredients you can’t eat.” Foods on the blog are free of refined sugars, refined grains, artificial or processed foods, corn, and soy. Other foods that are often omitted include nightshades, gluten, legumes, dairy, and other common allergens. The blog is a straight-forward collection of recipes, with notes often included for variations and troubleshooting.

Spotted Devil Cat and His Vegan Assistant

Bethany is a “vegan that loves to try new recipes,” and her blog shares many of her daily eats in addition to some recipes along the way. Spotted Devil Cat, a.k.a. Tubs, is one of Bethany’s many cats.

Vegan Epicurean

In addition to the daily eats of the Vegan Epicurean, you’ll find a lot of great information about nutrition and healthful living, wonderful recipes, and lots of “happy thoughts.” Most posts include a health-related discussion or helpful nutritional information, in addition to a recipe. Find healthful inspiration, thoughtful discussion, and tasty treats here!

Nutritarian Recipes

Cindy shares the recipes she is learning to create as part of the “nutritarian” lifestyle — espoused by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, the author of Eat to Live. In addition to the recipes that Cindy finds or creates, her posts share her experiences with adapting the nutritarian lifestyle and offer thoughtful discussions about health.

Food for 7 Stages of Life

Healthy Indian fare is often featured on this recipe-packed blog, though you’ll find inspiration in all kinds of cuisine here. Though healthy and nutritious food is favored here, the emphasis is on the taste and quality. Recipes include a lot of high-quality photographs, and there are often tips for how to make traditional favorites more healthy or for making complicated dishes at home.

C’est La Vegan

Recipes take the focus on this photo-filled blog, which features all kinds of healthy, vegan fare. Browse recipes by breakfast, lunch, dinner, or — of course — dessert, or try out some tasty appetizers or snacks. Videos are also available to show you the step-by-step of making vegan mayonnaise or tempeh bacon, among other things. Not too handy in the kitchen? There is an online store and bake shop where you can order some vegan treats.

Seitan is My Motor

We do love some good word play! Find lots of healthy vegan fare here to fuel your motor and your taste buds. There are a lot of delicious recipes, a lot of beautiful pictures, some reviews, and even some giveaways.

Eating Bender

Jenn — a.k.a “Bender,” a family nickname — created this blog “out of a passion for food, nutrition and wellness.” Her blogs shares a mixture of her daily meals (though not every day), recipes, green smoothie creations, reviews, interesting links, and discussions about health. Jenn aims to offer tips and advice on how to maintain health and wellness even with a busy schedule.

Eating Bird Food

Eating Bird Food reminds you that “healthy foods are actually quite tasty.” Read about the blog author’s daily eats for guidance on daily nutrition and meal ideas. Many recipes are available if you’d like to try something you see that looks good. And you can even hire the blog’s author for health counseling.

Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat

You can find inspiration here to makeover your fitness routine and your diet. There are workout ideas for cardio conditioning, strength training, core exercises, and total-body training (and even some playlists to keep you energized while you workout). There are also healthy recipes, products reviews and recommendations, and other health information.

A Fit and Spicy Life

Melissa doesn’t limit her diet, and instead focuses on eating what she wants when she wants it — but strives for balance and practices regular exercise. Posts offer occasional workout routines and tips, as well as healthy meal ideas and recipes. There is even a “Travel Thursday” feature that discusses some of the sights — and foods — of locations around the world.

Finding Happiness and Health

Shelley is a freshman in college who is recovering from an eating disorder. Her blog documents what she eats throughout the day (though she does not update daily) and her attempts to build health and happiness. She often poses questions about health-related issues, and she openly discusses her struggles with disordered eating and body image. Anyone who has struggled with an eating disorder or with trying to find a healthier balance will find inspiration and support here.

The Fit Collegiate

Anna aims to show college students everywhere that “it is possible to enjoy a wild and crazy college experience without compromising your health.” She sets out to show students how to make healthy choices in the campus dining hall, how to work exercise into a busy schedule and how to plan nutritious meals without the use of supplements. Find inspiration and guidance here for achieving health and balance even with a busy schedule and limited resources.

Gluten-Free Easily

Shirley Braden leads a support group for people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, and her blog aims to offer information and support to others who suffer from the same. She argues that eating whole, natural foods instead of focusing on processed foods makes eating gluten-free easy and inexpensive. Her blog is full of resources, including recipes, product recommendations, support group information, and more.

Happy Herbivore

Lindsay creates vegan food that is either low fat or has no fat. The focus is on whole, unprocessed foods without refined sugars and flours. Lindsay is a chef at a luxury resort, and her recipes have appeared in several publications. You can sample some of these recipes from her blog, read about vegan health and nutrition, and even sign up for some more intense courses on nutrition. Lindsay will also have a cookbook on sale in January.

Healthy and Fun

Tyler — a.k.a. “blogger boy” — became fit and lost 138 pounds. Now he’s a fitness instructor and strives to maintain his healthy lifestyle. He started his blog as a way to keep himself on track. You won’t find recipes or meal plans on his blog, but you can read along and find inspiration in his experiences to help keep yourself on track, as well, or to start your own journey with health.

Heather Eats Almond Butter

Heather started her journey with health and weight loss after graduating college. She started by making small changes in her diet and adding in exercise. Though she has tried different types of diets and exercise over the years, her main diet consists of “vegetables, fruit in moderation, some grains, meats, and of course almond butter!” Heather had a baby in November, and her recent posts discuss nutritional changes as a result of caring for baby, as well as trying to get back on track with fitness.

Chick and Fit

Find plenty of tips and advice here about how to incorporate fitness into your regular routine and to improve your overall health and wellness, including reducing stress and maintaining emotional health. Learn about ways to improve sleep, how to avoid sports injury, the best cleansing diets to try, and much more.

Krista’s Kravings

Krista explains: “In reading Krista’s Kravings you will be joining me on my ride to balance healthy eats, exercise, family time as well as lots of fun food and food related finds!” She shares her daily eats, recipes, product reviews and more.

Making Good Choices

Nicole started her blog to keep track of recipes and health tips, but through it, she has reconnected with her passion for living a healthy life. She shares workout ideas, meals and recipes, and restaurant recommendations. Her diet philosophy focuses on balance, but she cautions that there “are exceptions to every rule!” If you like the ideas and philosophy you find on her blog, you can hire Nicole as your own health coach.

Peanut Butter Fingers

Julie is a writer and editor with an interest in healthy living. “This blog follows my life and my eats as I work full-time, navigate life as a newlywed and enjoy each day!” Unlike many other bloggers, Julie also keeps a daily log of her exercise, not just her meals. So you can find lots of ideas and inspiration not only in her recipes but also in how she stays fit.

Your Trainer Paige

Paige explains: “Here you’ll find a healthy living blog depicting my daily eats, recipes, fitness, distractions, challenges, triumphs, and running — around Normal.” Paige is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer. In addition to meals and recipes, you will also find a lot of information about fitness, including race recaps and a daily workout log.

Graze With Me

Jessie started her blog to celebrate her passion for fresh and healthy foods. In the beginning, she chronicled her diet and fitness routines to prepare for her upcoming wedding. Now she shares some of her meals, some of her favorite recipes, product and restaurant reviews, and other items of interest (health-related or otherwise).

Healthy Diva Eats

The Diva has gone from eating a childhood diet of pasta and bread to a model’s diet of salad and protein bars to what is now a healthy, balanced diet, including lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats. Her blog shares tips, meal ideas, recommended products and more through her daily experiences.

Super Sana

Through her blog, Sana documents her attempts to living a healthy life as a college student recovering from a sports-related spine fracture. Her diet is “90 percent meat-free,” and she shares many healthy vegetarian meals ideas and recipes. She also shows that it is possible to make (or buy) healthy and delicious food even as a busy college student!

Roni’s Weigh

Roni started her blog to chronicle her journey with weight loss — and she went on to lose 70 pounds. Now she blogs about healthy living, offering tips and inspiration for others. She offers an “Ask Roni” section in which she answers reader questions about health and weight loss. All of her recipes and other meal ideas are listed on a separate site that she maintains: Green Lite Bites.

Yoga is Yummy

Find yummy recipes and yummy photos and, of course, yummy yoga poses here. Healthy recipes and sample yoga workouts (videos) are offered to help you find ideas and inspiration for healthy living.

Give Me the Almond Butter

Michelle sets out to show that college students can avoid the typical diet and maintain a healthy balance throughout their dorm days. In addition to sharing her own experiences with healthy eating, she offers a series of informative and helpful articles including tips for saving money on shopping and cooking delicious and healthy foods in the dorm.

Sweet Cheeks

Kristi vowed to give up her unhealthy habits, and now she strives to find a balance between eating healthy and treating her sweet tooth. She describes herself as a “flexitarian” and eats a mostly meat-free diet, and her exercise includes running and yoga. Find some inspiration for your own meals and for living a healthier lifestyle.

Un Vie Saine

Gabriela is a French major at New York University, and her blog “documents my best attempts to lead une vie saine – a healthy life.” She eats a mostly vegan diet and loves to run. She shares her daily meals, including some recipes along the way, and discusses topics related to health and nutrition.

nhershoes

Like many other fitness bloggers, Bobbi struggled with her weight and unhealthy eating habits before adapting a more nutritious way of eating and other healthy habits. She shares healthy meals, recipes, a “living room boot camp,” running tips, and much more.

I Heart Wellness

Kris blogs about all aspects of health and wellness, not just nutrition and diet. Though she practices a vegan, mostly raw diet, her blog stresses the importance of balance. Other wellness topics addressed on the blog include fitness, emotional awareness, relationships, and much more.

For the Love of Health

What better way to sum up this blog than its own title? Find inspiration in the shared healthy daily eats, the nutritional info, and the goals for running a marathon while continuing college studies.

The Health Sleuth

Low fat, low carb, high protein, organic, non-GMO. Do you get confused about all the conflicting nutritional information you see on television and in magazines? Rick, the “health sleuth,” attempts to dispel some of that misinformation and to shed some light on the benefits of a high-raw, vegan diet.

Everyday Paleo

Sarah Fragaso is the author of Everyday Paleo, and her blog aims to share advice and tips on the paleo diet to show that “Paleo is possible!” You can find recipes for every meal of the day, video tutorials, and a podcast answering all your questions about the Paleo Diet.

Clean-Eating Machines

Kate’s blog offers a glimpse into the daily menu of a family following a clean-eating lifestyle. Meals and recipes are often shared, but the blog is by no means a daily food journal. You’ll also get a glimpse into Kate’s training routine, and maybe pick up some pointers and inspiration along the way.

Trying to Heal

Melissa is a self-described vegetarian, runner, and environmentalist. She suffered from anorexia for many years, and she works to maintain her recovery through running and healthy living. Her blog shares many of her daily eats, as well as thoughtful reflections about health and about environmentalism.

Crunches for Cupcakes

Melissa explains her blog very simply: “My blog is my life story, with some useful information thrown in. I try to do lots of little things each day to lead me to a healthier and happier life.” She shares her healthy goals, some of her exercise routines, and some of her regular diet.

Lele Lurves Plants

Lele doesn’t limit what she eats or follow strict guidelines for health: “Most of the time, eat the healthy stuff! When you occasionally want to splurge on yummy creme brulee with real cream, DO IT.” Her blog shares her own healthy eats and offers plenty of inspiration.

The Candid RD

Gina, a self-described “grocery store dietitian,” strives to dispel misinformation about diet and health and to help readers learn how to maintain weight and health without dieting and without deprivation. Some recent posts include a roundup of her favorite products, suggestions for quick dinners for working women, and healthy holiday recipes.

Nutrition Nut on the Run

Hillary is a college foodie “living a healthy life one run at a time.” She regularly shares her healthy meals, some recipes, and some of the routines she follows for exercise. Recently, she issued a “Holiday Hustle Challenge” to herself to break out of her exercise rut, and she is currently looking to break her sugar addiction to improve health.

Danica’s Daily

Danica follows the principles of eating clean and Weight Watchers, and her blog documents her daily meals and snacks, her workouts, and her daily life. She also includes a weigh-in and weekly menu. Occasionally, her menus include recipes, tutorials or calorie counts.

Healthy in Candy Land

Candy is new to health blogging, but she is already off to a great start. Through the blog, Candy says she hopes to “further my knowledge of nutrition, share some of that information and recipes and show that living healthy is do-able, even busy families with young kids can do it.” A notable feature of her blog is the “peek of the week,” which discusses nutrition and food choices.

French Fries to Flax Seeds

Marianne is studying to become a registered dietitian, and her diet philosophy is inclusive but focuses on whole, natural foods. She often shares her daily meals, but does not attempt to document everything that she eats. Recipes are often provided for an array of healthy meals and snacks.

Was your blog featured? Feel free to use the logo above to display on your Web site.

Was your favorite left off the list? Let us know!

Posted by maria magher | in Resources | 43 Comments »

Quick Workouts Outside the Gym

Dec. 28th 2010

Now that you’re starting to think about your New Year’s resolutions — which are likely to include getting more exercise or losing some of those holiday pounds — it is the perfect time to start planning a new fitness routine that you can both work into your busy schedule and manage to accomplish in your dorm room (or with the limited resources you have available). Not only will regular exercise help you manage stress, it will also help you sleep better, maintain (or lose) weight, and cultivate an overall sense of health and well-being.

Because of their busy and demanding schedules, many college students say they don’t have time to work out. But research shows that short bursts of intense exercise have the same benefits as regular endurance exercise — and may even have more benefits. Researchers note that just one hour of intense exercise had the same benefits of a week’s worth of typical endurance or moderate-intensity exercise.

Jan Helgerud, an exercise expert at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, told The Associated Press, that four, four-minute interval sessions are recommended. That accounts for one minute of intense exercise (such as running or biking at top speeds) followed by three minutes of recovery (such as jogging, walking, or cycling at an easy pace).

“You should be a little out of breath, but you shouldn’t have the obvious feeling of exhaustion,” he told The Associated Press.

An earlier study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that a training program consisting of between four and seven 30-second bursts of “all out” cycling followed by four minutes of recovery three times a week for only two weeks led to an increase in endurance capacity from an average of 26 minutes to 51 minutes.

“Short bouts of very intense exercise improved muscle health and performance comparable to several weeks of traditional endurance training,” Martin Gibala, an associate professor in the department of kinesiology of McMaster University, told Daily News Central.

Intense, interval work also requires more rest days — so not only should you be performing it for shorter periods of time, but you should also do it fewer days of the week. Most experts recommend only three or four of these sessions per week.

Sample Workouts

You can design your own interval workout around any activity that you prefer: running, cycling, elliptical work, even walking. In general, you should aim for a 2:1 ratio of rest to activity. Therefore, if you sprint for 30 seconds, walk or jog for 1 minute. If you sprint for 1 minute, walk or jog for 2 minutes, and so on.

If you prefer to leave the details to the experts, there are plenty of sample workout available. Try out any of the following to get started on your fitness makeover:

From Oprah.com:

Warm up for two to three minutes.

Start your first 30-second interval. If you don’t want to run, increase the incline on the treadmill 3 to 6 percent and speed up enough to feel that you’re working hard. Let the 1-to-10 exertion scale (10 being all-out) be your guide. The effort should feel like an 8 (for the first few sprints) to 10 (for the final ones).

After 30 seconds, recover at a casual walking pace for one and a half to two minutes, and then do it again for a total of eight intervals.

Wrap up with a two- to three-minute cooldown. The workout will take 20 to 25 minutes.

Variations:
(Using 1-to-10 exertion scale)

Use these sample workouts for any cardio activity, including walking, running, cycling, swimming, skating and more.

Three-two-one

* Three minutes: Warm up at an easy (3) to moderate pace (6).

* Three minutes: Boost intensity (7).

* Two minutes: Push a little harder (8).

* One minute: Keep increasing your effort, and finish the last ten to 15 seconds as hard as you can go (10).

* Six minutes: Recover (4 to 5).

* Repeat the three-two-one interval.

* Two minutes: Cool down (4).

On-off

* Five minutes: Warm up at an easy to moderate effort (5 to 6).

* Two minutes: Increase your intensity to just shy of full-on effort (9).

* Two minutes: Recover (5 to 6).

* Repeat the on-off interval four times.

* Three minutes: Cool down (4).

From Body Rock.tv:

A short, intense workout that can be done at home or in your dorm room.

Browse the site for many more exercise videos to find other workouts that match your interests and your available time commitment.

From Kettlebell Workouts.com:

All you need is 12 minutes and a kettle bell to try this workout (which can be modified to do at home or in your dorm):

From Diet.com:

Learn to work out like a Shape fitness model with this short but intense routine.

Many more workout routines are available here!

From Coniki TV.com:

If strength-training is more your style, grab a couple of dumb bells and follow along with this routine.

At-Home Workouts

If you aren’t ready for the intensity of interval training, but you still want to increase your level of activity, there are a number of short workouts you can perform at home or in your dorm room whenever you have some extra time. You may have to buy a few small items of equipment, or you can modify the exercises to use your body weight or resistance, or by using items found around your house or dorm.

From :

30-Minute Workouts, including workouts targeted for abs, legs, cardio conditioning, and more.

We recommend the 30-minute home workout, which includes a mixture of cardio conditioning and weight training, and 30-minute leg-toning workout, which also includes a cardio component.

From Women’s Health Magazine:

Download workout routines straight to your iPod to perform at your convenience. This Total-Body Workout does not require the use of any special equipment (not even a mat) and takes just 15 minutes to finish.

From Home Based Workouts.com:

There are number of great workout ideas on this site, but we recommend that you take a look at Lose Weight and Get Fit Watching TV with this Home Workout and Britney Spears Workout Program Plan. See, even Britney got in shape using exercises that you can do at home!

From About.com:

Try this Total Body Workout at Home, which requires the use of some basic equipment, such as dumb bells and an exercise ball. The workout includes detailed instructions and photos.

Posted by maria magher | in Education | No Comments »

Managing Stress Throughout the Year

Dec. 27th 2010

As if the demands of being a college student weren’t stressful enough, the holidays can create a lot of additional stress and tension — family demands, financial constraints, a to-do list that doesn’t seem to have an end and, of course, attempts (followed by the usual failures) to avoid the cookie buffet and maintain your healthy weight.

Little proof is needed to argue that college students face a high amount of stress, but it may be surprising to know to what extent they experience it and how it affects them. A 2009 College Stress and Mental Health Poll by the Associated Press and MTV found that 85 percent of the 2,200 students questioned felt stress daily. Sixty percent reported feeling so much stress that they were unable to complete their work or other meet other responsibilities.

Of course, concerns about school work and grades were among the top cited causes of stress, as well as finances and relationships.

The affects of stress — and particularly chronic stress — are insidious to both overall health and mental well-being. According to WebMD, long-term stress can:

  • Make you more likely to get sick more often, and can exacerbate symptoms of chronic illness.
  • Contribute to high blood pressure, abnormal heartbeat, blood clots, hardening of the arteries, coronary artery disease, heart attack and heart failure.
  • Create muscle tension and contribute to a worsening of arthritis symptoms.
  • Exacerbate digestive symptoms.
  • Increase fertility problems and disrupt a healthy menstrual cycle.
  • Cause acne, psoriasis, and other skin problems.
  • And much more.

Though eliminating stress may not be a realistic option as a college student, there are a number of ways that you can manage your stress levels — throughout your busy semester, the grueling finals period, and even the next holiday season.

Recognizing Stress

Many health professionals counsel that some levels of stress are actually good for us. The short rush of adrenaline can enhance our performance on a test, in a race or athletic competition, or at a public appearance. Small doses of stress can improve our concentration, our clarity, and our energy. But most college students, working professionals, and parents experience much larger doses of stress over a much longer period of time. The long-term effects of such stress can start to become unrecognizable, as they become a part of our daily lives. It is, therefore, important to recognize the symptoms of stress to understand what kind of impact it may be having:

Physical Symptoms

  • Fast heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain or tension
  • Back pain
  • Fast breathing
  • Sweating and sweaty palms
  • Upset stomach, nausea, or diarrhea (or other digestive issues)
  • Frequent colds or minor illness
  • Loss of sex drive

Cognitive or Behavioral Symptoms

  • Negative self talk or outlook
  • Restlessness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Memory problems
  • Constant worrying
  • Irritability or short temper
  • Moodiness
  • Poor judgment
  • Feeling lonely or depressed
  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Procrastination
  • Withdrawing from friends
  • Substance abuse

Many of these symptoms can also be the result of depression or other mental conditions. Chronic stress and depression are also closely related. If you experience these symptoms, you should talk with a counselor or other mental-health professional, and you should take steps to manage the stress and other sources of anxiety or conflict in your life.

There are a number of ways that you can manage stress successfully:

Change Your Diet

You know that old saying, “You are what you eat?” Well, you may not suddenly transform into a blueberry muffin, but eating certain foods can change the way you feel (both physically and emotionally) and the way you think.

Caffeine is one the worst culprits of nutritional stress. Caffeine is a powerful drug that stimulates your nervous system (the same thing stress does) and actually increases the levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body. So when you’re feeling stressed out by your approaching final and you fuel your late-night study sessions with coffee and soda, you are actually increasing your stress levels — and impeding your ability to concentrate and to retain information. Caffeine can also lead to sleep disturbances and fluctuations in blood sugar levels — both of which can lead to feelings of fatigue, inability to concentrate, lapses in memory and more.

If you’re a coffee drinker, try a cup of decaffeinated green tea for a warm and soothing drink that is also packed with health-boosting antioxidants. If cola is your guilty pleasure, drink some flavored sparkling water.

Other important changes you can make to your diet include eating regular meals (no skipping breakfast!) and snacks, limiting processed foods and sugars, and ensuring that you get a proper balance of proteins and healthy carbohydrates and fats. The key is to maintain blood sugar levels by eating nutritional, whole foods to ensure a steady level of energy, which will keep your mood balanced and ensure that you can concentrate on your work.

Exercise

Exercise is one of the best ways to combat stress, in the short or the long term. Exercise can help relax muscle tension, enhance sleep, improve circulation (affecting memory and concentration), and elevate your overall mood.

Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, delivering more oxygen and glucose to aid in intense thought processes and concentration. Exercise also releases endorphins, contributing to an overall sense of happiness and well-being.

In Exercise for Stress Control, Dr. Michael H. Sacks says, “Exercise can be a powerful method of relaxation, and it can help people deal effectively with the stress of daily life. In various studies, researchers have found that exercise can decrease anxiety and depression, improve an individual’s self-image, and buffer people from the effects of stress.”

Exercise also acts as a kind of meditation, giving you another activity on which to focus and clear your mind of distractions and worries.

Don’t worry: Long hours on the gym aren’t necessary to combat stress. Even 20-30 minutes of moderate activity such as walking, biking, and swimming can help to alleviate stress. If you don’t have time for that, short and intense bursts of activity such as sprinting can also have immediate positive effects.

Learn to Prioritize

When you consider EVERYTHING you have to get done all at once — study for the history final and then prep for your English lit review and then finish your Calculus homework and then call your best friend about Friday night and then talk to your adviser about your student loan and then call your mom about the advance on your monthly allowance and then talk to your boss about that coming weekend off — it can all get a bit overwhelming. Accept that there is only a certain amount of time in each day and that you cannot accomplish everything that is on your to-do list.

Instead of sacrificing your sleep, your health, and your mental well-being in an attempt to accomplish more than you can, learn to prioritize tasks. Identify tasks that MUST be accomplished — projects that have a deadline, a work schedule that must be kept, classes that must be attended. Once your priorities have been met, if there is time to complete less-pressing tasks, then complete them. If not, leave them for another day.

Break Down Tasks

A marathon can seem like an impossible goal — an endurance feat that is too overwhelming to consider or attempt. But if you break down the race into manageable segments — one mile at a time — it becomes easier to imagine crossing the finish line.

Likewise, when a big project seems overwhelming, break it down into smaller tasks. Create a to-do list and focus on accomplishing one task at a time. When you complete a task, cross it off the list and feel a sense of accomplishment.

You can use this same approach for your entire to-do list, whether it is for one project or for many. Focus on only one task at a time, complete it well, and feel a sense of satisfaction in completing it. You will gain a sense of control over what can seem like an overwhelming array of tasks and will instill some order in the seeming chaos.

Learn to Say ‘No’

If you have a final approaching, and you are strapped for cash, and you’re already working overtime at your job, don’t feel obligated to say “yes” when your friend asks you to plan a surprise birthday party for your joint BFF and bake the cake and buy her that new bag she’s been eying.

Don’t feel like you have to agree to every invitation or solicitation for help. And don’t feel like you can. Recognize your limitations, and don’t take on more than you have the time or the energy to accomplish. Remember your priorities and focus on accomplishing them.

Avoid Stressful Situations

OK, so short of dropping out of classes, you can’t avoid stress in college. But you can avoid other situations in your life that add to your stress. Do you have a friend who always gossips and criticizes others, making you feel anxious and uncomfortable? Find ways to avoid her. Know that going shopping with your girlfriend makes you anxious and eventually leads to a fight? Opt out the next time she suggests you head to the mall. Identify your emotional triggers and take charge of these influences in your life that you can control to reduce stress.

For those stressors that you cannot escape, such as long study sessions before an exam, take breaks to get your mind off the activity for a short time. You’ll give yourself a reprieve from the stressor, and you’ll clear your head so that you can return refreshed and ready to concentrate. Take short walks, call a friend, or watch a few music videos that put you in a good mood. Regular breaks like these can make intense activities easier to manage.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Many times, what makes a situation stressful is your attitude about it. Some might see Calculus as mentally challenging and invigorating, while others are sent into a panic attack at the thought of being tested on algorithms.

Learning to change your thinking about your situation can help change your reaction to it. If you view the things that you have to do as challenges or opportunities, you will find a sense of satisfaction in completing them. Likewise, maintaining a generally positive attitude — instead of focusing on the negative aspects of your life — will result in a sunnier disposition overall and a better sense of well-being.

Do Things that You Enjoy

When you start to feel overwhelmed, take time out to relax and to raise your spirits by participating in an activity that you enjoy. This can be a hobby such as running or painting or playing an instrument. It can be something fun such as going to the movies or dinner with a friend. Or it can just be something relaxing like playing with your dog or reading a book.

Routine and long hours completing a strenuous task can take its toll. Give yourself a mental break and boost your energy by doing something that you like doing — for no other reason than that you enjoy it. Don’t paint a picture to sell for extra cash, don’t read a book for another class, don’t call a friend to talk over a problem you’ve left unresolved. Whatever you are doing, make sure you are doing it for your own enjoyment and for no other reason. Take your mind off your to-do list and your studies and just enjoy the moment.

Use Relaxation Techniques

There are a number of exercises you can use to help relax. Simple stretching and yoga can help relieve tension in your muscles and make you feel calmer and more focused. You can spend a few minutes stretching or simply tensing and releasing your muscles to reap some of these benefits. If you prefer, you can take a yoga class at a local gym or follow a DVD routine in your dorm room. Other beneficial exercises include Tai Chi or Pilates. Any gentle stretching exercise can have stress-releasing benefits.

Another technique you can try is deep breathing. These exercises are intended to bring your focus to your breathing so that you can relax your body and clear your mind. Some exercises can be found at Dartmouth University’s Academic Skills Center.

Meditation, self-hypnosis and visualization are all useful techniques that can help you work through stress. Meditation and hypnosis can help quiet the mind, calm the body, and rid negative thinking. Visualization is a way to process outcomes to reduce emotional reactions when situations occur. For example, you might consider some likely negative outcomes to a personal situation or a project so that you can prepare yourself for how you will react and resolve the problem when it occurs. This exercise is not about focusing on the negative, but about preparing yourself mentally and emotionally for unexpected outcomes.

Many books and web sites are available with tips and guidelines for each of these techniques, or you can seek help from a counselor or mental-health professional.

Talk to Someone

Sometimes, all we need to do is vent a little. A sympathetic ear can often be enough to help us blow off some steam and process some of the negative or stressful situations we are experiencing. When you feel overwhelmed, call a friend or close family member and talk about what’s on your mind. Maybe you want to share some concerns, maybe you want to get suggestions for how to handle a problem, or maybe you just want to rant a little and then laugh a little. Your network of friends and family can be a great support system.

Other times, friends and family are not enough to offer the help we need. In those cases, it is helpful to talk to a professional counselor. You can work with a counselor on strategies for handling stress and any other emotional issues you are experiencing (such as anxiety or depression) and can talk about how to process your emotions and get to root of triggers. Speak with someone in your student health center for guidance or a referral to a professional in your community.

Control Your Reactions

Remember: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Anxiety tends to breed more anxiety. If you worry and fret over every small detail, you will create a chronic state of tension and anxiety that will only cause you to worry and fret some more. Learn to let small details and interactions pass. So your friend didn’t call you back. Maybe your mother is nagging you about your new boyfriend. Maybe your dog won’t stop jumping on your bed and now your new bedspread is covered in black hair. Don’t waste energy on inconsequential matters or on things that you can’t change. Either spend less time with your friend or accept that she won’t always call you back. Control the information you give your mother, and buy your pooch his own doggy bed so he won’t be tempted to sleep on yours.

The way you react to and think about a situation will influence how you feel. If you tell yourself it doesn’t matter, then it won’t.

Recommended Books

Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Well-Being

The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook

So Stressed: The Ultimate Stress-Relief Plan for Women

Stress Free for Good: 10 Scientifically Proven Life Skills for Health and Happiness

10 Simple Solutions to Stress: How to Tame Tension And Start Enjoying Your Life

Posted by maria magher | in Education | 1 Comment »

Evaluating Bridge Programs

Dec. 24th 2010

Bridge programs are growing in number and influence across the country, helping students to close learning gaps or to become ready for the next level of education or to enter the job market. While their numbers are growing — through colleges and universities, post-secondary schools, technical schools, and workforce readiness programs — because they are offered by multiple agencies and their efforts are not always coordinated, there is no central data to show how many there are or what kind of influence they exert.

However, a report released last month by the Workforce Strategy Center has shed some light on the impact these programs have been making. The report surveyed 515 programs incorporating job-training efforts in 345 communities around the country.

“Bridge programs are suitable for adults who have reading and mathematics skills at or below the ninth-grade level,” the report explains. “These individuals may or may not have a high school diploma or GED. Most will have been out of school for a significant amount of time and are not positioned to succeed in postsecondary
education and training programs. Bridge programs are housed in community colleges, local school districts, or at workforce agencies or community-based organizations. Their services take the form of GED preparation,
English as a Second Language programs, developmental education, or Workforce Investment Act (WIA)-supported career-preparation programs.”

In its “Bridge program snapshot,” the survey reported that:

  • 57 percent of adults enrolled in bridge programs had educational skills below the 10th-grade level, and 19 percent had skills below the 6th-grade level.
  • 75 percent of bridge programs surveyed target allied health, with other programs serving those interested in administrative and office technologies, construction, information technology, manufacturing, and energy.
  • 67 percent of programs indicated that their participants are likely to enroll in further education within six months of completing the programl; 50 percent said that their participants were eligible to participate in a degree-track program; and 39 percent said that their participants had earned some college credit through the program.

Meeting a Need

The report tied together the work that bridge programs are conducting with the changing needs of the U.S. economy in the coming years, in response to the current economic crisis and the changing market.

Currently, “the unemployment rate for individuals with less than a high school education is 15 percent. For people with an Associate’s Degree, it is seven percent,” the report notes.

In the coming years, those statistics may be more grim.

According to the report, “some predict that by 2018, two-thirds of the jobs in the American economy will require postsecondary credentialing. At the same time, according to the National Commission on Adult Literacy, 80-90 million adult workers have low basic skills and are not prepared for 21st-century jobs—they lack a high school degree or its equivalent.”

This number of low-skilled and under-educated workers represents a significant percentage of the workforce — the report says that “almost one-half of our workforce in 2030 will be composed of today’s working adults” — and finding a way to educate them so that they have the skills to be future economic demands is crucial not only to their individual development, but also to the health of the U.S. economy and to the nation’s ability to remain competitive.

“Over the last decade, bridge programs have emerged and are often the first step on the way to career-path employment in high demand, middle- and high-skill occupations,” the report says.

One way that these bridge programs are meeting needs in ways that traditional education is not is to “offer instruction at times and places convenient to working adults, offer a ‘learning-by-doing’ format and allow students to work at their own pace. Most programs are cohort-based, allowing students to progress through their classes together. The average class size is between 10 and 19 students; the average program length is 20 weeks.”

A Question of Deficits

Some of the findings in the report certainly beg the question of how post-secondary schools are failing students. Why do we have so many adults who do not have a college education or even a high-school education? If it is so successful, why is the common structure of these bridge programs — smaller class sizes, cooperative learning, more individualized instruction — not being used in the traditional classroom?

Steve Peha, the president of Teaching That Makes Sense, wrote a commentary in response to a story about the study on National Journal and argued that “Bridge programs are a 21st-century euphemism for boondoggles that try to make up for education systems that failed kids while they were in school.”

He goes on to argue that “we don’t need ‘bridge’ programs, we need education that actually educates people to the point where ‘bridging’ is unnecessary…. The mere fact of these programs’ existence means that we are failing. And the fact that we are apparently growing more of these programs suggests that we are planning to fail even more in the future. WHY NOT JUST TRY LEARNING?”

Peha identifies the problem as a lack of adequate preparation in post-secondary schools — that students are not learning basic academic knowledge, that they are not prepared to study in college, and that they are not being taught real-world skills that will serve them in the job search and in employment.

He describes the problem as “weak curriculum that doesn’t match the world it purports to describe; weak teaching that doesn’t bring real world knowledge and skills to students; phony assessment that says people are ‘proficient’ at something but can’t define what proficiency is in meaningful real-world terms; data-driven decision-making with data so bad we drive ourselves crazy making decisions with it.”

“My concern is that if we create new levels of ancillary support systems, our main system will do less and less each year,” Peha says. “In a decade or two, kids will just mark time until they’re old enough to drop out, and then head for a ‘bridge’ program.”

Peha’s argument assumes much about the reasons that bring people to bridge programs, and where those assumptions are true, I agree with his conclusions. If the reason people must turn to bridge programs is because they are not adequately educated in the K-12 system — students dropping out because they can’t handle the academic pressures because they never learned to read, students not being able to succeed in college-level courses because they were never held to proficiency standards and were passed along through the system without adequate skills — then bridge programs are not the solution, but rather a balm.

However, the problem is not as simple as that. Students arrive at bridge programs for a number of reasons, and there is more than one type of bridge program.

Bridge programs such as Upward Bound follows disadvantaged students through the educational system and provides them the support needed to make it through to a college education. Students with little or no family support and few resources are more likely to perform poorly academically and to eventually drop out of school. Programs that work to help these students while they are still in school help to prevent gaps in education later.

When students do not participate in these programs, and they later drop out, bridge programs can help them complete their high-school education and gain the skills needed to get a necessary higher degree.

Focus Adolescent Services identifies several risk factors for students who drop out of high school:

  • External locus of control (i.e., being in agreement with others’ perceptions — believed or actual — of their individual ability, worth, or value)
  • Low self-esteem
  • At least one disability (e.g., ADHD, learning disabilities)
  • Poor peer support
  • Depression or other emotional problems
  • Early sexual activity or promiscuity
  • Substance abuse
  • Having a child
  • Must work to help support the family
  • Single-parent home
  • Poor parent-child relationships
  • Family in poverty
  • Neither parent nor guardian is employed
  • Primary language of the family is not English
  • A sibling has dropped out of school
  • Parent(s) did not graduate from high school

Even a cursory glance at this glance makes it clear that the reasons students drop out of high school are complex and deep-rooted and are not always the cause of failings by the school system. Though the school system can address some of these problems by providing additional support through counselors and tutors, many of the problems are beyond the realm of school counselors and teachers. A more wide-spread effort is required that includes the efforts of government services and mental-health-care providers that treats the problem holistically — at the family, economic AND academic level.

For the students who disengage from the educational system for these reasons, bridge programs play a valuable role in re-capturing these students and giving them a second chance at attaining a valuable education.

Other bridge programs provide training for those who have decided to change careers or to change paths of study — a valuable service for those who have had to navigate life changes or even just a change of decision.

Some programs provide services for those who need help navigating the job search and the market. Though colleges and universities typically have career services, job training and office etiquette is not typically a part of the curriculum. An argument can be made for including a course on practical job skills — writing resumes and cover letters, learning how to interview, office politics, etc. — but it should not be the primary focus of the curriculum. Knowing the substance of the work is far more important than knowing how to manage co-workers, and there are enough counseling services and other programs to provide training on these skills.

The Future of Bridge Programs

The report made several recommendations for bridge programs based on the data collected.

“The following three activities are recommended: 1. Build a bridge program community of practice to share results and promote promising practice. 2. Implement a bridge program demonstration project that is designed to meet the national standards and evaluate the results. 3. Form a Bridge Program Policy Commission to review policy and practice at the federal, state and local levels and establish national bridge program standards.”

With the valuable work that bridge programs are doing, it is important to streamline their efforts in some way, allowing for collaboration and accountability. Creating national standards and a central agency to review and monitor these programs would ensure that they have a greater impact.

This comment comes from Julian L. Alssid, the Executive Director of the Workforce Strategy Center, whose study about the types of programs that help adults, primarily, gain the remedial skills they need to get ready for college courses or technical training is the subject of today’s Education Blog question.

What our survey, the BRT program, and a number of other undertakings are showing is that education in many ways needs, and is starting to undergo, a reboot.

Let’s be clear, this is not to say that education as we have understood it on the K-graduate level is bad, but rather, while society, economy, and technology have changed, fundamentally our educational system has not kept up.

What is needed is new forms of education, new methods of delivery, and new ideas that will change education as much as the web has changed how we communicate.

Take college. Until as little a 20 years ago, college could be a “right of passage,” and if you missed that boat you were most likely excluded from the highest levels of the American promise. No more. Today college has to be more relevant to future careers and more accessible to everybody.

But here is the good news, as our survey and other programs show, many in business and educators have realized they need to work together to make education more relevant. Not dummed down. More relevant. And as America has done many times, we can close our education gap and build the next stage of this story of our country through what we have always done better than anybody else. Innovate.

Posted by maria magher | in Career, Education | No Comments »

Choosing a Career Coach

Dec. 23rd 2010

In today’s economy, you need all the help you can get to make yourself a competitive job candidate. Sometimes, that means getting professional advice for your job search — on everything from how to write the best resume and cover letter to tips for acing your interview to figuring out exactly what your career goals are. That’s where a career coach can help.

A career coach is known by many names: Career counselor, career development facilitator, job coach, and vocational counselor, to name a few. These professionals can work with you on a number of aspects involved in career planning, including:

  • Helping you understand your career goals by assessing your interests and skills.
  • Providing information about additional education and training that would advance your goals.
  • Providing information about a variety of occupations, including market conditions, trends, employment outlook, average salaries, and more.
  • Giving guidance on conducting the job search, including best practices for the search, writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing and more.
  • Offering expert advice for writing cover letters and resumes — or offering professional writing services for those documents.
  • Developing strategies for promotion or career changes.

There are many more services that a career coach can provide, and your experience will depend upon your individual needs.

Who Needs a Career Coach?

A career coach can help any person who needs assistance with the job search or with defining career goals — at any stage in their career.

Roseanne Colletti of The Huffington Post says, “Remember, you don’t have to be laid off to seek the services of a career counselor. One can help you hold onto a job or even gain a promotion by helping you reshape your professional profile.”

Students might find the services of a career coach especially helpful. Young professionals lack experience and expertise, which can set them up to make many mistakes in the course of the job search or in making decisions about professional development. A career coach can offer counseling to help students clearly define their goals, as well as guidance for how best to navigate the job search.

Hallie Crawford, a certified career coach and the founder of Create Your Career Path with Hallie Crawford.com, says, “Most people we encounter really need help conducting an effective job search. With the internet and professional networking resources like LinkedIn, there are a lot of new tools job seekers can and need to understand how to use; I haven’t come across many students who know what LinkedIn is or who are using it effectively.”

In addition to helping job seekers understand how to use all the new tools available to them, career coaches can also make over lackluster resumes and cover letters to highlight your individual strengths and to target specific career goals. They can help you role play interviews and construct winning answers to some of the toughest questions. They can help you determine what positions will advance your career goals, and how best to land them.

How to Choose a Career Coach

“An experienced and competent career counselor can keep you focused and direct your efforts to fields that are not only within your reach but have viable openings. An inexperienced and incompetent career counselor can waste your time and money,” Colletti says.

The first thing that you should look for in a career coach is professional training. Many career counselors are members of the National Career Development Association and are credentialed as a Nationally Certified Career Development Professional, or have credentials as a Global Career Development Facilitator. Certified career counselors may be identified by the letters CPCC, NCC, LPC, or RPCC.

When you find a qualified coach, call or make an appointment to get more information. Interview the counselor about training and personal style. Ask questions like “What is your training?” “How much experience do you have?” “How would you describe your counseling style?” “What kind of clients do you help?” “What are your fees?” You want to make sure that the counselor’s approach will meet your needs. For example, do you like a more exploratory style that involves a lot of discussions and exercises to help you determine your “inner passion?” Or do you prefer a more concrete process that involves creating a time line for applications, job contacts, interviewing, etc.?

Try to find a coach who has experience with clients who work in your industry or who have shared your career goals. Are you looking to change careers? Be sure your counselor has experience helping clients navigate this process. Are you looking to move up in your industry? Make sure your counselor has sufficient knowledge of that industry and experience helping clients who work in it.

Make sure that you are comfortable with the person, and that you are comfortable with the fee structure. Many counselors charge an hourly fee, and you can end up spending many hours with your career coach. Therefore, you should be comfortable with the financial investment that may be required, and you should be comfortable with the personal style of the coach.

You should think about your goals before you make your first appointment with your coach. You can brainstorm some goals for your work with the counselor, or you can brainstorm some goals for your professional development, which you can then use to advance your conversations with the counselor. Drawing a blank? Understanding that you do not have any defined goals is also useful for your counselor, who can help you determine your interests.

Resources

Talk with counselors in the career center at your school to get recommendations for career coaches in your area. Even if you are enrolled in an online program, school officials should be able to offer you some information about services in your area, or can refer you to professionals who can work with you online or over the telephone.

Next, take a look at the National Career Development Association for a listing of professionals.

Finally, contact these professionals to find out if any of them are the right match for you:

Creat Your Career Path with Hallie Crawford.com

Feroce Coaching

Possibilities Unlimited

Meredith Haberfeld Coaching

Lukas Coaching

IT Career Coach

Career Coaching by Deborah Brown-Volkman

Coach Compass

Posted by maria magher | in Career | No Comments »

Top 50 blogs for those interested in teaching abroad

Dec. 16th 2010

One of the best ways to learn about the everyday experiences of teachers working abroad is to read their personal blogs. You can get a sense of what the work is like, as well as the ups and downs of living in and adapting to a new culture. From these blogs, you can also glean what the working conditions are like in a particular country or school in which you might be interested in teaching. Reading blogs is a great way to research the possibilities and, later, once you’ve made your decisions to work abroad, they are a great resource for learning about your new country and for finding ideas for the classroom. Regardless of where you live – Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Delaware, Connecticut, Arizona, Alabama – check these out to learn more about studying abroad.

Ted’s TEFL Newbie

Ted Tucker is a retired EFL teacher and trainer, and he has taught in Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and Saudi Arabia. His blog helps those who are interested in teaching English abroad get started. Posts often include advice on aspects of teaching abroad that aspiring teachers may not consider at first, such as being an overweight teacher, how socializing (and singing karaoke) can help you get a raise, and how to choose your career path (university work or private schools?). There are a lot of great tips and advice with each post. Some notable recent posts include Living Abroad is Not For Everyone?, Planning a TEFL Career Abroad: Your Education, and TEFL for Older Folks: Advice for the Job Search.

You Can Teach English

This blog is comprised of interviews from teachers living and working in countries all over the world. Some recent interviews include teachers working in Hungary, Chile, Colombia, Turkey, Costa Rica, Italy, China, Thailand, and France. Teachers share how they found their positions, what they do, and their experiences living in the country. The interviews share a lot of great insight for teachers interested in a particular location!

The Education Cafe

Parents and teachers living abroad can find resources and support here for the classroom and homeschooling. Some recent posts include recommendations for books, ideas for chemistry lessons and experiments, holiday activities, educational links, and more. There is also discussion about career development. This is a great resource for all types of educators living abroad!

Eat Your Kimchi

A married couple teaching in South Korea runs this blog, which is meant to help other teachers prepare for working and living in the country. The FAQ covers questions such as “What’s considered improper or strange?” “How do I get a cell phone?” and “What should I know about drinking culture?” There are also lots of pictures, useful resources, and, of course, blog posts exploring topics such as culture, teaching, and more.

Chris in South Korea – Travel and Life in South Korea

This blog is a great resource for foreigners living in South Korea! Posts cover practical issues for everyday living, such as Shipping Stuff Home — or, Help There’s No UPS!, 10 Survival Phrases in Korean You HAVE to Know, and Current Korean Slang Among Expats.

Thailand Delights

You’ll find the answers to many of your questions about teaching in Thailand on this informative blog — and maybe the answers to some questions you didn’t consider! Reader questions have included questions about age and teaching, discipline in schools, accent, and more. The blog includes links to job sites and some resources for learning the Thai language.

Tofugu

Tofugu explores “wonky Japanese language, culture.” There are episodes of “Tofugu TV,” as well, with some recent episodes discussing technology and travel clothing. The posts are informative and thorough. Some noteworthy recent posts include 10 Tips for Tipsy Japan, A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Learn Hiragana, and The 100 Most Important Japanese Words You Should Know. You can also search posts by category such as Japan, culture, language, news, reviews and resources.

So Handsome Teacher

There are a lot of great tips and guidance on this blog. Posts cover living in Korea, such as Having the Most Fun Tips (ie. How to Blow Your Entire Salary) and Money Management Tips (ie. How Not to Blow Your Entire Salary), as well as teaching, such as Effective Teaching in a Korean Elementary School, Confusion About “Severance Pay” and “Renewal Bonus”, and Tension Between Foreign English Teachers and Koreans. You’ll find frank (and funny) answers to all the questions you have about being a foreigner living and working in Korea.

Jonny on the Road

Jonny Finity teaches high-school students in Pohang, South Korea, and his blog chronicles his experience teaching and living there. Posts discuss Korean culture, as well as classroom experiences and activities. Some of our favorite recent posts include The Eight-Legged Playboy, sharing Korean expressions and their meanings; Evil Spirits: They Hate Red Beans, about cultural practices and superstitions; and Alliteration is Awesome, sharing some activities used in the classroom.

Postcards from Prague

Melissa has been teaching in Prague for just over four months. She shares her experiences teaching, learning about the culture of Prague, traveling, and even getting her visa. You’ll learn a little about the local history, a little about the language, and a little about the culture. Melissa even shares her experiences with TEFL training and her job search.

Kimchi for Breakfast

Danny and Katy Doerksen teach in Andong, South Korea, and their blog shares their adventures there. Reading their blog gives you great insight into what it will be like as a foreigner living in another country. Recent posts follow their experiences with the Lantern festival, a pot-luck Thanksgiving dinner, and Dr. Fish (a pedicure that uses tiny fish to nibble the dead skin from the bottoms of your feet!).

Teaching and Life — Not Necessarily in That Order

Learn about the joys of the jjimjilbang (public bath) and the hazards of not being able to find headache medicine at a convenience store in Korea with this fun blog by Audrey. You’ll get a window into the life of a foreigner here and pick up a few tips along the way about public behavior, language, and other Korean customs.

Wandering Solo

The author of this blog spent seven months teaching English in Vietnam, and is now teaching in Shanghai, China. You can read about Chinese culture and life in the classroom. Some interesting recent posts include 10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Teaching Job, 10 Things Chinese Students Think About Life in the U.S., and How to Be a Language Learning Role Model.

A Moment in the Sun

Follow along with this teacher on a one-year contract in Spain, and learn all about the culture, the ins and outs of teaching and a lot of new vocabulary! Some especially helpful posts include Links to Live By, Adventures in Tutoring, and Complication of Simple Things (about language barriers).

Adventures in Korean

“He who does not know foreign languages does not know anything about his own. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kunst and Alterthum” So titled is this blog, which documents the year that Alisa Williams has spent teaching in Suwon, just south of Seoul. Alisa’s blog also includes some Korean words (for others also interested in learning the language), Korean resources, pictures, and information on responsibly adopting or fostering a pet during your stay.

My Thai

Though this teacher’s contract in Thailand ended in October, there are still a lot of great posts in the archives to give you a window into the experience of teaching and living in “the land of smiles.” Recent posts explore Thai markets, classroom games and activities, the experience of being a foreigner in Thailand, and everyday customs.

Kristina in Korea

Learn about Korean history, language and culture as you follow Kristina’s adventures teaching and traveling in South Korea. You can also follow her on a trip to China and the Great Wall! There are lots of pictures and some great tips and insight for foreigners new to living abroad.

Rip City to Seoul

In addition to his reflections on life in Korea, Dustin’s blog is filled with video, pictures, and useful resources about Korea. Dustin has also written articles for local publications about Korean culture, and he has started a show for his blog on Arirang TV. His blog also includes an FAQ for those thinking about moving to Korea and other useful blogs.

Teaching English in Korea – ESL Blog

This blog shares lots of great ideas for teaching English. Some recent posts includes topic ideas for extra credit writing assignments, suggested videos for beginning a debate segment, and other topic ideas and stories for possible debate.

My Life! Teaching in a Korean University

You’ll find lots of helpful resources, tips, and other advice about finding a job in a university and managing your classroom. Books, podcasts and other resources are also available in the links section for further research. The author has also created other resources for living in Korea and teaching ESL, which she has also listed in the links section.

Wake Up and Dance

Danielle started her blog when she was teaching in Thailand; she went on to backpack through Asia and work in eco-tourism in Thailand, and is now teaching English in Korea. Posts take a humorous look at Korean culture and the way English is often misused, such as this notebook, this subway ad, and this shampoo bottle. There is also a lot of reflection about living in a foreign culture, often with comparisons drawn between Korea and Thailand.

Chance’s EPIK Adventure

Chance is a teacher at an elementary school on Daegu, South Korea, and her blog combines personal reflections with stories about her life as a teacher and a foreigner living in Korea. Her post Voice of Korea offers some insight into Korean culture through an interview with a Korean woman. In the Mood for Some Puppy Chow talks about the Korean practice of eating dog. You’ll find many more interesting posts about culture and teaching here!

My Korean Journey, Unfiltered

…with the caveat “OK it’s a little filtered.” Although recent posts cover trips to China and Japan, this blog is all about teaching in Korea — or at least it was. The author has finished up a teaching contract in Korea, but there are still plenty of posts in the archives to follow the experience and learn from it.

Teaching Traveling!

Read interviews with teachers and travelers all over the world for their tips and perspective on what they do. You can browse profiles and interviews for tips, info about lesson plans, or just inspiration. The site also includes useful links and a forum.

Jimbo’s English Teaching in Japan Blog

Jimbo blogs about his experiences teaching in Japan, with a focus on teacher education. Posts often discuss classroom activities and pedagogy. Some interesting recent posts include The Problem with PPP, Adapting a Task to a Junior High School, and What Do Kids Get Out of Listening to English Picture Books?.

Teaching English in Wuxi, China

Andis Kaulins is a Canadian teaching in Wuxi, China at Hylite Language School. His blog also acts as an unofficial home page for the Hylite Language School. Those interested in teaching at the school or in teaching in China in general can find plenty of information here. There are videos of language lessons, sample discussion questions, and, of course, job postings for Hylite.

A Sistah’s Seoul

Toya explains that she was a member of SISUTHS Inc. in college — which stands for Strength, Initiative, Spirituality, Tenacity, Unity, Health, Substance. She says “This women’s oraganization has taught me to embrace challenges in order to progress in life. I am forever a SISTUH. Now I’m a SISTUH in Seoul.” She shares her adventures as a teacher and foreigner living and working in Seoul, the capital of South Korea.

Teach English Abroad in Korea

This practical blog focuses on what you need to know about living and teaching in Korea, including profiles of cities and regions, information about public high schools, positions with EPIK, shopping markets, and more. There are also sections according to where you are in your journey, such as “Getting to Korea” (information on airfare, getting a visa, and more), “Living in Korea” (information on food, language, news, cost of living and much more), “Teaching in Korea” (information on public and private schools, administration, your co-teachers and more), and “Finding a Job.”

English Teaching in Japan

This blog includes frequent podcasts, videos, and video podcasts “sharing ideas and experiences about English teaching in Japan.” There are interviews with exchange students and former teachers, discussions about teaching, stories about travel and much more. This is a lively resource for any teacher interested in living in Japan!

A Girl Teaching English Abroad in Japan

Learn about things like Pocky Day (in honor of a treat of stick-shaped crackers dipped in chocolate), toilets in Japan (they are holes in the floor), Japan’s summer clothing habits and more in this fun blog that offers a Westerner’s view of living in Japan. There are some posts about teaching and classroom activities, but most of the focus is on the day-to-day experiences of living in Japan.

Roboseyo

Rob combines his name with the common expression used to answer the phone in Korea — “yoboseyo” — for the name of this blog about living and teaching in Korea. Posts are in-depth and reveal a lot about Korean culture and everyday life there. Check out OK, Lee Hyori Gets it Right This Time for an interesting discussion about Korean pop music, as well as Korean attitudes about native Koreans, and Roboseyo’s Favorite Things About Winter in Korea, and Two Rabbit Trails for a funny look at winter in Korea.

From Busan With Love

Jenna shares lots of pictures and details about her adventures in Korea and in the classroom. She teaches in Busan, which is on the southeastern coast of Korea. Some popular recent posts include The Korean Talent Show, Love Land: The Discussion of Sex in Korean Culture, and Jenna Vs. The Bus.

Marshmallow Sensei

“Born in New Jersey, raised in Yorkshire, living in Japan. Don’t worry, I’m confused too…” Matt is a freelance writer and English Language teacher working in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. He talks about Japanese culture, including karaoke, Manga, fireworks and festivals. Other recent posts also share his experiences with the Japanese winter, traveling on a budget, and classroom interactions. This detailed blog will give you great insight into what it’s like teaching in Japan!

The Escapades of the Lovely Miss Edita!

The Lovely Miss Edita is a recent college graduate who is currently teaching at a public elementary school in Suwon, South Korea. She shares lots of great photos from travels and sightseeing around Korea, as well as the stories behind those travels. There is also a lot of discussion about teaching and experiences in the classroom, as well.

Well, That is Interesting Blog

Follow along with Christine’s experiences living in Korea, and read about Korean pop music (Life and All), tensions with North Korea (What’s Going On?), and daily life as a teacher (A Day in Life), among other topics.

Green-Eyed Geisha

This blog promises to show you “Japan like you’ve never seen it before from the skewed perspective of a foreign (at least to some people) twenty-something living with her Japanese beau in Tokyo.” She doesn’t work as a teacher, but there is enough here about the ups and downs of living as a “foreigner” in Japan to be of use to many English teachers.

Shotgun Korea

Follow the story of a couple who hastily got married so they could move to Korea to teach. (They were told that in order to live together in sponsored housing, they would have to be married.) Some interesting recent posts include Imports (about the differences in American and Korean customs), Applause (about the peculiarities of Korean bathrooms), and Should Have Known (about weight issues).

inhale. exhale. repeat.

Amy Kate shares her adventures teaching in Korea, ranging from misadventures with public transportation (Exploring in the Eastern Hemisphere) to classroom experiences (These Children Exhaust Me) to getting a physical (Healthcare – Korean Style). You’ll find lots of insights and humor along the way!

Subbing in Seoul

“A naive Irish freelancer and sub-editor negotiates Korea’s capital.” Though you won’t learn much about teaching abroad, you will learn a lot about living in Korea and its culture. There is thoughtful commentary and discussion about all aspects of living in Korea, from food and culture to current events to the language. Check out Jitters in Pyongyang’s Shadow, Drinking With the Islanders, and Rating the Beer. Many of the posts have a nice narrative style that brings to life the stories they tell.

Now I’m in Japan

Beth shares her experiences living in Tokyo with a wry look at many of oddities and other quirks that stand out about day-to-day life as a Westerner. Some interesting recent posts include Golden Gai, Children’s Toys for One Coin!, and Sick_Japan.

Taiwan Teacher

Posts here range from the practical ( What to Bring, What to Buy There and TTJ Bus: A Cool Thing for Taichungers) to managing life in Taiwan (Frizzle Frazzle and Keepin’ Legal). You’ll learn a lot from the more than two years this American has spent living and teaching in Taiwan.

Hungary is Alex’s Classroom

Alex teaches English in Békéscsaba, Hungary, and this blog shares his experiences and thoughts about his time there. Alex often uses a narrative style to bring the stories to life. Some interesting recent posts include How Lucky They Are, Why Worry, and Conjugate the Verbs or Learn the Words? Each post includes a Hungarian word of the day, also!

Caveat Dumptruck

Jared has a background in linguistics, and was a database programmer for many years. He has been teaching in South Korea since 2007 in different locations. He warns: “This is not an ‘about Korea’ blog, per se. It’s a ‘whatever I happen to be thinking about’ blog, that currently takes place in Korea.” But you’ll still learn a lot about Korea and about what it’s like to teach there.

Korea: My Life, My Story

Spenser chronicles his life in Korea as a teacher and the adventures he shares with other ex-pats. This blog gives a nice snapshot into a day in the life of a foreigner living in and exploring Korea — from everyday activities to travel in and around Seoul.

Tokyo Moe

Tokyo Moe has been living in Nakano, Tokyo with his Japanese husband since 2008. The blog is not about teaching, but rather about Japanese culture and life there. Moe explains the blog this way: “It includes my interests in male fashion and hair, male vanity and crime, male romance as created by women manga artists, ikemen and pop culture.”

This is Christie

Christie shares her experiences living and teaching in Hungary, with a lot of useful information for those interested in doing the same. Some posts that gives a good snapshot into daily life in Hungary include Sometimes Hungary is So Lame, Vidor Festival, and — specifically about life as a foreigner in Hungary — New Flat! (That’s Right, I Said ‘Flat’).

Mokdong Magpie

Sarah teaches middle school at a private Haegwon in Seoul. Her blog shares many reflections about teaching and living in Korea, as well as some advice and tips. Her last three posts were especially good: Christmas in Korea, explaining the Korean word “jung;” Letter to Prospective Teachers, offering advice to those considering making the move; and Easy Rice Cooker Gingerbread, with instructions on making gingerbread with the limited resources you’re likely to have.

Lauren in San Lorenzo de El Escorial

Lauren spent two years in Budapest, but now she’s in Spain studying for her Master’s in bilingual and multicultural education while teaching. Posts go back far enough to cover both her experiences in Hungary and in Spain.

Travels, or Such

Read about teaching and living in Tapei, Taiwan, as well as other travels including numerous locations in South America, Europe, and Asia. The blog includes numerous links to other resources, including helpful web sites, blogs and more.

Will Kill for Kalbi

The bloggers formerly known as the Kimchi-Lovin’ Canucks return to Korea after a hiatus after a two-year stint. The blog shares the experiences of this couple and their two children as they explore Korea and teaching once again.

Posted by maria magher | in Career, Education | 5 Comments »

Top 100 classroom blogs

Dec. 7th 2010

Kindergarten

2, 4, 6, 8, Meet Me at the Garden Gate – Mrs. McMahon has been teaching Kindergarten for nearly 15 years, and uses her blog to document the daily activities and projects in her classroom. Recommended posts: “A fun little site…” and “The Annual Kindergarten Poppy Count….

Heidisongs Resource – “My students only participate ‘remotely,’ since they are the subjects of the blog! But they do know about it,” explains Heidi Butkus. (Heidi teaches a kindergarten class in La Verne, California and has been blogging since 2008). “Sometimes I tell them I want to take their picture so that I can put it on my website, but that’s about it. I do get permission from their parents to put their pictures or video clips on my website.” Recommended posts: “What’s Working: Week Seven” and “Get Ready For The Holidays! – Week 14.”

Kinder Clips – This classroom blog is full of educational resources such as reading materials, video games, as well as math exercises for kindergarteners and/or kindergarten teachers. Recommended posts: “Counting Backwards!” and “Z,Z,Zebras!

Lil’ Country Kindergarten – “Lil’ Country Kindergarten is a website devoted to early childhood educators,” writes Marlana Howerton, a Kindergarten teacher who also works as a contributing writer for the Mailbox magazine. “This site was developed to assist teachers in finding resources quickly and inexpensively.” Some of the many categories on this blog include “Kindergarten Handbook,” “Teacher Resources,” and “Word Wall Activities.”  Recommended posts: “Oceans in December” and “Printable Reading Chart.”

Mrs. Pearce’s “I Can, You Can, Toucan” Classroom –  Although her students do not participate in the blogging process because of their age, “they do inspire every single post!” writes Jan Pearce. Mrs. Pearce’s kindergarten class is from Crawfordville, Florida, and she has been blogging  for the past four months. Recommended posts: “I is for Ice Cream” and “T is for…….a Terrific Time with our Teddies!

Mrs. Poulin’s Blog – Gail Poulin is a kindergarten teacher who lives in Southampton, Massachusetts, and has been blogging in her classroom for three years. “In the spring, I will introduce the students to Kidblog.org,” she stated. “They will write a few very simple posts. The blogs will only be shared with the parents in the class. My purpose is to apply the writing skills they have been working on in class, to use a keyboard to write their text, to open their writing up to a review by ‘friendly’ readers, and to write for a new purpose.”  Recommended posts: “Our Own Hero – Lance Corporal Brett Bergeron!” and “New VoiceThread Project!

Under the Apple Tree –  Janet Dickens has been blogging for the past five years, and although her students don’t participate in the blogging process because of their age, their daily activities are documented on the blog so their parents can check out their progress. Recommended posts: “Nov. Book It Club” and “The Pumpkin Patch.”

Elementary/Primary

Mr. C’s Class Blog – Some of the many resources on this classroom blog include math help websites, Flickr photo albums, surveys, Storyboards, and much more. Recommended posts: “Separating Salt and Water” and “Fifth Grade Cell Models.”

Mrs. Chiavarini’s Class Blog – This 5th grade teacher from Dover, Massachusetts posts study guides for her students as well as her curriculum and classroom/homework expectations. Recommended posts: “You are the Historian” and “5th Grade Word Parade- Mrs. Chiavarini’s Class.”

C-O Connections “The students now participate fully in the blogging process from posting, commenting, and adding media,” explains Pam Cranford, a 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teacher in White Oak, Texas. “The first year we designed t-shirts and wore them every Thursday as it was declared as Blogging Thursday. The one thing that helped to motivate the students to blog in the beginning was the Blog Challenge sponsored by Sue Wyatt and Sue Waters….After returning from TCEA in February, 2009, we started the first classroom blog on our campus. Now only two years later, every classroom has followed our lead.” Recommended posts: “Blog Challenge#7” and “Sssssss….Snakes!

Mrs. Daugherty’s Fifth-Grade Class Blog – Mrs. Daughtery’s class is from Alpharetta, Georgia, and she has been blogging in her classroom for the past three years. “My students answer the blog weekly and they participate in blogging challenges, she explains. “I teach them to post on other student’s blogs and they have to comment on each other’s blogs.” Recommended posts: “Digital Footprint” and “Student Blogging Challenge #2!

Denton Dynamos Discussions – Formerly known as Collaborative Chat, this blog was nominated for the Edublog “Best Class Blog” award in 2009.  Lisa Parisi, a 5th grade teacher from Herricks, New York, has been blogging in her classroom since April 2007 and also writes her own educational blog, Lisa’s Lingo. Recommended posts: “Demonstrate Your Knowledge” and “Why is Reading Important?

East Dragon Den – This site received two nominations as “Best New Blog” and “Best Class Blog” for the 2009 Edublog Awards. Two separate classrooms at an elementary school Littleton, Colorado use this blog, and the students are encouraged to participate in the blogging process. Recommended posts: “Science: Animal Adaptations” and “Essay Intro.”

The Electronic Pencil – This classroom blog is a “sixth grade writing workshop weblog” so students in Kevin Hodgson’s (AKA “Mr. H’s”) class  can share their projects and writing assignments. There are also numerous categories on the site such as “Art Tools,” “Crazy Dictionary,” and “Current Events/News.” Recommended posts: “A Search Story for your Adventure Story” and “Vehicles of the Future Voicethread, Period One.”

The GATErs’ Blog -  ”I teach the Gifted and Talented students in 4th-6th grade (about 100 students),” writes Stephanie Ibrahim, from Southern California. “I pull each grade for 1 hour a week. The blog is a major means of communication between the students, their regular teacher, administration and parents.” Recommended posts: “Defining Global Warming Terms” and “Time to Email your EPal!!

Mrs. Harju’s Classroom Blog – “Our classroom blog is a peek into our classroom for parents, grandparents, friends, and other teachers and classrooms around the world,” writes Patti Harju. (Patti teaches a 2nd grade class in East Grand Rapids, Michigan and has been blogging since March of 2007). “The students are very willing and excited participants in the blogging process. Blog posts are written in a variety of ways. Some posts are teacher written, highlighting an event or project in the classroom. Some posts are a class collaboration. For student written blog posts, the students work in small groups, and together they decide what to write. They write in a special notebook with a cool marker, and this is then typed on the class blog. In the beginning, I do the typing, and as the students are more capable, they do the typing. Images and videos are included when possible or appropriate…In addition to the class blog, the students have their own individual blogs. Here the students write blog posts, add illustrations, comment on classmates’ blogs, and receive comments on their own blog.” (To check out their classroom wiki click here). Recommended posts: “Learning About South America” and “Poland Skype Chat.”

Ms. Kreul’s Class Blog – Ms. Kreul teaches a grade 4 class in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, and has been blogging in her classroom since 2004. “Students contribute to the blog with a variety of entries including book reviews, articles about their classes, podcasts (poetry, music, book reviews), poetry, reports, photos, and various types of entries connected to telecollaborative projects they participate in,” she writes. Recommended posts: “Richards School Song” and “The Little Prince Wallwisher.”

Miss Lee’s 4th Grade Blog – This 4th grade class is from Arlington Heights, Illinois, and their teacher (Anny Lee) has been blogging in her classroom for the past three years. “My students each have their own blogs,” she explains. “They post their work and write reflections on their learning.” Recommended posts: “Directions for Making Keynote Presentations into Quicktime Movies” and “Favorite Toy Election Results.”

Mrs. Levy’s First Grade Class – Susan Levy, a 1st grade teacher in Calabasas, California, has been blogging for nearly two years and encourages her students to write posts and comments on her classroom blog. Additionally, Mrs. Levy posts videos, photo slideshows, and voice threads and the blog serves as a penpal communication board between her class and their high school penpals. Recommended posts: “Mondrian” and “Quality Comments.”

Patterson’s Pack - “I am a first grade teacher in Virginia with a love for technology,” explains Mrs. Patterson on her site.  ”We have also started a WIKI PAGE…Each kid has their own page that they can publish on, do homework on, and communicate with each other.” Recommended posts: “Songs Make Learning Fun!” and “If You’re a Monster and You Know It! By Patterson’s Pack

Mr. Salsich’s Class – “This is my second full year of blogging in the classroom,” explains Jonah Salsich, a 3rd grade teacher in Stonington, Connecticut. “The students help with post ideas, adding content through voicethread projects, and especially through comments.” Recommended posts: “Similes, Synonyms, and Snowballs” and “Describing Feelings.”

School is Cool - This blog is for a 3rd grade classroom in Cordova, Tennessee, and it was created so the students can share their daily learning activities and classroom projects with friends and family. Recommended posts: “Can Mr. White’s Magnets Solve My Problem?” and “Multiplication Madness!!!

Tech-Taters – “[The students] write nearly all of the posts, and read and respond to comments,” writes Katy Gartside, a 5th grade teacher from New York City who has been blogging in her classroom for the past two years. “Some of my students are working on getting their blogging license to get their own blog.” Recommended posts: “Short Story – Anya & Kalik” and “Author David Getz.”

What Happened Today? –  ”This is my third year of blogging,” writes Kelly Alford, a 3rd grade elementary school teacher in Goodrich, Michigan. “It started out with the reading response blog that we have, then I started our class blog that you have seen, last year we blogged with other schools about the rainforest, and this year I started the student blog pages.” Recommended posts: “The Principal’s New Clothes: A Lesson in realtionships and Measurement” and “Science Alive.”

Wojtera’s Words – Carolyn Wojtera teaches a group of 1st graders from Radford, Virginia, and encourages her students to participate on their classroom blog. “[It's] more teacher-generated at beginning of the year, more student-generated as year goes on,” she explains. Recommended posts: “Tally Tables and Graphs” and “Safety Day at School.”

Mrs. Yollis’ Classroom Blog – If you are a teacher who is still learning how to blog in the classroom, then check out this popular, award-winning site site for guidance and inspiration. “I currently teach third grade, but have taught combination classes and fifth grade for many years,” writes Mrs. Yollis on her blog. “Working alongside parents to bring out the best in their children gives me great satisfaction.” Recommended posts: “Link to Recording of the UGP Presentation!” and “Where is Nonno? Cisternino, Puglia, Italy.”

Elementary/Primary – International

2010 AllStars – The 2010 AllStars are a classroom of 10, 11, and 12-year-olds from Sydney, Australia who use their blog to “share their learning with family [and] friends.” There are also numerous websites listed on the blog which include articles on Cyber safety, as well as a list of other Australian classroom blogs. Recommended posts: “Oil and Water Don’t Mix!” and “Harry Potter Portraits.”

2KJ @ Leopold Primary School! – “We have made this blog to share all of the fun and exciting things that happen in our grade,” writes Miss Kelly Jordan on her site. “A blog is like an online journal and we will be sharing our achievements, news, photos and special events through our blog.” Recommended posts: “The World Oceans” and “Skyping with the Techie Kids!

2KM @ Leopold Primary School! – Kathleen McGeady teaches at an elementary school in Victoria, Australia, and this past month her classroom participated in the Ugandan Project to help raise money for a Primary school in Uganda, Africa. Miss McGeady also writes her own blog: “Integrating Technology in the Primary Classroom.” Recommended posts: “Skyping the Davey Kids and Their Chicks!” and “Mrs Murphy’s Visit to Uganda.”

The 3S Blog Dogs – “The students produce all of the content – writing, videos, web2 tools, artworks, etc.” explains Mitchell Squires, a 3rd grade teacher from Epping, Sydney, Australia who has been blogging since February 2010.  ”Also, every student in my class has their own blog – seen in our blogroll.” Recommended posts: “BigHugeLabs” and “Joblers.”

40Q’s Blog – “[My students] currently participate in shared writing of the posts, and sometimes write their own posts in Google docs which I copy to the blog,” writes Oliver Quinlan, a teacher in Birmingham, UK, who has been blogging since September 2009. “They all participate regularly through comments on the blog.” Recommended posts: “Modern Art to Music” and “Origami Projects.”

4CJ’s Class Blog – This classroom blog is essentially a resource guide so students can learn more about educational subjects like science, history, art, geography, and much more. Recommended posts: “Our T-Shirt Powerpoints!” and “Spanish Zoo Animals.”

6SS@NIST - Some of the many categories on this classroom blog are “Word of the Day,” “Thought for the Day,” “Science News,” “Sports News,” and “Infographics.” Recommended posts: “Homework: The World When You Were a Zygote” and “How has Thailand changed?

Mr. Baldock’s Class Blog – Scott Baldock has been blogging in his classroom since August 2010, and teaches a Year 3 class in Adelaide, South Australia. “It is a team effort, but I give the students most of the responsibility for contributing to the blog,” he explains. Recommended posts: “What does it take to become a Saint?” and “Homework Sheet: Week 3 Term 4.”

Class 5′s Blog – From Nottinghamshire, England, this primary classroom blog updates students and their parents with various school activities and events. Recommended posts: “Time Activities” and “Fangs, Claws, Teeth!

Climb High! – Cathy Bulger,  a 3rd grade teacher from Comox, Canada has been blogging in her classroom for the past two years. Her students actively participate in the blogging process, and their blog is actually the “sister” site to Huzzah! Recommended posts: “Our Awesome Sailing Adventure” and “Our Mt. Everest Certificate

Creative Voice -”My students participate in the blogging process,” explains Joy Paton, a 2nd grade teacher from Panmure, Auckland, New Zealand who has been blogging for the past two years. “They create the content with me such as movies, podcasts, Voice Threads etc. They also make comments to other students in the class on their work as well as to other classes within our cluster.”  Recommended posts: “Something from Nothing” and “Photos from the Statistics lesson.”

English with Rosa – “I teach English as a foreign language to 12 groups of different ages: 4th – 5th and 6th grade of Infants (3 – 4 and 5 year-olds) and 6th grade of Primary (11 – 12 year-olds),” writes Rosa Fernández Sánchez, who teaches in A Coruña, (located in the northwest of Spain), and has been blogging for the past two years. “Only my 6th graders (11-12 year-olds) [participate in the blogging process]. They write comments, participate in quizzes, surveys, make suggestions…And this year we’ve created their own blog, where only they can write.” Recommended posts: “Saint Andrew’s Day” and “European Day of Languages.”

Into the Wild –  Sabrina De Vita is an English teacher from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and uses her classroom blog to document her animal/wildlife classroom project. Recommended posts: “Our Final Creations!” and “Animal Riddles.”

IST Grade 2 –  ”I have been blogging for a few years. However, I started the IST Grade 2 grade team blog last year (2009-10 school year),” explains Mikey McKillip, ICT Coordinator/Technology Integration Coach for the International School of Tanganyika in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, East Africa. “I use this blog as a model for our other grade teams and specialists at IST to see how a classroom/grade team blog can enhance communication and highlight student learning…Students work collaboratively to create posts. Students work with teachers to create content (words, pictures, audio/video, etc). Students often write about projects, explaining the process and reflecting on learning through posting and comments.” Recommended posts: “A Visit With Mr. Mikkel” and “Maasai Visit.”

Look What’s Happening in Room 102! – This class of 1st graders from Quebec, Canada started off their Kindergarten year speaking only French, but now use their blog to practice their English skills. Mary Ellen Lynch uses her blog to share with family, friends, and the world what they are doing in the classroom. “The children have an authentic audience to share their work with,” she explains. “They try harder knowing others will see what they are doing. We also learn from others across the globe by visiting other blogs, learning about resources, commenting and skyping. Blogging is so much fun.” Recommended posts: “Creature ABC Voice Thread” and “Our Hopes and Dreams.”

Middle Learning Unit BPS -  As stated on their website: “We are using this blog to document the lead up to moving in and informing the world about other exciting things we do at our school.” Recommended posts: “New Mystery Pic winner and Week 7 winner!” and “Minute To Win It Challenges!

Moturoa’s Blog – This blog is for a class of Year 4 students in Nelson, New Zealand,  who also host their own podcast series as well. Recommended posts: “Fireworks Go Boom” and “Typing.”

Mrs. Nessman’s Grade Ones –  ”Our class consists of 23 enthusiastic and talented Grade 1 children,” writes Mrs. Nessman on her blog. “This blog was started to provide a showcase for student writing and art work and to provide school to home communication.” Recommended posts: “Helping your Child with Reading” and “The Alphabet Jive.”

Room 230′s Blog - ”Miss B.” teaches a grade 5 class in Bangkok, Thailand, and encourages her students to participate and comment on their classroom blog, as well as write for their own individual blogs. Recommended posts: “Ms.H to the Rescue!” and “Writing Workshop Strategy: Timeline It!”

The Smarties –  ”I write the blog posts, but it’s usually done (time permitting) as a shared writing activity at the end of the school day,” writes Lisa, a grade 2 teacher from Perth, Australia who has been blogging since February 2010. “We brainstorm the things we want to tell people about, then I type and the kids give me sentences or phrases or words to use. I always try to include photos that I, or the kids have taken in every post. I also include some of their writing and art. Each morning, we check the hits on our blog, then use calculators to work out how many we’ve had since the last day we were at school. It’s very motivating for them and they get to do some real-life maths too.” Recommended posts: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” and “Growing and Learning.”

Super 7 Scoopers@St Clair – This classroom blog was first developed by the class teacher, but now students “took on ownership of their space.”  As written on their blog, the students use the site to share their “daily learning experiences,” as well as examples of their work in the classroom. Recommended posts: “So… It’s Almost the end of the Year…” and “The Collaboration Continues!

Miss T’s Classroom –  ”This blog is to share with parents a few things we do at school during the day,” explains Kathryn Trask on her classroom blog. (Miss T. teaches at an elementary school in New Zealand and has been blogging for the past two years). All of her students’ maintain their own blogs which are linked to the main site, and are encouraged to participate in the Edublogs “Student Blogging Challenge.” Recommended posts: “Using Photographs from the Web” and “Setting Goals.”

Team16 -  ”I have an Elementary class – 10,and 11 year olds,” writes Daniela Lawlor, who teaches in Adelaide, South Australia. “I write mainly for the year 5/6 students and parents in my class, but am pleased to see other visitors making their way to my blog…I started the blogging challenge last year, but have got my students involved with their own blogs this year, and they are enjoying the experience. I can see lots of further possibilities for next year.” Recommended posts: “Comparing Types of Graphs” and “Reading Assignment – Bringing it all together.”

TEAM TOA – Shanghai American School, Pudong, Third Grade Blog – These 3rd grade students use their blog to exercise their English skills, while parents can visit the site to read up on various school activities and events. Recommended posts: “Goodbye Ugandan Global Project” and “Library Books.”

Mr Toft.ca –  Nathan Toft, a grade 5/6 teacher from Ottawa, Canada has been developing class websites and blogs for over five years, and encourages his students to contribute to their classroom blog. Recommended posts: “Grid Art” and “Computer Lab Today.”

Totally Totara –  ”My students own the blogging process,” states Andrea Fale. (Andrea teaches a group of 7 and 8 year olds in New Zealand, and the name of their blog references a big Totara tree that overlooks their school). “I have a board with their names and two magnets rotate through the list and when the magnet is on your name, it is your turn to blog. They write original blogs on the computer. They do not copy and paste from previous writing. When they are finished writing, our trouble shooter helps them spell check and then upload any supporting picture – either one they drew or took with the camera. When they are ready to publish they tell me and save their blog. I do a final check and then the student publishes the blog. I am really the manager of the process but they’re the owners – that’s what makes it authentic and truly about kids and their learning.” Recommended posts: “10/10/10” and “The totara tree.”

Mrs. Watson’s 2/3 Class – Melody Watson teaches a grade 2/3 class in Sointula, British Columbia, Canada, and has been blogging in her classroom since January 2010. All of her students participate in the blogging process and maintain their own blogs as well. Recommended posts: “Engineers in Training” and “Fire Safety.”

The Year 4 at Bearwood Blog – For this classroom blog, students regularly participate in the blogging process by publishing their own surveys and film production updates. Their teacher also posts various educational activities, exercises, and online games as well. Recommended posts: “BBC – KS2 Bitesize: Maths – Fractions – activity” and “Please help us by taking part in our surveys.”

Y4 Blog The World of Green Park’s Y4 – Peter Rafferty teaches a class of 8 and 9 year olds in Maghull, UK (near Liverpool), and many of his students maintain their own blogs. He has been blogging in his classroom for the past six years. Recommended posts: “Habitats from the BBC” and “Judo.”

Junior/Middle

Billings Beta Tech Blog – Jac de Haan teaches a grade 6-8 Digital Arts technology class in Seattle, Washington and has been blogging in his classroom for the past four years. This site was the winner of the “Best Class Blog” award for the 2009 Edublog Awards, and all of the students contribute to the blog. Recommended posts: “Intro to Spreadsheets” and “The Hurt Square.”

Blogging 2 Learn – “Teacher Mom” uses her classroom blog to teach a 4th to 12th grade blogging class through a local homeschool co-op, and all of her students are required to maintain their own blogs. She is also the author of another educational blog, “Let’s Play Math!” Recommended posts: “Adding Photos & Giving Credit” and “How To Add a Poll.”

The Brilliant Muskie – “Mr. J” teaches an 8th grade class in Arbor Vitae Woodruff, Wisconsin, and has been blogging for approximately four years. “I try to encourage my students to post on the blog,” he explains. “We are getting better at it every year.” Recommended posts: “How would you use one million dollars to change the world?” and “The 60’s.”

Ms. Burdette’s English Class – This blog is used to “communicate with students and parents” about the daily activities in Ms. Burdette’s 8th grade English class. Numerous resources can also be found on this blog, such as information on bullying prvention, ancestor research, as well as both local and national news websites. Recommended posts: “Vocabulary List #1: “Raymond’s Run” and “The Dinner Party”” and “Reading Response #6 Follow-Up.”

THe CoNCH - As written on the site: “Our class blog provides a safe forum for students to practice digital citizenship while integrating content-based reading, writing, research, historical thinking, and 21st century skills.” Some of the many resources available on this blog include class presentations, handouts, videos, and other types of technology-related presentations. Recommended posts: “SoWing THe SeeDS oF DeMoCRaCY” and “RiGHTs & ResPoNsiBiLiTieS.”

The Greatest Middle School Social Studies Blog in the World – All of the students in this 8th grade classroom write individual posts for their classroom blog, and collaborate with other bloggers from all over the world. The class also interviews leaders from around the world about their opinions about education issues for their Podcast series, The Lunch Time Leaders Podcast, otherwise known as “Greatest Social Studies Podcast in the World!” Recommended posts: “September 6-9, 2010” and “November 8-12, 2010.”

HisTeched: Musings in US History and Education – Chris Miraglia works as the 8th grade US History/Department Chair at an Intermediate School in Santa Ana, California, and has been blogging in his classroom for the past four years. “[My students] respond to questions, post podcasts, and at times create their own blogs,” he explains. Recommended posts: “Podcasting” and “The Three Branches and the Bill of Rights.”

Leawood Middle School blogs – This website is created by students in a 6th grade social studies class, and the posts promote “digital conversation” so students can discuss historical facts and events, or anything “social studies related.” Recommended posts: “Class meeting on Egyptian research” and “Mesopotamia Custom Google Engine Search.”

Let Each Achieve Daily - “I teach 2nd grade during the day, but this blog is for our 6th-8th grade after school program, Project L.E.A.D.,” explains Jennifer Brandon, who teaches in Ripley, Tennessee. “I teach technology and use the blog to focus the lesson for the day or week. [The students] participate by commenting, submitting video and pictures, and making suggestions.” Recommended posts: “Sweet Search” and “LEAD Recommends. . .”

Mr. Miller’s Classroom Blog – Mr. Miller teaches a 6th grade class in King City, California, and has been blogging in his classroom for the past two years. “We have a class blog and my students each write for either a group blog (with 3-4 other students) or have individual blogs,” he explains. Recommended posts: “Ancient Babylon and Google Earth” and “VoiceThread Practice.”

Miss Nichols’ Class Communicates - Miss Nichols, a 6th grade teacher in Lawndale, California, writes that her blog’s purpose is to “serve as an extension of our classroom,” and it is also used as “a way to invite more communication between home and school.” Recommended posts: “Making Mummies in the Classroom” and “Would You Like to Be a Scholastic Kid Reporter?

SMS 21st Century Skills Mrs. Berg and Vieths – “Our students do participate in the blogging process; sometimes adding comments to our main page and other times posting to their personal blogs,” writes Sharleen Berg, an 8th grade teacher in Owatonna, Minnesota. (Sharleen and Brandi Vieths has been blogging in their classroom since September 2010). Recommended posts: “Political Ads” and “Election Day.”

Techy Tuesday – “My blog gives the students technology tasks to complete that tie into what we are doing in class for the week,” writes Christina Spiezio, a teacher from Edison, New Jersey. “Students can, however, post comments with questions or concerns!” Recommended posts: “Task 3: Google Readers Set-Up” and “Task 9: Online Portfolios.”

Through Our Window…Room 101 –  ”My students each have their own personal blog where they publish works completed in school as well as blogging about their passions,” explains Chuck Poole, a 6th grade English teacher in Edison, New Jersey. “Each blog is linked from our class blog under the “Student Blogs” section. Students comment with their “Blogger Bunches” each week so that their writing become relevant and real. Each student in turn has individuals that read their posts each day. All of my bloggers have subscribed to the class blogs using Google Reader so they are updated anytime a fellow students posts a new blog post.” Recommended posts: “Five Things to Include in a Short Story” and “Blogger Bunches.”

Write Out Loud – “I have been blogging in the classroom over three years now!” writes Amy Cobb a 7th grade English teacher from Saint Petersburg, Florida. “My students post blog prompts, respond to prompts, and converse with each other.” Recommended posts: “It’s How You Play The Game ~ The Hunger Games” and “The Hunger Games.”

Junior/Middle – International

41 Weeks with 5/6C“To begin with we worked on a class blog together,” writes Amy Cliff, a primary school teacher from Soldiers Point, Australia who has been blogging since March 2010. “After about ten weeks students then started using their own individual blogs linked to our class blog.” Recommended posts: “37: Poll Time” and “28: ThinkFest Begins.”

Bailey Road Team 17 - Shaun Wood teaches a Year 6 class in Mt. Wellington, Auckland, New Zealand and has been blogging in his classroom for the past two years.  ”I started the year using modeling and shared writing on our class blog. Now most posts are written by the students.” This classroom blog was also recently nominated for the 2010 Edublog’s “Best Class Blog” award. Recommended posts: “Trash 2 Fashion Challenge” and “Sign Language.”

Creative Readers, Writers and Thinkers – ““I have been blogging for three years and I believe that it enhances my students’ learning process as they post comments and reflections. In this way, they are developing communication skills beyond the classroom walls,”  writes Alejandra Quaglia. (Alejandra currently works as a 6th grade Language Arts teacher in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and works as an assistant teacher for a 4th grade class as well). “All the post are based on what is being done in class or what is happening to them at school. By blogging my students are linking writing, reading, connecting information and learning together.” Recommended posts: “Practise for your Touch typing Competition” and “Heroes Project- Compulsory post for this week.”

Huzzah! - Jan Smith, a 6th grade teacher in Comox Valley, Canada, describes her blog as an “invitation” to see what her class is up to in terms of school activities, educational exercises, and much more. All of her students write for their own blogs, and they regularly participate in the Student Blogging Challenges, (supported by Edublogs). Recommended posts: “We Did Good” and “Zoom Out.”

Kids in the Mid – From Hobart, Tasmania, students in this grade 6/7  classroom use this blog to upload their own group projects and activities.  Some of the many resourceful categories on this blog include a list of links for educational websites such as “History/Geography,” “Literacy,” “Typing,” “Music,” and much more. Recommended posts: “Being responsible” and “Searching for your ancestors.”

Melville Room 8 – This popular blog documents the daily activities of a Year 7 class in Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand. Myles Webb has been blogging in his current classroom for the past two years, but only “administers” the site because he encourages his students to create the work that is published on the blog. Recommended posts: “Melville Intermediate – Traditional Maori Instruments” and “Melville Intermediate – Hotiki Waiata.”

Read.Write. Share! – Joseph Teague is a Language Arts teacher in Doha, Qatar, and uses his site to provide tips and advice for his students who are maintaining their own individual blogs. Recommended posts: “Our Someday/One Day List” and “Need some help with your book post?

The Ripple Effect - “Each year we start with the blogging process as a class and then they earn an individual blog they post to throughout the year. It becomes their e-portfolio,” explains Jaki Braidwood, a grade 6/7 teacher at an elementary school in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, Canada. Recommended posts: “The Girl Effect” and “To Explore or Not to Explore? That is the Question.”

Room 13 – Year 6/7s sharing their learning – Pam Thompson works as a a Year 6/7 teacher in Adelaide, Australia, and has been blogging in her classroom for the past three years. “My students and I participate in blogging,” she explains. “We start with a class blog, and students write guest posts, and then they work their way towards a blog of their own. All students in my class now have their own blogs.” Recommended posts: “Storybird” and “3D Word Cube.”

High school/Secondary

An American Studies – Spiro Bolos and his co-teacher John S. O’Connor teach an 11th grade American Studies class  in Winnetka, Illinois, and have been blogging for this class over the past three years continuously, (but also previously blogged for an Integrated Psychology/Sociology class). Each of the students in the class write for their own blog, which Spiro describes as a “key requirement” for the course. Recommended posts: “Into the Wild (short essay prompt)” and “Shirt.”

Blog, blog blog blog, blog some more – Ms. Burton writes on her classroom blog that she uses this site “as a place where students, parents, and others can find useful information about things relating to our class.” She also posts daily assignments and weekly riddles, as well as posts on social issues and current news/events, and encourages her students to write for their own blogs as well. Recommended posts: “Create a story” and “Post your choice.”

Ms. Bush’s Blogging Bunch -  Torrie Bush teaches a grade 9 and 12 class at a secondary school in Lathrup Village, Michigan, (just outside of Detroit), and has been blogging in her classroom since 2006. “My students are an integral part of the blogging process!” she writes. “I come up with the topics but they are at the heart of the discussion. We give each other ideas and feedback. It’s a great process but I couldn’t do it alone.” Recommend posts: “Macbeth Act 1 Homework Blog” and “What lies ahead for Oedipus?

Mr. Byrne Teaches – Mr. Byrne uses his classroom blog to post updates for his students regarding homework assignments and deadlines. His site could also serve as a great resource for students and teachers who are interested in American history. Recommended posts: “Expansion of the United States” and “Notes for all US History Students.”

Daraja Academy - The students at Dajara Academy come from  drought-stricken areas in Northern Kenya as well as the areas outside of the Nairobi City Center (Kenya). Some of the posts touch on the life of a Daraja student, volunteering, and how to donate to the Daraja Academy. Recommended posts: “A Day in the Life of A Daraja Girl” and “Daraja partners with Outside the Lens to help girls practice self-expression through art.”

Extreme Biology – Ms. Baker uses her classroom blog to document anything “biology-related” for her students and peers. Some of the many categories include “Class Connection,”  ”Field Trips,” “Themes in Biology,” “Science Online” and much more. Recommended posts: “Invertebrate Poll” and “Cladogram Lab.”

The Frog Blog – “The Frog Blog is a website created by Humphrey Jones and Jeremy Stone, science teachers of St. Columba’s College, Dublin, Ireland,” the authors write. “It aims to provide an online tool for the promotion of science within our school, and across the country.” Recommended posts: “What Are Stem Cells?” and “Science Quotes – Charles Darwin.”

Griffin Science – Students in “Mr. H’s” classroom can use this blog to check their grades, and read up on their latest homework assignments and class notes. Mr. H also hosts his own podcast series, “the GriffinScience Podcast,” to help students review before their quizzes, tests, and exams. Recommended posts: “Homework 10: Acids, Bases and Solutions” and “Tues Nov 16, 2010: Thermal Energy and Specific Heat.”

Head Outta the Book – Deborah L. Harris teaches at a high school in New York, and all 120 of her students maintain their own blogs. Deborah has been blogging in her classroom for the past year, and some of the many categories on her blog include “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Great Expectation,” and “Hamlet.” Recommended posts: ”H2 Lord of the Flies Thesis Directions/Information and “Notebook Collection.”

LMS Tech – Mrs. Ilgunas teaches a Technology Exploratory class, and uses the posts on her blog to update her students on their assignments. Some of the many categories on this classroom blog include “Engineers – Ideas,” “Research Links,” “iMovie instructions,” and much more. Recommended posts: “Congratulations on your Fireworks Tests!” and “Your Blog Post.”

The Mac Lab – Students in class can check out this blog to read up on grading policies and expectations, homework assignments, projects, progress reports, grades, and much more. Recommended posts: “Setting It Aside (Week 12)” and “Sense of Adventure (Week 5).”

Mr. Mansour’s Classroom Blog – “This blog is an extension of my classroom,” writes Mr. Mansour on his site. “Currently I’m using it to communicate with my students, their parents, and anyone else who cares to check in on the happenings in my class. Throughout the year, I’ll be posting student work, cool websites, profiles, and hopefully some interactive elements.” Recommended posts: “8th Solar Cars Question” and “Vertical vs. Horizontal Axis.”

Nicely’s Blog Page - The posts on this U.S. History classroom blog cover everything from the Gold Rush and Christopher Columbus, to the death penalty and President Obama. Recommended posts: “Revolutionary Images – in Modern Times” and “What would a Euro Explorer Tweet about the New World? MicroBlog!”

Physical Education Loreto - The goal of this blog is to illustrate the activities of a Physical Education class at an all girl’s Secondary school in Ireland.  Recommended posts: “Health Week 2010 ” and what does it mean to be Healthy??

SCC English - The English Department at St. Columba’s College in Dublin, Ireland encourage students to post their own poetr, essay, book recommendations, and much more. They also host their own podcast series as well, for which they discuss patterns in poetry, or famous poets like W.B. Yeats. Recommended posts: “TY Extended Essay: Tóibín, Keegan, O’Neill” and “Patterns of Poetry 10: repetition.”

Social Voice -  This unique classroom blog is a “social-centric blog” written by a group of students from Phoenix, Arizona. “Our goal is to express our social voice through exploring issues, engaging in the community and expressing what we have learned to the world,” writes their teacher, (Mr. Spencer), on the website. Recommended posts: “Straw Challenge” and “World War II Propaganda.”

College/University

EDM 310 Class Blog - Dr. John H. Strange, a professor at the University of South Alabama, uses his classroom blog to keep students up to date with exams and assignments, or to answer any questions that were brought up in class. Recommended posts: “Additional Assignment #2” and “Testing Your Blog and Spam.”

Fashion School Daily – From the Academy of Art University, the posts on this blog consist of student profiles, portfolios, internship and recruiting opportunities, as well as the latest news in the fashion industry. Recommended posts: “Behind the Scenes of our New York Show in Less than 2 Minutes” and “Intern Update: Claudia Paolinelli.”

San Diego City College Acting for Radio/Voiceover Class Blog - “I started it as a way to make sure that homework assignments were delivered and extra reading, listening and watching material could be updated,” writes Connie Terwilliger, an educator at the San Diego City College Acting for Radio/Voiceover. “It is just one more tool to help communicate with students. I used to try to do some of this on my regular site, but a blog is so much better because I can access it from anywhere – even in class. I know the students have appreciated being able to know where to go to get their assignments if they missed class or weren’t paying attention during class. (Hard to know when that happens).”  Recommended posts: “See Mike Record, See Mike Edit” and “Audio Book Samples.”

Tamaki College Television – Students studying at Tamaki College can check out this blog to stay up to date on various campus events and activities. Recommended posts: “Prizegiving 2010 – Year 13 Graduation Song” and “TC Level 3 Media Studies – La Nuit Du Chasseur Trailer.”

Posted by alexis | in Resources | 7 Comments »

Top 50 DIY Blogs

Dec. 6th 2010

You’re a college student, and that likely means that you don’t have a lot of money. Or maybe even no money. The upcoming holiday season can, therefore, present a challenge. On average, people in the U.S. spend $600-$800 on Christmas gifts, whether it be in Arkansas, California, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Wyoming, etc. This can seem like an enormous sum when your income consists of student loans and a job working 10 hours a week at the Dairy Queen.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have an amazing holiday celebration, or that you can’t give thoughtful and memorable gifts to friends and family. There are many blogs out there with do-it-yourself ideas that would make fun and unique gifts.

We present our list of some of the best:

Crafting a Greener World

Do your part for the environment and save money by using old and recyclable items to create funky, fun gifts. Green is the new black, we’re reminded. Our favorite holiday projects include 10 Crafty Green Things to do with Old Sweaters (lots of fun ideas here!), 5 Handmade Christmas Ornaments, and 5 Christmas Ornaments You Can Make with Scrap Yarn.

Whipperberry

Stylish and chic project ideas abound at Whipperberry, and they include simple, easy-to-make projects that don’t require expensive materials. The projects offered here will look like expensive and trendy store-bought goods — perfect for gift-giving or decorating your own space. The site is hosting a 12 Days of Christmas event, with projects that are perfect for gift giving. Check out Day 4: Hot cocoa, Day 3: Ornaments, and Day 2: Bottle labels.

Childmade

Childmade

You don’t have to be a child to find inspiring ideas on this blog, ranging from simple paper crafts to jewelry, wood and cloth crafts. You can search for ideas according to the type of material or the occasion — and there are ideas for holidays all year long! Many of the crafts you find here are linked from other blogs. Some of our favorite projects include Paper Ornaments (from Little Blue House) and Clove Oranges (from Homemade Gifts Made Easy).

Craftberry Bush

Simple crafts, delicious treats, and holiday home decor are all offered here. There are simple projects that can be completed in an hour or less, and more involved projects for the kitchen or your home. Some of our favorite projects include paper roses, pearl garland ornaments, and pebble art.


A Few of My Favorite Things

The focus of this blog is on crafts for children and babies, but there is plenty here that even adults will love. And if there are children in your family that you would like to make gifts for, you’ll find plenty of ideas here. Some of our favorites are the lazy mom’s advent calendar, peppermint cookie exchange, and holiday tags.

Sweet  Something Designs
Sweet Something Design

Come “create something beautiful” with Michelle Edwards, who offers up creative and inspiring project ideas from many items found around your home (or dorm, maybe?). We love Noel and Joy Ornaments (made with parts from a whipped topping container — you’d never know), this jingle bell door hanger (made with an old belt), and DIY Christmas Tree Planter.

Northern Cottage

Those who “love junk, home, and crafts” will find much to love on this blog. There are a lot of ideas for home decor, but you’ll also find some great little gift projects, as well. Two of our favorites include metal flowers (do something useful with all those used cans!) and these button bracelets (raid your own mother’s button collection!).

The Life of Jennifer Dawn

Jennifer shares her thoughts on her day-to-day life as a mother and wife, but she also shares a great number of project ideas along the way. Her most recent project includes The 12 Crafts of Christmas (shared over 24 days), which offer up simple do-it-yourself projects that would make lovely holiday gifts. They are inexpensive to make, and can be made with a minimal amount of materials. Check out her first three projects: Ruffle Stocking, Eyeglass Pouch, and Reversible Tote Bag

Organize and Decorate Everything

Home decor is the focus here again, but there are a lot of smaller project ideas that would be suitable for gifts — or to dress up your dorm room to get into the holiday spirit. Check out the DIY Sunburst Mirror (why pay top dollar for a stylish mirror when you can make it yourself?), Pine and Pom Pom Wreath and, for the kids, Snowman Pencil Toppers

JC's Loft
JC’s Loft

Paula is a stay-at-home mother and wife with a love of design and crafts, who hopes to use her blog to inspire others to create. There are a lot of great ideas for home decor, as well as some tasty treats. And, of course, there are a lot of great ideas that would be perfect for gifts. Check out the ornament place cards (easily converted to photo holders, suitable for gifts) and Dollar Store sock vase.

Craft Test Dummies

In addition to the numerous project ideas you’ll find here, there are also reviews of crafting materials, discussions about crafts-related news, and more. Some of our favorite gift ideas here include a unique travel journal (perfect for a gift or for your own use), loom-knitted Santa hats, and zipper pulls and luggage tags made of recycled materials.

Whip Up

Whip Up offers budget projects that can be completed in a short amount of time — perfect for college students! You can sign up for a weekly newsletter, or browse posts for craft ideas and links to other resources and inspiration. Some fun projects include needle-felted gnomes, paper garland, and these “winter singing softies” , fun gifts or decoration.

Craft Bits

Here you’ll find a wide array of craft projects and ideas, all easily searchable according to type or occasion. Projects vary in degree of difficulty and expense. Some of our picks for holiday gifts include quick Christmas crafts, gifts in a jar, and wreath flower beads

As seen on CraftGossip.com
Craft Gossip

Craft lovers of all types will find a project here. Craft Gossip features some of the best projects from craft blogs all over the Internet. You can browse according to type (like to make jewelry? or is sewing your thing?) or occasion (looking for a Christmas gift idea?). We like these felt gift bags, fabric scrap mini cards, and Danish heart baskets

The Sweet Spot

Tammy has just started her blog, but there are already some great ideas here. Check out A Berry Easy Tree and My $5 Wreath. We look forward to many great project ideas from this blog!

A Diamond in the Stuff

Courtney shares all kinds of home decor and crafting ideas on her blog. Most posts include a project, with instructions for how to recreate it. Some of the projects may be a little more involved than you can do in a dorm room, but there is plenty of inspiration. Some of our favorite projects include a shutter Christmas card holder, a treat tin Advent calendar, and a embroidery hoop card holder.

Craft Leftovers

Here you’ll find “tutorials, patterns, and inspiration for using what’s on hand.” Some of our favorite projects include coasters from bamboo shade leftovers, pomanders, and autumn textured thank-you cards.

My Recycled Bags

Recycle Cindy shares her enthusiasm for crafts, crocheting, and recycling in this handy, crafty blog that focuses on much more than just bags or projects made from bags. Try out mini recycled wreaths and this water-bottle holder made of old newspaper bags

A Fanciful Life

Sharon’s blog is a visual journey through her design experiments, inspirations and every day life. Even when she’s just talking about her daily activities, she includes a number of pictures and other graphic elements that are sure to offer inspiration. Some of our favorite projects from this blog include this flower cone and fun ideas for card envelopes.

Mia Zucca

This blog is one part inspirational, one part instructional. Some posts share finished projects and designs, while others share tips and patterns. Sometimes, posts share reflections or found objects that are meant to be inspirational.

One Pretty Thing

This crafty blog is a central resource for all types of crafting projects. The blog does not offer project ideas itself, but rather, it offers a roundup for different project types from all types of do-it-yourself blogs from around the Internet. Some recent roundups include DIY gift tags and crochet projects.

Craft Tutorials

Eve Henley hosts this blog, which offers tutorials on all kinds of fun craft projects. These simple do-it-yourself projects are kid-friendly and budget-friendly. You’re sure to find inspiration here. We recommend seashell-decorated diffuser, cocktail umbrella lamp shade (all those nights out can be put to good use…), and colorful back-to-school notebooks (perfect gifts for kids, or you can dress them up for your own use).

 

Cut Out and Keep

A community of crafters contribute to this online crafting site, with dozens of tutorials on a range of craft projects. There is also a podcast, a “craftopedia” (online crafts library), and a message board. Projects also tend to be a bit more stylish and up-to-date. Some of our favorite recent projects include beaded iPhone earbuds, “Tree of Life” ornament, and pleated paper flowers.

Someday Crafts

A team of bloggers offer up some of the best projects they find on craft blogs from around the Internet. Some of our favorites included this cute wallet, Sew and No-Sew Flowers, and Epson Salt Ornaments and Candles.

a little sewing, a little crafting, a little creating, a little us

Sewing enthusiasts will find some great inspiration here, though there are not tutorials on how to make the projects. Check out the finished projects for ideas, then replicate them or modify them to make them your own. Check out advent calendar/banner, treat bags (to be modified for the appropriate holiday, of course), and this handmade purse (to be customized to your liking with your own fabrics.

Is a Stamping Good Time

Beverly and Carol share their ideas for fun craft projects that range from baked treats to paper crafts such as cards and gift bags. We like these cute thank-you cards, these birthday cards, and this milk-carton treat box. Warning: Each page on the blog includes pre-loaded music.

Fine Craft Guild

This site consists almost exclusively of free patterns, tutorials and project ideas for a number of crafts, from crocheting and knitting to sewing and recycled crafts. You can search the hundreds of craft ideas according to the type of material used, the type of craft (pet crafts, eg), occasion and more. Some of our favorite projects include felt Christmas ornaments, crocheted monsters, and knitted Christmas ornaments.

Infarrantly Creative

This blog takes a collaborative approach, often featuring guest posts from other craft blogs, and often linking to projects on other blogs. There are often giveaways and links to resources and sales. Some projects featured here that we think you’ll like include Dollar Store advent calendar, Christmas box topiary, and felt poinsettia clips.

Recaptured Charm

Lisa from Canada shares her adventures in crafting and renovating her “money pit,” as she lovingly refers to her home. Some great holiday projects include etched wine bottle candle holders, decorative blocks (used here in a “Days ‘Til Christmas display, but easily customized for any holiday purpose), and paper cone favors (again, used here as place card holders, but easily customized as gift tags or treat holders).

Treasures From the Heart

Barbara Jean shares treasures of her own making, as well as treasures that inspire her from around the Web. Browse her site for inspiration and tutorials on how to make your own treasures. We liked pink Christmas decor, flower nests, and sweet and simple ornaments.

Posh Pilar

If you like to sew, you’ll find plenty of inspiration and tips here on how to make some great clothing pieces and accessories. Don’t feel your sewing skills are up to snuff? No worries. Many of the accessory pieces are simple to make — and the accessories really make the outfit! Check out felt flower ribbon belt, Anthropologie necklace knockoff (why pay high prices when you can make the look yourself?), and shoe makoever (as easy as dressing up an old pair of shoes).

Centsational Girl

Centsational Girl

Kate is a bargain hunter and design lover, and she shares that love with her readers through this blog. She shares tips and tricks for making over everyday and found objects into chabby chic decor and newfound treasures. Some projects are more involved (such as the dresser makeover that she shares from a fellow blogger), but all the projects are sure to be bargain priced and easy enough for any DIY aficionado. Check out Less is More (on holiday candle sticks and decor), winter willow wreath, and headboard turned coat rack.

Tatertots and Jello

Jennifer started this blog as a means to gather creative ideas and projects, and to share those with others. There is a healthy community of guest posters here, sharing ideas on all kinds of crafts of all different styles. We liked holiday printables, sentimental Christmas ornaments, and burlap wall grouping.

Sandy’s Space

Sandy shares all the crafty projects that she makes — either as the finished project, or with an accompanying tutorial. There are often challenges on the blog, offering inspiration for what can be made from pre-defined materials. There are a lot of great projects here that would make great gifts: Tropical Angels (with tutorial), Butterfly boxes, and bound jotter book. Sandy also includes the amount of time each project took and about how much it cost to make it.

The Answer is Chocolate

Don’t let the name of this blog fool you: Though you’ll find plenty of love for chocolate here, the focus of this blog is on crafts and DIY projects. Carol is a “long-time crafter, cardmaker, scrapbooker, ameteur DIYer, jewelry maker.” She shares some of her own projects here, as well as those she finds online. Some of our favorite projects on her site include Vintage-y Music-y Snowflake-y ornament, “Paper Source” inspired wreath, and playing with printables.

I Been Thinkin’ … ‘Bout Inkin’

Through this blog, Lori has created an “art journal” in which she shares her projects and her inspiration. You won’t find step-by-step tutorials here, but Lori does share how she created her projects and what materials she used. We liked this fall bird feeder, these funky gift tags, and these Christmas gift tags.

Trash to Treasure Art

You’ll find a lot of inspiration here and projects to try to replicate for yourself! Lynn shares her creative projects, with usually include paper crafts, stamping, inks and more. For inspiration, check out these gift tags, advent calendar, and holiday Marie Antoinette cards.

Room to Inspire

“There’s always room to inspire!” according to this blog, and browsing the project ideas posted here, you’ll probably agree. There are step-by-step tutorials here, including materials lists and lots of color pictures for each step. Our favorite holiday projects include Handmade Ornament: Pine Cone, Sheet Music Candles, and Ballard Designs Knock-Off Ornament.

A Little Knick Knack

A Little Knick Knack

Megs shares her project ideas and inspirations on this blog — both those of her own creation and those she finds online. There are many links to other blogs and resources, as well as giveaways. Some of our favorite projects here include Old-Fashioned Sign, Family Burlap Board, and Glitter Topiary Trees.

Totally tutorials tips tricks recipes how tos

Totally Tutorials

This extensive directory features tutorials, do-it-yourself projects, tips, tricks, and more. You can find how-to information on everything from chopping garlic to making mango body butter. Our favorite projects include felt pointsettias, fabric envelopes, and Christmas card gift bags.

The Scrap Shoppe

Blog host Michele loves scrapbooking and graphic design, but her blog also includes other craft projects and inspiration. Guest bloggers also frequently share their ideas and tutorials. We loved Homemade Christmas Decor, felt flowers (with video tutorial), and altered peanut can.

The Crafty Crow

The Crafty Crow

This children’s craft collective has project ideas that can inspire kids of any age. Check out the advent calendar round up, menorah round up, and lemon pomander.

Paisley Passions

You’ll find all kinds of projects and inspiration here. Mondays are reserved for Paisley Passions original projects, while Tuesdays feature guest bloggers, and Thursdays feature links from other craft bloggers. You won’t run out of project ideas!


Be Different, Act Normal

Here’s another roundup site, with lots of great ideas for crafts, home decor and baked goods. Stop here for regular updates on the best do-it-yourself projects to be found on the Internet.

PBDesigns Reading and Stitching Blog

Da Crafty Lady writes this blog, which is part personal blog, part crafts and ideas blog. Da Crafty Lady shares her thoughts and reflections, as well as how-to posts on crafty projects. We like Christmas projects, prizes, and gifts and Christmas crafts. Warning: The site includes pre-loaded music that can’t be shut off so long as the page is open.

Get Crafty

This “home of the craftistas” is an online community for crafters, which includes forums for discussions about crafts and resources for crafting needs. You can browse the discussions or pose questions about your crafting dilemmas, or browse through the shared links and resources for tutorials and inspiration.

Today’s Creative Blog

Still can’t find a project that you like? Feeling in need of additional inspiration? Today’s Creative Blog features a new blog “just about every day.” Blogs are often listed with one of their unique project ideas, or as part of a theme or roundup. You won’t run out of ideas here!

_____________________________________

Did we miss one of your favorites? If so, please let us know in the comments below.

Did you make the list? If so you can display the following on your website. :)

Top DIY Crafts Blogs.

Top DIY Blogs.

Posted by maria magher | in Resources | 4 Comments »