Meb Byrne

Archive for the ‘website’ Category

Web Zen

In blog, healthy, inspiration, list, website, website wednesday on March 22, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Spring has sprung! Pastel color schemes invade every SoHo storefront. The food trucks burst from hibernation, trailing cupcakes and gay ice cream in their wake. Children fete tortuous tales of chocolate bunnies laying eggs and raising a zombie Jesus from the grave. Now is the season of new beginnings and spring cleaning, both physical and mental. Here are three sites that will help you realign and rejuvenate your fabulous self.

Zen Habits

Blogger Leo Babauta can be infuriating at first. He’s so calm and happy! Keep calm and carry on reading, though; Leo has some great insights to share. Will you rise at 4:30 am like him to experience the calm of the morning, or spiritually connect with centuries of tea drinkers as you sip your morning cup of oolong? Maybe not, but his simplicity and minimalism are great reminders to slow down and rethink how you go about your day.

The Daily Love

Mastin Kipp wants you to love yourself! Really, really love yourself! His Twitter feeds, @TheDailyLove and @MastinKipp, are chock full of positive energy and incorrigible enthusiasm. Have them delivered to your phone only if you accept that your cheek muscles will ache by day’s end from smiling so much. His site often features guest bloggers who carry the same joyous message.

holistic fitness for the real girl

Leanne Shear, a personal trainer in New York, focuses her writing on physical fitness, but her message extends to mental well-being as well. She uses her personal slip-ups (we’re on vacation! margaritas all round!) as teachable moments, in a voice that’s equal parts girlfriend and guru. With her self-challenging, can-do attitude, her blog is a gym bunny’s inspiration.


Quixotic Bloggers

In blog, list, treasure trove, website, website wednesday on November 2, 2010 at 11:18 am

Among the innumerable mediocre bloggers out there, a rare few stand out. The questioning. The quirky. The quixotic. The progeny of The Julie/Julia Project, these cats blog on uber-specific topics, never straying from their stated paths and yet holding our attention the whole way. Add them to your blogroll ASAP.

Condom Science

Two crazy-in-love MIT students rate condoms with a frank, enthusiastic tone and an eye for the scientific. You wish your sex life was as educational as this. “Making love in the name of science?” I’m all for it.

The Daily Nail

A different nail polish every day for a year… and much, much more. This well-manicured blogger crafts innovative nail designs from holidays, wallpaper and fabric swatches, TV shows and more. Get inspired for your next girls’ night in.

The Confined Nomad

Three Brooklyn natives set out to eat the cuisine of every nation in the UN, all within the confines of New York City. They’re up to Colombia. Check out where they’ve chowed down and comment on where they should explore next.


In list, music, treasure trove, website, website wednesday on September 29, 2010 at 4:08 pm

This week’s Website Wednesday brings you music to live by. Coincidentally, both sites invoke the climate.
SoundCloud: For when you party. SoundCloud is a sleek, streamlined, uber-fast way to upload and download your favorite tracks. The site tends toward electronic and dance remixes of Top 40 tunes, making it great fodder for your next cardio playlist.

Rainy Mood: For when you study. Rainy Mood loops thirty minutes of calming rainstorm sounds, replete with thunderclaps and chirping birds. Play it with your favorite Yo-Yo Ma or Kenny G tunes and you can burn the midnight oil all night long.

Now if only it would rain men.

Smitten Kitchen

In blog, dessert, food, photography, website, website wednesday on September 19, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Too often, food blogging descends into the excesses of self-gratification and food porn, slobbering over the decadence or high-end appeal of its dishes. One blog that steers mercifully clear of this self-congratulatory style while still maintaining simple beauty and charm, is The Smitten Kitchen.

Besides having the cutest name ever, the Smitten Kitchen is a neat, no-nonsense answer to Baroque bloggery. Each post features a new recipe, with a prose description punctuated with snapshots, showcasing delicate ingredients coming together in each dish. The authors, Deb and Alex Perelman, operate out of New York City, and focus their highly lauded blog on “accessible” food, steering clear of high-end ingredients and fancy equipment.

The site contains a lot of things below its well-photographed surface: a well-organized database of all recipes featured on the site, several conversion tables, and extensive blogrolls. You can browse the site by most recent posts, season, ingredients, occasions, and even by random posts. Browse during your free time, or use this great go-to when you’re scouting for your next new recipe.

Jak & Jil Blog

In art, blog, fashion, nyc, website, website wednesday on July 28, 2010 at 8:00 am

The Jak & Jil Blog, a standout in the blogosphere of couture photography, showcases bright, crisp, behind-the-scenes photos of the fashion world. Pretty young things dominate the shots, their skin clear and their eyes shaded. The best shots highlight oft-overlooked details: the buckle of a shoulder bag, the fall of a hemline, the arch of a foot. Ignore the all-uppercase paragraphs and lose yourself in this world of impossible beauty.

Saving The World, One Click At A Time

In food, geek, pets, website, website wednesday on June 23, 2010 at 1:52 pm

You mean well, you really do, but let’s face it: Mother Teresa you’re not. Thankfully, each of this week’s sites is a fool-proof way to do good worldwide from the safety of your mancave bedroom.


Learn a vocab word, donate ten grains of rice to the World Food Program.


Locate a city on a world map; the more accurate you are, the more cups of water the site donates to the needy.


Ace a dog-themed trivia question, donate ten kibble pieces to animal shelters.


Like Freekibble, but for cats. (Because cats deserve their own category, okay?)

The Hunger Site

The most improbable venture of the ones listed here, this site donated cups of food when you just click a button. Made possible by the myriad sponsor links you’re exposed to in the process of clicking.

The Rainforest Site

Like The Hunger Site, but for the coolest ecosystem ever.

The Animal Rescue Site

You get the idea.

Comedic Comestibles

In blog, candy, food, funny, website, website wednesday on June 16, 2010 at 6:59 pm

So Good

An absurd look at the world of food.

Read if: you follow national food politics, you care about the future of American cuisine, or you love fast food.

My Food Looks Funny

Lolcats meets food porn.

Read if: you’re bored at work and you want a good laugh that doesn’t involve kittens with grammar problems.


The cute food blog.

Read if: you like the idea of melting into a puddle at something’s cuteness before chomping its head off.

1000 Awesome Things

In blog, funny, smile-inducing, website, website wednesday on June 2, 2010 at 12:43 pm

If you’re suffering from a case of middle-of-the-week blues, have I got a website for you.

1000 Awesome Things is a wonderfully optimistic blog by Neil Pasricha, dedicated to making you smile through very little effort. The site’s concept is simple: each day, you can read about a new awesome thing. The posts are all about simple, everyday occurrences, most of which you yourself have probably experienced but have never stopped to appreciate before.

Peeling an orange in one shot?

Being the first table to get called up for the dinner buffet at a wedding?

The final seconds of untangling a really big knot?


Even if you don’t read the text of the posts, simply scrolling through recent titles is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. The site just hit the halfway point in its countdown (to 1,000 posts, of course), so you’ve still got lots of time to read about the awesomeness in your life!

For the non-internet-junkies, 1000 Awesome Things has even spawned a book! Grab a copy today and enjoy warm fuzzies at your leisure.


In art, fashion, food, inspiration, photography, treasure trove, website, website wednesday on May 26, 2010 at 8:34 am


Luxirare bills itself as “a weekly webzine dedicated to clothing and cuisine.” This photographic gem is that and so much more.

Luxirare posts blogs infrequently, around once a week. Each post consists almost entirely of photos, and is dedicated to a topic within food or fashion: assembling a boot, say, or making egg nog. Don’t let the mundane titles fool you, though- this is egg nog like you’ve never seen it before. The photographer and blogger behind Luxirare, a young woman named Ji, uses hyper-close zoom lenses, simple compositions and crisp, bright shots to track the progress of each unlikely project.

The result is a creation story told through pictures, beginning with raw, disparate pieces and ending with some jaw-droppingly gorgeous thing, a journey that us peons at our desk jobs can only imagine completing. Ji’s skill and imagination as a sewer and a cook make her photographic results even more special. (When was the last time you saw someone make crayons out of Heath bars?)

Ji occasionally features herself in her fashion photos, a lithe, faceless form with long black hair twirling about a white studio. Generally, though, she is very careful to keep personal details, including any identifiable physical characteristics or personal details, away from the camera, adding to the mystery of the site.

Ji often puts her creations up for sale after she blogs about them, but her livelihood beyond the income Luxirare generates is unrevealed. Whatever her methods are for affording the expense and effort put into her blog, I hope they sustain her creative genius for a very long time.

The 7 Newsletters You Should Be Following

In dinner, list, nyc, treasure trove, website on February 10, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Even glitter sleuths need a little help sometimes. Here are my favorite email newsletters to stay informed about the wild and wacky happenings around NYC.

Deals & Steals


Daily discounts of 50% to 90% off of goods and services in the city and online. A new deal goes live each morning; when a critical mass of people agree to purchase it, the deal goes live for everyone to buy. From luxury spa services and custom-made jeans to Pilates classes and fancy restaurants, Groupon can save you a ton of money on otherwise-prohibitively-expensive services. Half off at 16 Handles? Yes, please!

LivingSocial Deals

Like Groupon, only less frequent. Subscribe to both and you’ll get the best of both worlds.

Funky Events


My favorite newsletter, hands down. Each daily email centers on one new hidden gem that you’d never discover on your own, be it restaurant, store or event. (Four words: mac and cheese burger. Exactly.) The text is written in short, snappy prose, and whets your appetite for more. The UrbanDaddy website offers super cool Groupon-esque perks to members, too.


Like UrbanDaddy, but more partial to lists of cool items, instead of in-depth reviews of individual finds. Twice the fun!

Village Voice Insiders

Like Thrillist, but longer, less frequent and slightly less awesome. You have to search for the diamonds in the rough in the Voice’s lists of upcoming events, but a keeper pops up every once in a while. Subscribe just to be safe.

Cheap Eats

Tasting Table

Like Urban Daddy, but exclusively for gustatory finds. It has a flashier logo, too. A great resource for picking your next Friday night date spot.


Like Groupon, but for restaurant deals only. An occasional email grants discounts and unexpected perks (free sea scallop ravioli! free cheese plate! free bottle of wine!) at chosen eateries for a given window of time. You have one day to accept the offer, and one month to use it.

Start subscribing!