A virtual toolbox for every woman
If you're like most Web users, you let Google, Amazon and eBay dictate your online behavior. That's fine, but you could do better. In our quest to make your life easier, WichiTalk rounded up 10 of the Web's most useful sites for women.
Whether you're remodeling the kitchen, planning to start your own business or suffering through bridesmaid duty for the umpteenth time, these online destinations are worth adding to your virtual toolbox.
The female answer to NPR's Click and Clack, Ask Patty delivers everything you need to know about cars, from an advisory board of female automotive experts. If you have a car-related question, submit it to Ask Patty, and you'll get an answer within 24 hours.
Founded in 2003, Be Jane provides home-improvement advice for female do-it-yourselfers. The site lets you sort through projects by mood, by room, by topic and by life event (having a baby or becoming an empty-nester, for example). There's also an online store that sells cute tool belts and hard hats.
Any 20-something who has been roped into bridesmaid service will appreciate a resource that acknowledges the existence of Bridezilla.
Bridesmaid Aid offers tips for the gal who has to throw the shower, smooth the train and suffer in the ugly dress, all written by a pair of women who've done a combined 30 turns as bridesmaids.
Whether it's a product that went kaput or a company that doesn't know the meaning of customer service, Complaints.com will let you know. The free site, run by Sagacity Corp., features a searchable database of first-hand consumer complaints. To find the worst offenders in town, type "Wichita" in the search field.
This site isn't specifically for women, but it's incredibly helpful. You'll find concise, step-by-step guides for doing just about anything, from how to stock your emergency-gift closet to how to gain custody of the family pet in a divorce.
If you're looking for a laugh, eHow is a good source for that, too. (See entries on "How to Make your Minivan Hip" and "How to Buy Your Way into High Society.")
Founded by a former Reader's Digest editor, this online magazine looks at saving, investing and spending from a woman's point of view. Topics range from money-management advice to career and small-business coaching, plus tips for balancing work and family obligations. There's a ton of free content on the site, but if you want to download premium articles, you can buy a three-day pass for $2.95 or an annual subscription for $20.
When they talk about "hacks," the contributors on this group blog use the term as you would in computer programming, where a hack improves on an existing program. In parenting, that means collecting and sharing tips for the benefit of harried moms and dads everywhere.
The Parent Hacks founders aren't pediatricians or experts on child psychology but are well-versed in "it worked for me"-style advice, which you can also get via a daily e-mail.
This group blog was founded by Mia Kim, a corporate technology consultant fed up with technology magazines that ignored women, and women's magazines that ignored technology.
Popgadget features tons of short reviews on personal-tech products in categories such as health and fitness, beauty and fashion, home, family and entertainment. Moms might also enjoy its offspring, Babygadget.
With Google surpassing Yahoo as the must-use Web tool, we were pleased to discover this newly launched portal, which gives us a reason to return Yahoo's way. The food site's design is easy on the eyes and includes 5,000 searchable recipes as well as instructional cooking videos and a "What's for dinner?" feature broken down into quick, classic and healthy meal ideas.
YOU GROW GIRL
Launched in 2000, You Grow Girl's mission is to "promote exploration, excitement and a DIY approach to growing plants without the restrictions of traditional ideas about gardening."
With garden-fresh recipes, plant journals and articles on everything from "Gardening Jobs for Kids" to "Adventures With Plant-Sitters," the site helps the average gal exercise her green thumb.