It seems everyone has a blog these days – with no subject left unturned. But how do you uncover the truly great ones? Check out some of our favourite Canadian blogs. Each of these gets high marks for an engaging voice, well-crafted prose, useful information and attractive visuals, and easy navigation.
What must-read blogs are you always reading? Share your favourites with other readers in the comments section on the next page.
• Your Money inspires you to be proactive about your finances. Written by Flyerland.ca general manager Debbie Frye in Toronto and B.C.-based journalist Kerry K. Taylor, this blog offers easily digestible investment advice and shows you how small changes in your spending can add up to big savings. You'll enjoy posts about twice a week featuring tips for online banking, improving your credit score and avoiding scams.
• The David Suzuki Foundation’s Queen of Green, a.k.a. Lindsay Coulter, blogs about hidden toxins in everyday personal-care products and their effects on our health. You'll want to read and share her post on the "dirty dozen" cosmetic chemicals you should avoid.
• Attack of the Redneck Mommy by Tanis Miller, will make you LOL. This life-loving Edmonton mom turned to blogging to help her cope with the death of her young son. Moms across the country will identify with her humorous and heartbreaking posts, with stories of haircuts gone wrong, Grade 8 science project nightmares, the nuisance that is other people's children and the unbreakable bond of a mother's love.
• The Ottawa Dog Blog is a top-notch resource for dog lovers in Ottawa and beyond. Locals and visitors will love the guide to Ottawa parks, breeders and shelters, and folks across the country will benefit from information on training, behaviour, products and more. Dog lover and computer pro Liz Bradley posts almost every day. Cuteness alert: the Ottawa Dog of the Week is always aww-worthy.
• Weighty Matters makes health information seem so salacious! Dr. Yoni Freedhoff posts almost daily, debunking food industry claims and providing you with critiques of nutritionand weight-related ad talk, products and policies. The Ottawa family doctor's examination of Canada's Food Guide and the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Health Check program will make you double-check what goes into your shopping cart.
• Oh She Glows is where Angela Liddon shares the tricks that helped her develop a healthy attitude toward food and embrace an active lifestyle. From Milton, Ont., she shares drool-worthy food photos that will have you jogging to the health food store.
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• Gourmet Fury features Vancouver food writer and photographer Melody Fury's recipes, travel stories and kitchen expertise. You'll savour the handful of posts she shares each month and delight in her original recipes, which blend Asian and Canadian cuisine. Guilt-free Miso Mushroom Poutine, anyone?
• Cake-ology lets wannabe bakeshop owners live vicariously through Pamela Kirkpatrick. The owner of Winnipeg bakery Cake-ology shares quirky bakery stories and photos of her amazing creations every week.
• Everybody Likes Sandwiches covers more than just sammies. Semiweekly posts by Vancouver food fan Jeannette Ordas express her joy in preparing fresh food simply, through recipes, stories and photos. "I hate complicated directions and finicky recipes," she writes. "I cook the things that I want to eat, and I try to keep things relatively healthy and affordable."
• Sweet Potato Chronicles tackles the never-ending quest of feeding your family healthy meals, with humour, cute photos and yummy recipes. With new posts almost daily, you'll get the scoop on suppers and treats that your kids can help prep.
• 365 Fashion Rehab is written by self-confessed shopaholics and longtime BFFs Ali Dunn and Perdy Andrews. After almost 20 years of shopping together, they're on a lively, preach-free mission to help fellow fashion addicts curb their frivolous spending. A regular feature, 365 Fashion Rehab Lookbook, shows you how to wear one item multiple ways and will inspire you to shop your closet. Check for new posts each weekday.
• Fashionable People, Questionable Things is the virtual home of Halifax-based friends Ally and L-A, fashion fans who blog every Monday, Wednesday and Friday about the styles they love and the ones they love to hate. Be sure to check in for Shoe Porn Mondays and send in your fave footwear for a chance to be featured.
• Beautygeeks is the brainchild of former Canadian Living style editor Janine Falcon. On her award-winning blog, Janine shares her love of cosmetics and shines a light on their ingredients, how they work, who they work for and how to use them. Updates throughout the day, frequent "how-to" posts and features like Lipstick Diary will help you look your best while turning you into a full-fledged member of the geek squad.
Home & crafts
• You Grow Girl provides a laid-back, snob-free approach to organic gardening, from Gayla Trail. The blog's focus on experimentation, affordability and DIY will have you itching for gardening season – and hooked on winter gardening tips to tide you over. You'll love the sumptuous photos featured in the Daily Botanical.
• Poppytalk will inspire home decor hobbyists and interior specialists alike. Vancouver-based graphic designer Jan Halvarson and her husband, new media specialist Earl Einarson, showcase all things "handmade, decayed and beautiful." You'll be wowed by pics of artists’ work.
• Yarn Harlot accomplishes the unlikely: Stephanie Pearl-McPhee makes reading about knitting fun and funny. This renowned knitting expert blogs a few times each week from Toronto. You'll giggle at her stories and marvel over photos of her incredible projects.
Page 2 of 3 – Looking for a little distraction? Check out five hilarious blogs that will have you in stitches on page 3.
• Living Abroad in Canada provides a wealth of information for those new to Canada. From her adopted home of Vancouver, American expat Carolyn B. Heller blogs about living, working, going to school and retiring in Canada. Born-and-bred Canucks will find lots of interesting info here, too. New posts appear about once a week and deal with topics such as, What Does the HST Mean to You? and Where Are Canada's Six Cheapest Cities to Buy a Home?
• The More Daily blog by More magazine web editor Jennifer Gruden, is aimed at Canadian women 40-plus, but adored by a wide range of engaged readers. You'll identify with Jennifer's personal posts on topics such as weight loss and difficult exes, and you'll appreciate her links to newsy tidbits from all over the web.
• Good Car Bad Car offers reviews, analysis, stats and opinions a few times each week from auto reporter Timothy Cain. His handy posts includes topics such as The Top Five Least Expensive Vehicles to Insure.
• The House and Other Arctic Musings lets you explore the remote and vibrant community of Arctic Bay, Nunavut, through the eyes of Clare Kines, a former RCMP officer who runs the Kiggavik Bed and Breakfast there. You'll be delighted by his wildlife photos, travel stories and profiles of the characters behind the local arts scene.
Just for fun
Here are five fun blogs from beyond our borders that'll turn you into a full-blown blogaholic.
• I Can Has Cheezburger: Updated throughout the day, this Internet phenomenon will hook you with pictures of cute cats and quirky captions.
• Cake Wrecks: Enjoy photos of professional cake decorating attempts gone horribly, hilariously wrong.
• 1,000 Awesome Things: That social event you didn't want to go to got cancelled? Awesome. Start your day off right by checking in with this list of commonplace triumphs.
• Regretsy: This site chronicles crafting disasters lifted from etsy.com, a popular online crafts marketplace. You'll catch yourself laughing at craft projects that are so wrong, they're right. Careful, it's addictive.
• Fail Blog: Updated several times a day, this blog features photos and videos of funny mishaps from everyday life. You'll love it – it'll make you feel like a winner!
Jennifer Villamere is Canadian Living's senior web editor and an avid blogger.
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