Monday, November 26, 2007


Create your own Monopoly game! Perfect gift for Christmas. The kit comes with everything you need to complete the project, except the photos, of course. It even includes glue and markers to name the properties, etc. Check this cool game out at

Monday, October 29, 2007

End World Hunger with Free Rice

Check out Free Rice, a new website (partnered with that allows visitors to test their vocabulary skills while giving rice to the starving and malnourished. Each question you answer correctly results in 10 grains of rice being given to the United Nations World Food Program, to be distributed around the world to those who need it. Sound too good to be true? Here's how it works:

You visit the site and answer the vocabulary questions. You learn cool words, see how high your vocab level can go (there are 50 levels, but the site says it is rare to reach 48), and earn free rice. The website makes money through advertising, and this money is used to buy rice and give it to the UNWFP. The website started October 7 and so far has donated over 372 million grains of rice. I wonder how much rice that really is.

Check your vocab level!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

rockin' mama

You know, the best thing about being pregnant these days, *wink, wink*, is that you don't have to check your style in at the door anymore once you start outgrowing your everyday clothes. Many designers are finally realizing that pregnant women want to feel and look good during those months when they have that blissful glow about them and have started designing hip clothes that don't take an expectant mother back 2 generations whenever she wears them. That's why I love the shirts by Rockstar Moms. A few of my favorite shirts from this site are the Sparrow shirt, the Lynyrd Skynyrd shirt that takes me back to my Free Bird high school days, and I had to laugh at the iBaby shirt. It makes showing off your growing assets a lot more fun than it used to! Not that I would know about being pregnant in the seventies and eighties, but I can just tell those big frumpy smocks would be painful to wear, lol.

aloha lekika kana

If you've ever wanted to know what your name might sound like in Hawaiian, visit The Coconut Boyz and type your name into their translation engine.

I am now Lekika, my daughter is Palikane and my boyfriend is Lukekini. What fun nicknames! What's your Hawaiian name?

Friday, September 21, 2007

anything but dull

Amazing Things posted an entry titled "21 examples of dullness in construction", hopefully they were talking about the brain capacity of the construction workers because these photos are anything but dull.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

picture at your wrist

I love photography and I'm constantly looking for unique ways to display portraits. I love these cuffs found at They are fun and a great way to personalize your style. In this day and age, unique personalities and art has become the front runner in trends, which is why I believe so many people will love this product! You can customize each cuff, with one or more pictures depending on the design that you choose. Smoy also makes the Brooklyn Belt where you can showcase your pictures around your waist. The colors choices are great as well. Calm and neutral colors with the Soho4 PhotoCuffs or rockers can choose a glittery bold color with the Chelsea PhotoCuff. You can change your photos anytime, depending on the occasion; new boyfriend, new baby, or your best friend's birthday. Pictures are secured between the layers of the photocuffs with a clear plastic cover to protect them. Prices begin at $17 and go up to $35. Small price to pay to be unique.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

create some buzz

How would you like to come home to a box full of the newest, hottest products on the market? You can, with BzzAgent.

Most people who know me know I'm a BzzAgent -- I participate in viral marketing for products that fit my lifestyle. I signed up with BzzAgent, the leading word-of-mouth media network, and then sat back and waited for the emails. Every month or so, I get an email that asks me to join a particular campaign. If I'm interested, I sign up. If it doesn't appeal to me, I do nothing.

Most campaigns come with free stuff for yourself and for you to share with friends, and coupons to buy more. It's really fun because you get to try new things (without paying for them) and share them with your family and friends. I've been a BzzAgent for over two years, and have done campaigns for Pledge Multi-Surface Wipes, Hershey Take 5, AquaPod water, Ziploc containers, Listerine Whitening Strips, Wrigley 5 gum, and Eucerin lotion.

What BzzAgent asks of its members is to try the products, share them, and then give them feedback. It doesn't have to be positive and it doesn't have to be an elaborate marketing scheme. It can be as simple as giving all your friends a sample, leaving a coupon in a strategic place in the grocery store, or mentioning the product in a conversation.

I used to think this was really weird (I first read about it in Pattern Recognition by William Gibson) because strategic word-of-mouth buzz seemed so, well, contrived. How fake is it to promote something to others that you might not really like or even care about? But the thing I like about BzzAgent is that I don't have to do anything. The more you buzz, the more campaigns you get to join, but you don't have to give false positive feedback or spend a lot of time or money to participate.

There are short surveys to fill out before, during and after campaigns, and then you submit BzzReports which are just detailed accounts of your buzzing. You are awarded points for these activities, which can be traded in for prizes.

I'm usually skeptical about this kind of thing, but it's actually pretty cool and fun. I've done the BzzAgent thing now for a while, and I totally recommend it!

Friday, September 14, 2007

a new book to read

I'm constantly reading. My life revolves around having something to read at all times or else I become very restless. I just finished up a series of books that I thoroughly enjoyed, called Fablehaven. and I was looking for another series to start that was comparable to the Fablehaven series and someone recommended that I read the Jimmy Fincher Saga series by James Dashner. I'm really excited to read this series! You can check out the books and the author's blog, at

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

how old are you really?

This website, Poodwaddle, determines your actual age in relationship to your daily lifestyle. My real age is 7.5 (Biological age, 25) and I have a life expectancy of 91.5, with 24,300 days left. Doesn't seem like a whole lot. Go see how old you really are!!

motherhood is hard. admit it.

I have a new blog obsession. At times hilarious, poignant, scary and right on, the True Mom Confessions blog has become my new lunchtime reading. The concept is that "moms" (although many posts have nothing to do with motherhood) can anonymously post things about their lives, pretty much anything you want.

They can be hilarious and self-baring like:

Or sad, enraging or self-effacing like:

And they can be short and sweet confessions:

You can't respond to posts with comments, but you can click on "me too" to show that you've been in the same situation or feel the same way as the writer. People often respond to certain posts by writing their own post.

Hundred of posts appear daily, meaning that you can never read them all...unless you stayed on the site for hours each day...but there is always something entertaining to read....

And you learn a lot. Or at least I have. I've learned that there are others just like me (and some much worse!), and that I'm not the only constantly worried, daily harried, overprotective, neurotic mom out there. I've read about things I've never experienced myself. I've read things that disgusted me, things that empowered me, things that inspired me, things that made me crack a smile or even chuckle.

And the cool thing is, even though the site is called True Mom Confessions, and many of the posts do concern motherhood, many of them do not. This site really reaches all parts of women's lives, written by women for women, read by women ... it's just really cool, and addicting.

Check it out!

Friday, September 7, 2007

what we don't need, they do

Sarah McLachlan puts money in perspective with this touching music video. Instead of spending $150,000 to make the music video, she put only $15 dollars into it and donated the rest of the money that would have gone into making the video to other charitable causes. If only all celebrities were that giving. It's amazing how a little can do a lot for so many.


I love it when I find something unique and fun for my son. My Boho Baby has created the cutest children's shirts and dresses out there! When I first saw these winged shirts I knew that I had to have one for my little guy. These shirts are mystical themed. You can choose from fairies, dragons, a phoenix, a pegasus or even a bat to get your little person ready for Halloween. Each shirt is hand-dyed when you place the order and you can customize several aspects of the shirt, such as the embroidery and wing color. You can find these shirts at Winged Kids, which is a part of My Boho Baby.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

free snack from kashi

The Kashi Snack Drive wants you to trade in your favorite sugar-coated or salt-loaded snack for one of their healthier alternatives. And they're so positive you'll love their snacks that they're willing to send you one for free. I just traded in old-fashioned cotton candy for a free oatmeal dark chocolate cookie. And wait till you see the format of their online forms ... tres cool.

If you live near San Diego, Chicago, Boston or New York, you can visit the Kashi Snack Drive for free snacks. Tell all your friends and let's make the world a healthier place, one Kashi at a time :)

I've never actually tried their snacks. I've tried the cereal and wasn't really a fan ... too hard and crunchy for my taste. But I'm willing to give them another try. Anyone a Kashi lover?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

and the winner is...

The lucky winner of the Twisted Silver Horse Bit Belt, with a retail value of $120, is Clare Hegg! Thanks for reading, Clare. Send your contact info to to receive your totally cool new fashion accessory, courtesy of Twisted Silver.

Stay tuned to Brasean for more chances to guest blog or win fab prizes!

Friday, August 31, 2007

what's for dinner

All Recipes has helped me in many ways to become a better cook, a better mom, and a better wife. I refer to this recipe site all the time. I've never been great in the kitchen and in fact, many times before, I've been run out of kitchens for fear that my horrible luck with food would rub off on whoever was cooking at the moment and cause their dish to instantly dissolve into mush.

So for years, I just used the excuses, "I can't cook," or "I don't know how," or "Seriously, you don't want me near the kitchen." But then I became a mother and there was someone else whose nutritional needs depended on me entirely, and I knew that fast food or the microwave wasn't really how I wanted to sustain my son. So I started buying recipe books and searchingon the internet for recipes that I could make.

I had to start simple, I mastered spaghetti first with simple ingredients. I made it all the time. All the time. Until finally my husband begged me to try something else. So I went back to this site and started searching for things that I could make. It then became fun! One of my favorite features of the whole site is the ingredient search. You type what ingredients you want and what you don't want and they will suggest recipes that fit your criteria. Neat, huh?

You can generate shopping lists on the site and print them off so you can get all the specific ingredients needed for your recipes. I like making weekly meal plans, so this insures that I get everything I need for the meals I will be cooking in a particular week.

And if you are on a diet, they have a whole section for Weight Watchers that already has the points tallied for each serving. Definitely helps making being on a diet more manageable.

Go check out this site! Find out something to make for dinner tonight!! And for dessert, try this delicious Watergate Salad. YUM!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

worst ice cream ever!

Have you ever had Fish ice cream? How about Octopus ice cream? Corn? Tulip? Charcoal? Nope, me either. But they all exist.

Many come from Japan, where seafood is a much bigger part of their diet. There's Seaweed ice cream, Shark Fin Noodle, Whale, Squid Guts, and much more. Some of the flavors are environmentally friendly, like the Miso ice cream or Rice Straw. Others, not so much. Would you like Raw Horseflesh with that?

There are actually some I might try, like Red Wine ice cream ... or maybe Barbecue. I don't know ... I'll have to think about that.

Check out the other crazy flavors on this list of 101 Frightening Ice Cream Flavors from around the world and post your favorite or the one you find the strangest.

Remember to post a comment to our Giveaway entry for your chance to win a $120 Horse Bit Belt from Twisted Silver!

6 million dollar home

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No, I don't really have a 6 million-dollar home with four walls, a roof and lots of other fabulous amenities that would come with having a house that freakin' expensive, but I do own one of the best camera bags out there that just happens to be called the 6 Million Dollar Home. I'm not making any sense, am I?? That's because it doesn't make any sense, and that's the genius of it.

The makers of Crumpler Bags give all of their products sarcastic and punny names, I believe in an attempt to get away from the traditional blah-ness of product descriptions. The descriptions for each type of product are hilarious!

My personal favorite bag description on the site is the backpack called The Salary Sacrifice. Its description is a play on the words "salary" and "celery," which really does make you laugh at the price and think it's totally worth it:

"Okay, that’s it: we’re all gunna have to make some cut backs. No more celery for anyone. That’s right. You guys are gunna have to dig for big green sticks some place else. Hey, don’t stalk off when I’m talkin to you . . ."

They have a full line of products from computer bags, messenger bags, camera bags and accessory bags, which, all kidding aside, are amazing products. I covet my camera bag and absolutely love the quality of it ... and it is nice to be able to casually say to people at social events, "Why, YES, darling! I do in fact have a 6 million dollar home! Waiter!! Please get me another Dirty Martini!"

Monday, August 27, 2007

braesan giveaway:$120 belt from twisted silver

Braesan is offering its first giveaway: a Horse Bit Belt from Twisted Silver that retails for $120. This convertible belt can be slung low on the hips, worn on jeans through belt loops, as a long and lean necklace or wrapped twice as a funky, chunky necklace. You can own the same jewelry worn by the stars!

All you have to do to win this fabulous prize is post a comment to this post by Sept. 1st. We will choose a random winner and post the results the following Monday.

Thank you to Debra Mitchell, founder and designer of Twisted Silver, for sponsoring this giveaway!

sleep now forever

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep is an infant bereavement organization that allows photographers to volunteer their time to families who are going through unfortunate circumstances. It's a wonderful organization that I have been a part of for nine months and it's a very humbling in so many ways. It is a way to give back and allows the family who is experiencing such a great loss to have a cherished gift of something they will never be able to get back. This world-wide organization has volunteers in every state and in many countries. It's hard to imagine the loss that someone goes through when losing a child and no ever thinks that they will be affected, but when these unfortunate moments do happen in life, it's nice to be able to have a place that the parents can turn to in order to eternalize their little bundle and to one day find closure and comfort in the images a photographer has created for them.

Friday, August 24, 2007

mor chikin yo

Chick-fil-a is giving away a free sandwich and coke to anyone who goes to this website and fills out their information! They have the best ads for any food chain. The cows with protesting signs draped over them pleading people to, "Eat Mor Chikin" is great! Chick-fil-a is the bomb and I'm sincerely sorry to all those folks who don't have one in their state. My condolences are with you.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

matchbox twenty

The best band of all time just came out with a new song! Go listen!

the multi-purpose game

My six-year-old daughter and I recently started a new game where we choose an object and think of as many different ways that object can be used as we can. For example, a tree might be a home, mailbox, paper, maple syrup maker, etc. This portfolio piece, A Dozen Pencils, reminded me of that game. Manipulating size and context, the artist shows how an ordinary object can take on unconventional roles, if you let your imagination and creativity flow.

This also reminds me of Wallace Stevens' "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," a similar concept. I did a copycat piece of the poem in college (16 Ways of Looking at a Bed) ... but I won't share that here :) To be honest, I wouldn't even know where to find it.

do tell your secret!

Post Secret is a place dedicated to people who have a secret to tell and need an anonymous place to let the secret go. Every Sunday the blog is updated with new secrets that people have written out and sent in on postcards. I think it is a neat concept and and for entertainment value, it is fun to browse through the secrets to see what everyone else is doing. I sometimes wonder if all the secrets are legit, but I'm sure that a lot of them are. It's hard not to get emotional over some of them, as there are a lot of sad and raw emotions in some people's secrets. It's amazing and scary what so many people have bottled up inside, afraid to let someone close to them know.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

i want to hold your hand

As humans, we are always finding new ways to blur the line between nature and man-made creations. Point in case, a door handle shaped like a human hand. Ingenious. Why are doorknobs shaped the way they are anyway?

This one, created by French interior and product designer Naomi Thellier de Poncheville, offers a pleasant, although kinda creepy, parting gesture: opening the door is a partnership, a communal effort. I’d wonder, “Whose hand am I holding? I wonder if he/she is still alive?” while I’m reaching for my hand sanitizer.

(From GeekAlerts.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

things that moo don't just make milk

Welcome to Moo. This cool printing site is great for gifts and stationery items. It's main forte is mini-cards, calling cards that are half the size of a standard business card. They come in sets of 100 and the coolest part is that each card can have a completely different design. You can have up to 100 different cards in one order! What better way to let people know about your website or business? Make each one a cool and funky design that fits your personality!

You can also order custom sticker-books, something I know my two-year-old son would absolutely love! I personally love the note cards and think they are a wonderful way to keep in touch with people the old-fashioned way. Instead of dropping a rushed email to your mom or brother, why not take the time to send them a personalized note card with a hand-written note on the back?

free earrings from twisted silver

While browsing Design Mom, a great blog for unique kids designs, I came across this fantastic opportunity for free earrings from Twisted Silver. Yes, FREE!

All you have to do is go to Twisted Silver and a box will pop up, asking you to subscribe to their website. Fill in your name and email address, and the first 500 will get a free pair of ultra-light lithe earrings, shown above. I signed up today, and mine are already on their way!

Not to mention that Twisted Silver has some super-cool jewelry for decent prices, and has been getting quite the buzz recently. Check out their Celebrities section to see who's been spotted wearing their jewelry around Hollywood.

The thing I really like about Twisted Silver is that a lot of their pieces are "convertible" and can be worn in several different ways. As their site says, "Belts become necklaces ... become chokers ... become multi-wrap bracelets!" I'm saving up for the Trinket Necklace.

Monday, August 20, 2007

guest blog monday: meet justin!

As our first male guest blogger, Justin (not his real picture) reveals how men view the world wide web as a useful tool for everything from troubleshooting to killing time.

Justin’s Top 5
1. Before Youtube hit it big, I watched videos on It’s the same concept, but made for guys, so there are more pranks, like Portopotty Meeting Interrupted Prank, wipeouts and crashes, like Kid Wipes Out On Treadmill, and random, why-would-someone-ever-do-that-and-videotape-it stunts, like Paint Bucket Head Dunk. An online version of MTV’s Scarred, without the repetitive editing.

2. Although I like better, I still browse Youtube a lot because it has more videos and shows other stuff like Criss Angel tricks. Plus it’s easier to search for a certain video here if you are looking for something particular.

3. I use the forums on this informative site all the time to troubleshoot problems, get feedback on modifications, and get ideas for how to make my truck look and perform better. Plus, with group purchasing, you can get some great deals on parts. You can find a site like this for almost any type of car, and they can be very helpful ... even when trying to decide what type of car to purchase, you can check out sites like this to see what problems are common for the car you're interested in.

4. Craigslist: This site has been around forever, but I browse it every chance I get. It’s a great place to find cheap cars, stereo equipment, etc. Pretty much anything I have to buy, I look here first to see if I can get it locally or for a better price.

5. eBay: A classic site, but I still use it to buy, sell or just surf for a good deal. Especially good for buying in bulk, finding something specific that you can’t find in a store, or just checking for a general price. Like Craigslist, I always check here before I buy something in a store.

Remember: If you want to be a guest blogger on Braesan, all you have to do is answer the trivia question correctly, and we'll contact you to give us your top 5.

pandora's music box

Pandora is quite possibly the best music site ever. It creates music playlists for you to enjoy based on your particular interests. It doesn't just create any playlist for you, it sorts your particular favorite artist or song into a particular music gene pool and selects the perfect songs that you would love. It's AMAZING! It's a great way to listen to some of your favorite artists and to discover new similiar artists in the meantime. Pandora gives you the album and artists information about each song that they select and also gives the option of purchasing that particular selection from iTunes or Amazon. So convenient! If you haven't already discovered the genius of this site, don't wait any longer! You've got a personalized music station out there waiting for you!

Friday, August 17, 2007


Good luck finding any info whatsoever about this Joshua Smith' s (real name?) background/age/location (although I suppose you could find that out by his area code). He has no bio on anything that I could find...BUT his work is INCREDIBLE. Check it out! Hydro74

Win your chance to guest blog with us! The first person to come up with some information on Hydro74 will get to be a guest blogger for our Guest Blog Mondays!

find the artist in you

Deviant Art is one of my favorite websites for artistic resources. If you are in a creative slump and need some ideas or just a little inspiration, then this is a great site for that! I've downloaded tons of stuff for photoshop. They have brushes, textures, backgrounds, stock photos, almost anything. There is also a lot of art that you can purchase if you are looking for something in particular. I mainly just use it for the photoshop resources, but it has a variety of things to offer.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

i'm clueless about starbucks

Reading an article on about all things Starbucks, I came across the Starbucks Oracle, a fun site where you can type in your favorite Starbucks order and learn a little about yourself.

Me? I like Mocha Frappuccinos, and here's what the Starbucks Oracle said about me:

Personality type:
Clueless You don't go to Starbucks much; when you do you just tag along with other people since you have nothing better to do. You would like to order a Tazo Chai Crème but don't know how to pronounce it. Most people who drink Mocha Frappuccino are strippers.
Also drinks: Wine coolers
Can also be found at: The mall

It's true that I don't go to Starbucks much and I have no idea what half of their menu items are, but I swear I'm not a stripper!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

rainbow flames

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Is this not the coolest thing you've ever seen? These colored-flame candles are from Rainbow Moments and are made from organic and inorganic salts and "safe" metals (instead of wax), which, when burned at high temperatures, gives off vibrant, colored flames. What a great idea to add a little fun to your next party!

Aside from birthday candles, Rainbow Moments also offers dinner candles (including a cool icicle shape), tea lights, and fluid lamps with colored flames, and taper candles that drip colored "wax."

To order from the site, you must be a retailer (or want hundreds of candles) so I'll be looking for these online and in stores. Let us know if you see them somewhere!


hometown ghosts

The Shadowlands website will give you goosebumps. If you've ever wondered what places were haunted in your area, just spend some time on this site. You can search your own particular state, and then it breaks it down into certain cities. In my particular city there are twenty-three ghostly tales to read about. One in particular is from a hotel that I worked in during my college years. I had heard about these hauntings while I was there, but it's neat to read about them here. Even if you don't believe in ghosts, everyone needs a little spookiness in their lives every now and then!

Monday, August 13, 2007

gerry to the 2nd degree

This site has some amazing photography and design. The layout of it is beautiful but until you get the hang of how he wants you to maneuver it, it can be kind of...dizzying. You'll see what I mean...but trust me, it's worth it. (Tip: moving your mouse up makes it zoom in, down-zooms out and clicking on an image brings it up in another tab. Good luck!)



Overheard in New York is a hilarious blog that is inspired by eavesdropping on the many people in New York City. It pokes fun at small portions of conversations that are overheard in random places in the city. The quotes are obviously taken out of context, but that's what's so brilliant about the site! Check it out and see what everyone else is saying!

guest blog monday: sarah's top 5

Meet Sarah, author of the fabulous blog Toddler Drama, where she keeps it real by detailing her parenting adventures with her two-year-old son, Isaac. She's witty and fun and she also happens to be the first of many guest bloggers here on braesan! Sarah correctly guessed our first trivia question: how we came up with our blog title, braesan.

The correct answer was, "Bra"=Brandi, "ES"=Jessica and "AN"=Mandy. A play on the word "brazen" meaning unrestrained and shameless, and we are the bold and shameless web-surfers! Great job, Sarah!!

Remember, readers, there are trivia questions to be answered every week!! You could be our next guest blogger!!

Ok, here goes:

Sarah's Top 5
1: Google Reader is an absolute MUST! It's one of my opening tabs and I leave it open all day. It's the only way I can keep up with all of the blogs I read!

2: Go Fug Yourself: Because really, I feel better about myself when I see how atrocious and horrid some of the "fashion elitists" dress sometimes! It makes me feel like I'm not that weird after all!

3: Here Be Hippogriffs: One of the first blogs I ever started reading. Julia has been through EVERYTHING trying to add to her family. She is an excellent writer and has really opened my eyes to how hard it is for some women. She's finally pregnant with twins! and I am SO excited for her!

4: Amy is a phenomenal writer and I think her son Noah ranks up there in cuteness level...right below Isaac, hardy har! I love her!

5: Sweet Salty: Kate is one of my newer blogs that I've started reading. I came on the scene just a few days after she had her twins and waited on pins and needles for updates on her boys. I cried when she lost Liam and I gasp when she posts pictures and updates on Ben. She too is an incredible writer and takes the most gorgeous pictures!

Friday, August 10, 2007

their trash, your treasure

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I just wish I was this creative. This chair, which I found at, is made out of actual vintage road signs. It doesn't really look all that comfortable and a little pricey, but that's not the point. It's just cool ... and what a great conversation piece. I also found a stool made out of a metal pot (that looks exactly like one I own) and a clock made from an aluminum can and a whisk. And there's so much more.


deviant behavior

The Improv Everywhere site was passed along to me about two years ago. Their logo, "We cause scenes," is what the group's "missions" are about. They focus on deviant behavior in public places, mostly crowded areas in NYC. They recruit large groups of people, or agents, and have them cause a scene in a place where lots of people tend to gather. The picture above references a mission in which they had about three hundred people infiltrate the subway system without wearing pants. Very few sites have made me laugh as hard as this one has. My favorite mission was the Best Buy bit where they had about eighty agents dress in the traditional Best Buy employee uniforms and sent them into a large Best Buy store in NYC. With eighty fake employees in one store, the customers quickly became confused as to who were the real employees and who were the fakes. You'll have to check out the site to see how it all unfolded...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

one less plastic bag

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I found these reusable totes last night at my local Kroger and was stoked! I've been wanting to stop using plastic grocery bags for a while now, but I didn't have a Wild Oats or Trader Joe's near me (where most people seem to get them). I even looked online but the only ones I could find were really expensive. I guess Kroger finally realized the market was ripe for these totes, with all the recent environmental press, and now they offer these for 99 cents! I grabbed 5 right away.

The only thing I don't like about them is how heavily branded they are. I guess you can't really expect them to NOT brand them, but I think I'll feel weird using them at Meijer or Wal-Mart. Then again, maybe I won't feel weird. I'll feel proud because I'm helping the environment, after all.

If you can guess what I bought at Kroger, you can win a chance to guest blog for us!


in the genes

Have you ever wondered what color eyes your future children would have? This site is one that I visited frequently while I was pregnant with my son. Based on your own genotype and that of your mate's, it will calculate the percentages of certain eye colors that your child could possibly have. I had always dreamed of having a little green eyed child with blond curls. I have green eyes myself and they are my favorite feature. The longing to have a child with green eyes as well brought me to this site many times. Based on the our family history, it calculated that there was 36.5% chance that I would have a little greenie. When my son was born, I remember waiting for his eyes to change from the common newborn blue to brown like my husband's. However, they soon changed from that dark blue shade to a wonderful shade of green. I had gotten my wish. A little green eyed boy who also happens to have blond curls.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

ultimate color wheel

I can't believe I forgot to include this in my top 5! However...that would have made it a top 6.

This IS the bee's knees (guest blog trivia! where did the saying "bee's knees" come from? 1st to post the correct answer wins!). Adobe's color wheel (FREE to use!) lets you view other ppl's creations by popularity, newest, tagged word index and even create your own palette! But that's not even the coolest part! It gives you the color schemes in RGB, CMYK, LAB and HEX! SWEET!


bare skin

I just recently switched all my make-up to the Bare Escentuals brand. I have to say I LOVE it! I've heard that a lot of women really love it, so I've been wanting to try it for a while. I was using Merle Norman, but I really didn't like the feel of it at all and found myself wanting to wash it all off by afternoon. It was just too much make-up for me. The Bare Minerals is perfect because it is so lightweight and very natural looking. I have sensitive skin, so this works perfect! It comes in a powder form, which makes it easier to put on and create a more even look, and you will never have that awful make-up line under your chin like you would with liquid foundation. Plus it's fast and easy to use, so this week alone I've gotten to wear make-up three days! That's a rarity these days with an active toddler. I usually don't have time for anything! Another reason I love it, it comes with a DVD that tells you exactly how to put it on to get the best look from it. The eyeshadow kit has a card too that gives you step-by-step instructions to create different looks. The make-up challenged person in me really appreciates this!!

I bought the starter kit and then went back after I decided I liked it and got some eyeshadow and some brushes. I bought an eyeshadow kit, iQuad Eyeshadow Compact Quad. This one comes with four colors (one is also an eyeliner powder). I like it because I can create several different looks with it, and the colors are natural tones, which is what I tend to wear a lot. I really like the looks I've been able to get with this kit.

Also, raise your hand if you are like me and you don't get enough sleep. Ah, yes, that's what I thought--all of you are sitting at your computers with your hands up, lol! Well, you can also purchase this powder separately called Well-Rested, to help lighten your eyes underneath. It makes you appear to have a wide-awake, very alert look when you really just want to crawl back into your bed. Your boss will appreciate your alertness.


do you like free stuff?

Who doesn't? I love to get free stuff in the mail, so when I found out about Vocalpoint, I just had to sign up and I haven't been disappointed. Sometimes they send you actual free product in the mail, and sometimes they send you a coupon to get something for free. So far, I've gotten a new Venus Breeze, Pur water bottle, sneak peek Meerkat Manor DVD, Kashi cereal, and discount tickets to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, along with tons of great coupons. And I've only been a member for a couple of months!

The program is designed for women, and run by P&G, and in exchange for all this free stuff, all they ask is that you subscribe to their weekly newsletter, answer a couple of quick surveys each week (they are 1-2 questions long), and share your coupons and information that they send you with others.

It's cool to check out new things just before they hit the market, and to try new things you might never have bought on your own (like Kashi cereal, for me)!


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Brandi's Top 5

Hello there friends!! It's me, Brandi, and don't let the other two gals here fool ya, I'm seriously the coolest of them all!! I spend way too much time on the ever providing internet, so I'm here to weed out the stuff you don't need to waste your time looking at, because fortunately for you I've already trudged through the uselessness of it all. So without further adieu...My Favs...

1) I Love Photography - I'm also a photographer, so this website has helped me tremendously! It's has every resource for a photographer that you could possibly need. There's even a sunlight/sunrise calculator that you can use for your area to get the best possible lighting for your portrait! I'm mean, come on, that's genius! Or if you just want to go look at some fabulous pictures taken by some very talented people, then take some time to look at this website.

2) Pioneer Woman - I love reading other blogs. I have a series of blogs that read every morning with my breakfast and it's become my morning luxury. I start with this one every morning. The Pioneer Woman, Ree, is a witty mother of four who used to lived the luxurious lifestyle of L.A. and then somehow found herself married to a rancher in Oklahoma. She also happens to be a decent photographer, which peaks my interest as well.

3) Unique Wooden Toys - In light of recent toy recalls, I think this toy company deserves a little recognition. I also have a two year old who still enjoys putting his toys in his mouth (he's so weird, lol) so we really can't have any of those lead contaminated toys around our house. Which has led us to try and purchase more natural fiber toys for him. I love that these toys have a timelessness to them as well. Go check out the treehouses! They are seriously cool!

4) B&H - If I weren't already married to the most wonderful man, I would marry this site. Yes I would. There is anything that a techie could ever dream of wanting right there on that fabulous site. Plus, their prices are very comparable! Just try and find them cheaper! As a photographer I've spent many hours creating lists of things I will eventually purchase from there. I've almost got the entire store in my wish list now. Which reminds me, I better get back to work if I'm ever going to get around to purchasing any of it, lol.

5) Esty - This site is a great showcase of very talented people and their crafts. Anyone can sell on etsy. You can find some of the neatest products, like handmade jewelry, clothes, toys, underwear, you name it. I haven't bought earrings from any other place in over a year. I love the fact that I can purchase something unique. A lot of the sellers will even work with you to help create a more personalized product by giving you choices in fabrics, colors and whatnot. Go browse for a while...and we'll see you again in a month, lol.


Monday, August 6, 2007

Mandy's Top 5

Word up to my fellow braesans! I'm Mandy, the coolest and unruliest of the three. ;) That just reminded me of the three billy goats gruff...did anyone else catch that feeling when they read that? Am I allowed to write random stuff like this or am I going to get punished by my fellow cohorts? Will I have to take this down? Start over? Clean up my language?!!! Haha..well no bc I am the master of disastor (sp jess?). By the way, "Master of Disaster" is a song by John Hiatt. HE is AMAZING. Check him out for sure. Now...what you've been waiting for!

So here they are. The TOP 5.

1. notcot: ain't nothin' like it baby. you want to be inspired beyond belief for hours upon hours on any topic you can think of? Or do you just want to waste your entire life web-surfing non-stop? THIS is the site for you! Photography, design, clothing, cars, architecture, randomness galore, pick your poison.

2. design melt-down: it's really a site that logs about other sites and how they are designed but baby, you can find some cool s@*t (am i allowed to say that?) on here by just browsing thru everything. and it has cool little screenshots for the links so you know what you're getting into before you even click on it. very nice!

3. virb: if I could make one site more popular right now than any other, it would be this one. this is the best of myspace ideas paired with the best design and the coolest ppl. if you're not on virb, then you just aren't keeping it fresh.

4. uncrate: it's really supposed to be for men. however i am 3/5 man (wo-man...come on ppl, keep up) so i'm sayin' i love it! the site is fabulously designed and new blogs are posted every day with the coolest new "gadgets, clothes, cars, DVDs and more!!" Check it out. you won't be disappointed.

5. blinklist: it's your bookmarks on the web, at your fingertips 24/7 and it's also everyone else's bookmarks so it's easy to search for the most popular design site or clothing site or whatever your interest is...just look at what everyone else is tagging. the site is also very nicely designed and very user-friendly. the best out of all the bookmark taggers out there...and believe me, I've tried them all.


Jessica's Top 5

Hey, I'm Jessica, and I'm so excited to be a blogger on Braesan. My friends and I email each other cool stuff we find on the web all the time, so it will be great to share with a wider audience.

1. As a parent, I love this website by Parents magazine. Updated several times a day, it has that perfect blend of news (that I care about), cool sites that parents will love, and kitschy parents & kids stuff.

2. I admit it, I am a pop culture buff. As an avid reader of TMZ for over a year, I can honestly say that it never gets old. Who needs pop culture rags or TV shows when you can read and watch it instantly online?

3. I like to stay up on the news, but I also like smart writing, which is why Slate is perfect for me. They ask the questions I always wanted to know (in Explainer) and cover the news with a wry sense of humor and unabashed reporting style that I can't get enough of.

4. Because I, like my daughter, am totally obsessed with Harry Potter (yes, I've read all 7 books, seen all the movies, and been to HP parties), I love this site for keeping me up to date on the latest HP info.

5. So this site may not excite most of you, but to a writer/editor like me, it's awesome! You have to buy a subscription to see the full product, but you can try it out for free. Instead of giving you a list of words that mean the same thing, it maps them out and shows how they connect, which ends up giving you far more choices and being much more dynamic and useful than a desk thesaurus. Trust me, it's really cool. Try it ... I dare you!


Welcome to Braesan!

Welcome to Braesan, the hip, new blog where three bold web warriors (Brandi, Jessica and Mandy) share their time-tested favorites, the coolest online hotspots, and the freshest ideas, products, etc., with the world.

The next few posts will feature each blogger's intro story and top 5 websites. Each blogger has a unique slant that will enrich the blog and ensure that there is something interesting here for everyone. Check back often and see what we've found next!

Have ideas you want to share or that you would like to see featured in Braesan? If so, write to

The first person to figure out where the name Braesan comes from wins a chance to guest blog on Braesan and share your top 5 websites.