Luscious lifestyle sites
Welcome back to our week-long celebration of relatively obscure, but infinitely awesome web destinations. In today's installment, we name the sites we haunt when we're indulging our hobbies, learning how to do things, shopping for hidden treasures, or just gathering factoids to share with friends over a beer.
As an online storefront for brick-and-mortar shops selling antiques and midcentury treasures, 1stdibs offers glorious virtual window shopping.
Whether you’re looking at a George Nakashima coffee table or a collection of 19th-century American folk art puppets, you won’t find a more interesting online source of vintage design. 1stdibs.com
To find a great read, we turn to Bookish, a sophisticated recommendation engine from Simon & Schuster, Penguin Group USA, and Hachette Book Group.
Enter up to four titles, and Bookish offers another based on genre, subject, characters, awards, and critical reviews.
The publishers’ editors curate the recommendations. Bookish.com
Bureau of Trade
This site offers intriguing luxury items. Each month a new store sells products based on a theme, from British espionage (think vintage trench coats) to safari gear.
The Bureau says the gear is bought from secondhand shops and flea markets around the world, but even if it’s from eBay, the site is a fine aggregator of exotic accoutrements. BureauofTrade.com
“9 Sexist Things That Happened at the Oscars.” “21 Dogs Who Don’t Realize How Big They Are.” These are the kinds of fascinating factoids that BuzzFeed specializes in.
It’s definitely not a news site, but it must be visited daily, lest you miss irresistible gems highlighting celebrity missteps, adorable animals, and human absurdities. BuzzFeed.com
Byliner is our go-to place for finding great fiction and nonfiction. You can save stories to read later, and recommend them to others. Byliner’s “Originals” program publishes ebooks by the likes of Margaret Atwood and Chuck Palahniuk.
The service is free, but a $10-per-month subscription plan—Byliner Premium—delivers additional features and content. Byliner.com
Anyone with a smartphone can become an Instagram sensation, but DeviantArt is where the real artists hang out.
Traditional and modern artists alike can showcase their talents in categories that range from painting and photography to Rainmeter skins and desktop wallpapers. DeviantArt.com
This isn’t a typical flash-sale site. While Fab does host three-to-five-day flash sales, those sales are not for designer clothing or services in your city.
Instead, it sells design items at a discount, including eclectic furniture, quirky accessories, and pop-art prints.
It’s the perfect place to find unique gifts. Fab.com
Whether you’re after a gag gift for your favorite nerd or a motor for a DIY robotics project, you’ll find it at this ultimate geek mall.
We spotted bars of caffeine-spiked glycerin soap ($25), a 3.6-volt micro hydro generator ($29), and a mini turbojet engine ($2400).
If you can dream it up, you’ll find the parts to build it here. HackerThings.com
If you’ve never encountered a product you didn’t think could be improved with some modifications, check out HacknMod.
This place is brimming with cool DIY projects such as modifying game consoles (install one in your car) and laser pointers (convert a laser into a long-range listening device). HacknMod.com
Not all newlyweds want silver and china as gifts. Some would prefer a lavish honeymoon.
Enter Honeyfund, a honeymoon registry. Couples sign up with the free service to receive monetary gifts that help fund their honeymoon.
The site even has a calculator for estimating how much a dream getaway will cost. Honeyfund.com
Whether you’re decorating a dorm room or building your dream home, Houzz is a font of inspiration.
You’ll find a trove of professional photos of interiors and exteriors grouped by style (modern, traditional, and eclectic).
You can also create idea books filled with photos and notes, to organize your own project. Houzz.com
This community-driven DIY site offers instructions for making most anything.
Categories cover technology, workshop, food, and outside. Tutorials feature photos and videos on how to install a tachometer, make eggless vanilla cake, and more.
You can also submit instructions for your own creations. Instructables.com
Just Eat Real Food
This Facebook page has amassed more than 110,000 likes by showing what can be done with fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, and seeds.
It focuses largely on the “paleo” diet (no bread, legumes, refined sugar, or vegetable oils), but even loaf lovers will crave the nicely photographed chow in this feed. Facebook.com/Justeatingrealfood
You’re probably familiar with Kayak as a travel aggregation site, but you needn’t have a destination in mind to use this service.
Use Kayak’s Explore feature, and you can choose your port of departure and search for flights to, well, just about anywhere.
Then just get ready for an adventure! Kayak.com/explore
Want to see how the other half vacations?
The Kiwi Collection showcases luxury hotels from around the world—from six-star desert oases to private Caribbean islands for rent.
Search by location and availability, or just browse through the Kiwi Collection’s photosets, such as “Rooftop Hotspots” and “Private Plunge Pools,” and dream about living the high life. KiwiCollection.com
Pronounced “curb” (though “crib” might be more appropriate), Krrb is a fusion of want-ad clearinghouses like Craigslist and craft-oriented sales sites like Etsy.
Search for items offered for sale by other Krrb users in your neighborhood or across the country.
You can also get listings on your iPhone and subscribe to a weekly newsletter to get updates on new sales in your area. Krrb.com
This fashion and shopping aggregation site boasts the tagline “Discover a store made just for you.”
List your favorite brands, and Lyst provides a “stylefeed” that's tailored to your taste.
The site displays clothing, shoes, and accessories in a cool Pinterest-like feed. Lyst.com
Reddit Ask Me Anything
Some of the most compelling content on Reddit, a popular crowd-sourced news and meme factory, is in its “Ask Me Anything” section.
Whether you’re a Panda Express line cook itching to divulge kitchen secrets or NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson, you can jump onto Reddit and solicit interview questions.
President Obama, Louis C.K., and Jimmy Kimmel have all conducted “AMAs.”
But it’s the under-the-radar contributions —such as the AMA from a Columbine survivor—that really illustrate the power of social sharing. Reddit.com/r/ama
This subsection of Reddit is dedicated to the topic of dumping pay-TV subscriptions.
You’ll learn where to find high-quality, legally obtained programming; the right equipment for tuning into free (ad-supported) TV broadcasts so you can see local news, sporting events, and other shows; and more from fellow cordcutters. Reddit.com/r/cordcutters
Carpe diem is the name of the game with Google’s new social site for finding interesting things to do with your spare time or to put on your bucket list.
Schemes run the gamut from completing a marathon to rocketing into orbit.
Schemer integrates with Google+ and displays schemes from people in your network. Schemer.com
This shopping site aggregates clothing and accessories from well-known vendors such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, and Saks.
You can fine-tune your browsing with an array of parameters including color, outfit style, price range, and even just items that sell for at least 70 percent off. ShopStyle.com
Culling images from reader submissions and public archives like the Library of Congress, Shorpy shows us just how many fascinating stories are told in vintage photography.
The black-and-white images will make you yearn for the next season of Boardwalk Empire, while the reader-submitted color images call to mind Mad Men. Shorpy.com
Very Short List
Email newsletters are back in style, and the Very Short List is a prime example.
There’s a different topic for each day—tech on Mondays, food on Fridays, and so on—and you can pick only the days you’re interested in.
We recommend choosing them all, because every VSL newsletter is concise, interesting, and packed with images, charts, and infographics. VeryShortList.com
A good how-to site is a rarity. Consider these lame stories from the home-page of one of the best-known how-to sites:
“3 Steps to Safe Snow Shoveling” and “Tone Your Thighs at Home.”
Now compare those to stories we found on Wonder How To’s homepage the same day:
“Hack an Auxiliary Port into your Old Car Stereo for $3,” and “Make a Cheap Light Wand for Dark Photo Shoots Using PVC and Glowsticks.”
Need we say more? WonderHowTo.com
Finding the right doctor is harder than it should be: How do you find a specialist? Will they take your insurance?
ZocDoc makes it easy. Inform this free service which specialty you need, provide your zip code and your insurance provider, and ZocDoc will not only generate a list but also display available appointment slots and let you schedule an appointment right on the site. ZocDoc.com
The best entertainment websites you've never heard of
So now you have a ton of websites to sift through to help achieve your perfect lifestyle.
Of course, no perfect lifestyle is complete without a heavy dose of entertainment.
Click here to check out the best entertainment websites you've never heard of!