New Year’s Cyberlutions

New Year’s resolutions — I can take them or leave them. It seems everyone tries to start the new year with the same generic “life improvements.” It’s a genuine effort, but come February, the 2011 amnesia starts to set in.
So, I’m keeping my resolutions practical and based around my Internet/computer/iPhone habits. I spend way too much time “online,” so here are my technological resolutions that, perhaps, you can make use of too!

Limit Facebook time. It’s the ultimate black hole of time suckage. Seriously, an hour can go by and I’ve done nothing but read status updates, play Farmville or take some tragically inaccurate personality quiz. Damn you, Zuckerberg!

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RED Hearts: Top Five Songs of 2010

RED Hearts are guests posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today.
Today’s RED Hearts post is by Alison Smith, 20, reporting from Brooklyn, NY on her Top 5 Tunes of 2010:

Narrowing down my favorite songs of 2010 to just five was much harder than I expected. This year was filled with new releases from old favorites, as well as a slew of emerging bands. With 2010 came debut full-lengths from Male Bonding and Tame Impala, an exceptional EP from Twin Sister, and an incredible new album from Prince Rama, none of whom I expect to fade into obscurity any time soon.

But overall, I associate this year with a contrasting mix of hazy, dreamy memories and satisfyingly aggressive moments. Here are my five favorite tracks that took me there:

 Deerhunter (pictured), “Helicopter” (Halcyon Digest).This song is a good representation of the dreamy, poppy melodies I admire so much from Bradford Cox, both in his solo material as Atlas Sound and as the frontman of Deerhunter. The clarity through a sea of reverb is a refreshing way to appreciate Cox’s vocal talents and the effects on Moses Archuleta’s drumming blends the decidedly sharp beat into the distance of the song. Plus, I’m still feeling like a bit of a fangirl after seeing the band in October where they played the most animated set I’ve seen from them yet.

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Melissa’s Best of 2010!

Scrolling through our 2010 archives was kinda fun — I’m not gonna lie. Anne’s faves were pretty fun to look back on. And while I’ve enjoyed everything from the possibility of a new-style Sassy magazine (led by Tavi the Style Rookie) to the website full of amazing things to do with your summer (it’s never too early to plan!), I do have a few top finds of my own to re-share. So here they are:
Perfumed Bubbles (pictured). This concept has to be one of the most whimsical to come out of the beauty closet in ages, and I delight in their soft scents. (Though the mood-changing nail polish is a close runner-up in terms of the fun factor!)

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Anne’s Best of 2010!

As this year winds down, it’s only natural to look back on 2010 with much thought, reflection and wondering why I spent 4,492 hours playing Angry Birds. So, this week Melissa and I are doing a roundup of our favorite I Heart Daily posts. In no particular order, here are my favorite discoveries of the year!
Hurraw Lip Balm (pictured). This eco-conscious company makes the best lip balm my two lips have ever experienced. My tube of Black Cherry hasn’t left my side in months.

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Gifts That Give Back

If you’re a serious procrastinator like I am, you still may not have all your Christmas shopping done (whoopsies). But, I have good news, because these last-minute gifts may be the best presents you give all year.
With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can donate to a non-profit organization on behalf of a friend or family member. There are options to spend as little as $10, and most of these places will mail or email a card that explains the donation you’ve made in their name.

The Girl Effect. Help one of the 600 million adolesecent girls living in poverty by giving to The Girl Effect. Your donation will go towards enriching, empowering and educating a deserving girl.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gifts for the Whole Family!

If you’ve neglected your family gift-buying duties up to this point, you may think you’re out of luck. Not true — most drugstores carry all of these winning products. You’re welcome, procrastinators.
 Goody Spin Pin ($6.50, pictured). This ingenious tool makes the messy updo a cinch. Perfect for the sister who’s been trying to recreate runway models’ favorite style: The Sloppy Bun.

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Hear(t) It: A Happy Holiday Mixtape!

I love a good holiday song just as much as the next person, because it can really get you in the Christmas spirit! But have you noticed how sad they can be? Sure, Bing may be singing, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” but he sounds like he’d rather be taking out the garbage. And “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” seems more like a passive-agressive message when sung in such a melancholy manner (“Have a great Christmas… but, I hope you have a crappy New Year.”)
So, to cure this problem, I’ve created a truly happy holiday mix, that will hopefully make you dance instead of hitting the eggnog. Take a look at the track listing, then go here to listen!

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Style Like U Celebrates Individual Style

StylelikeU shines a spotlight on personal style and individuality. Lily, 21, (left) and her mother Elisa started the site in 2008, and it’s full of fascinating people. As they say, “No matter what one’s age, socioeconomic status, body type, or ethnicity, style is soulful, immaterial, and universally accessible.” Cool! We talked to Lily to find out more.
I Heart Daily: What was the inspiration for Style Like U?
Lily: My mom and I shared a passion for personal style — we used to love sitting on street benches, people-watching for hours. When that one person would walk down the street who made our heads turn, we would joke about how we wished we could get to know them. So in an abstract sense, the site came to fruition as a result of our fascination with people of all shapes and sizes.

IHD: How do you find the people you profile?
Lily: It’s an extremely organic process. For the most part, each person that we shoot sends us a list of their friends who they feel would be great subjects to feature for the site. So in that respect, it’s an ongoing tree of referrals. Plus, our team is always looking out for interesting art, fashion, and music events, as well as flea markets, where we may be able to find unique people to feature.

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Read It: Blake Nelson’s Dream School

It’s no secret that we are big Blake Nelson fans. From his generation-defining Girl to his latest, Destroy All Cars, Blake always gets to the heart of the matter.
1994’s Girl is about Andrea Marr, a suburban high school student who stumbles upon the grunge/riot grrrl scene in the Pacific Northwest. And now, the long-awaited sequel to GirlDream School, is here! (And by long-awaited I mean, like, I’ve been waiting since the mid-90s, which is before some of you guys were born).

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