Moms Columns & Blogs

A mom's guide to Pinterest

It’s 1:17 on a Thursday afternoon and thoughts of Friday night’s desserts are floating through my head. More specifically, thoughts of what desserts I should make for the upcoming 50th birthday party dessert table I’m preparing for a friend. Will it be a whoopee pie/cupcake/ cake pop kind-of-thing, or more of a lava cake/tartlet/savory treat type deal? Because I can’t just bring (ASTERISK)one(ASTERISK) cake anymore. My obsession won’t allow it.

My interest in the sugar arts started when I was 7. At my BFF’s birthday party, her dad made her a Winnie-the-Pooh cake, shaped exactly like the bear himself. Fast forward a decade and some change to when my little boy had his first birthday, and I made a dinosaur shaped cake. From that point on, I was hooked.

Over the past six years, I’ve especially honed this dessert interest into a hobby. I’ve gone from baking cakes to cookies to cupcakes to cake pops, and this past year, to preparing entire dessert tables. The more I combed the internet and took in other people’s ideas, the more my interests changed and grew. And now, feeding my obsession has gotten even easier. Ladies and gents, I give you Pinterest. Crafters, DIYers and web-surfers who know it, love it; and those who don’t know it, just be aware I’m about to introduce you to virtual heroin. But it may just turn out to be your heroine, given the situation.

Pinterest.com (Pin + Interest = Pinterest) is of the latest of social media sites that takes on the concept of a bulletin board. Say you’re on the web and you see a particularly awesome article you want to bookmark. With Pinterest, you can visually bookmark, or “pin,” that page (or site) to your own personal board. To organize your pins, you can create several different bulletin boards by topic: Food, DIY, Table Centerpieces – whatever your interest, you can create a board.

Example: Let’s say I go to the food blog PinchMySalt.com (love), see a recipe I adore and decide I want to save it for later use. In my previous planning, I would bookmark the page and then promptly forget that it exists. Or print the recipe and hope I don’t lose it.

However, using my Pinterest account, I can pin the blog post to my Recipes board. While pinning I select an image for that post (based on a choice of images that appear on that web page), and that image then becomes a kind of “postcard” or visual representation of her post on my Recipes board. Now every time I go to that Recipes board, I can easily identify the recipe I want based on the image I’ve chosen.

As a visual person, keeping track of blog posts and articles, images and neat Internet finds in this way is UNBELIEVABLY helpful. But it gets better.

I am limited in my time and can’t spend all day cruising the Internet for awesome dessert table ideas. No worries. Going to Pinterest, I can do a quick search on “dessert tables” and see what other people have pinned about dessert tables. Scanning their ideas ignites some of my own.

As the holiday season approaches and you need inspiration for gifts, decorations, vacation ideas or to just blow-off some stress, be sure to check Pinterest out. You won’t be sorry.

Traci Arbios is a mom, stepmom, adoptive mom and working mom. She lives with and writes about her blended family of seven kids, four pets and one amazingly patient husband at www.herdingsquirrels.com. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/herdingsquirrels; contact her at tarbiosgmail.com; or zap her on twitter, herdnsquirrels.

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