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Friday, May 30, 2014

Pin Picks: Making furniture with wooden pallets


If you’re thinking about a new project this summer, wooden pallets offer a variety of ways to get creative.

Pallet furniture is trending on Pinterest and it seems like a lot of you are searching for ways to turn leftover wood into functioning decor around the home. So for this week’s Pin Picks—and with a little help from our Pinners—we show you how to make DIY wooden pallet furniture.

Pallet planters
Got a green thumb? Carrie Stamper shows us DIY pallet planters can be hung up, decorated, or shaped to fit any of your favorite plants around the home or garden.

Serve your guests
If you’re looking to host a backyard event, Barbara Whetzel shows us how to entertain around your own DIY pallet bar. Bottoms up!

Work station
Marianne Quintero shows us how to sit and let the creativity loose or simply get some work done with this DIY pallet desk. It makes a perfect addition for the kids room too!

Book worm
If you need a place to showcase your collection of literature or current magazines, Tonya Blundon shares a pin to create your own pallet library.

Cool it
Mini-fridges can be bulky and often come in awkward sizes. Mattie Sebastien shows us how to add some design flair with this DIY pallet facade.

If you find other ways to build furniture with pallets, share it with us via the comments below. And if you’re looking for more ideas, keep browsing Pinterest, and of course, tune in next week for more Pin Picks.

—Pari Mathur, Content Guru, Currently pinning to Outside the Box

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Lauren Faul: Strategic Consultant & military wife


With her father as an infantry officer in the Marines, Lauren Faul grew up moving frequently. Today, with two kids, a career as a Strategic Communications consultant at the Department of Defense and a husband who is a AV-8B Harrier pilot, change is still a regular occurrence. This Memorial Day, see how Lauren is using Pinterest to plan another family move, organize a home and plan for another possible deployment.

Hi Lauren, can you give us a quick peek into your background and career?

After graduating from Texas A&M University I worked on Capitol Hill for a few years, ultimately as a Communications Director for the House of Representatives. While there, I met my now-husband, Adam, who had recently finished his training to serve as a Marine Officer. I soon accepted a job working in the Pentagon thereafter as a Congressional Liaison for the Marine Corps. Shortly after getting married, Adam finished his training as a jet pilot in the Marine Corps, flying the AV-8B Harrier. Every military spouse finds maintaining a career to be challenging, myself included, but I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to continue working as a Strategic Communications consultant for the Department of Defense for the past five years. Adam and I have been married for almost 6 years now and have two children, Mack (2 years old) and Isla (7 months).


Your husband, Adam flies a Harrier and you come from a long military family. Can you describe your experience as a military wife and daughter?

I grew up as a proud Marine Brat. My Dad was an infantry officer in the Marine Corps for 37 years. As with most military families, the only constant thing in our lives seemed to be constant change. We moved every 1-3 years, which seemed normal to us because all of our friends did as well. I actually just counted the other day that I am on my 19th move. Marrying a Marine was a natural fit with what we call the “family business.” Being a Marine wife comes with many other challenges, but just as many amazing experiences. Adam has deployed twice now, and the friends we have made throughout his career thus far have become family to us. There have been moments of immense pride and also of devastating loss that binds you to those around you in an indescribable way. I’m very proud of our life and those we share it with.


We caught your Daddy’s Away board. With two young kids, how do you—and as a family—deal with deployments and moving around for assignments?

Having children makes it extremely painful, no doubt about it. But I have learned, mainly through watching my own mother manage our family while my dad deployed numerous times, that kids feed off of their parents. Pinterest has been a great place to find creative, fun ways to explain to kids where Daddy is, what he’s doing, why he’s gone, and even better, help them prepare for Daddy to come home! There are also some great public boards, like Deployment Toolkit, that have everything from military travel opportunities, military discounts, and other deployment resources that have been super helpful.

We caught your home-sweet-home boards. How do you use Pinterest with such an active family and agenda?

As a pretty uncreative person, Pinterest gives me some much needed inspiration for home decorating and arts and craft ideas with the kids. My husband and I also really enjoy cooking, so we’re always on the lookout for new recipes to try out. My biggest challenge with our lifestyle is (attempting) to keep our lives organized. I have found so many great ideas for organizing our home – everything from the kitchen to medicine cabinets. It’s a constant work in progress, but the little tricks we have picked up through Pinterest are lifesavers for our nomadic lifestyle.

Follow Lauren Faul’s board Home Sweet Home on Pinterest.

What are you and the family doing this Memorial Day?

Probably no surprise to those that know us, but we’re moving! Again! We just finished packing up our home in Quantico, Virginia and are relocating to Cherry Point, North Carolina. This Memorial Day, we’re so fortunate to have Adam home with us, so we’ll be spending time as a family. Having a military family we’re all too aware that for some of our own friends, Memorial Day is much more frequently than one day a year. We count ourselves as blessed to truly understand that growing another year older and having a holiday weekend with each other is a luxury denied to many. As a family, we are dedicated to ensuring we never forget that, and we raise our children to appreciate the ultimate sacrifice of so many others as well.


We want to thank our armed forces for their service this Memorial Day. And Lauren, we thank you for giving us a peak into your family and military life. If you want to see how Lauren is using Pinterest, check out her Pinterest boards!

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Pin Picks: Think outside the grill on Memorial Day


It’s time to fire up the grill because Memorial Day recipes are trending on Pinterest and it seems a lot of you are looking for ways to get together and honor the men and women of our armed forces over a meal.

There are numerous Pins about how to get creative behind the grill in addition to traditional BBQ dishes. So for this week’s Pin Picks—and with a little help from our Pinners—we show you 5 ways to think outside the grill.

1. Pastry cookout
Light up the coals early in the morning if you’re looking for a real breakfast of champions.

2. A serious sandwich
Warning: gather these ingredients together and put it on the grill, but only if you want a taste bud explosion.

3. Vegetarian surprise
Don’t think tofu belongs on the grill? Just wait until you soak them in siracha sauce and toss them on the coals.

4. Open fire dessert
Forget traditional baking recipes and think outside the oven while consuming this classic cake.

5. Coals and cocktails
Add a grilled pineapple to a mojito to bring some serious tropical kick into your long weekend.

Are these pins too bizarre and unappealing? You can always switch gears and and put a simple twist on the classic dishes below:

*Burger bonanza
Get your stomach ready and celebrate the humble hamburger with gourmet toppings or traditional combinations.

*Deluxe Dogs
Spice up your bratwurst with ingredients you didn’t know belonged on a bun!

Here’s a refreshing combination of fun and healthy that’ll impress your guests with each crunch.

We thank the armed forces for their service and we hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. And if you run out of ideas, keep browsing Pinterest for more ways to give thanks. And of course, tune in next week for more Pin Picks.

—Pari Mathur, Content Guru, Currently pinning to Life is Funny

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Goal! Find the best places to watch the World Cup


Over 700 million fans will be tuning in to the biggest sporting event in the world in a few weeks, so we’re catching futball fever and collecting the best Places to watch the World Cup around the globe from ESPN, TripAdvisor, Conde Nast Traveler and…you!

Wherever you’re headed this summer, discover a place to score a pint and cheer on your team—at a rooftop bar in Boston, a town square in Paris, the liveliest streets in Tokyo, or even a neighborhood pub in your hometown. You can take these local favorites on your travels, or save them for a future trip.

Did we miss a spot? Chime in with your neighborhood go-to. We’re looking for the best pubs, parks with outdoor screenings and the top picks for patriotic fans. Let us know your favorite spots to catch a match by May 30th (anyone can share!) and we’ll add them to one of the boards. Game on!

—Ben Chiaramonte, Communication Designer, Currently pinning to The Beautiful Game

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

#Pinspiration Chat: travel the world with Gary Arndt


Thinking about packing up your bags and seeing the world? We teamed up with travel blogger and photographer, Gary Arndt of Everything Everywhere this Monday for a Pinterview and are joining forces with him again this week for our Twitter #Pinspiration chat.

This theme is all about travel and we want to hear how you’re planning your next trip locally or around the world. Tweet a question (Where’s the best place to swim with sharks? Where’s the world’s highest zip line?) with the hashtag #Pinspiration to @Pinterest and @EverywhereTrip this Friday, 5/23 between 10-11am PST.

We’ll be talking about weekend getaways, packing tricks, international destinations, and more travel tips. We look forward to globe-trotting with you on Friday.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Gary Arndt: travel blogger & photographer


Gary Arndt wasn’t exactly a world class traveler growing up. In fact, it wasn’t until his success as an entrepreneur did he start venturing out and exploring the world. In 2007, he came up with the idea to pack his bags, sell his home and travel the world for a year or two. Now 8 years later, Gary has one of the most successful travel blogs online, Everything Everywhere, the 2012 Travel Photographer of the Year award, and no plans in sight to put the anchor down. See how Gary uses Pinterest to discover, share and curate his travel photography and adventures.

Hi Gary, can you give us a quick peek into your background and how you ended up traveling the world full-time to starting one of the most successful travel blogs online?

I was very involved in academic debate in high school and college. After I graduated college, I started a very early Internet company which I started back in 1994. We did custom web application development back when integrating databases into web pages was hard to do and expensive. I sold that company in 1998 when the firm reached about 50 people. After that I launched a few more companies right when the .com bubble was bursting and eventually went back to school in 2003 to study geology and geophysics.

I eventually reached a point where I didn’t know what to do with my life, so I came up with the idea of traveling around the world for a year or two. I sold my home, tied up all my loose ends and hit the road in March 2007. At that time I also purchased my first serious camera.

Over time, my blog become more and more popular the longer I traveled. What had I had intended to be a 1 or 2 year trip is now into its 8th year with no end in sight.


You are also an award-winning photographer. Were you always into the medium growing up or was it a hobby that came out of your travels?

No. I knew absolutely nothing about photography before I started traveling. I never took a class, read a book or had a mentor. I learned everything via reading websites and taking lots of bad photos. I was (and still am) extremely self critical about my photos and am constantly looking for ways to improve.

It cumulated this year when I was named the Travel Photographer of the Year by both the Society of American Travel Writers and the North American Travel Journalists Association. I was the first person ever to win both awards, let alone do it in the same year.

What is one picture that speaks “a thousand words” to you?

I’ve taken hundreds of thousands of photos over the last 7 years. Picking just one is difficult.

The image below was taken during the 2010 Red Shirt protests in Bangkok. I was there during the protests and one day they decided to protest the Prime Minister’s house which was only a few blocks from where I was staying. I grabbed my camera and went over cover the protests. There were thousands of protesters, hundreds of police in riot gear and many members of the media, who also wore body armor. I just had my camera….and an umbrella!

Eventually it started to rain and all the photographers ran for shelter, as did most of the protesters…except for one. This man in full body armor and helmet stood in the rain, by himself, staring down the police in riot gear. As I had an umbrella, I was the only photographer in the street and was able to get this image, which is still one of my favorites.


We’ve been tracking your travels and photographs on your place boards, such as Unique Places to Stay and Europe Travel Map. Is there something specific that you try to communicate or curate within your boards?

It depends on the board. I have one board which is dedicated to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I’ve been visiting world heritage sites the last 7 years and documenting my visits on my blog. Every time I visit one, I put it on the board. Same with national parks in the United States and Canada. I’m trying to cover all the sites.

For other boards, like my Italy, Spain or Australia boards, I’m just trying to showcase the best images from that country.

Overall, I am at one extreme in the Pinterest ecosystem. While many people are actively pinning and sharing photos, I’m out creating images for people to share on Pinterest. I’ve always been very open about letting, and even encouraging, people to share my photos on Pinterest.

I also work as a brand ambassador for G Adventures, the world’s largest adventure travel company. My business is sharing the world with people through my camera, and encouraging them to explore the world for themselves. Pinterest is a fantastic way to do that. I keep very close track of my statistics and I know that Pinterest outperforms every other social platform for me. Since Pinterest adopted maps for their boards, things have only gotten better as more people now view Pinterest as a resource for travel.

Follow Gary Arndt’s board Unique Places to Stay on Pinterest.

Selling a home and leaving it all behind seems overwhelming to most. What has been the best and worst parts about having this level of freedom?

The best part is having the freedom to go where you want, when you want. Since I’ve started traveling I’ve been to over 150 countries and territories around the world. I’ve been able to see more things than all but a small fraction of humanity will ever see.

The downside is not having any stability or being able to have any sort of regular schedule. I often get exhausted and have to rest for a few days. I’ve been trying to slow down my travel schedule so I can get more work done and not be so tired.


Where are you right now? Where do you plan on going?

I am writing this in Cape Town, South Africa. I’m here for 2 weeks in between trips. I just got back from the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic. On Sunday I’m getting on another ship to spend a month traveling up the west coast of Africa with G Adventures. This summer I’ll be on a road trip through western Canada and this fall I plan on being in Europe. I’ll probably visit at least a dozen countries in the rest of 2014.

Gary, thanks for taking us around the world. If you want to see more of Gary’s adventures and what he’s photographing next, visit his blog and Pinterest boards!

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Pin Picks: your dream tree house


A lot of us have visions of escaping to a magical hideaway somewhere in the wilderness. This week, tree houses are trending on Pinterest and it seems like a lot of you are dreaming of what it’d be like to live or play high above in the canopies.

From recreational playhouses to isolated living in the forest, Pinners are letting their imagination run free with creative tree house inspiration. So for this week’s Pin Picks—and with a little help from our Pinners—we discover your dream tree house.

Childhood memories - You don’t need to be secluded to have a private sanctuary. In fact, if you have kids, Lee Howard shows us how to build outdoor tree and playhouses in the backyard, even with salvaged materials.

Follow Lee Howard’s board Kids - Tree-houses on Pinterest.

Grown-up dreams - From design to architecture, Martin Salzmann shows us functional tree house ideas from around the world.

Follow Martin Salzmann’s board A Tree House for Adults on Pinterest.

Feline freedom - Claudette Darnell shows us how to build indoor and outdoor tree houses that allow our furry friends to climb and explore.

Follow Claudette Darnell’s board For the Home - Cat-friendly Decor on Pinterest.

A discreet hideaway - For those looking to escape into wonder, Amalya Haver shares tree house concepts that’ll let you slip into the sky without being bothered.

Follow Amalya Haver’s board Treehouse Getaways on Pinterest.

To live in the canopy - If you’re done with city life and looking for alternative living, Jesse Gaskins has boards with fully operating tree homes with bathrooms and libraries!

Follow Jesse Gaskins’s board Tree House Living on Pinterest.

If you have other ideas on how to have fun with tree houses, share them with us below! But even if you don’t plan on living in the trees, keep browsing Pinterest for more ways to celebrate. And of course, tune in next week for more Pin Picks.

—Pari Mathur, Content Guru, Currently pinning to Story Time

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pin trends of the week


Are your Monday Pins different than your Friday Pins? We were curious about what people Pin on different days of the week, so we took a closer look at what Pinners are up to when the week kicks off on Monday and then eases into Sunday.

Here’s a look at the most popular categories on each day of the week:

Monday: the week starts with good intentions in fitness

Tuesday: next up, gadgets are all the rage in technology

Wednesday: need a little something to get through the week —- inspirational quotes

Thursday: threads lead Thursday with fashion

Friday: GIFs bring some comic relief to the end of the week with humor

Saturday: summer vacations are top of mind with travel

Sunday: the week closes with food and craft ideas

See what’s trending

Humor is one of the fastest growing categories on Pinterest and holds the top spot on Friday. More than 3 million humor Pins are saved each day. And, in the five months since the GIFs launch, more than 400,000 GIFs are Pinned everyday. Here are some of the most Pinned GIFs:


On the fitness front, CrossFit is becoming a Pinner obsession, along with Paleo challenges and Tough Mudder Boot Camps.

By Saturday, Pinners are ready to hit the road or jump on a plane. We’re seeing all kinds of hiking trails in Portland, museum crawls in DC, and summer roadtrips through Boston. If you’re planning a European holiday, some of the most popular cities include Capri, Italy; Chamonix, France, Segovia, Spain.

Tell us which Pins have been your favorite this week!

—Mithya Srinivasan, PR, Currently pinning to thingamajigs


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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

#Pinspiration Chat: get thrifty with Kids Stuff World


If you’re looking for ways to save, we’ve teamed up with blogger Stacy of Kids Stuff World for our next Twitter #Pinspiration chat.

This week’s theme is all about tips and tricks to help you save and we want to hear all about how you think about tightening budgets around the home, classroom and beyond. Tweet us your frugal living #Pinspiration tips to @Pinterest and @stacyofksw this Thursday, May 16th, between 10am-11am PST.

We’ll be talking about gardening hacks, backyard camping, home-cooked meals, activities with the kids, and many other thrifty ideas to pinch the pennies. We got a chance to chat with Stacy on how she evaluates budgets and uses Pinterest with a large family of five:


Hi Stacy, can you tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to start your website, Kids Stuff World?

Hi Guys!!! Wow, so excited to be here on the Pinterest blog today. Thanks for having me, I started Kids Stuff World while I was serving overseas. I was a new mom and for the first time I realized how far from home, friends and family I really was. Instead of arranging play-dates and attending baby showers, I was surrounded by single people living in dormitories and lots of testosterone. I needed to make some connections with people in the same life stage as me, and quick.

The idea of starting a blog was suggested to me by a combat unit while we were deployed to Africa. I still laugh picturing those sweet, burly guys helping me set up my mom site.

Can you share a few simple and easy frugal living tips for families?

My favorite tip for frugal living is growing your own food, even if it is just herbs and cherry tomatoes. Nothing feels more satisfying than going out in your backyard and harvesting food to feed your family. You’re not just saving money, but teaching your children a valuable life skill as well. Added bonus, it’s a fun activity the whole family can get involved in.

We make almost all of our meals at home. I love to cook and feeding a family of five is expensive no matter where you go. By doing the cooking myself we save a ton; I use Pinterest to find new recipes and create weekly meal plans. Over time, I have learned how to make up to 4 meals with just one rotisserie chicken. We save our vegetable scraps to make homemade broths, and other scraps to use as compost for our garden beds. Herbs are used in dishes as well as simmer pots on the stove to make our home smell wonderful. All of these things I have learned through posts I’ve found on Pinterest. I have an entire board dedicated to store bought things you can make from scratch (The Handmade Way). Right now, we’re developing our own household cleaners using essential oils and herbs from our garden.

I save money on family purchases by having set price limits in my head whenever we go out. I know how much I am willing to pay for my child’s clothing or even my own and no matter how much I love something, I won’t purchase anything until it comes into my price range. Even big ticket items, that’s why I love getting emails from Pinterest when a price drops.

You’ve started planning a fun and frugal summer in your “Making Plans for Summer” board. How has Pinterest helped you discover great ideas?

Yes, Making Plans for Summer, that’s one of my favorite boards! We aren’t taking a family vacation this year, and there’s no budget for summer camps, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have a memorable summer. A summer filled with homemade popsicles, ice cream, fresh-squeezed lemonade, sun tea and solar s’mores, all inspired by links I find on Pinterest. This year, I am most excited about backyard campouts, learning about astronomy, outdoor movie nights, there’s even talk of starting our own children’s book club, another awesome idea we found on Pinterest.

Perhaps the neatest thing for me is the relationships I have made with the people behind the Pins. Overtime, several of us have formed group boards, worked on projects together, become real friends, and even met in person. Pinterest isn’t just a place where I discover great ideas anymore; it’s where I connect. It’s that community I was looking for when I first started all of this.

Follow Stacy of KSW’s board Making Plans for Summer on Pinterest.

Thanks for the feedback, Stacy. Don’t forget to join us on Twitter this Thursday and share your #Pinspiration with Stacy and the Pinterest team. Also, be sure to check out her website and Pinterest boards. See you Thursday morning!

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Brian Samuels: Photographer & Food Blogger


When Brian Samuels was growing up, he was the official taste-tester for his mom in the kitchen. Following his culinary upbringing, he combined his love for food and the arts by starting his popular food blog, A Thought for Food. See how Brian travels the world, shares his recipes and gets inspiration from the food community and beyond.

Hey Brian, tell us a bit about your background and how food, photography and blogging all became main ingredients to your career?

Like most food bloggers, writers and photographers, I have always loved food. As a child, I spent time in the kitchen with my mom, absorbing everything she did. She had me participate; stirring, whisking and, ultimately, tasting her creations. Often I’d be the tester, and she looked to me to help with seasoning. That’s where my passion for cooking originated.

But I’ve I also always been a film buff and, when I was a kid, I watched everything I could. There were pretty much two paths I could have gone in. Either I’d study filmmaking or I was going to culinary school. I ultimately decided on film school because I knew that cooking would always be a part of my life.

When I started my blog, A Thought for Food, I realized that my love for the visual arts and food could be combined. Of course, I never thought this would become my profession. It really is my dream job. Sometimes I have to pinch myself.


We caught your delicious recipes, cocktail photos and my idea of heaven boards. What is your dream dinner party setting?

A dinner party, for me, is all about being surround by people I love and to express that love through food. My husband and I just purchased our first house and I really can’t think of a better spot for a dinner party than in our backyard. I see everyone gathered around a long table; eating, drinking, laughing.

I’d definitely be the one cooking. And, as much as I like to put the camera away when I’m hosting friends, I might need to take a shot of the table to capture the moment.

Follow Brian - A Thought For Food’s board + Delicious Recipes + on Pinterest.

We’ve been drooling over your “My food photography” boards. How do you use Pinterest to share your culinary creations?

The reason I was drawn to using Pinterest as a way to share dishes is because I saw that it had a following beyond the blogging world. As much as I love the food blogging community, I wanted to make sure that the general public was seeing these recipes. Pinterest has certainly helped with that.

The way I use it is by posting my work (as well as the work of my peers) on boards… some of which are my original boards, while others are group boards that I curate with other food bloggers, photographers and writers. While I work hard to make my own boards as appealing as possible, I love the community element of group boards. These tend to either be general recipe boards where we share our favorite blog’s work or it’ll be very specific (cakes, cocktails). I recently spearheaded a board for drinks; mainly cocktails, but non-alcoholic drinks have been included. Over the last few years, I’ve dabbled in mixology and I thought it’d be fun to get a group of my favorite bloggers to share our mutual love of cocktails.

I do use Pinterest to promote my work on my blog, which I consider my portfolio. I’ve had companies contact me because they came across a picture that was pinned. So, I don’t use it directly as a business tool. It’s just turned into that inadvertently.


Okay, so I want to follow in your “foodsteps” and make something quick and healthy. Where do I start?

Creating a quick and healthy recipe isn’t as complicated as people think. The first place to start is with fresh ingredients. Seasonal produce; local, sustainable seafood. Roasting is a very simple way to prepare dishes with these items. I will often just season fish with a bit of salt and pepper, some fresh herbs, maybe a bit of olive oil (for a recipe, try this whole roasted mackerel). Or if you’re cooking carrots or cauliflower, or even brussels sprouts. Their natural sweetness really comes out when you roast them.

What smells good in your kitchen right now?

Right now, I have a pot of tomato sauce simmering on the stove. I had some leftover canned tomatoes from a white bean and sardine stew I made recently. This sauce has an onion and seven cloves of garlic in it. It smells pretty amazing actually.


Brian, thanks for showing giving us a peak into the world of food and photography. If you want to see more of what Brian culinary creations, check out his blog and Pinterest boards

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