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Friday, April 18, 2014

Pin Picks: budget friendly ways to create a patio paradise


If April showers bring May flowers, then you’re probably noticing your backyard slowly come to life. With warmer days, new sprouting and sunshine, chances are you’re spending more time in your outdoor spaces.

Yard and patio ideas are trending on Pinterest this week and it seems a lot of you are looking for ways to transform your yards to enjoy the summer months to come.

So for this week’s Pin Picks—and with a little help from our Pinners—we discover budget friendly DIY projects to create your own patio paradise.

Luscious lawns - If you want your garden manicured and vibrant all season, James Goins has DIY tips, tricks and secrets to keep the green bustling with activity.

Follow James Goins’s board Gardening and Lawn Care - Tips, Tricks, Ideas on Pinterest.

Ignite your flame - Dan Meyer shows us that a washing machine drum or concrete tree rings are just a few supplies you’ll need to build a backyard fire pit to enjoy some summer company.

Follow Dan Meyer’s board DIY Firepit on Pinterest.

Private pathways - According to Leah Lorenz, laying out a simple and easy brick, stone or wooden pallet pathway can lead visitors to your own garden oasis.

Follow Leah Lorenz’s board The Yard: Pathways and Patio Decor Ideas on Pinterest.

Upcycle your space - If you’re on a budget, Rebecca Lea has repurposed and upcycled DIY yard projects that are easy to scrape together, especially if you have old kids toys lying around.

Follow Graphic Designer Rebecca Lea’s board Repurposed Yard Ideas & Gardening on Pinterest.

Sit in style - Hosting a summer event and need more space? Troy Pait shows us how to keep the money in your wallet by building chairs and sofas from recycled, wooden pallets.

Follow Troy Pait’s board Outdoor Patio Furniture DIY on Pinterest.

Pest control - Those pesky summer visitors can put a dent in your activities or plans. Jodi shows us how to get rid of bugs with simple DIY hacks that are organic and safe for the plants too.

Follow Jodi’s board Outdoors - Pest Control on Pinterest.

Keep browsing Pinterest for more ways to bring your backyard and patio to life this season. 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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Thursday, April 17, 2014

What’s your Pinterest Story?


If you’ve used Pinterest to turn an idea into reality, make an important change in your life, or create something you didn’t think was possible before, we’d love to hear from you.

Tell us your story! We’ll be collecting submissions over the coming weeks and picking the most inspirational ones to share.

Thanks, and happy Pinning.

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

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

#Pinspiration Chat: get handy with ManMade


Dust off your tool belts and get the supplies ready, guys (and gals too!). This week’s #Pinspiration with keep you busy and bring new life into your home, office or living space.

We’ve been brainstorming ideas on how to upcycle pallets, drill wooden furniture and get dirty in the garden. That’s why we asked DIY expert Chris of ManMade to help us whip up some creative design projects for our next Twitter chat.

This week’s theme is all about easy to-do handmade activities. Tweet us your #Pinspiration to @Pinterest this Friday, April 18th, between 10am-11am PST.

Need a little inspiration? Just add the hashtag #Pinspiration to your tweet and ask away. We’ll send you a Pin or a Board to help! Here’s a few topics for the workbench: vintage lamps, utensil and desk organizers, leather tool rolls and even wine barrel tables.

We got a chance to chat with Chris and hear how he sets up shop in the backyard to make amazing designs:

Hi Chris! Can you share a little bit about yourself and how you started your website, ManMade?

I became involved in the DIY design and craft blogging community when I was in graduate school. I’d moved to a new city and a new place, sight unseen, and the interior was incredibly drab and glum. Since I spent a lot of time at home studying and writing, I needed to come up with some quick and affordable ways to make it a better place to be. This was in the early days of blogging, and I fell in love with the community and all the clever ideas. I’d always been a creative person, and it was fun to apply that drive to make things in such a practical way - to impact the things I use every day.

I eventually started working as a contributor to one of my favorite sites, Curbly.com, and continued to spend time in this area of the blogosphere. It became increasingly apparent that the majority of my peers were women, and the projects and posts presumed a female audience. I kept waiting for someone to create a site dedicated to viewing the DIY and independent craft movement from a man’s perspective. After a few years, I realized that - apparently - that someone was going to be me. So, I collaborated with the publishing team at Curbly to launch ManMade in 2010. I was able to quit my career after a year or so, and try my hand at blogging and online content full time within the first year. I’m still so grateful for that opportunity.

Follow ManMadeDIY’s board DIY Decor Ideas on Pinterest.

With spring underway, tell us about your favorite DIY projects worth-trying this season.

Spring’s the time for getting to all those things you wanted done in winter, but the weather and short days made it impossible. So, spring cleaning and other light to-dos are always on my season. After that, it’s time to get outside! I love setting up shop in the backyard and working there. So, for me, spring is a great time to get on those messier projects, like those that use spray paint, bunches of glue, or make a lot of sawdust. Keep that junk outside. Similarly, spring is a great time to get ready for outdoor living - grilling and barbecues, outdoor entertaining, gardening, and all kinds of fun activities, like bike riding and camping. I recently completed a modern wooden welcome mat and last fall, I creating a contemporary DIY concrete fire pit, so I’m excited to put them both to use as the weather warms up.

Follow ManMadeDIY’s board DIY and Craft Projects on Pinterest.

As the editor of ManMade, how has Pinterest been useful to you?

I love Pinterest. There are all kinds of men sharing excellent content. I often will see a cocktail or drink recipe, and it’ll inspire a new long-form post or new blog series. Even certain color combinations or a specific use of materials helps me to think of my own original projects or branching out into a new medium or material. I also like to use Pinterest to see what other guys (and those who love them) are thinking about at any given time of year, which helps me create original content that covers the full spectrum of creative guys and the things they care about. Pinterest is also a great inspiration for improving my own photography and styling on my how-tos. And of course, the excellent community of Pinterest users regularly share my how-tos and tutorials, allowing new readers to discover ManMade and participate in the conversation, adding useful new voices and even more ideas.

Follow ManMadeDIY’s board Home and Garden Ideas on Pinterest.

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

Read "#Pinspiration Chat: get handy with ManMade"

Monday, April 14, 2014

Stephanie Rose: DIY gardening expert and blogger


Stephanie Rose grew up in a big city without a garden. But when she bought her first house, she slowly started freshening up her outdoor beds with flowers. Before you know it, she had transformed her garden and was on a journey to transform her surroundings by getting her hands dirty with new DIY projects and recipes. Today, she shares her discoveries on her popular blog, Garden Therapy. See how Stephanie uses Pinterest to find ideas and use collaborative boards to build a community with other gardening enthusiasts.

Tell us about yourself, how you got into gardening, and ultimately started blogging?

Unlike a lot of gardeners, I didn’t spend my childhood days puttering around the garden. I grew up a city girl without a garden to play in nor the thought to do so. Once I bought my first house I started by freshening up the beds with some flowers, perennials, and then vegetables. Before I knew it, I was growing hundreds of varieties of plants on my small urban city lot and the physical pain that plagued me for years was easing.

I started Garden Therapy as a way to log the transformation of the garden and share my thoughts and photos. It was such a healing journey that I wanted to find ways to get others involved. I began writing DIY garden projects in response to questions from readers on how to get started. I now have almost 500 easy to follow projects, recipes, and crafts that will get people out for even a short while for some garden therapy. I hope that once they tackle a project, they will get hooked like me!

More and more people are getting the green thumb. Why do you think gardening is worth getting into?

Gardening is such a rewarding activity, you get to enjoy the gorgeous blooms, fragrant flowers, or tasty fruit from your hard work. But more than that, it feeds your body and soul. The fresh air and sunshine are good for you, no doubt, but breaking a sweat turning soil or planting an herb garden are just as healing. As you stretch, balance, dig, lift, and squat, you’ll be surprised you ever needed a gym membership. And a connection with nature is not something that you can replace indoors. All that fresh air, exercise, and beauty really is healing for the body and soul.


What are some easy projects you’d recommend for someone looking to finally start adding some green to their garden this spring?

Start some seeds! Why not get down to the grassroots of gardening? You can save money and enjoy the magic of seed starting at home, plus it’s rewarding to sit down to a meal that you started from seed. I recommend deciding on what you want to grow and then starting with one or two kinds of seeds. Pick ornamental plants that you would typically buy as annuals and start the seeds indoors. Create an instant flower bed just by scattering a package of mixed flower seeds. If you want to try edible plants, pick vegetables that you love and that grow well in your area. One of the most popular plants to start from seed is tomatoes. You can get all sorts of heirloom varieties in seed that you won’t find as bedding plants.


We caught your “bringing the outdoors in” boards on Pinterest. How do you find inspiration or ideas on Pinterest?

My home is filled with wood, stone, plants, and flowers, but not in the same way they would be found outdoors. I have photographs of my garden flowers printed on throw cushions that decorate my couch. I have coasters made from a special cedar tree that was cut down in my neighbourhood. I’m delighted to find that others on Pinterest have found ways to bring the beauty of the garden indoors as well. From decorative terrariums and string gardens to botanical prints and moss as art, the “bringing the outdoors in” board if full of ideas on how creative pinners out there celebrate the beauty of nature, year-round and indoors.

I follow a diverse group of people on Pinterest who pin gardening, crafts, food, and home decor in different styles. I love my news feed! There are so many brilliant ideas that scroll down my screen. When I see an example of something from nature being used indoors in a unique or stylish way, I add that to the bringing the outdoors in board.

You have a lot of group boards too. Can you share more about how you collaborate with the gardening community on Pinterest?

Gardening has always been a collaborative activity. Seed sharing, harvest parties, tips passed down through generations are ways the knowledge used to be shared. Collaborative boards are the virtual manifestation of the generosity of the gardening community and the way a new group if gardeners passes on their best practices.

The first board I joined was the Garden Writers United, a board filled with the wisdom of those who write about gardening professionally. The collective wisdom on this board is nothing short of astounding. Next, I joined some craft and DIY boards as I found my projects blurred the lines of pure gardening and pure home improvement or crafts.

Follow Pamela @RedWhiteandGrew’s board Garden Bloggers & Writers United on Pinterest.

I’ve since met a group of garden bloggers who have a similar style and we have come together as The Garden Charmers. We use Pinterest to share our projects with each other and with our collective readers.

I recently started my first group board, Quirky Gardening, to celebrate all that is non-traditional and a wee bit strange out there in the gardening world. You will find people have turned just about anything you can think of into a container garden (typewriter, toaster, flip flops!), they like to wear plants as jewelry or clothes, or turn the strangest things into garden art.

Follow Stephanie @ Garden Therapy’s board Quirky Gardening on Pinterest.

Like anywhere else on the internet, there is a lot of good information available, but there is also misinformation. Some gardening tips that I have seen flow through my Pinterest timeline are cute but just plain wrong. Whether it is scientific inaccuracy or gardening tips that set beginners up to fail, not everything you read is correct. The group boards that I love best are those filled with the wisdom of true gardeners with dirty fingernails and full harvest baskets.

What if someone doesn’t have a yard or lives in a big city without space? What about Winter?

I don’t live in a large space, I have been able to garden successfully in the city. For small spaces, container gardens are a great solution. They can be grown on balconies or decks and can be full of beautiful flowers or edible treats. Another popular small space gardening trend is vertical gardening. If you can find a wall with some sun, you can certainly garden. Plus, this is much kinder to your back!

Winter-schminter! It may be a bit harder to dig in the soil but there are all sorts of activities you can do in the winter to get in your garden therapy. Each year I make a fresh evergreen wreath and holiday planters for the house. I also do a lot of sprouting indoors so I have fresh greens even if the garden is covered in snow. Winter edibles are becoming very popular with the use of cold frames, greenhouses, and hoop houses you can extend the season and still be harvesting dinner in your snow boots.


What’s growing as your next project for your garden or plate right now?

I became a mom last year so this gardening season will be all about how to garden with a little one. I’ve always planted things for my family and children in the neighbourhood, like ground cherries and blueberries they can pick with me, or herbs they can taste. I’ve taught kids about farming and agriculture as part of my volunteer work as a Master Gardener. But this year I will be balancing my garden therapy with creating a garden playground for my son to explore and grow with.

Thanks Stephanie for letting us take a peek into your backyard. If you want to see what Stephanie is growing or cooking up next, visit her blog and Pinterest boards!

Read "Stephanie Rose: DIY gardening expert and blogger "

Monday, April 14, 2014

A fresh look for the Help Center


Our Help Center is the place to go for answers to any of your Pinterest questions—and it just got a makeover! We designed the new Help Center so you can quickly find whatever you need to know, whether you’re on the couch with your laptop or out and about on your phone.


So if your roommate’s at the grocery store and you want to send him the Pin for tonight’s dinner, just do a quick search for “send a Pin” and you’ll get your answer right away. Or if you’re introducing Pinterest to your friends and family, now you can show them the handy new Guide to Pinterest and this quick What’s Pinterest video:

You’ll notice everything in the Help Center has been streamlined, from how you get around to the answers themselves. And it all feels a lot more like Pinterest, too.

We’re always looking for ways to make Pinterest easier to use and understand, so poke around and let us know what you think.

—Aaron Franklin, Project Manager, Currently pinning to surreal

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Pin Picks: 5 ways for to-be Dads to throw a manshower


It’s Springtime and love is in the air. And when love is in the air, you sometimes catch the love bug. And when you catch the love bug, you have baby showers.

Baby showers are trending on Pinterest this week and it seems a lot of you are planning to celebrate the arrival of a baby. But according to some of you—our Pinners—baby showers are not only for women. In fact, these days, men are having their own parties to welcome their new additions.

So for this week’s Pin Picks—and with a little help from our Pinners—we discover the top 5 ways for to-be Dad’s to throw a manshower.

Dadpetizers - Future Fathers, if you’re feeling like your belly isn’t getting any attention, Paul Erbe has boards to help you gather some friends to start the party with food.

Follow Paul Erbe’s board Guy

Dadctivities - Manshowers don’t need to be indoors. According to Jeff Eyman, having a place board of breweries in your area is just what you need to make a quick toast to honor the arrival of a newborn.

Follow Jeff Eyman’s board Beer Breweries in Oregon on Pinterest.

Dadchelor party - If you’re looking to combine activities and events in one big bash, Erica Triantafilo shows us activities for both him and her.

Follow Erica Triantafilo’s board “Dad”chelor party on Pinterest.

Dadcessories - With all the good news, chances are you’re going to be receiving a lot of love and affection over the nine months. Pinner Cody Briggs has a board of gift ideas that are fun for Dad and useful for baby too, like all terrain baby strollers and camouflage car seats.

Follow Cody Briggs’s board Awesome baby stuff on Pinterest.

Dadchelor pad - Guys, just because you’re about to be a father, doesn’t mean you need to stop dreaming altogether. Andrzej Polakiewicz shares the best way to throw a personal manshower: by starting a board about a future home you’ll spend with your family.

Follow Andrzej Polakiewicz’s board Dadchelor Pad on Pinterest.

A huge congratulations to all the expecting parents out there on Pinterest. But even if you’re not expecting, 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 Life is Funny

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

#Pinspiration Chat: rise and sweat with Happy Fit Mama


More of us at Pinterest are embracing Spring with early morning runs and fresh ingredients from the garden to cook healthier recipes. But often, coordinating a workout or planning meals with a packed schedule can be a challenge. It’s why we asked expert blogger behind Happy Fit Mama, mother of twins, and Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, Angela to help us with our fitness and lifestyle goals for our next Twitter #Pinspiration chat.

This week’s theme is all about staying active and healthy eating. Tweet us your #Pinspiration to @Pinterest this Friday, April 11th, between 9-10am PST. Need some ideas on how to stay fit and healthy? Just add the hashtag #Pinspiration to your tweet and ask away. Here’s a few topics to keep your gears in motion: how to start a running routine, maintaining motivation, joining a running group, setting goals for your first marathon, and foods that fuel your body before and after a workout.

We sat down with Angela to see how she started her active routine:


Hi Angela! Can you share a little bit about yourself and how you started your website, Happy Fit Mama?

Hello everyone! My name is Angela and I’m an ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist living in New Hampshire with my husband, 2 children and chocolate lab, Cooper. I have always had a love of all things running, yoga and healthy living. I started to get serious about running after the birth of my boy/girl twins in 2010. I used training for a half marathon as a way to lose the baby weight but more so for the quiet time to be alone with my thoughts and the road. Since then, I’ve found that running is WAY more than exercise. It’s a way of life.

I’ve run numerous half marathons and other races of varying distance. Last year, I ran my first marathon and will be running another in the Fall of 2014. I started my blog, Happy Fit Mama, as a way to connect with like-minded lovers of running and fitness. My family needed a break from hearing me talk nonstop about it! On the blog, I share workouts, life stories of a working mama and healthy recipes from my kitchen.

As an experienced marathon runner, tell us about the get-up-and-go-plan you use to accomplish your goals?

I love a good training plan. If it’s on paper, I follow it. I try to map out my workout plans for the week so I know what I need to do for mileage in running on any given day. I also make sure to schedule in cross training, strength and yoga sessions throughout the week. Of course, a rest day (or two!) is always in the plan as well.

I’m also a firm believer in working out first thing in the morning. There really is nothing that will get in the way of a 5 a.m. workout. No one will schedule a meeting. No one will want to meet up for drinks. There are no after school sports to get to. Get it done and go about your day. Rise and sweat is my motto!

How do you use Pinterest in your day-to-day to discover health and fitness inspiration?

I use Pinterest all the time for health and fitness inspiration. There are so many fantastic workouts for everybody, no matter where you are in your fitness journey. I especially love the no equipment workouts since I haven’t belonged to a gym in four years.

Pinterest is also my go to for healthy recipes. Every Sunday, I meal plan for the week and Pinterest is my first stop for inspiration. On any given week, I’ll make at least 3 recipes I found from Pinterest or that I pinned to one of my boards. Who needs a cookbook these days?

Thanks for the advice, Angela! Don’t forget to join us on Twitter this Friday and share your #Pinspiration with the Pinterest team. Also, be sure to check out her blog and Pinterest boards for inspiration. See you Friday morning!

Read "#Pinspiration Chat: rise and sweat with Happy Fit Mama"

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rosanne Cash: Award-winning American Roots singer


With a Grammy in hand and a long list of No. 1 hit singles, records, and top charting music, Rosanne Cash has taken the country, folk and blues scene by storm. Now, armed with her new album, The River & the Thread, read how Rosanne uses Pinterest place boards to dedicate and map out inspiration for her lyrics and songs.

It seems music runs in your genes. Can you tell us a bit about your background? Did you always know music was in your future growing up?

I started writing poetry at the age of 8 or 9, and I knew I wanted to be a writer of some kind. In my early teens I started thinking about putting poems to music, but I didn’t have a concept of being a ‘songwriter’ yet. I don’t think I really registered that women could be songwriters until Joni Mitchell. At 18, I started writing my first (terrible) songs. However, I didn’t want to be a singer or a performer. Instead, I went to the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in Los Angeles. After a couple years of college and six months of living in London, I loved the work and the intensity of acting school. But I knew after a few months that I could never lead an actor’s life. It was too hard, with too much rejection and emphasis on appearance. But it was a great experience and I use some tools I learned in performance today.

I was writing songs all along, and I ended up making a record in Germany. I still didn’t want to become a performer, but after that record, it was just the next natural step on the path. It was very hard at first—in fact, it was very hard for many years. I had stage fright and I didn’t enjoy the attention. I wasn’t very good at it. But if you keep showing up for work, something happens…you get better, you find more subtle experiences, and I have come to love the temporal nature of live performance, and the spontaneity. I have learned to get out of my own way.

With all music you have released over the years, how have you grown as an artist and performer? Any significant moments or milestones?

I’m curious, and it keeps me growing. I love what I do, and I feel incredibly lucky that I get to live out my dreams of music and writing and performing. I was very sick several years ago and had a good hard look at my own mortality. When I recovered, I felt an urgency about doing the things I most want to do in this life, not wasting any time doing them, and not hedging my bets. As my friend Ethan Russell says about people my age, “You have more to say, and less time to say it.” It’s motivating.


You just released your new album, The River & the Thread, and we caught your map of places that chronicles the journey you took in creating the album. Can you tell us more behind the inspiration for your place board?

I love maps. I spent many hours in the map room at the New York Public Library looking at maps from the last 300 years—mostly of the Southern states, including Civil War field maps, which were beautiful and chilling. I thought of maps the whole time I was making the record, and imagined all the geo-cultural-spiritual spots I was singing about—Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Virginia—as well as Barcelona and Paris. The whole album is a map. I wanted to put a map on the album cover, but the shot on the bridge was too compelling, so the Pinterest board satisfied a lot of Map-Love I had!

Follow Rosanne Cash’s board The River & The Thread album map on Pinterest.

You’ve dedicated a board, Modern Blue to a song off your new album. From the description, the song is about “carrying your home inside of you”. How do you combat being on the road, on tour, and away from the ones you love for long periods of time?

I am never away from my son for a long period of time. I have never gone out for a month, or weeks at a time, because of my kids. The longest I was ever away from my kids was 16 days and it almost killed me. So I’m a weekend warrior during the school year, and I take him with me on school breaks. He goes to camp in the summer and we work a lot then. I have an internal balancing mechanism—I go out for 2 to 4 days, sometimes 5 days, then I’m home and I’m really HOME. And I do travel with my husband, so I see him more than anyone.


What is the biggest challenge today for musicians starting out? Any advice for young talent looking to follow in your footsteps?

It’s a tough business. The whole backstory of a musician’s life—the pace you keep, the travel and the exhaustion—is a little shocking to young musicians. My daughter is a musician and she said she knows bands who are outraged and complain after the first 6am lobby call, “I can’t do this!”

There’s a huge wake-up call about the exact nature of the job. No, you don’t get airlifted to a perfect theater with a perfect sound system minutes before you walk on stage. Well…maybe some people have that experience but most of us are in the trenches, grabbing a nap between sound check and the show and trying to figure out if there’s a real meal in our future.

But if you love it, and more than that, if it’s the reason you’re on the planet—to make music—then you develop your stamina and you show up and don’t complain. This is all assuming that you have a strong work ethic regarding the actual work—that you “show the muse you’re serious”, as my friend Steven Pressfield says.

Thanks Rosanne for taking us backstage and letting us peek into the music world. If you want to see what Rosanne is writing or performing next, visit herwebsite and Pinterest boards!

Read "Rosanne Cash: Award-winning American Roots singer"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

All the best one day getaways


Last week we asked you to imagine your dream 24-hour daycation and then send us place boards of all your would-be adventures.

We heard from people in nearly every state, all over Europe, and as far away as Thailand, Sydney and Dubai! Here’s a look at 25 of our most adventure-packed favorites:

Unwind with wine - Ashley Urdang is taking the day to sip, swim and winery-hop around Napa Valley.

Follow Ashley Urdang’s board Wine Not? Napa Valley on Pinterest.

Beach city - Christy from OrdinaryTravelr is going from beach to brewery in San Diego.

Follow Ordinary Traveler Blog’s board Things We Love About San Diego on Pinterest.

Manhattan mania - Patrick Fenton is eating, shopping and strolling his way through New York City.

Follow Patrick Fenton’s board 24 Hours on Manhattan Island on Pinterest.

Best friend stop-over - Kacie Davis is heading to Stockholm for opera, summer markets and drinks at an ice hotel.

Follow kacie davis’s board 24 hours in Stockholm - The Swedish Escape! on Pinterest.

Here are a few more that we found inspiring:

Escape to Half Moon Bay

Virginia Beach from sunup to sunset

24 hours in Mexico City

One day vacay in Victoria BC

A day in the life of a Seattleiete

Colorado Staycation

Savannah Georgia

London calling

Columbia River gorge daycation

Galveston Golly-Go-round

Escape to Cabo

A fabulous trip through the Florida Keys

24 hours in Tokyo

Circling the beltway in the DMV

Soul therapy in Austin TX

Explore the Twin Cities, Minneapolis

24 hours in British Columbia

Escape for the day in Norfolk Virginia

Charlottesville, VA

Miami, FL

Dawn to dusk daycation from Atlanta to Senoia Georgia

Daycation in the windy city

Now it’s your turn: make a place board, take a sick day and head out on your own day-long adventure!

—Lauren Michaels, Marketing, Currently pinning to Australia 2014

Read "All the best one day getaways"

Monday, March 31, 2014

Lisa Wells: gluten-free recipe blogger


Lisa Wells had to address a health concern which prompted her to change her diet and go gluten, grain, and dairy free for every meal. But that didn’t stop her from experimenting and creating delicious recipes to satisfy her palate. This lifestyle became the catalyst for her blog, Cook Eat Paleo where she now shares tips and tricks about how to whip up simple and easy paleo recipes. Read how Lisa uses Pinterest to discover ingredients, substitutions, and even satisfy the sweet tooth!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background? How did you fall into an all paleo diet lifestyle?

I’ve always loved food. I’ve been a foodie and home cook for years. About five years ago I had to give up gluten, grains and dairy to address an autoimmune disease. I had to relearn how to cook and bake without those ingredients I had always used. That’s what got me started on paleo. The paleo diet removes ingredients that can cause inflammation, or other side effects, so it’s helpful for a lot of health issues.

What jump started your idea for the blog?

I learned so much about this style of cooking and eating that I wanted to share. Having gone through so many recipe experiments, I learned how to make it quick and easy to put meals together. I probably cook 90% of my meals at home, so I’ve definitely learned some shortcuts, and some simple go-to recipes that take the place of convenience foods. And hopefully it will inspire people to try paleo if they think it would be good for them.


Removing those yummy (and unhealthy) foods seems hard and intimidating. What are the biggest misconceptions about an all paleo diet? Was there something you craved or missed when you decided to venture into the gluten free path?

I think the biggest misconception is that it is too hard. There is definitely an adjustment period when you’re first learning to cook paleo, but once you learn a few recipes and some simple substitutions it becomes a lot easier. A great trick, for example, is making gluten-free pasta out of zucchini. My philosophy is I can eat anything I want as long as I make it myself. So if I want brownies or banana bread, I’ll figure out how to make it with ingredients I can have – and post the recipe on the blog.

Your Pinterest boards have ideas for each meal and season, such as your Paleo Breakfast and Paleo Thanksgiving! If I’m new to the diet, where do I start?

A great place to start is my Paleo / Primal Resources board. That’s where I have a lot of information on the paleo diet. I pin books, articles and infographics I find helpful. But the best way to start is to just dive in. Look at a category that’s appealing to you and pick out a recipe that looks easy. I think it’s best to start with something that’s familiar, like a frittata. It’s quick and easy and works for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Follow Cook Eat Paleo’s board Paleo / Primal Resources on Pinterest.

Where does your inspiration for new recipes come about?

I use Pinterest for both sharing and discovering recipes. My boards are like my personal recipe box. I pin recipes that I’ve created. And I pin recipes I find on different food sites and blogs that I want to try. I click through and read the ingredient list of every recipe I pin, and I only pin recipes that have paleo-friendly ingredients. So if I’m planning a menu for Thanksgiving, I can go to my board and see my recipes, plus all of the recipes I’ve collected that are perfect for Thanksgiving.


It seems like you’ve cooked, whipped up, and created it all. What’s next on your paleo food adventure?

Believe me, I have no shortage of recipe ideas. I’m working on a chocolate walnut pie recipe at the moment. With the Kentucky Derby coming up, I’m creating a paleo-friendly version of the traditional derby pie. A recipe like this one, where I’m recreating something that I used to eat before going paleo, takes some trial and error. But experimenting and tasting the different variations is always fun!

Thanks Lisa for sharing tips and tricks on paleo recipes. If you want to see what Lisa is creating next in the kitchen, visit her blog and Pinterest boards!

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