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why i create realistic pinterest boards alongside the dreamy ones

liz lamoreux

So here's the thing about Pinterest (well, one of the things), we pin things we're probably never ever going to cook, bake, create, sew, upcycle, organize, buy, get rid of, read...and how the list goes on.

And that is okay.

Pinterest can be all about dreaming. It can give you clues about what you're drawn to. What you like to look at. What you're interested in. The colors and imagery and even feelings you want more of in your life.

These are good things.

But, it can also be a bit of black hole of "not enoughness."

Yes, the woman with 3.9 million followers on Pinterest just said that out loud.

Because I've been thinking a lot about this "not enoughness" that social media can invite, I'm diving into a series of posts about how I'm using Pinterest for good. About how I use it as a creative, a mama, a business owner, a kind of crafty person, a want to be cook, and as a person who is always wanting to slow down to really notice what brings me joy.

First up: Creating boards that are realistic alongside the dreamy boards.

What I mean: There's something so awesome about just pinning every single recipe that I think I could maybe one day make but really I kind of just want my mom to make the next time she visits (she's a super good cook). All those recipes go on my general "recipe goodness" board. But here's the truth: I honestly rarely look at it. I just never ever want to lose this recipe...or this one...or this one...so on the recipes board they go.

I have a few other more specific food boards like "breakfast" and "lunch and snack ideas." I love the idea of weekend brunch, so every now and then I'll pull up a recipe from the breakfast board and have some fun. I'm also always looking for new lunch and snack ideas for myself (because I work from home) and for Ellie (because hello kids are picky sometimes). There's also holiday recipes, a crock pot board, one for soup, and one for pizzas. Oh and of course one for sweet things that I might one day make but probably not but please someone show up one day soon with this.

I look at these boards every now and then, but mostly I just want to hold onto those recipes.

And then I have this one: Let's Make Dinner (for reals). This is the board where I pin actual meals I might actually have the ingredients for that my family will actually eat (even if Ellie will eat a desconstructed version of whatever it is). 

This board takes off all the pressure. I can open it on a Saturday afternoon during Ellie's nap time and plan some meals for the next week and make a grocery list and get to it. Or I can pull it up at 2:00 in the afternoon before I pick her up from school and then we can quickly stop to get the ingredients I don't have on the way home, then make dinner together.

Making things as simple as possible is the point.

I do the same thing with my two DIY boards.

One is called The File Drawer and it is filled with DIYs (and some crafty or sewing tips) that I might do one day. Or they inspire me to think about things I might want to make. I think of it like a place to hold the things I see that I don't want to forget. Like a true inspiration board.

The other is called Things I Want to Make, and it's filled with projects I would like to try for real. Meaning they fit one of these criteria for me:

  • I have the supplies on hand
  • I could finish them in an afternoon
  • They would be perfect for retreat decorations or for making at a retreat
  • They would make a fun Pinned it. Did it. post
  • Ellie would love it
  • I just really want to try it

I also have a board called Creative Fun with EJ, which is full of actual projects we could do together (as opposed to projects I might never feel confident doing...more on this in another post), and another called For Retreating that includes DIYs and inspiration for the retreats I host.

One more example is the way I pin clothes. 

I have a board called layers and ruffles and other good things full of images that just make me happy. I love wearing my clothes layered, so these images give me ideas or they simply make me swoon. I just created an Outfit Inspiration board too for clothes that don't necessarily have this ruffly look but have the look I'm drawn to.

I also have a board for spring wardrobe inspiration and one for fall/winter wardrobe inspiration. I'm a curvy girl, so this means that a lot of the clothes I see pinned on Pinterest don't come in my size, but I'm still inspired by the look, so I pin these here. Or when I'm curating looks I just like and want to share with my audience, I put them here too.

The board unimaginatively called "For My Closet" is full of clothes that come in my size. This means I really could buy them one day and wear them. It feels important to have a board that reflects clothes that would actually fit me. 

And then I have my "in my curvy closet" board full of clothes and accessories I love, wear, and recommend.

How do you organize your boards? Think about creating a few "realistic" boards and notice how it affects the way you feel on Pinterest. It has freed me to let go of the "not enoughness" and focus more on the beauty. 

If you have questions or topics you'd like to see me cover in this category of "using Pinterest for good," please send me an email and let me know.