As a foodie, lover of entertaining, and soon-to-be-bride, I LOVE Pinterest. I created an account years ago to dabble in a potential teaching application (as someone who also loves all things pedagogy + digital) and quickly realized that I wanted to utilize it more as a way to plan parties than as a way to teach students about literature. Slowly but surely I’ve built up my favorite boards and find myself returning to them often to use them, share them, or just plain look at them. It occurred to me that since I love using Pinterest to find recipes, I should use it to share my favorites with you as well! So I’m copying the link here, and I created a special board FL Keys Foodie just for us.
At first I was a little nervous to share my Pinterest boards with you because for some reason they feel more personal than even this blog does. Maybe it is because Pinterest is about aspirations – what we wish we had, what we’re working on, what we’re anxious about. Sometimes I see my friends pinning and I empathize with them (yeah girl, I feel you on that stuck-in-the-mud career funk; hmmm, you seem troubled about whether your relationships are genuine; good on you for exploring what kind of parent you want to be). Pinterest has caught a lot of flack for perpetuating certain types of lifestyles that are privileged, exclusionary, and which depend on narrowly defined definitions (for example of womanhood or motherhood), but I’m lucky in my choice of pinterest friends to see pins not only related to making zoo-animal themed cupcakes, but also #blacklivesmatter and preserving the environment. With the exception of my “future family” and “Style” boards, my boards are purely self-serving, practical spaces for me to explore what I want to serve at a given event.
What might you learn from trolling my boards? Well it may seem as though my party planning is rather ambitious – but don’t let the boards fool you. I rarely make ALL of the items I pin to a particular board and usually make easier, cheaper versions of the recipes I do choose to make. I know all too well how easy it is to fall into a “this is super easy diy” Pinterest trap. While much of what I’ve replicated from this site has worked just fine, a few things have not (like this lovely-in-theory-but-disaster-in-practice pumpkin beer keg). Luckily, I’m a fast learner and now avoid the following actions:
1) Trying a new pinterest idea the day of the event
2) Trying to do ALL the crafts that look fun and cute for a particular event
3) Spending more time and money than it’s worth (seriously, at what point does DIY become DYI: Don’t You Idiot)
Luckily for me, the pumpkin keg debacle taught me to try out my Pinterest stuff ahead of time – especially if it involves fresh fruit, hardware, and gallons of beer lol. So give yourself ample time to play around with your diy stuff to make sure it will stay glued, stapled, bolted, etc. before you have guests streaming in. I learned #2 the hard way after my engagement party. I did ALL the crafts. And I was angry at myself because I had hosted so many parties before where I did just the right amount – enough to wow my guests, but not so much that I was burning the candle at both ends and stressing the whole time. Choose 1-2 cute details for your event and leave it at that – believe me you’ll thank yourself. I always have a conversation with myself about #3 because as much as I love spending money and time on food and parties, I am a frugal person by nature. I will NOT spend 3 hours and $60 making decorations that I can order online for $30 in three minutes. Nope. That being said, I have spent 1 hour making fun signs to hang over my dessert tables because they are personalized, funny, and make a big impact suspended over scrumptious desserts and in front of my old water-heater closet doors. I usually make my own goodie bag tags because that is fairly simple: print, cut, hole punch, tie. It is a small detail that will make guests smile while munching on goodies in the car after a fun night out. The bottom line is figure out where you’ll get the most bang for your buck and what will bring you genuine pleasure to do yourself in preparation for your party.
I plan on posting my own recipes to the new board, but also fun ones that I hope to try. Do you have pins for me? Feel free to shoot them my way!