I love Pinterest, which, I think, celebrates living life with flair. A public online clearinghouse for DIY, fashion, all things kiddo related, wedding planning, travel, literature, and more, Pinterest seems to me to work almost by virtue of “an arrow of truth.” Really great ideas rise quickly to the top, achieving “repins” exponentially and diffusing rapidly, hence saving hours of Internet research time. I have a range of boards I manage, and I only pin ideas/images/references that truly resonate with me. My favorite kind of thing to curate, of course, are projects and DIY related to the kiddos.

Pinterest has its detractors and even a bit of self-effacing humor circulating within the world of boards (users have been known to pin quotes about how much time they spend enjoying Pinterest in lieu of spending time completing projects they’ve pinned), and I can understand the concerns. If we spend our lives wishing for what will be, might we not lose out on the time we spend doing? Yet I think that Pinterest has the potential to increase our overall productivity, mainly because of how efficiently good ideas spread and how easy so many of them are to enact. My boards are also, for me, a place to go recharge and to feel inspired. If I am feeling in a creative slump, I can go pick something off of my boards and plan to do it/make it/experience it. As a mom, this is important for me: it is a way to stay fresh. Make life artful and full of whimsy—this is the message I receive from Pinterest. It’s a good one.

This morning, I took a cue from http://www.cutestfood.com (the source of one of my pins) and made teddy bear toast:

I added a strawberry and grape flower to the plates for the kiddos. I am not sure if the original teddy bear toast used peanut butter (it might have been honey), but I thought peanut butter would taste good with the bananas.

This was super simple to make, it hardly took any time, and it was a way to start Katie and Eric’s morning with something cute and fun and happy.

By way of observing trending, I will say that “cute food” seems to be surging in popularity these days. Cutestfood.com is only one such site (there is also a “cute food for kids” site and others). My best friend Rosa curates several examples of cute food on her Pinterest boards, as do a few others of my friends. I think I would like to make it a personal goal to start playing with our food at least once a week. The kiddos love whimsy, and it is excellent for their brains. This teddy bear toast was a good “entry” into cute food, because it was so easy. I love the idea of bento box lunches, all done in the cute style.

I am also working on making this, this week:

Source: countingcoconuts.blogspot.com via Sarah on Pinterest

This is one example of the way in which good ideas disseminate efficiently on Pinterest. I’ve actually been reading “Counting Coconuts” for about a year (although the author of that blog posted about her creation of this calendar long before I started reading her). I did explore her backlogs, but I never went back quite this far. I saw this homemade calendar (made by a homeschooling mom) a few days ago on Pinterest, and I am obsessed with it. I’ve been comparing/contrasting and pricing calendars for several months. Most of them are “pocket” calendars—a utilitarian look that I would love in a classroom, but maybe not so much in my home. Or maybe I would, if I had our homeschool space set up differently (ours is really infused into our daily family-life spaces). Even personal aesthetic aside, none of the  more “school-y” types of calendars have had all of the features we want. I want a calendar, plus a means for the kiddos to change the weather on a daily basis and to identify what day of the week we’re on. I’ve never yet landed on a calendar system I really like… until now.

I think this mom is GENIUS. I love everything about this calendar, although we’ll be changing “Prayer of the Day” to “Thought of the Week” and asking the kiddos to memorize it. (I had to do weekly memory work in elementary school, and I think that early training was extremely beneficial to my future learning). I even love the “moon phases” section, since my astronomy-loving kiddos are enamored of the moon.

At the teaching supply store this morning, we got all of our supplies to make this board, and I have a huge cork board on its way from Amazon.com. This calendar system will become an important part of our daily routine and circle time. I love it. But for Pinterest, I might never have encountered it. What a solution to a big dilemma I’ve been in for months!