By Jessica Simmons, Author of Very Pinteresting

Have you heard of Pinterest? It seems that more and more of my friends are signing on everyday, saying goodbye to “bookmarking” pages full of great idea or recipes or home decor tips, and instead, pinning them to their own virtual pinboard. It’s truly amazing the ideas you can find, and many of them can serve as inspiration for your own life. Need ideas for decorating a nursery? Want to try a good recipe? What about ideas for how to organize your closet, or a good family photo pose, or how to make your own wall art? Yep, yep, and more yeps. You’ll find it all on Pinterest.

Here’s how it works.

Say you are reading a food blog, and come across a recipe that you think you want to try. Instead of bookmarking it, you “pin” it to your own virtual pinboard. You can title the board to help you organize your thoughts, and you can also write a description about what you are pinning, such as “This would be a great snack to bring to His Majesty’s play group”. When you pin something, the image goes neatly on it’s own little pinboard, and the link to the image is readily available whenever you are ready to go back to the source and start cooking. Your friends, and other people on Pinterest, can take their inspiration from you, and “re-pin” your ideas. They can “like” your pins, and they can also choose to “follow” you, which allows them to see what you have recently pin whenever they log in. Following someone is a great way to keep up with the the things that catch the eye of other people who seem to have the same taste as you do.

It’s probably obvious from my blog title, Very Pinteresting, that I’m a fan of Pinterest. I definitely am. But, for all of it’s awesomeness, it took me awhile to finally bite the bullet and join. I was leery of anything that would take me out of real life and pull me into the computer world. The last thing I wanted was another “time suck”. But, after hearing great things about it over and over again, I decided to take a chance, and I’m so glad that I did. It has made it easy for me to keep inspiration for ideas that I want to try. The people that I follow read blogs and articles that I might not otherwise see, and when they pin things, I get to see ideas that I might otherwise miss. Because of (P)inspiration that I’ve come across, I’ve sewed my youngest son a backpack, painted wall art, and learned to make some pretty great gifts. Pinterest has been useful in helping me spend less time on the computer looking at things that I would like to make, and MORE time actually making things.

I could spend hours writing about some of the great things I’ve found on Pinterest, but I’ll stick to my top 10. Who knows? Maybe you’ll see something and get (P)inspired!

10. Activities for kids for rainy day fun from Roll out paper and draw road or a city for cars, lego people, action figures, dolls, whatever. A little imagination, and Ta-Dah!

9. Awesome ways to keep and display your children’s art work. Visit to see how she photographs her kids’ masterpieces and compiles them into photo books. Think of all the space you could be saving!

8. Furniture Repurposing: Would you have ever thought to make a little desk out of a crib?! Visit A Little Learning for Two did! So many possibilities!

7. Craft ideas and tutorials for practically everything you have ever wanted to make. I’ve got my eye on this messenger bag tutorial from Fish Stick Designs. You can find tutorials on repurposing t-shirts, making jewelry out of pop can tabs and buttons, quilting with baby clothes, you name it, you’ll find it on Pinterest. And you won’t have to scour the web for dozens of crafts individually– you can see hundreds of different crafts with one search, inspiring you to make things that you haven’t considered yet!

6. Fantastic party planning ideas, like this Angry Birds party from Kara’s Party Ideas. If you are looking for party inspiration, Kara probably has something that will fit your child’s interest, and give you plenty of ideas on everything from games and decorations to invitations and treats. She has a great directory of parties, including budget friendly options, and she goes way beyond kids’ party planning. Birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, whatever, be sure to check out some of Kara’s features!

5. “Why didn’t I think of that?!” Home organization tips and suggestions for making everyday life at least LOOK a little smoother. And many of them are inexpensive, or use things you likely already own. Check out #7: If you’ve ever struggled to fill a big bucket in the kitchen sink (I will neither admit nor deny that I myself have tried to do this), how easy is that idea?! You can find all of these tips, and more, at Rebecca’s Soap Deli News.

4. Home decorating ideas— enough of them to make your eyes roll back in your head. Take this laundry room, for example, from Light Innovations. I don’t think I’d mind hanging out in there all day folding clothes.

3. Great gift ideas, like this School Supply “Cake” from What’s Scrapping. And this is only the beginning. I was so excited at all of the different ways to make simple gifts look really spectacular, not to mention all of the DIY gift possibilities. I have never even attempted to make gifts before, and my idea of presentation was a gift bag, but thanks to Pinterest, I’ve done a complete 180, and I’m even saving some money along the way.

2. Fun photo ideas, like this one from Maturitys Overrated. I would love to take shots like these of my two boys!

And the #1 Thing that I Love to Pin on Pinterest is…… *drumroll please*….

1. FOOD. Nothing makes me want to try a new recipe like a nice, colorful picture of the finished product. Take for instance, this jalapeno stuffed chicken from Cassie Craves. Yeah, I made it already. And it was everything I hoped it would be. I pin food like it’s my job, and I’m happy to report, my family is eating better (and definitely enjoying better desserts) because of it.

So, there you have it: The Top 10 types of things that I love to pin on Pinterest.

Are you curious enough to join? It’s totally free, and totally addictive. Before you know it, you’ll be buying a sewing machine and a kitchen-aid mixer, and telling your husband that you know you can do faux linen walls in the guest bathroom because “I pinned it yesterday”. Oh… maybe that’s just me. But even so, I’m thinking you will be able to find use for it in your life. Even if it’s just to take the opportunity to clean up that bookmarks tabs on your computer. Because honestly, pictures are so much more fun to look at when you’re dealing with crafts, food, and party planning.

Happy Pinning!