Brands on Pinterest?

So, you’re probably wondering how public relations and Pinterest are intertwined. The image-bookmarking site has over 70 million users. Brands have slowly started using Pinterest and if used effectively, it adds personality to that brand. Staying current and in the conversation is key!

One jewelry company who’s on Pinterest is Helzberg. They don’t just pin pictures of their jewelry, the retailer has boards dedicated to recipes, fashion and beauty. Not a bad social media job to have!

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Some brands may stay away due to legal issues and unfamiliarity of the platform. If a brand doesn’t have an audience on the platform, it makes sense not to use it either.

Some brands have also turned to Pinterest for contests. The contests usually consist of creating a board pertaining to a specific topic and pinning accordingly. I think this is a great idea!

Sony Electronics held a Pinterest campaign in 2012. The company gave $1 to the Michael Phelps Foundation each time a user re-pinned an item from the designated board. This was a great experience for Sony and donated more than $12,000. This campaign engaged users while at the same time, spread awareness of products.

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Brands can give tips to users about virtually anything. Being strategic and consistent with their imaging is important when creating an account. If brands are not going to be active on their account, there may be little purpose in having one. Staying up to date and actively re-pinning and pinning can help increase chances their brand name will appear in feeds.

If a brand is putting their product image on Pinterest, they must be sure they have enough inventory. If users see a product they want to purchase, not having it in-stock may not make them a happy customer.

Brands should be strategic with naming their boards, this is what may set them apart. An example would be Whole Foods creating a board dedicated to cheese titled “Cheese is the Bee’s Knees”.

When a brand adds appealing boards (that may not be related to their product), it helps put their name out there. Going back to Helzberg- they had a board dedicated to recipes, nothing to do with jewelry! This was a great strategic move and their account can appeal to a wider audience who may, at the time, be only interested in the yummy pins.

Pinterest is growing! I’m excited to see the new things that brands try out on this platform. Are there any great brands who you think are using Pinterest the best?

Shadow Box DIY Decor

 

This week I am showing you an easy way to use things you have laying around the house. I would rather re-purpose something than buy something new. Inexpensive décor lets you more rather than spending a fortune on one piece.

This DIY project uses a shadow box (any size will work) and beer caps or wine corks. This was a piece of décor that we added to over time. We started saving beer caps so we could add it to the shadow box one by one. The different colors the caps have make it unique. So far, we have been adding to our shadow box for more than one year! It times time, so be patient!

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I purchased my shadow box from Michaels . Most craft stores have them, so it’s an easy find. We keep our shadow box in the kitchen. I personally find it hard to decorate a kitchen to this piece is fitting.

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Click HERE for a video showing you how easy this project comes together!

Let me know if you try it, or if you have a great way to re-purpose items that most throw out.

 

Nightstand Makeover

Craigslist was a website I generally strayed away from. I felt a lot of the items could be junk, but there had to be a diamond in the rough somewhere on the site! I mentioned before I was moving into an apartment and wanted to give my bedroom a classy chic vibe. My apartment came furnished, so I have nothing to complain about. I wanted an item to add personality and color to my room. I did hours of looking on Pinterest, searching terms like “decor for small apartments” and “DIY Decor.” Over and over I saw painted furniture and every time it pulled the entire room together. My DIY Upholstered headboard came first. After that, I knew I had the “creative bug” to start another.

Before I got into the design aspect, I needed a shabby old nightstand to work my magic. I was able to score a pine nightstand for $15. I tried to talk the seller down, but $15 was the asking price. Seeing that finished nightstands go for much higher, I was OK with spending under $20. A majority of posts that I read used chalk-paint on old furniture,  I thought I would give it a try.

Continue reading for tips on up-cycling old furniture.

If you have never heard of chalk-paint, it isn’t literally paint that you can chalk on. The term “chalk” is used because the consistency is similar to chalk. Using this mixture allows you to SKIP sanding, saving a ton of time! I highly recommend using this kind of paint on a project because it is extremely forgiving. Another bonus: You can use chalk-paint with ANY kind of paint. Yes,this means  you can use that old paint can you have collecting dust in your garage.

I was able to follow this  easy video by MsPinkFabulous titled “DIY Chalk Paint for Shabby Chic Furniture Refinishing.” She gives great tips and shows the process step-by-step.

Materials needed: (I purchased mine from Home Depot)

  1. Paint varying in amount depending on how much surface area you have to cover
  2. POLYBLEND un-sanded grout (this gives it the “chalk” texture)
  3. Furniture wax to seal in the paint and give it a shiny finish

I also took off the original hardware and purchased a drawer pull from Target for an updated look.

Here is my finished result:

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Believe it or not, there was also a backing to the nightstand. I had my dad easily remove it. I painted two separate coats and it turned out great. The paint can scratch easily so be careful!

Have fun crafting! If you have used chalk-paint, what have you used it for?

Upcycle Décor

Re-purposing items and using them as décor is a great way to save money without compromising on style. There are endless possibilities and a piece of trash may be a décor treasure. Trust me, with some attention an old item may be a key décor piece to a room.  I am going to highlight two great ideas that I got from looking at Pinterest rooms before moving into my apartment this past August. I was so excited to decorate, but I wanted pieces that had meaning and added style versus adding clutter. My room underwent some transformation and my desired theme was classy chic. I am going to show two easy ways to add personality and style to any room.

1. Old magazines

This is my personal favorite! A few months ago I was going through my great-grandmother’s old magazines in my grandmother’s basement. Keep in mind these magazines were extremely old. I found them in a garbage bag waiting to be thrown out. At the time, I was not sure what I would use them for so I forgot about them. A few weeks later, the idea came to me. I would use the old covers of the magazines and frame them in my bedroom. I am not allowed to paint the walls in my student apartment so the walls were so bare and boring!

My mom was able to help me find frames for the magazine covers that would do them justice. I used two types of frames: an antique wooden frame that adds some character, and a modern silver frame with white matting.
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One thing that is so special to me is my great-grandmothers name and address label still present on the front of the magazines. I don’t think this easy upcycled décor could get any more meaningful.

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Now, if you have old magazines that are ripped up, that is fine! My favorite one, a 1964 McCall’s with Audrey Hepburn on the cover is ripped and wrinkled. It’s old so it’s OK that it shows its age.

2. Outdated Calendars

Let me start off by saying I am Curly Girl obsessed!  If you don’t know what Curly Girl is, it can be best described as girly quotes with adorable graphics. My aunts always get me a large and small calendar for Christmas each year. Re-purposing the outdated pictures is something I do quite frequently.

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For my bathroom, I used the smaller calendar photos placed on pattered card stock I bought from Michael’s. This was an easy way to add color to my bathroom and the messages are adorable. This could be done with any old calendar you have laying around.

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Another way I was able to reuse the  calendar was on my desk. I don’t necessarily like the look of a wall calendar in my bedroom so I came up with another great idea. I cut the dates of a current calendar and put that alongside a Curly Girl quote. Then, I put a clear desk mat that I purchased at Office Max. When I change the month, I also change the Curly Girl image.

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What’s your favorite way to re-purpose old items? Stay tuned for next weeks post as I show you how to update an out-of-style nightstand.

Three ingredient pot pie

Saving time to make dinner can be extremely difficult. Eating out is easier, but is it healthy? Probably not. After work and school I am so tried that making dinner is a struggle. I love pot pie but if you buy it frozen it can come with an unwanted 20 grams of fat. To my knowledge, I can never find a vegetarian pot pie either. So, I looked to Pinterest for inspiration. I was able to find a chicken pot pie recipe, and then I swapped some ingredients to make it vegetarian. The original recipe came from Pillsbury. Something about pot pie and the cold weather go so well together.

Ingredients:

  •  1 16-ounce bag of mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, green beans and corn), thawed
  • 1 can cream of mushroom condensed soup
  • 1 can reduced fat crescent rolls

Instructions step by step with pictures:

1) Mix thawed vegetables and the soup in a casserole dish until combined

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2) Layer the top with crescent rolls (it doesn’t have to be perfect)

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3) Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown

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Overview:

The ingredients for this recipe cost less than $5. If making the dish for one, it lasted multiple dinners. I enjoy cooking but seeing the list of 10 ingredients for a single recipe is difficult, especially on a college budget. I have made this recipe multiple times and it turns out great each time. There is no way this easy recipe can be made wrong.

When baking, I always go to the low-fat version of an ingredient. The reduced fat crescent rolls don’t change the taste of the crust and using it on only the top can save some calories. If desired, you can swap the reduced fat cream of mushroom soup as well. The reason I didn’t is because the store I was at didn’t have it in stock. If you would like to add meat, using cream of chicken condensed soup and two cups of cooked chicken would work great.

The last time I made it I noticed the middle was not cooking all the way through. Making sure the crescent roll crust cooks evenly is important. Since the dough is only exposed on the top, the bottom is layered on a mix with a lot of moisture. You don’t want to be eating raw dough. One tip is once you notice the sides turning brown, use strips of tin foil to layer of the sides. I learned that trick from my grandmother.

So tell me, what do you guys think? Is this a recipe that would make its way into your weekly dinners?

Quick Fruit Tart

Hi, guys! Have you ever had to go to a party and didn’t know what dish to bring? Of course it’s easier to purchase something at the store, but barely half the fun! Last weekend I went to family party. I wanted to bring something colorful for dessert. I searched Pinterest and found a recipe for a super easy fruit tart. A fruit tart is great because depending on the fruits in season, you can pick accordingly.

The pin linked  to a Paula Deen recipe on Food Network’s website. Of course, I changed some things around to make it even easier. If you want to switch it up, try using a muffin pan for individual fruit tarts.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 package (8-ounce)  1/3 fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups assorted fruit

Instructions: 

  1. Cut the roll of sugar cookie dough in 1-inch sections and put in an 8 x 8 pan. Spread the dough along the bottom and up the sides. Cook the sugar cookie dough according to package so it’s slightly browned. Allow to cool.
  2. While the sugar cookie crust is in the oven, use a beater to mix the cream cheese and granulated sugar until smooth.
  3. Once smooth, add vanilla extract to the filling mixture and beat until well incorporated. Set aside.
  4. Begin slicing fruit. If using canned or frozen fruit make sure to drain well.
  5. Once the crust is cooled, evenly spread the filling mixture on and place the fruit on top.

This was my finished result:

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Overview:

For my fruit tart, I used strawberries and blueberries. This combination worked well and it was a hit at the party. I used a little less than 1-quart of strawberries and I had left-over blueberries. Most recipes call for a fruit glaze. I skipped this step because I don’t find the texture of the glaze appealing. If you are going to eat it the day it is made, I don’t think it’s necessary to add it. A huge time saver was using the refrigerated roll of sugar cookie dough. The sugar cookie has a crunch on the outside and is soft on the inside.

If given an option when baking, I always go for a reduced fat version of the required ingredient. Since it’s a fruit tart, I wanted to save on some calories by using 1/3 fat cream cheese. For those who traditionally aren’t a fan of low-fat items, trust me. The cream cheese is still decadent, but not too heavy that you feel like you’re eating heavy cream.

The crust and the filling are a great base for whatever you wish to put on top. The way you layer the fruit make the tart unique and make it look like you spent hours preparing this dessert. The fruit tart was gone in minutes! Everyone loved it and the crust made it easy to carry around while mingling.

So tell me, what’s your favorite dessert to bring to a party?

 

DIY Upholstered Headboard

Taking on a new DIY project can be scary at first, especially ones that require tools. When I moved into my apartment this past August, I wanted to change my room décor to something more sophisticated. The apartment was already furnished, so I had to add to what was available. After decorating, my room was still missing something. I looked at several home magazines and I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration. I knew exactly what I needed: an upholstered headboard.

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I could easily buy an upholstered headboard at Target for around $200. On a budget, I turned to Pinterest for a fun project that would hopefully be cheaper without sacrificing the look of it.

There were so many styles and shapes of upholstered headboards on Pinterest. I decided to choose the one with the clearest instructions. The instructions called for a wooden frame that could be cut at a hardware store. Not wanting to spend that much time, I recalled that my mother purchased a $5 wooden headboard at a garage sale a few weeks prior. She was going to paint it, but I thought I could use it for my project. Using an actual headboard made it easier for me because the shape was already there. It also saved time and was extremely inexpensive.

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Depending on the size of your headboard, the following materials are needed:

I was able to purchase  batting, foam, fabric and nailhead trim at JoAnn Fabrics for around $60. To keep the cost low, I used several mobile coupons for 50 percent off. To my surprise, the most expensive item was the batting.

The garage sale headboard was not a flat surface, there was trim around the parameter. The one inch foam was used to fill in the spaces, making a flat surface. One thing that I noticed when looking online at  headboards was the headboard thickness. Not using the foam would have made it look too thin.

Steps:

1. Using spray adhesive, place sections of the foam on the headboard. I had to cut the foam into many chucks to make it cover the surface evenly. Spraying one spot at a time helped to make sure the adhesive didn’t dry before I got a chance to lay down the foam.

2. Spread the batting out on the ground (make sure it’s a flat surface) and  lay the headboard on it with the foam side down. This step may require two people. The batting should be tight, but not too tight where it will rip once it is stapled. Start with one end, pulling and stapling every inch or so. Once the batting is finished, it will start looking like an upholstered headboard!

3. Use the same technique as step two with the fabric you choose. For my headboard I chose a linen fabric. The fabric may have a tendency to rip if it is pulled too tight, so be extra careful. Also, if you are using nailhead trim, you don’t want the fabric too tight during this step because the trim will require some give.

4. Almost there! Using the nailhead trim was difficult because I had never used it before. I purchased a silver trim that came in a roll. At first, I tried to measure two inches all the way around the headboard with a ruler. That proved to not be ineffective so I eyeballed it. This took several tries and it was somewhat frustrating. The top portion of the headboard was easier because the outline of the wood trim was slightly visible so I was able to use that as a guide.

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Here is the finished product:

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I am very pleased with the outcome of this project! I am not one to DIY major pieces like a headboard. It was worth it and it took about two hours. The ending cost came to $70. My dad already had a staple gun and spray adhesive.  Choosing different fabric and nailhead trim is a great way to change the style depending on what look you are going for. For an edgy look, the trim can be just placed on top or even doubled all the way around.

What do you think? Is this something you have tried, or do you see yourself trying it?