Pinterest Successes

I joined Pinterest about 5 years ago, and it’s not an overstatement to say it’s impacted nearly every area of my life. Recipes, exercise, style, attitude, nearly every program or display I’ve done at the library, every party I’ve planned – you name it, Pinterest has been there for me.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely been some fails along the way, but I wanted to sift through all of the weirdness and the moments of good intentions with zero follow through, and focus on the successes. To start with, I’m just doing a general overview of my favorite things to come out of the site, and then maybe I’ll do a few posts just about cleaning tips or cooking or something, yeah? Cool. Let’s go.

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Home Life

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I can’t remember if I got this from Pinterest or just the Interwebs in general, but if you invite the president to your wedding, you’ll get a letter back congratulating you on your marriage. Same goes for Micky and Minnie!

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After my bridal shower, I wasn’t sure what to do with all the cards. But then I made them into a book! Since then, I’ve also seen these amazing cut-out wall art pieces, too.

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Popsicle stick date night ideas. They’re color coded by expensiveness and level of preparation/involvement (a few hours vs. a weekend away). There are great date ideas here, but you can also find approximately 1,000 more to add in as you see fit. Also, you can usually get colored popsicle sticks at Dollar Tree so you don’t have to worry about painting anything.

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DIY Scratch Tickets for significant others (or just friends, whatever). These are so super cute and fun, and the mix of Dawn + paint + white crayon does actually work perfectly. This is  great printable for Valentine’s day but if you’re even half-way handy with Publisher, you can also make these work for anyone and anything.

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These probably seem like obvious tips, and I guess they are. But this really was one of my first big Pin-spirational moments and really helped me get my linen closet/medicine area together and it’s made a big difference.

Also, once your linen closet is no longer a disaster area, go and buy a large clear glass container and throw a bunch of trial size toiletries in it and you’ll end up with this beautiful bundle to offer your guests:

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Bonus: gives you a reason to buy mini things (which, if you’re like me, is one of the greatest ways you can waste your money).

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And then one day, I read this article about how couponing doesn’t have to suck, and my life changed. Suddenly I’m one of those ladies who gets $30 worth of stuff for $2. What, what!

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Here are my other tips for couponing:

  • Download Favado and then one or two store-specific apps (like CVS)
  • Know that these items can basically always be gotten for free or at a drastically reduced cost: toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, diapers, laundry or dish detergent, and pain relievers
  • Find a coupon database that you like (I love Money Saving Mom even though I feel extremely mid-western matronly by association)
  • Organize your coupons by date, and store them in a way that makes you happy. For me, that is a Lisa Frank folder.
  • Don’t be afraid to wait it out a bit so you can stack up the deals.
  • Try to go at non-peak hours so you’re not *that* person making everyone wait in line forever, please.
  • Be super pleasant to the cashiers, always. In the worst case scenario, you’ve been a good person. In the best case scenario, you’ve been a good person *and* sometimes they’ll let you use an expired coupon or use one early or give you some secret discount you didn’t even know about.

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Dollar Tree gives me life, truly. But there are definitely some things to pass on while there. Here’s a pretty decent guide of What To Buy and What to Avoid at dollar stores.

Arts/Crafts

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Trinket dishes. You could shell out like $20 for one at Urban Outfitters or Anthropologie, or you could get a cheapo plastic animal at the Dollar Tree or Target and some thrifted plates at Savers for maybe $2-3. The choice is yours. I gave a few as gifts, and made mine with a stegosaurus and it holds my pins and bracelets and is basically my new BFF.

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Scrabble coasters. This was one of my first Pinterest crafts, and they were a resounding success. Get the Scrabble tiles at Savers (they’ll likely have many games to choose from), then hot glue the pieces together and adhere it to cut out sheets of cork. Shellac with modpodge and enjoy!

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White on white DIY wall art. Wooden letters super glued (or hot glued, your choice) onto white canvas and then coat them with white spray paint. These phrases were a little twee for me, so we went with “As You Wish” from the Princess Bride instead.

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Apples (and/or lemons or berries – I even used potatoes to make watermelon shapes) acrylic paint, a few cheap paintbrushes and a few cheap canvas bags off Amazon. I use mine every week for grocery shopping, and they make me happy every time I look at them.

And finally, I highly suggest you keep a wardrobe inspiration board, and a board for quotes, and a board for things you want but don’t need.

  • Wear Me Out has literally been a turning point in my life in terms of cultivating outfits I love and feel good in, as well as avoiding expensive impulse buys.
  • Words, Words, Words one has given me loads of inspiration, reassurance, and chances to reflect.
  • I Want Something That I Want is great for anytime someone asks what you want for your birthday or Christmas, or if you simply want to Treat Yo Self.

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GSLIS WTF GTFO: Courses They Should Actually Offer in Library School

Unbelievably, I’m fast approaching my one-year anniversary of working at Mt. Pleasant Library and I love it here, but every single day I am reminded multiple times a day of just how little graduate school prepared me for literally anything I do as a librarian. And considering the fact that pursuing my MLS (is it even an MLS? Is it an MLIS? I don’t even know) took two years and a boatload of money, that’s a damn shame.

Fortunately, there are a bunch of amazing blogs and boards out there to help supplement and subdue the shock of entering a profession very in debt and very unprepared (like Achieve Every Goal Always Forever in Three Easy Steps and Letters to a Young Librarian).

However, I am not yet at the point where I can provide such wisdom. Someday, maybe! But for now, I can mostly just provide sarcasm. So if I were to become the new head of URI’s GSLIS program, these are the courses I would want to be offered.

Actual Reading Interests of Children I: Legos, Princesses, Spongebob, and Pokemon

Actual Reading Interests of Children II: Just Buy Every Single Diary of a Wimpy Kid Read-Alike You Can Find

Actual Reading Interests of Young Adults I: Angst, Angst, Distopian Angst.

Actual Reading Interests of Young Adults II: No, the Fault In Our Stars is Checked Out and There Is a 2 Month Waiting List for It and Everything Else Written By John Green, But Here Are Some Similar Titles You Might Enjoy Instead.

Reader’s Advisory Skills 101:

Excerpts from course *
Scenario 1
Librarian: “Do you like to read?”
Kid: “Yes.”
Librarian: “Great! What’s something you’ve read recently that you enjoyed, and what did you like about it?”

Scenario 2
Librarian: “Do you like to read?”
Kid: “No.”
Librarian: “No worries! What’s something you like to do for fun?”

*
This is actually the whole course.

Reader’s Advisory Skills 102, Following Up: “Did you like it? Oh, it sucked? That’s okay, I didn’t write it so I’m not offended, just tell me what you didn’t like about it and we’ll find you something less lame.”

Reader’s Advisory Skills 103, Online Resources: Goodreads, Pinterest, and Amazon are a Gift from The Universe And You Should Praise Them As Such Every Damn Day

Youth Culture 101, Linguistics: How to Tell if a Teen is Secretly Cursing You Out

Youth Culture 102, Relevant References: Know Your Viral Vines and Popular Youtube Channels

Youth Culture 103, Computer Games: How To Help Your Computer Recover if Roblox, Halo, or Minecraft Cause It to Crash

Sweatin’ to the Oldies: Making the Most out of the Stupid Summer Reading Theme a Bunch of Old People Picked Out for You and Your Kids

That’s Very Pinteresting: Inspiration and DIY Ideas for Programming, Decor, Displays, and Collection Development Because Why Reinvent the Wheel?

Budgeting 101: Swallowing Your Pride and Crushing Your Dreams In One Fell Swoop

Pushing the Envelope: When That Envelope Is Full of Pennies and That’s Your Programming Budget for the Year

Getting Blood from a Stone: Once You’ve Recovered and Are Done Bawling About Your Budget, Learn How to Ball on a Budget and Become Really Well Known at your Local Dollar Tree

Guilting People Into Generosity 101: “It’s For the Children.”

Supplies and Demanding Children: You Will Literally Always Need More Gluesticks and Construction Paper

3D Printing A Seed Library, and Other Ridiculous Concepts and Contraptions That You Will Read About In Professional Publications But Will Never Be Attainable or Applicable @ Your Library Given Your Budget and Patrons’ Needs

Professional Attire: The Best Cardigans for You and Where To Buy Them Cheaply, En Masse

Dealing with Pubescent Patrons: How to Gently But Firmly Stave Off the Advances of a Twelve Year Old Boy Trying to Convince You To Leave Your Husband Because You Know He Is Probably Just Practicing to Ask Out A Girl His Own Age And You Don’t Want to Crush His Confidence But Also Ew.

Dealing with Difficult Coworkers: Being an Asshole Isn’t In Your Job Description Either Yet You Still Do That Every Day

Dealing with Difficult Coworkers II: You Are Clearly Miserable Because You Picked The Wrong Profession and I Feel Sorry For You

Dealing with Difficult Union Representatives: Don’t.

Stacks Survivalism: How to Breathe Through Your Mouth when Dealing with Mouth Breathers Who Have No Sense of Personal Hygiene or Personal Space

Dealing With Parents Who Care Too Much: Gifted Children Are Actually a Curse

Spanish for Librarians: There Is No Subtitle for This. You Really Just Ought to Learn Spanish. Why Are They Not Teaching Spanish. I Will Never Need To Learn How To Code a MARC Record But I Need to Speak Spanish Every Day But Can’t. Just Kidding, This Turned Into a Subtitle.

In closing, you can expect me to be running the GSLIS program at URI real soon.

Oh hai.

This is an experiment; I love to blog, and I love the idea of a totally maniputable “portfolio” of sorts that can be accessed virtually anywhere.

As I am currently employed as a receptionist at a podiatrist’s office, I will probably not be posting actual updates very frequently. Unfortunately the only interaction I have with kids on a remotely regular basis is usually when one of the doctors brings his five-year-old daughter to work, or I get to hang out with my boyfriend’s five-and-a-half-year-old sister.

Maybe in the absense of close encounters of the kid kind, I’ll try to post articles or websites pertaining to libraries, kids, crafts, literacy, new media, etc., that I find interesting. Who knows?

Life is an experiment to be experienced.