Pinterest and GoJee: Tech Tools that Make Entertaining Easy and Fun

Hi, I’m Natanya and I’m addicted to Pinterest.

Pintrest profile page

I could, easily, no scarily easily, spend my days on this website, neglecting my family, job, blog, pets, and personal hygiene. With every new screen there’s a fun project, beautiful photo, or brilliant idea that I absolutely have to explore. It’s more than a time suck – it’s a time vortex. No, a time black hole.

But I digress.

My lack of ability to manage my Pineterest obsession is only slightly related to why we’re gathered here today.

Today I want to introduce you to two websites that, while relatively new, are quickly becoming part of my entertaining toolkit. Both are fun, gorgeous, and ever so useful. They will make entertaining easier and more fun. And if you develop you own time management issues around them, well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Pinterest: Your Virtual Idea Repository

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where you “tack” photos of fun things you find on the web to your very own boards. This is the electronic version of cutting out pictures from a magazine and pinning them to a bulletin board, but it’s so much better. First of all, you don’t have to worry about how much wall space you have to devote to boards as the wall is virtual and endless. Next, if you want to share your boards and inspirations with friends they don’t have to come over for a visit. They follow you on line and poof, they are following your boards. You can even make new friends on Pinterest based on shared interests and tastes. And of course, virtual photos don’t fade, so no worrying about time taking its toll on your beautiful boards.

Really, it’s quite brilliant. People find the most interesting things online and now they are easy to share visually instead of as a series of links in some boring RSS reader or social bookmarking. The visual element just makes the whole experience more fun and compelling. It’s one thing to read about making a cupcake in a mason jar, it’s another thing to see a photos of said cupcake and be inspired to go out and make it right this second.

Did I mention I really love Pinterest?

But how exactly is it an amazing tool for entertaining? I submit that Pintrest can easily become your virtual entertaining inspiration station.

Halloween Pinboard on Pinterest

  • Store cool ideas you find now but won’t put to use for months in a place where you’ll quickly remember why they appealed to you in the first place. I’ve already started boards for Halloween and fall, and I expect I’ll start a Christmas board any day now.
  • Entertaining is more than the food, so why not keep track of fun tablescape and place setting ideas? I have an Entertaining Ideas board that’s a catch all for right now. My friend from The Kid Can Cook has been planning a party for her young son so she has Bug Party and Space Party Boards.
  • If you’re blocked or need ideas, simply search on a party theme or season (I found almost 11,000 Halloween related items) and browse until inspiration strikes. Then pin away!

Pinterest Halloween Search Results

And these are just a few of ways to use Pinterest for all-things entertaining related. And while you can store all of the information captured by Pinterest in a variety of places, there’s just something about Pintreest that makes the collection of ideas fun. Plus, when you follow others on Pinterest, you’re presented with seemingly endless ideas you’ll want to pin to your own boards. And finally, the Pinterest browser plugin makes pinning a snap, so you can create boards as you go with almost no effort.

I’ve integrated Pinterest into my entertaining tools as the central storage for ideas. Once I’ve committed an idea to a party or other activity, I record the details (recipe clipping, craft instructions and supplies, etc) into my more detailed planning tools like Evernote and Excel. This helps me keep those tools in reserve for ideas I’m going to act upon as opposed to those that I’m simply considering. It’s quite a neat dividing line and has solved the annoying conundrum I’ve had of keeping track of ideas.

If you are on Pinterest I’d love to see your boards. Friend me at @natanyap. Pinterest is still open by invitation only, but I can send invitations, so if you aren’t pinning yet and are ready to get started, tweet me @natanyap and I’ll send an invite your way.

GoJee: Search Great Food Blogs Quickly and Easily

The proliferation of recipe content on the web is almost staggering. Between publisher sites like My Recipes and Epicurious and the vast food blogosphere, recipes seem to multiple like rabbits. I’ll admit that I tend to return to the same recipe sites time and again simply because I trust their information and they are easy to navigate. I also have a collection of food blogs that I read regularly but I don’t tend to search those blogs when I’m on the hunt for a particular kind of recipe. If I’ve saved a great recipe (say in Pinterest) it’s easy to find, but otherwise I may never make it back to that blogger’s site again for that particular recipe. For years now I’ve wanted a better way to access content from some of my favorite bloggers when I have a particular need in the same way I access a recipe site.

Enter GoJee.

This new, visual-driven site has a repository of the best recipes from some of the best bloggers around, including Steamy Kitchen, Food 52, In Jennie’s Kitchen, and more. The site also offers a really interesting approach to recipe search:

  • Start with what you’re craving.
  • Add what you have on hand.
  • Filter out the things you dislike.

While you do have to start with a search for something, the other two elements are optional but they help refine your choices. As a tool for entertaining GoJee not only gives you access to content otherwise spread across the blogosphere in a highly-visual way, but it helps you easily narrow down recipes to a particular idea you have in mind. For example, I love lamb but am tired of the same ol’, same ol’ lamb + mint or lamb + rosemary combinations. I told GoJee I’m craving lamb but dislike mint and rosemary (not true but helps me reach my goal) which lead me to Lamb Stew with Poppyseed Dumplings from Serious Eats, Lamb Stew with Lemon and Thyme from Serious Eats (they like their lamb stew), Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce from Food 52, and more.

GoJee Search Results

I really love that this site sends you to the source of the recipe so those creating the great content get the proper credit but also because it is a great way to discover new blogs and sources of cooking inspiration. I see GoJee being useful for entertaining in a couple of ways:

  • For impromptu entertaining, tell GoJee what you have on hand and it will help you make something of it. This is handy if friends just decide to stop over or if a dish you were preparing goes badly (hey, it happens) and you need to replace it with something else.
  • To make navigating big dinner party with lots of guests and preferences easier. For example, on our household we don’t eat garlic or mushrooms, so I can find a great stuffed pork loin recipe for Christmas dinner that doesn’t include those ingredients so I can skip even looking at recipes with these ingredients which makes researching the menu faster.

In the end I just love the GoJee puts this collection of recipes at my finger tips. I know and trust these sources of food content because GoJee has done a great job of picking reputable bloggers as their source content, so I don’t have to sift through a slew of meaningless Goggle results to access their content. Because GoJee is new I expect we’ll see more features in the future, so keep an eye on this site as a go-to source for recipes for entertaining.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks to my father who shared with me on the topic of this webpage, this webpage is genuinely amazing.


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