As I'm gearing up to teach a Pinterest class at Haven Conference this week, I thought I would share some relevant Pinterest info that you may not have heard people talk about before. 

1. Have you "Tried It" - Within the past year Pinterest has replaced the "like button" with the "tried it" button. I love this new feature because it further cements that Pinterest wants user to take action with the content they find on Pinterest and lessen the amount of Pinterest fails. I try recipes all of the time from Pinterest, and I often go back and rate the recipe and share my experience with the "tried it" feature.

So, what does that mean for you as the content creator? Well, because it's a new feature you can definitely count that the algorithm cares about whether or not a lot of people have tried the pin and found success. When I search for recipes I often see that the top surfacing pins not only have a high repin count, but they also have reviews using the "tried it" feature. So, encourage your followers to try and review when you can. It will give your content a better chance of being recommended by Pinterest. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if the algorithm keeps track of how much you try pins on Pinterest. I would assume the more active you are at trying things on Pinterest the more likely your profile is to be recommended, but that's completely my own inference without any proven data. 

2. Consistent activity on Pinterest is important to growth - As I have been managing other Pinterest accounts over the past year, I have noticed that no matter what size their following is regularly logging in and pinning is key to growth. Scheduling with a third party app and never logging in did show smaller growth rates, which leads me to believe Pinterest cares about their time on site and how much you contribute to the community.

Also, the amount of sharing (repinning) from the community is important. I used to repin 10 pins a day to maintain activity on multiple accounts, but I noticed when I bumped the activity up to about 20 repins a day I saw more growth.

3. Tailwind Tribes are very helpful - Tailwind is a third party approved Pinterest application that gives deeper insight into your Pinterest analytics, and offers some helpful tools such as scheduling. Tribes are a great way to get your content shared by other pinners. Simply add pins from your website to your Tailwind Tribe, and the other members of the tribe will most likely repin them. Of course, they are not obligated to share because that would be spammy behavior, but this is a great way to avoid missing out on your friends' pins due to the engagement based algorithm. I have found my content has gotten so much more traction using their tribes feature.

4. Group boards are a bit scary - Any group boards that don't show a vast variety of domains on them, and instead shows the same websites over and over again is easily flagged by the algorithm as spammy activity, especially when the board strangely has a high and consistent repin rate. Be cautious of this behavior and rethink being a member of these boards. The board could be taken down by Pinterest and your likelihood of being a suggested account to follow will possibly decrease. I know this through the experiences of other group board members and clients. I should say I have not personally experienced this, but I also have never participated in group boards. 

Be sure to check out my online Pinterest classes for more insight into the platform. If you're attending Haven Conference, please come and say hi. 

Photos by Lauren J. Photography



Setting up your dorm room for college is a fun and exciting experience for the student and an emotional roller-coaster for parents as they send their babies off to adulthood. It's not only the child's first time living away from home for kids, but it's, potentially, the first time they have had to prepare healthy meals for themselves, get along with a roommate, do laundry by themselves and other firsts. Though I haven't had to cross that road as a mother, I can only image how mothers want to make sure their kids are set up for success starting with making sure their living spaces are in tip-top shape. I had the opportunity to create some pin-worthy solutions with Target to put moms at ease for this big transition.  You can find them all on their Pinterest board named the "Motherboard." (Get it? Haha!)

Creating the DIY "dormmat"

Creating the DIY "dormmat"

Shot list for the collaboration

Shot list for the collaboration

It was positively the best experience to work for a brand that I'm such a big patron of. They truly are geniuses over there, and being on set was unreal. They had huge room sets that looked you were walking into dreamy homes from a catalog. It was like getting to see behind the curtain of the Wizard of Oz. I felt totally in my element, like I was born ready for this opportunity. So, this what I came up with:

DIY HEADBOARD - When I saw my dorm for the first time it looked like a prison. It was a tiny rectangle of cinderblock. I wanted to cover it up right away, but it's hard to do when you can't nail anything to a wall. They didn't have command strips back then (man, I sound old), but now they do. So, I came up with a DIY headboard using shower rings, command strips and shower rod and a tapestry. 

DIY DORM-MAT -Making a good first impression is important. I never had the thought of decorating my dorm room door, but I should have. I thought this DIY "dorm mat" was a nifty idea because it's inviting and fun. We made ours to say "dorm sweet dorm," but you could say, "bring pizza," or "hi, my name is Matt." I crack myself up. You can use all sorts of tools to achieve the DIY, but paint worked best for us and then we cut out the hearts to make it really standout. 

POST-IT NOTE PINATA - Care packages are probably the favorite thing to receive as a student, and they are something all moms should send to their kids. But instead of filling an typical card board box with stuff, why not fill paper bags that work like pinatas. You can even cover it in love notes with post-its to go the extra mile. And instead of filling the pinata with candy, you can fill it with gift cards, makeup, snacks and money.

OVERNIGHT OATS - Healthy eating was a challenge for me in college. I definitely gained the freshman 15. I wish I knew what overnight oats were back then because you can prepare a bunch of breakfasts in advance and stash them in a mini fridge. It's also a recipe that doesn't require a microwave or a ton of ingredients. 


Well, I did it! I did pilates at Core Body Pilates for three months with a minimum of three works outs a week. I feel strong, empowered, proud, flexible and healthy. My lifestyle and body has completely changed since I began this challenge. (see here for my the beginning post)

Before I started I was tired, in pain from my joint inflammation and I didn't feel confident. When I walked into a store I had to stick to certain clothes that disguised my mid-section or thighs. All of that is gone.

I was told that I would feel different after 10 sessions, see a difference in 20 and be changed in 30. It was an accurate statement and here's the proof.

When I began seeing results in the first month, I found myself even more motivated to keep going and step it up a notch. At the beginning of the second month I became gluten, dairy and sugar free to help lessen my inflammation and help my autoimmune issues. It has helped me SOOO much. I can't recommend that diet change enough. (read more about that here).

At the beginning of third month I found myself really looking forward to pilates, confident in how to do the moves and able to keep up for the whole hour. I started picking up the pace and going 4-5 times a week. Though it was hard to wake up every day at 4:20 the extra session definitely helped. 

I would highly recommend making a three month commitment if you are starting on a fitness journey. I think three session a week is a doable goal for the first month, but I would step up more in the second month if you can. I'm proof that it works, and I hope you take the challenge for yourself. For new clients, you can get a month of unlimited classes for $99. Such a great deal! They also have childcare for morning classes. Be sure to check the schedule to confirm.



I have lived in Arizona for 15 years. The first couple of summers were brutal as I adjusted to scorching temperatures. I kept thinking to myself, “Why do I even live here?” but then something funny happened. I started to fall in love with the desert and I adapted just like the animals and the vegetation have done. I learned that shade is king, plants can thrive and the summer sunsets are more amazing as the dust particle swirl in the atmosphere and heat radiates from the ground. Fields of corn stalks fill the brown patches of earth. Tan skin, sun-kissed freckles, gentle waves in my hair after a long day of swimming and soft cotton...These are just a few of my favorite things that I have come to cherish under Arizona summer sun.

So, to adapt in style and to enjoy the summer heat, linen proves to be the most efficient fabric by being light and breathable. In this way, The White Company's summer collection, feels more like a chic armory - keeping me ready for the summertime swelter.

Already familiar with their quality in regards to home linens and beauty products, I hoped The White Company’s clothes would be just as wonderful, and was not disappointed. I found myself drawn to the timelessness and simplicity of their easy linen dresses, pants and neutral accessories. In particular, I fell in love with this Floral Ladder Trim dress and ankle wrap sandals. Even on a blistering hot Arizona day, I would feel happy with the amount of coverage this dress provides, while allowing airflow. As for my feet, these sandals are chameleon-like - they can be worn with ANYTHING, creating the perfect finishing touch for nearly any outfit.


The cut of this linen dress is timeless, I’m confident I will wear this piece for years to come. Be it for an all day excursion at the beach or at a summer BBQ, it works for just about every occasion. I ordered a size 6 based off of their sizing chart and it fits perfectly. The length makes it comfortable enough for me to wear to church on a Sunday, with no hesitation.

I have been wanting a neutral, flat sandal for a while now, and I was really drawn to these suede tassel ones. I've mentioned before that I enjoy open toe shoes because of my long, narrow feet, and the ankle strap helps my feet feel secure. These shoes are going to get a lot of use this summer because they really go with any outfit - you can dress them up or down, and you don't have to bother with figuring out if they match what you're wearing, because odds are it already does. In Arizona the heat is dry and letting your feet breathe can mean facing a bit of dust but sometimes you must take the good with the mildly annoying :)

All in all my first experience with The White Company's clothing and accessories was great and I already see myself returning for more classic closet staples. If you're in the New York City area, I highly recommend stopping in at their first U.S. brick and mortar store.

This post is sponsored by The White Company. Products were given as part of payment for this post. All thoughts are my own. Photos by Rennai Hoefer.


This is a face of pure joy, of sweet dreams, of a safe home, of no worries. This is Henry, the son of my best friend, and a couple days ago he graduated from a toddler bed to a "big boy" bed with a comfy Revive Mattress from Living Spaces. I got to play auntie and give him a mattress, and I get to giveaway two mattresses (one to a blog reader and one to their friend). EEEE!

For Henry, I selected the R2 mattress which has 11.5" foot of foam (gel foam, memory foam, contour foam and orthopedic support). This mattress is different than other ones out there because it has a .5" cooling fabric cover and copper gel foam. That's really important when Arizona nights can be upwards of 90 degrees.

Good sleep is priceless and crucial to growth and development for kids. In fact 10-13 hours of sleep is recommended for 3-5 year olds. If you're you going to spend half of your day in bed it should be a good one, right? I'm so glad I can help Henry have the best sleep of his dreams. I am also excited to spread the news that Living Spaces is helping foster care families and foster children in Arizona have same quality of sleep as Henry. Living Spaces has partnered with Arizona Helping Hands, and from June 26th - July16th, when you purchase a Premium Revive Mattress Set from a Revive Sleep Center in Arizona, a child in foster care will receive a free Revive Twin Mattress and Foundation. How amazing is that?!

Revive mattresses start at $450. You can get the full scoop and choose the right firmness (firm, medium, plush) and the size online. The mattress is shipped straight to your door in a box. I recommend opening up the box once you are in the bedroom and place it on your bed. Even your pets will come running. 

If you're interested in winning your own Revive mattress of your choice, check out the steps below.

  • Between 12:01am PT June 26, 2017 and 11:59pm PT July 16, 2017, readers must follow @revivebyls on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/revivebyls and comment on the “Buy one Give One” image posted to the @revivebyls Instagram page on June 26, 2017 by tagging @avestyles and one (1) Instagram friend that they would like to win with. No other comments besides the name tags are required for entry. By entering the giveaway you are agreeing to follow @revivebyls on Instagram for the duration of the Giveaway. 

Alternative Method of Entry (“AMOE”):
Mail your name, phone number, address, and the name of the friend you’d like to win with you to:
Attn: Nikki Partise, Marketing Dept.
Living Spaces
14501 Artesia Blvd.
La Mirada CA 90638

  • Eligibility: The Promotion is open only to permanent, legal residents legally residing in the U.S. from June 28-July 16, 2017. Promotional card is eligible for use in store only and cannot be used at livingspaces.com. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age. Employees of Living Spaces, Alexandra Evjen, and their immediate family members (defined as spouses and biological, adoptive or step-parents, legal guardians, children, siblings, or grandparents, their respective spouses and any dependent under federal income tax law) or household members are not eligible to participate in the Promotion. Void where prohibited by law. All applicable federal, state and local laws apply.

  • You can read the full terms and conditions of the contest here:

This post is sponsored by Living Spaces, product was given as payment, Photos by Rennai Hoefer;