Using Pending Review
The Pending Review state can be used to mark a new item of content needing approval. Items in the Pending Review state are not visible to anyone without the Reviewer permission or higher, and will not be accessible by visitors to your site.
To utilize the Pending Review state, contributors should choose Submit for publication after creating a new page. Subsequently, managers can edit the content and either choose to publish it, or send it back to the creator.
Using the SOM Review Portlet
When an item is marked 'Pending Review' by a contributor to your site, the Review List portlet appears in the right column. This portlet is only visible for logged-in users with 'Can Review' permission or higher on your site. The SOM review portlet displays items which have been submitted for publication by users who do not have publishing permission. Until a reviewer finalizes these changes, nothing in the SOM review portlet will be visible on your site. This portlet is useful for the site manager, since it collects and displays a list of all content awaiting approval.
Check the Exclude subsites box (Manage portlets > SOM Review List), if you don't want the subsite's recent items to appear in your SOM review portlet.