Saturday, July 13, 2013

I'm a Pinterest girl, in a Pinterest world

Pinterest!!!  Now, you either associated those exclamation points with excitement or dread.  Funny how that works.  Most women associated it with excitement and most men, dread.  I think those of us Pinterest users can agree that it is a marvelous way to share and get ideas pertaining to pretty much anything in life. 
Those husbands of Pinterest users can agree...your wife has been infected.  She's got the Pinterest bug.  The big question on my mind lately has been this: Does Pinterest do more harm than good?  Pinterest has, in fact, launched to the top of social media interest.  Marketing teams around the world are looking to studies that say 80% of Pinterest users are women and that 1 out of every 4 women use Pinterest, and they are realizing what an amazing tool Pinterest can be!  At the same time, a simple Google search can come up with many articles about how Pinterest affects your self-esteem, how addictive it is, and how it sets you up for failure.

Before anyone gets their undies in a bundle, let me tell you, I have discovered a crafty, DIY, homemade everything kind of side that I didn't know I had.  Over the years, I've tried to find "my thing".  Some people are runners, some are dancers, photograpers, health nuts, savings savvy,  artists, athletes, academics, etc etc. The list goes on!  Truth is, I never found anything that I could really call a hobby.  I've been into photography since I was little (my first camera was a 110mm that my mom got me at a garage sale) but comparing myself to others has made me feel some pressure to be the kind of "better" that requires time and money I don't have.  I did band in school, I loved it, but renting/buying an instrument...again, time and money I don't have. Anywho, there's my back-story.

Pinterest has allowed me to create things I never thought I could!  Everyone needs an outlet like that.  It is in our very nature to create!  Here's an awesome and inspiring video about that. 

I wanted to know more about what some of my friends thought of Pinterest so of course I took my question to none other than...Facebook.  Natalie said, "Pinterest can be a motivator or an idea creator. Many times when I've tried and failed at doing a craft or something else from Pinterest, I find myself creating my own way of doing things and learning something in the process. Self discovery maybe?"  I totally agree!  Self-discovery!  

There are many pro's of Pinterest.  It promotes creativity, going outside of your comfort zone to try new things or recipes, finally figuring out how to wash pillows or fold fitted sheets, cute and inexpensive date-night ideas, how to talk to your teenager, an obscene amount of work-out ideas, and the list goes on.  Pinterest has a lot to offer.  Sharing web sources and resources with friends and acquaintances, collecting and collaborating ideas or experiences, etc, etc!  My friend Rachel says that she's developed and enriched many of her talents from Pinterest!

So what's the downfall?  It can be overwhelming to say the least.  There's a lot there!  Katie summed it up quite nicely when she replied, "I feel the same about Pinterest as I do about Super Saturdays. I feel uncrafty, untalented, and its just a bunch of show-offs."   Natalie says, "I feel as though Pinterest is a giant site full of unrealistic expectations. I feel as though it could potentially be damaging to our feminine youth because of the appearance of perfection in all things that it portrays."  And I agree.  Here's why...

With the recent celebration of Mikey's first year in the world I decided to try several pins.  The cake mashing photo shoot, cute one year pictures with the number 1 and a single balloon, the sugar cookie tower cake with fruit in between the layers.  I was gonna do it all!  Well, I quickly got overwhelmed with how completely imperfect everything turned out and really, I was kind of depressed.  "Why couldn't I do it right?  I'm messing everything up!  Now his one year birthday has come and gone, it's too late now!"  This caused me to think about getting so caught up in the Pinterest world.  There are many blog moms (like this one) out there that have daily picture perfect posts, and who wouldn't want that!?  Twenty years ago, even just 10 years ago, you only saw that kind of stuff in the magazines.  Now, it seems like everyone knows someone who seems to have a Pinterest perfect life. But what about the rest of us!?

This is my belief: Pinterest, like most things in life, can be used for good, and can be used for evil.  It's easy to get wrapped up in it all.  So here's some tips from some of my friends.  These suggestions have been helping me to purge some of my Pinterest boards and have urged me be a little more careful and conscious of what I'm pinning.

  • "I get on, look up a recipe for play dough (or whatever), pin it, get off an make it. That's the only way to survive pinterest. Get in, and get out."
  • "I try to do two new recipes each week from the site...I don't take anything on it too seriously so I'm not discouraged by it. I look at things and laugh, ain't nobody got time for that."
  • "I decide based on what I need in my house, or what I think I can actually do."
  • "I think everyone should pick one talent or so at a time. You'll go crazy trying to be a master chef, learn crocheting, take up fashion blogging, and do papercrafting as well. And when pinning a recipe, click the link. Read the comments. Has anyone actually MADE the recipe? What advice do they give? Google the recipe or craft too-does it pop up on a pin fail site? If you stay realistic and do your research, it's actually really cool what you can learn." 
    I'd love to hear more about how you survive Pinterest, what you use or don't use it for, and what tips you might have for a recovering addict or newb.
p.s. all images came from Google under the searches "Pinterest" and "Pinterest fails"

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Watch Out! There's a 1 year old in the hizouse!

Family Update Time!
That's right! Our little Mikey is ONE year old!  I'm going to be a typical parent and say it...he's growing so fast!  In the last year this little guy has shown us what an easy-going baby is like (aside from the first 2 months when he wouldn't let us put him down and had stomach issues).  He's still just as easy to travel with and really goes with the flow when it comes to, um, yea, pretty much everything.  He gets fussy when he's over-tired but that seriously seems to be the only thing that gets him cranky.  Yea, we're pretty lucky!  We tend to get comments, wherever we go, from strangers about what a good and cute little guy he is. We are the most spoiled parents!
For the little guy's
 birthday we had breakfast for dinner (pancakes, ham, sausage, bacon) and LOTS of fruit.  My goal was to get him trying some new things while allowing him to feed himself (which he loves to do)  This kid will eat just about anything and everything.  Often, right after feeding him, I'll get him out of his high chair and sit down with something to eat for myself.  Without fail, EVERY TIME, he will crawl to me, pull himself up, and start smacking his lips like he hasn't eaten all day.  He's more than willing to try anything up to three times and we have yet to find something he doesn't like.

A little bit about our 1 year old...
Michael James Scott Emett
-crawls like he's being chased all the time (even strangers at church comment on how fast he gets those legs and arms pumping)
-has 9 teeth with at least 2 more on the way
-just had his 2nd hair cut
-loves classical music (and Les Mis)
-enjoys sliding things across the floor (imagine him crawling with skates on his hands)
-is OCD about things being in their place (every day  he empties the movie cabinet, takes all the bottles out of the recycling bin, and always puts his pop-up animals in the down matter how many times I pop them back up)
-pulls himself up with ease and is experimenting with balance
-loves to be upside-down, swung, tossed, and of course caught
-hide-and-seek is one of his favorite games

In other news...
Mike and I are exploring our graduate school options.  We will be applying this December - February so we're trying to whittle down our options.  I'll be pursuing a masters in Speech-Language Therapy online (and hopefully part-time) and Mike will be going for a Ph.D. in History. 
Mike is still working as a cashier supervisor at Sam's Club and I've got the summer off from school so I'm enjoying spending lots of time with the little one.  I'll start up my classes full-time again this Fall and I've also been asked to substitute for a speech pathologist aide for 6-9 weeks once school starts (part-time, thankfully!).  We're excited to be planning for the next big move and I love doing the research.