Friday, March 8, 2013

Living The Pinterest Life.

There once was a time when I would Ask Jeeves "how to wear my hair in a simple up-do," or "how to make peach sangria," and when my love for that helpful old Internet butler faded, Google quickly stepped in and successfully taught me "how to clean my cook top stove" and "how to throw a Tiffany's-themed engagement party."

It was around that same time when I would scour the racks of nearby bookstores for home decor magazines promising "simple centerpiece and mantel ideas" and "25 easy ways to makeover your bedroom." Whether I was asking Jeeves, "googling" something or flipping through magazine pages, each time that I conducted these searches, my desire for immediate gratification was rewarded with successful recipes, tutorials and nary a broken hyperlink or page error to be found.

Although a bit more recent, there was also a time when I let my toddler play with paints without first putting them in a ziplock baggie and taping them to the sliding glass door in the kitchen and I poured rice into a mixing bowl and let him have at it not because it was popular but because I was at my wits end and needed him to engage in self-play for 10 minutes while I sat on the couch and zoned out and he had already pulled the rice from the pantry and dumped it all over the floor any way.

In it's short existence, Pinterest has changed the way I live. It has simultaneously made me feel like I wasn't Mom Enough, that I could Wife Better and be the Best Version Of Myself if only I had the perfect DIY manicure, a garland made from burlap strung up somewhere in my home, two ingredient gluten free cookies in the oven and my hair in a sock bun.

And don't even get me started on "Thin-terest," the name I've given to the hoards of "thin-spiration" boards that greet me every time I log in, pins that have me contemplating an air-only diet for months on end and liposuction as a mother's day present to myself. 

Pinterest has a way of making life look so much better, shinier even, when organized into well-defined, pretty little boards. After all, wouldn't food taste better, clothes fit better, my children feel more loved, my husband more appreciated if only I could achieve what Pinterest and so many of my peers deem perfect or at the very least ideal? 

The Pinterest Effect.

I'm sorry but my house looks nothing like the rooms I pin onto my "Decor" board and at this rate they never will. As much as I long for a living room that displays a white chaise lounge bathed in beautiful natural light spilling through a large bay window, a camel colored cashmere throw draped perfectly over one arm, set against a backdrop of mountains and a pristine lake, I have to remember that I have twenty sticky little fingers in my house that love fruit punch and permanent markers and zero time to lounge anywhere around my house, especially on a perfectly staged chaise.  

Where's the pin board for reality? 

I'm sure if I created one tomorrow and pinned to it pictures of our playroom, the one that resembles a cross between a Toys R Us and a house on Hoarders, it would have zero followers. Even if I found a free minute to write up a tutorial on "How To Style Your Top Knot" which, let's face it, is really a fancy term for the Messy Bun which I've been sporting since my all-girl Catholic high school glory days, nobody would re-pin that. But that's real life. 

That's me doing me. 

Pins full of artfully crafted Toddler Meal  Ideas? My toddler is lucky if he gets a different vegetable paired with his fish sticks each night other than his ever-reliable green peas. The Perfect Smokey Eye? Date Night Outfit? Victoria Secret Model Abs? None of those have ever graced my day to day life. I'm lucky if I remember to blend two shades of eye shadow let alone four, throw on a top that doesn't have some sort of food and/or baby stain on it prior to the elusive date night and as for Victoria Secret model abs? "Thin-terest" can shove it. 

I've fallen victim to the Pinterest Effect many times. I've created boards, each one with a more creative and wittier name than the last, pinning and re-pinning pins each one promising the perfect this, the best that or the ultimate what-have-you. 

What I've finally realized is this: 

Pinterest can only make you feel inferior if you allow it to. Your home was just as warm and inviting before you found The Perfect Shade of Grey Paint and your kids will love you regardless of whether you bake them The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies, which, by the way there are least seventy five different recipes for or The Chocolate Chip Cookies You Made From A Box Last Wednesday.

Don't let a few pretty pictures dictate your worth as a woman, a mother or a wife. I'm fairly certain you were doing just fine before Pinterest made you feel otherwise. 


  1. Omg, Ask Jeeves! That seems so long ago! My motto with PInterest is always "some day" lol. And at least I've made some good meals with it. Right?

  2. Hi! I know you asked for lurkers to unveil themselves a bit ago but I'm late for everything...
    I'm not sure how I found your blog but it has become a staple to me google reader and IG. This post is spot on and I thank you for writing it. I'm not a mom or wife but can still relate. You are a cool chick with a beautiful life and I love that Sheepie.

  3. I luv this! I have boards for cupcakes,candies manicures and eye shadow ideas. The onky one i use often is...cupcakes lol ans thin terest thats such a joke. The people who post those pictures live their lives for those pics and have no kids. Lol give me baking anyday and cooking heck.yeah a perfect house no way! Im a mom and im real and I love u nore than carrots is perfection in my book i adore the way u write!

  4. Some of your projects look like you have the perfect home anyways ;) but yeah I'm with you - I totally don't let pinterest or anything else for that matter dictate how we live our lives or evaluate our worth. All it is are some magazine cut outs that I save for a rainy day project.

  5. Well said AP!! I love Pinterest for providing me a place where I can save all recipes and ideas in one place to draw inspiration from and a place to get lost in every now and then. However, I often find myself thinking maybe I am doing it wrong, with the "it" being life. Then I quickly remind myself that those Victoria's Secret abs are not made by doing 10 crunches a day, they are made in the kitchen by eating clean and in the gym killing it. That impecably designed living room wasn't just thrown together, that is someone's vision and countless hours of toil.

    The majority of the picture perfect things on Pinterest are the product of someone's hard work and dedication. Your hard work and dedication is currently devoted to raising your beautiful boys, and that is pretty phenomenal if you ask me. If we spread ourselves too thin by trying to be perfect at everything, we will not have the energy and resources to dedicate to those things most important to us.

    Barbells and Bellinis

  6. I'm with you girl! My house is run by a 7 and 3 year old. Def not pin worthy!

  7. Well said AP! I love Pinterest for providing me a place to save ideas and inspiration for recipes and other areas of interest and a place to just get lost in every now and then. However, every once in a while I find myself wondering if I am doing it wrong, with "it" being life. Then I remind myself that those Victoria's Secret abs were not made doing 10 crunches three days a week as advertised, they were made by eating clean and killing it in the gym every single day. And that jaw dropping living room wasn’t just thrown together; it was a product of someone’s vision and hours of toil (and someone’s money).
    The majority of things we see on Pinterest are the product of someone’s hard work and dedication. Your hard work and dedication is currently devoted to raising your two beautiful boys, and I think that is pretty phenomenal. We have to remember, if we spread ourselves too thin by tying to be perfect at everything in this life, we won’t have the energy and resources left to pour into the things most dear to us; the things that make us smile.

    Barbells and Bellinis

  8. Yes. Thank you. I am a relatively new reader-- so, hi!-- and this post is spot on. As a full-time working mom of a 13 month old, I can barely manage to throw a frozen pizza in the oven most nights. Yet, I spend all this time on Pinterest (and, ahem, blogs) dreaming up all these ways to make everything more "perfect." Not gonna happen... And that's OK. So thank you for reminding us of that! I needed to hear this today.

  9. So true! I always wonder how moms made it without the internet at all...and then I kick myself and think: they just did it! Instincts and's amazing what we really are capable of if we just give ourselves a chance!

  10. I've never understood why people get so anti-Pinterest. I pin lots of stuff and yes, it would be nice to look like or be able to do the things I've pinned but I don't let it stress me out or get me down. I guess I've just had many life experiences that have taught me to let things like that go.

    And I would totally follow your real life board(s).

  11. Hahaha....oh lord, Ask Jeeves....he was the man back in the day! :)

    I completely agree with this. It's hard not to fall down the foxhole of Pinterest. I'd be the shizz if I could do all the stuff that I have been but I'd probably also be dead from trying to keep up with it.

    Forget that, hand me a Thin Mint and a woobie.

  12. I can't help but wonder if maybe you read my post from a couple weeks ago? If not, our brains are synced up and we should be good friends. :) Thank you for the words of encouragement!

  13. Ha. I'm so old school. I still Google everything. ;)

    I love this post. I actually don't "do" Pinterest much. I have a few boards but mainly hop on when it's crunch time and I realize I have a 3rd birthday coming up in less than a month or when I'm stumped on dinner. But I get it. I get how looking at all those pretty pictures make you feel a bit inferior. I just try to remind myself, those are inspiration for EVERYONE. And everyone has different talents. Mine is not in crafting, so I stay away from the craft boards. Things like that.

    All this probably doesn't make sense but maybe you know what I'm trying to say?!? All that to say, I like this post :)

  14. I love how Pinterest is dictating my life; my home has never looked better lol


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