Thursday, September 5, 2013

Feeling the burnout

I don't know if it's just me but I'm going through Pinterest burnout.  I don't mean on that actual site because it can be wonderful when you're looking for inspiration or putting together a wishlist for people for Christmas or your birthday.  But as my personal FB page is getting flooded with Fall ideas/recipes and people squealing over it all, I really feel like it has changed societies expectation for the worse.

When I did the Mr's milestone birthday party last year, I threw it together pretty quick for me...6 weeks.  Now 6 weeks might sound like more than enough time but I wanted to do it up right for him and knowing that people would be there who are Pinterest diehards, I knew there would be a certain expectation to what could be.  Well I did homemade mason jar cider glasses, redecorated a beverage tin with a jute twine rope with a bottle opener attached with the fancy pants sodas inside, mesh table liners over craft paper and mini hay bales with apples and mini pumpkins.  Homemade cake ball favors and desserts in addition to the cake since the lunch was being catered.  A big picture board with his age painted in chalkboard paint so people could leave messages on the back.  It was all wonderful and all of the Pinterest people were highly impressed.  I just thank God it wasn't around when my mom's 50th birthday rolled around.  That one took me 9 months of planning and if that expectation had been there for that one, I would've been there in spirit while resting comfortably on sedatives at the asylum.  Don't get me wrong, I loved planning the Mr's party, getting that creativity out and I didn't even get any of those ideas from Pinterest anyway but I knew that things have shifted and yes, I got sucked into it.  It's a blessing and a curse to someone like me with the entertaining gene.

My friend has been planning her future sister in law's wedding and bachelorette parties, etc and she is being run ragged.  She's been a zombie for 2 months and it's not even her wedding!  There is such an expectation to go all out for a unique party/shower/wedding that it's not really enjoyable for those having to put it all together anymore.  I mean hell man, I was thrilled with my bachelorette party and it was my mom, aunts, grandma and 3 best friends going out to dinner, a comedy club and renting a hotel room for the stripper (who was like a monk compared to today's strippers) to dance in and we had a slumber party afterward.  I didn't need an all day affair with mani/pedi's, a culinary tour of the city, group shirts so everyone would know we were together in a posse and a tiara or veil so that people would try to embarrass me all night.  I'm NOT judging people who do all that stuff.  I think it's fine if you want it or you want to go all out for the occasion but I fear that the focus is getting skewed a bit.  I'm a simple person with simple tastes, I guess...or just an old lady now.  I really wanted this rad 80's theme party with family and friends for my next milestone birthday but after seeing the way some people made his party about them or other emotional vampires that purposely weren't invited, the Mr has strict instructions that we will have 2 separate dinners...one for family and one for friends.  No rad 80's theme.  Just give me a drama free birthday please, apparently that's now more important to me than this blowout party I'd always envisioned.  Sigh.

I read all kinds of blogs from food to design blogs and the Pinterest influence is everywhere.  Lately I've been getting more and more irritated with the things I've been seeing.  People unveil their homes or room redo's and while yes, they may have needed an update, they go so far to wanting to live in that over styled magazine they read or pinned that, to me, the rooms now feel unlivable.  It feels like someplace where if I were a guest in the home, I would be sitting on the edge of the couch with my hands on my knees afraid to relax and definitely would refuse a drink because I wouldn't want to get water rings on the coaster.

Don't even get me started on what parents are expected to do for Valentines Day, Christmas (oops, I mean the holiday season or whatever PC bullcrap people call December now) and birthday parties.  What the hell happened to crepe paper streamers, balloons, a cake and a table with a cardboard happy birthday banner across it for the presents?  Yeesh!

Food blogs are becoming a big time turn off.  I swear to God if I see one more 6 main ingredient "stuffed" cookie/brownie/cupcake, I'm going to puke.  I saw one last week that was just like "are you serious!??!"  It literally looked like a big pile of dung and there were so many ingredients (all good on their own or mixed with 2-3 of them) they just looked and sounded gross.  I've got news people...the flavor of Nutella greatly diminishes when you try to bake it.  Matter of fact it says this on the jar...


Yes, I know it says "do not microwave" but I think heat is the main point here.  It's not that you CAN'T bake it but personally I think it's a "just because you can doesn't mean you should" thing.  I want to be able to taste the Nutella and you can taste it better as a plain spread, a filling, mixed in with frosting and such...not dumped in a bowl with Oreos, pretzels, peanut butter, M&M's, oats, peanut butter cups and chocolate chips.  I mean come on folks, chocolate and peanut butter together are pretty friggin' fantastic!  Six extra ingredients not required!

To conclude my rant, I think Pinterest is a great site...in moderation.  I'm thankful for people who visit my Pinterest page and find something they love and repin it if that's what makes them happy.  But I'll be honest...  I pin stuff, forget about them and never look at the board again.  Bad blogger, I know.  Pinterest fail for me.  (Or is that how everyone does it?)  But it's just too over saturated and such a time suck that I have to prioritize things.  While inspiration is a wonderful thing, let's not try to live in the magazine, please.  I think many people are spending so much time obsessing over every detail that they may be missing the big picture.

Do you like Pinterest?  Do you feel like it and similar websites have changed societies expectations of how we live and entertain?

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43 comments:

  1. It is funny how so many of the things I see people sharing on facebook, etc. are basically just a big mix of everything a person can find to throw together and I really do think it is getting to the point of overload. It seems to become more about getting clicks because you've got the most outrageous new idea instead of something that is actually good. Sometimes the simple things are better. In my mind there is nothing simpler or more satisfying than that peanut butter and dark chocolate pudding you make. Can you tell I'm craving that? MMMMMM!

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    1. Yep. I mean there are some recipes that sound good but others just seem to be "how outrageous can I make this so people visit my site?" I'm getting the hint about the chocolate peanut butter pudding sir. Pffft! :-P

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  2. I have never been to pinterest, and have no interest in going. I also do not entertain. Too much work involved. But kudos to you for wanting to do those things, even if it brings about much stress to you. The end result I am sure is worth it. I have already had too many people tell me how many days to Christmas and that alone is a big turn off. My favorite holiday is Halloween and we don't even get a day off for that one. So yes, I think social media is skewing the way we view things and react to them. It's all about the sale now, and the fun and joy of each event is being lessened each year.

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    1. I only go all out for the things that I feel are worth it. Mom wasn't going to have a big 25th/50th anniversary party so I made her 50th a big deal. (Her co-workers still talk about it) The Mr's party was perfect. A big roaring fire in the outdoors with the people closest to us and some great food and pretty decorations. Those things were worth the stress for the memories created. Christmas I will always go all out for because it's always been my favorite holiday Pinterest or not. (I don't need any inspiration in that dept! LOL) But I just thank God I don't have kids because I've seen how the mom's make their kids contribution to parties/holidays about them and not the kids. I just want to decorate how I like, not how some website says I should WANT to decorate so I'm like everyone else. Oh yeah, 109 days til Santa comes! *ducking*

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  3. I totally agree with this whole post. I also do the same thing where I pin stuff and then never look at it again. I think social media (pinterest, facebook, instagram) in general has increased society's desire to "keep up with the Jones'" or to one-up each other by throwing the most perfect and fabulously unique party EVER. I try not to get wrapped up in all of that, and just read blogs that I love instead. (Like yours!)

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    1. Aww, you're too sweet! You hit it on the head! It's creating the worst case of keeping up with the Jones' ever and for what? Superiority? So you can be declared party queen? I've always thrown memorable gatherings with stuff as simple as really awesome food and a great playlist in the background that people still talk about. I don't need washi taped chevron straws (can chevron PLEASE die now??) with complicated cocktails, a 15 ingredient cookie and food "stations" to impress people.

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  4. I don't "do" Pinterest, I'm just not interested. If I had a reason to go there for ideas I would, but I haven't had a need. Hubby and I are very simple people, and crepe paper streamers are fine for us. Actually we had my son's 7th birthday at the bowling alley with a table cloth,a Cars theme cake from the bakery and some little favor bags I threw together for the kids. That's it. And guess what? The kids had a great time, and the adults that came with their kids weren't disappointed at all. My wedding would have been a planner's nightmare. Not because of the difficulty but because there was basically nothing to plan. 30 people including the wedding party, held at my parents' church, beautiful flowers and a cake with fresh matching flowers, a giant sandwich and some veggie/fruit trays for the reception and that's it. I'm fine with that, not everyone needs to be a Pinterest goddess.

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  5. Oh - and I forgot to add the most important thought. Special occasions are supposed to be about the people gathering, not about the decorating. If someone doesn't like it, tough.

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    1. The best parties I had as a kid involved nothing more than a great cake, streamers and balloons. Those were the expectations and I certainly wouldn't push for more just because so and so had more crap at theirs. I tend to find the more extravagant where kids parties are concerned the more it seems to be about the parents and not the birthday boy/girl. Kids have really simple expectations as long as you don't lead them otherwise. Good on ya, it sounds like a fun bday party! I haven't been bowling in forever!

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  6. When I first joined Pinterest (over a year ago, but still, I was late to the party) I LOVED it and spend a lot of time sitting at the computer. Now, I do usually have a quick check in maybe once a day, but don't spend a lot of time there.

    I'm so NOT a party girl ... seriously, my poor kids. They only get a few "friend" birthday parties and I don't do much (and hate every minute). Two of my boys just had birthdays last week and were moaning about not having a party (I did throw one last year!)

    I agree on much of the food. Even though some of the desserts look good, I'm NOT going to make something that uses an already completed EXPENSIVE product (candy like Reeses or Rolos, or Girl Scout Cookies) as an ingredient ... the candy or cookie is already a treat, I'll just eat that!

    I've never had Nutella ... alone or as an ingredient.

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    1. I know, I was late to it too and I was all into it for like 2 weeks then it had to be something SERIOUSLY worth me hitting the pin button. I got lazy! LOL

      I think the few friend parties are the best! I remember slumber parties with a few close friends, pizza and squealing over cute rock stars and being happy. I just feel for parents these days because it's easy to get "party envy" if kids friends parents go overboard.

      I'm with you, Rolos or Reeses in a candy dish will do just fine for me or maybe as a garnish on a cupcake. Oh girl, try Nutella! World Market has a picnic size for $1 in the gift basket section. That's how we tried it and never looked back. My favorite is 1/2 tbsp on a banana. SOOOO good!

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  7. this has been a topic of the blogosphere all week. it's gotten too out of hand. i rarely look at pinterest. i dont have time to get caught up, i know i will. there was a back to school article i read yesterday about how parents are going overboard since pinterest came to be. it's ridiculous!!

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    1. Oh really? It's been such a busy week I haven't been making my normal blog rounds but I'm not surprised with the holidays coming up. I'm sure people have already started their "how to do a Fall porch vignette for less than $50" post. Here's mine...$8 corn stalks from the farmers market, $5 mum basket from Home Depot and $5 mini pumpkins from the grocery store! Voila, under $20! It's all for us anyway because no one comes to visit! LOL

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  8. I stay off pinterest unless I have a very specific need (like how to store headbands).

    I'm throwing my daughters a birthday party next month, and I'm not decorating (maybe a balloon or two) and we're having pizza, salad, and cake. No favors, no banners, no carefully crafted place cards. And I ordered the invitations--they're generic and pretty cheap (although cute). Somehow, I think it'll all be fine!

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    1. I hear ya! Something has to REALLY impress me to get me to pin it these days and it's usually a money saving thing.

      I'm sure your daughter will love her party because it's about the people there to celebrate her special day! She'd never remember the place cards or banners anyway. ;)

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  9. Hmm...we didnt even celebrate my birthday..coming from a military lifestyle family (dad in merchant navy) we only celebrated his return..just us 3...but now I see people going nuts over birthday parties argh...boring!!! I took mu hubby on his 30th for dinner...

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    1. I think a lot of it has to do with your expectation as a kid. You either continue on with little fanfare like you did or you want to create what you missed out on and make it look like Party City threw up in your house! As long as you two like it that way, keep up what works, baby!

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    2. I agree. My Mom wants things to be clean and welcoming. Then you have one feature item and make the rest easy for yourself. A trip to GFS or Costco saves a lot of cooking time. So when I have people over my focus is #1: clean the house, #2: one homemade dish, #3 fill in with something easy but appears homemade. I'm a chronic procrastinator, though, so I'm always limited to what I can accomplish in a couple days.

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  10. I'm with cheezchik32, I have never been to Pinterest and have no interest in going. I don't entertain very often, but when I do, it is either a dinner type of event, where the food is the star or a social/games type of event, where the activity is the star. I have found that the attendees are always what makes or breaks an event, not my decorations or the amount of preparation time, or how "creative" I have gotten with things. And my events never have a theme.

    I don't have any kids, but the few friend's kids birthday parties that I have helped with have all been very simple. Money is a major factor and budgets are key. The kids didn't seem to notice the difference. The last party I helped with we did a scavenger hunt in the back yard, made hot chocolate, and roasted marshmellows in the fire pit. No decorations required and very little clean up.

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    1. Budget is definitely key. I think if you want to make something fancy pants with things you already have, go for it but don't go bananas on decor the kids will never remember. That scavenger hunt and fire pit party sounds right up my alley!

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  11. I can see how things could get out of control. For me, Pinterest is simply an organizational tool; a way of filing those things I've run across that I may want to refer back to down the road. (I have Ancestry.com as my "time suck.")

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    1. I'm the same way. At first I was pinning things I might like to make or made me drool and now it's more money savers/natural remedies, stuff like that.

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  12. I love this blog. I agree. I totally pin a bunch of stuff to my boards and never do them with the exception of recipes. I've made about 50 or so the the recipes I've pinned so far. Granted, I still have about 500 pinned and more coming soon I'm sure, but I still like it for that aspect. All the other stuff is just fluff.

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    1. Okay, glad to see I'm not the only one! LOL I think I'm going to go through my boards and unpin the stuff I got all jazzed about in the beginning but now kind of turn me off. I'm guilty of pinning those multi-ingredient nightmares about a year ago but oddly enough the thing that gets repinned the most from me is Rocco's Tofu Silken Chocolate Mousse!

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  13. I was pretty much burned out on Pinterest as soon as I joined. Never go there. Must be disappointing to the people who follow me according to the emails I get now and then. Hey, don't follow me, I'm lost too!

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    1. LOL, well at least their feeds don't get overwhelmed by your obsessive pinning like mine have with some people. It's like "you know you don't have pin EVERYTHING right?" :)

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  14. Love, love, love Pinterest! I was going to say "totally addicted", but realized I've been very good lately. I haven't been on for quite awhile and when I have been on it's to retrieve something I pinned. Huh, who knew, I can sort of live without it. And I agree, some of the stuff people pin that shows up on my FB feed looks totally disgusting, but I've noticed a personal trend towards fewer ingredients/simpler, yet tasty, fare, instead of epic creations, 'cause "ain't nobody got time for that". And, you are right, some combos are definitely "less is more" and there comes a point when enough is enough. Two clues...1) if looking at the picture makes your teeth hurt. 2)If looking at the picture makes your blood sugar spike. Then you know someone has gone too far ;).

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    1. I hope that trend reaches my feed soon! I don't mind decadent treats but I like to not have my taste buds duking it out to take in all the flavors and textures. You're right, very time consuming too! ROFL...I love it! So true, if I got a cavity looking at the pic, someone has gone too far. (Though I'll say there's this one sundae on Kevin and Amanda's site (I think her most pinned recipe) and I wouldn't mind a bite or two of that. More than that might give me sugar shock! LOL)

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  15. I thought the same thing when I saw those garbage pail brownies. First, gross and second, what a waste of money because you can't taste any of it. I am one of the few people I know who can't get into pinterest. Probably because I find it completely unrealistic. A collection of stuff I have no time to make.

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    1. Exactly! It'd be different if I could taste the ingredients but there's a point where it all melds together into a big ball of sweet with no distinct taste. Nope.

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  16. It's the internet as a whole that's mucking everything up. The minute we could share our every waking moment so easily with each other is the minute we started competing with one another over every damn thing.

    Now every party needs to not only be fun for everyone but be picture perfect for pinterest. Every meal needs to be picture perfect for instagram. Every thought needs to be 140 characters for twitter (even if that thought is worthless).

    Does that mean I hate the internet? Hell no. But I'm with you on the burn out. I follow sewing blogs and I get sick of seeing perfectly organized/clean/well lit sewing rooms that look like show rooms for the highest end fabrics and sewing machines. I'd much rather follow a "real" blog that admits they have to hoe out a space to sew (among all their junk) and actually FAIL at some of the projects they take on.

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    1. I agree! While it would suck to possibly lose touch with certain people that I only know over the web, I think I could survive if the grid blew. I feel bad posting my meals because the lighting over the table is horrid but hey, that's what I eat under so there you have it...picture perfect or not! Twitter...hell I forget I even one! Oops!

      I would much rather see REAL "real life" and not the version they want to present while the heap of crap is behind the camera.

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  17. Nutella cookies are the best! Of course, nothing beats nutella straight from the jar!

    I love Pinterest, but I don't actually do any of that crap. I did when my kids were little, but now we are very much "less is more". I have too much stuff and not enough time. No fall "vignettes" at our house, but lots of good friends, good food, excellent wine and football! Other than winning the Lotto and moving to Maui, who could ask for more?

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    1. Yes they are and yes it is! :)

      I'm thinking Maui sounds pretty damn good! Lahaina and Ululani's shave ice here you come!

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  18. I think there have always been expectations on having the best or most unique this or that, but I never got caught up in it. I guess that's why I don't engage in social media...it feels to much like following the pied piper to me. For the decorating and entertaining I do, I truly don't give a rip about what others think about it--including the ones that are invited! If I'm happy with it, then I feel content. I've had a few holiday parties ruined in the past by very critical comments and that's when I changed my way of thinking... and the next year, I didn't change a dang thing, comments be damned. I bucked the system as well when it came to the wedding (I didn't even want a dress) and asked to not have any type of bachelorette party. I just felt like it was so put-upon and wasn't my kind of thing. All my friends did the big shin-digs and every single one of them told me how they missed their entire wedding day because of it. I have a "friend" (we've discussed her) who is very creative, but boy will she let you know it. It's like you can't praise her enough to please her about every single thing she does. When it gets to that point, I question whether what the motive is. The "one upmanship" concept of Pinterest and sites like it just take the fun out of it for me.

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    1. I think in the end as long as we're happy with what we put out that's all that matters. I like to go all out when I entertain in my own way, not Pinterest's because it makes me happy to put in some effort with what I have on hand. I think a critical comment about my party skills would kill me. I know it shouldn't but I can't help it.

      I remember that person and she is a piece of work. I would have to take a swipe here or there at her entertaining just because of how high on herself she is. She needs to be knocked down a peg or 10.

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  19. I visited Pinterest yesterday for the first time in weeks and was totally overwhelmed by all the stuff there. I really liked it when I first joined but it's too much. I can't even find the things I like because there is just too much...

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    1. I hear ya! I don't even really know what I'm looking at when I just go to the page, which I've probably done 3x. I find it irritating to search through others pins because people do it so differently and one pin can be like 10 pins before you finally get to the original source. I just search for it online and pin it if I want to be able to refer back. (This assumes I ever remember it's there to be referred to again!)

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  20. I find Pinterest an excellent way to file recipes that I've found online, and that's about all I really use it for. I have fun creatively naming my folders (e.g. "3.1415 etc." for pie recipes, "The Musical Fruit" for bean recipes, etc.). I don't really care if anyone else looks at my pins or repins them; it's mainly an organizational tool for me that is easy to use and works very well.

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    1. That's a great way to use it effectively! Good on ya!

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  21. Oh my gosh - I couldn't have said it better myself! I browse Pinterest and have made quite a few things from it as well; however, I really, really am scared about what it is doing to us as a society because the EXPECTATION that every moment you spend will be this perfect Pinterest moment. When I think back to my best memories, they were usually simple ones that didn't involve a lot of "fluff". They were the paper streamers and a homemade cake...with nothing more than my name and a "Happy Birthday" written on it!

    Life is stressful enough, I can't imagine how hard it is for young couples/families to have the added stress of being perfect on top of it - because you know it will ALL be recorded for posterity to a multitude of social media sites.

    Ohhhhh what have we done?!? ;-)

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    1. Yes! I am all for creating pretty pics for recipes but "real" life isn't real if I'm doing a place setting and perfect lighting. I have always had my own way of going "all out" for parties that didn't involve ridiculous amounts of crafts, props and the like.

      What have we done indeed!

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  22. I like Pinterest, but sometimes it's just too much. Normal people's houses don't like magazine spreads. It's fine to me if people enjoy that sort of thing, but I don't want to spend that much time on something that is so short. We do simple parties for our kids. We buy a few balloons, I either buy or bake a cake, we have pizza and we m ight put out a banner. I am not spending days and weeks of my life on making everything perfect when they really don't care. Again, if other people enjoy that, that's great. I would not. It would stress me out. There is enough going on with their school and my life that I just want my free time to be spent doing things that *I* like. I feel many people do these overboard things to show off, like a keeping up with the Joneses sort of thing.

    I do enjoy baking, but I don't spend a ton of time making food look pretty because I just don't want to. At certain times I will spend a day decorating and giving out sugar cookies, but it's not something I do all the time.

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