Pinterest: inspiration or intimidation?

The other night, when I finished that one crazy intense workout, I knew I had something glorious waiting for me:

Dinner 4

Dinner at the madre’s.

It usually takes a little while for the hunger to kick in after a hard workout, but the second I walked in the door, I was ready. The entire family was over to celebrate my stepdad’s birthday -the Pilot brought Oliv so they were at mom’s by the time I got there- and as usual, mom cooked up a huge feast. Steak, tilapia, sweet potato wedges, salad, beans, fresh salsa and tortillas. I pinched up my tilapia with corn tortillas and salsa to make fish tacos, and it was perfection.

And then there was this:

Ice cream cake

An ice cream cake made with an Oreo crust, and layered with fudge, caramel, ice cream, whipped topping and all things that are good in life.

I was just going to eat it- sometimes dairy and gluten are worth a bit of a stomachache for me, and this was one of those times- but then madre brought out these from the freezer for me and Kyle (he’s lactose intolerant):

Ice cream cake 2

Chocolate coconut milk ice cream, layered with fudge, caramel and dairy-free whipped topping. I die.

That’s true love, right there.

Ice cream cake 3

Mom makes awesome desserts, and her earthquake cake ended up being a huge hit on Pinterest -she thought it was so cool when I told her people were pinning her cake like crazy. Dessert the other night reminded me of the earthquake cake, and also got me thinking about how Pinterest could possibly be a source of motivation or intimidation. 

Before heading upstairs for the night, I like to spend a little bit of down time, usually watching trash TV and pinning things on Pinterest for a few minutes before reading in bed. I have a lot of different boards and love adding to them, but very well know that many of them (ok, 99%) I’ll never do. I actually have a board called “Crafts I’ll never do” because let’s be real: I’m not crafty. And that’s ok. But that doesn’t stop me from appreciating the people that are crafty, and from pinning their projects for a random surge of inspiration and copious free time that will never happen.

Looking at Pinterest, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and even possibly like you’re searching for unrealistic perfection.


I’ll check out the main page and think “ok, first you have to make a Grilled Greek Pizza (I just made that up but it actually sounds really good), host a fabulous dinner party, then make this for your kids’ room, and decorate for the holidays, and do this silly workout that someone with no fitness credentials or experience whatsoever made up because here’s a picture of a fit girl with nice abs, and organize your house, and pick out fall styles, etc. etc.

I love Pinterest as a fun way to share ideas, but I can definitely see how it could be intimidating instead of motivating. For example: baby’s first birthday party. I started looking at ideas for Liv, and even pinned a couple, but let’s be real: I’m not going to hand make all of the favors or fill up the venue with expensive and lavish decorations. It’s a first birthday party! And if you look at the ideas on Pinterest, it’s pretty easy to think, “if I’m supposed to do this for a 1st birthday party, imagine what I’m supposed to do for a 16th birthday party! Yikes.” For Liv, all that matters is that the room will be filled with the many people who love her so much, whom we’re so fortunate to live close to at this time.

Are you on Pinterest? Have you ever felt overwhelmed by it, or only motivated? Have you made something you’ve pinned? I’ll use the style ideas for outfits pretty often and also love pinnable quotes- sometimes they’re exactly what I needed to hear. 

Here’s to a happy and healthy Thursday! I’ll be filming that arm burner for ya tonight, too 🙂




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  1. Errign on September 13, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I’ve been making an effort to make the recipes I pin (either exactly or as inspiration – which I know some of them are just that when I pin them) and what’s been helping me keep things straight is that I made another board of recipes I had pinned and then made (with comments). Of course, the ones that come out yuck, they just get deleted! 🙂 I have tackled things like making my own tortillas, using greek yogurt as a chicken marinade and making pizza rolls.

    • Torie =) on September 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      What a great idea! I haven’t pinned any recipes that I haven’t made, but I definitely see a lot that appeal to me and that I want to try. I will have to do this. Thanks!!! 🙂

  2. Amy on September 13, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I don’t use it. I tried but I found it wasn’t a good fit for me.

  3. Sam on September 13, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Will your madre be sharing her tilapia recipe? Looks amazing!

  4. Kandi on September 13, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Let’s be honest…I’m addicted to Pinterest!!! I’ve made quite a few recipes I’ve pinned, made a wreath, done some of the workouts, and used outfits for inspiration. I love it!!

    • Janice on September 13, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      I’m in the addicted to Pinterest boat too! I love it and use it in a way that totally works for me. I find it inspirational and motivating. I only pin things I love and that are realistic for me, I truly use it as my online bulletin board. Instead of carrying around 20 scraps of paper in my purse of recipes, products or ideas to try I pin it and everything is in one handy place.

    • Kelly on September 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm

      I’m the exact same way! I love Pinterest and have gotten so many great ideas of there. Sometimes I think it’s actually saved me money by doing stuff myself versus just purchasing it. I also have always loved to do crafts and DIY stuff and it’s motivated me to start back up again. I never feel overwelmed that I need to do everything I pinned either, it’s a nice oragnized place to come back to for ideas! 🙂

  5. Stacy K. on September 13, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    I really enjoyed pinterest when it first became popular, but what really bugs me and has pushed me away is when bloggers pin their own blog posts. It’s so annoying and I feel like if your workout is awesome or if you have an awesome recipe one of your readers will pin it! Pinterest isn’t for self promotion and I know I’m not the only person who feels this way.

  6. Gennt Gaus on September 13, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    I’ve tried a bunch of nail polish techniques, many successful, and also a recipe for avocado egg salad. It was really tasty, but not as flavorful as yours!

  7. Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily on September 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I have made some really good recipes, some are just WAY out of my league though! The “Humor” section has me laughing hysterically every night, I read that when I’m having a hard day 🙂

  8. Lauren on September 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I love Pinterest! I use it for some recipes, but for the most part I get home ideas, crafts, sewing projects, and outfit inspiration. But I am one of those people that love having themed parties with crazy decorations that I spent a month making, and my wedding was completely DIY down to the mason jar chandelier, homemade veil, and wood signs pointing the way 🙂 Pinterest fits my personality and helps to spark my creativity!

  9. Cassidy on September 13, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    I just did a post about this! Pinterest kinda just makes me feel bad about not having the perfect home, food, body, etc… but, I still spend way too much time on it! I think it is about perspective- if you have the time, money, motivation, etc. to do the things you see on pinterest then by all means do it. If not, I’ve realized that you have to give yourself a break, and I’ve realized that my life is perfect how it is, and if I need it to look like everything came strait from pinterest, then there may be a deeper issue…

  10. Jess on September 13, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    I can totally see how it gets competitive. You are so right about the bday party it should be fun and surrounded by people who love Livi. That’s all that matters. Craftiness should be fun not stressful!

  11. Jaimie on September 13, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    This will be my first holiday with Pinterest and I am kinda scared! All the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas crafts, recipes, etc. It is overwhelming and makes Martha Stewart look like a slacker! : )

  12. April C. on September 13, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    I think Pinterest is a really fun way to save and share ideas but it does seem to encourage the thought that you have to be better, be perfect, and be everything.

  13. Alicia on September 14, 2012 at 12:19 am

    When I pin it is only motivational for my weight loss. Either workouts that I have tried, but may not have done again, or something that is inspirational that gets me out the door. But I can see how it can become over whelming. I think the only reason why it hasn’t for me is because I am only focusing on one area.

  14. Bek @ Crave on September 14, 2012 at 5:22 am

    I feel motivated by eat 2398439038 calories in the form of desserts and snacks. Because, seriously that’s all I bloody see!

  15. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on September 14, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Haha I know what you mean about Pinterest being intimidating – it’s like reading Martha Stewart Living! 😛

    But at the same time I actually find it has motivated me to try more new recipes than ever because it’s so easy to pick one out when you can see them all in front of you like that.

  16. Amanda on September 14, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I moved to a new city a couple of months ago with my boyfriend and we’ve been using our time in the evening to cook dinner together. The vast majority of the recipes we’ve used, I’ve found on Pinterest. It’s motivating me to learn more about the food I’m eating, clean up my eats, and eat out less often, because I know what’s going into my food!

    The crafts are a whole other story–I am one of the least crafty people I know, but some of it looks so cool!

  17. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles on September 14, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I adore Pinterest, but it is definitely intimidating! I like the recipe/workouts I find, but I use more as inspiration – the crafts and whatnot I’ll pin once in a while if they’re absolutely fabulous, but realistically I know I’ll never actually do them.

  18. Brittany on September 14, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I am planning on making your moms earthquake cake next weekend. I have wanted to make it for so long and never got the chance. I can’t wait to eat it!!!!!!!!

  19. Michelle @ Lifewithacrazypup on September 14, 2012 at 9:58 am

    What a great post Gina! I try to only look at the food and drink board when I’m currently looking for a recipe for the next few days. I know I’m missing out on a lot of great stuff only looking every now and then, but all of the older recipes I’ve pinned and don’t make right away.. they just kinda get lost.

    For me, it’s still 100% about inspiration. My husband and I don’t have babies yet, so I don’t feel that inevitable stress and pressure that I will after we have kids. Already when I just look at nursery ideas, I feel overwhelmed. Unless your nursery, first birthday party, play area (and so on) is absolutely gorgeous.. it just doesn’t make the cut anymore. Which is sad. Being a parent should be more than just giving your kids pretty things.

    I also feel lucky that pinterest wasn’t around (or at least wasn’t popular) when we got married a couple years ago. I could imagine that our wedding would have been more high stress because I wanted it to be picture perfect.

    Pinterest is working for me right now, because it’s just play for me. I hope I can always say that though!

  20. Mario on September 14, 2012 at 10:35 am

    My site is on Pinterest and I’m slowly building up my audience and I believe it has massive potential. Only thing it’s very hard to keep up with all the updates and I’m not really sure how many people actually see my posts.

  21. Liz @ Southern Charm on September 14, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I’m on pinterest. I find recipes and such to be intimidating, but workouts and workout related quotes to be motivating!

    I think if I were to move and have to decorate or something like that, I’d feel really overwhelmed and would never be able to make up my mind! Haha. OH! Same would go if I were to get married!

  22. Ali @ Around the VeggieTable on September 14, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I feel your pain…my DIY board is called “Crafts I’m not crafty enough for” 🙂

  23. Christina J on September 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I love Pinterest! It can be intimidating sometimes; however, I feel that I wouldn’t have thought of most of the recipes and crafts that I make without Pinterest! It’s a great website for people who want to make things but have run out of ideas. Also, I’m in a sorority so the crafts and quotes they have are great for presents and it’s a great way to save money while in college with the tips they have for DIY sorority crafts!

  24. Krysta on September 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I love Pinterest, but like to use it more like a catalog of pretty pictures than a guide to life. In the past, if I saw a product I liked, might want to purchase or try out in the future I would save the link to my favorites folder. Now I keep all of that stuff on a pinterest board and can easily go back to reference an online shop. I do the same with inspiration pictures… in the past I would copy and save an image to a folder on my desktop and now I just save it to pinterest. It’s actually very interesting to go back and look at the full picture of a board- you start to see patterns in the images you are drawn to which can be very helpful when you are struggling to define your style or your ideas for your home.

    I think the only project I have ever realy tried from pinterest, was painting vintage glass bottles for my wedding. Otherwise my “Projects to Try” Board is full of projects that look interesting and doable but that I haven’t yet actually tried.

  25. Brittany on August 23, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    I saw this article,, which made me think of your blog entry on Pinterest! I see these “transformation pics” all the time with workout and diet suggestions, usually not from trainers. This girl took two pics on the same day that look drastically different from just a few small changes. I think this is great because so many of us look at Pinterest and magazines and set unrealistic fitness and diet goals for ourselves. Its so important to focus on overall health, NOT weight loss, and this shows how easily we can be manipulated by what we see.

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