The Problem with Pinterest.

What?

Most of you are probably reading my post title and thinking….”what problem? I LOVE Pinterest!”

Yeah, me too ladies. Trust me, that’s what the problem is.

I found the Pinterest website about six months ago, and I have been utterly in love with it ever since then.

http://pinterest.com/

There are so many things to look at! Tons of recipes, DIY projects, beautiful photo galleries and so much more. I’m not much of a social person, so Facebook never piqued my interest. Pinterest on the other hand has captivated me. I could spend hours pouring over the Pin Boards of others.

So again you ask, “what is the problem?” I suppose the problem isn’t with Pinterest itself, but within us.

I think that first we have to be careful about how we spend our time. ┬áIt’s so easy for us to get wrapped up in the internet. I have lots of homekeeping friends who occasionally get stuck flipping through Firefox for hours on end, instead of tending to the littles. I have lots of friends who work outside the home, who will sneak about a million peeks a minute at their iPhone instead of working. How many of us are guilty of sitting on the couch right next to our spouse and clicking away on our laptop while more-or-less ignoring him? I know I certainly am.

This isn’t so much an internet problem as it is a priority problem. We let so many things take priority in our lives that probably shouldn’t. For myself I had to create a very specific time limit for internet usage. This includes email checking, blogging, work research and even mindless Pinterest browsing. If my time is up, that’s it. No more for the day. It would be so easy for me to slide into a pattern of constantly using the net instead of devoting my time to important things like studying God’s word, taking care of my family and brushing up on my homemaking skills.

Furthermore, I personally face a huge problem of jealousy while on Pinterest. Each time I log on I see hundreds of pictures of beautiful homes, interesting clothes, ornate cakes and perfect-looking children. Most days I just delight over these visual entertainments, but some days I get extremely bummed out seeing all the neat things other people own, or all the cool skills other people have. How terrible that I let a silly website dictate my mood and heart like that!

I’m certainly not saying that Pinterest is some evil thing. However, it can become a problem for us if we let it become one. Perhaps all of us should examine our internet usage and perhaps make some different choices about how we spend our time. Ask yourself if your favorite websites are becoming a problem for your personal life or walk with God. Better yet, ask your spouse or friends if THEY feel like you have a problem with internet use. They might have insight that you don’t have. I know my husband has always been quite blunt with me when he feels like i’m spending too much time on the computer, and not enough time with him.

Cheers!

-Housewife at Work

Entertaining a family cheaply: Volume 1

I know how hard it is to entertain a family on a budget, especially with so many of us looking for wholesome activities that can fit any age. I thought I might explore some options in my home town and post about them here. Hopefully everyone finds some useful information to help fund the family fun, and feel free to post some ideas of your own in the comment section!

So my husband and I took our youngest to the video store yesterday. It just occurred to us that we didn’t have an account with the local Family Video and wanted to check it out for prices and whatnot. We use Netflix, but only the online streaming. If we encounter inclement weather then our wireless internet tends to not work well, so we wanted the option of actually renting occasionally if necessary. We only get local channels on our television, no satellite or big cable packages for us so we rely heavily on other sources for television entertainment.

We encountered a few pros and cons about the Family Video chain. First con I noticed was the huge amount of candy and treats by the counter. Seriously over-priced candy and treats. Of course this will be hugely annoying when you bring kiddos up to pay for your movies. They will beg, and you will probably illicit pouting when you tell them “no”. Stick with it. This candy is WAY expensive.

Second con, I noticed a large “Adult” section in the store. Thankfully it’s walled off, but keep an eye on the little ones to make sure they don’t wander off on you into this section.

And third but last con, the new releases tend to be a little expensive. Especially if you are like me an typically need to plan on renting something for at least a couple of nights.

Now for the pros, which are numerous. First of all, they have a HUGE section of movies that are free to rent. I’d say 3/4th’s of this section are kids movies. The other are an assortment of educational videos, documentaries and exercise videos. You can rent as many of them as you like, and they usually give you a couple of days to return them. So awesome. We walked out with three movies and didn’t pay a dime.

Second of all, they have a couple of high-quality disk cleaners up at the counter. The woman working cleaned all of the disks before she sent them with us. Good idea too, kids movies at rentals tend to look like 5 miles of hard road and play about as well in my DVD player.

Third, public family restrooms. Seriously. Life-saver with a toddler who has to potty every five seconds.

Fourth, when you first register you are given tons of great information on specials (like you can rent a video game and get a free movie rental, older releases are rent one, get a free rental, etc). You are also given a sheet of coupons to use at the store (good ones too), and a survey to fill out for another free rental. Best yet, all rentals in the store are half-priced your first month of membership. Combine that with your coupons and other sales an you’ve got super cheap, if not free rentals.

Another cool pro? Your kids get coupons free rentals for every A on their report card each quarter. This is good all the way up through high school. So awesome. Now i’m not sure if this is just my Family Video location, but if you provide them with proof of “exemplary” performance in homeschool settings, they will give coupons for that too. Kind of nice, we have a lot of homeschooled kids in my area and i’m sure their parents are grateful to be included in this freebie.

Last, tons of selection. We could have spent an hour there easily were it not for the little one. Honestly, it’s not a bad deal if you are careful about when and what you rent. Also, keep track of how frequently you are renting. I know a lot of people who get carried away with the renting and easily rack up $50.00 a month renting videos or games. Which kinda defeats the purpose in my opinion.

Some of you may have other video chains in their area, since Family video is the only one here i’ve nothing to compare it to. Check out all the ones in your town and comparison shop before you commit to a membership at one. You never know what kind of deals you will come across!

-Housewife at Work

The wonders of Netflix.

So I hate to post one of those blogs sucking up to a certain product or website, but today I stayed home sick from work. You cannot believe how grateful I am to have Netflix.

First of all, it’s far cheaper than having cable. We don’t bother with the DVD rental, we just do the online streaming thing. With cable it can be hard to weed out the junk shows from things that are actually informational or interesting. It’s even worse with kids, as some of the cartoons today are somewhat crude. I am uncomfortable with a lot of the shows on Nickelodeon and Disney honestly, but i’m not going to ban television entirely. So we’ve instead made a playlist of shows just for Eli, shows we have pre-watched and approved ahead of time.

What’s more, we watch a lot less television this way. With cable it’s really easy to mindlessly channel surf for hours. For whatever reason we don’t do that with online television.

For a sick-in-bed kind of day i’m pretty grateful for something as insignificant as Netflix. I know it’s silly, but I get majorly depressed and down when i’m sick. I have a lot of health problems, so i’m used to this sort of thing. When you sit in bed all day a dozen times a month, you have to have some form of entertainment or you will drive yourself insane. Having something easy to entertain myself with is a huge blessing.