Are you using custom content ? Sounds like you have something in your hobbies and skill categorie that is corrupt.
Are you using the ingame Store (Shop Mode) ? If so, try turning it off (in your options) . That sometimes can be the culprit for such a behavior as well.
Here's how to turn it off: http://sims3.crinrict.com/en/2011/12/tutorial-turning-off-ingame-store-and-preventing-loading-of-pic...
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