May Ramblings

 I’ve decided to start posting a monthly “ramblings” post, where I talk about all things that are NOT projects related.  My kids, products I love, books I’m reading, vacations I will never get to go on, and budgeting stuff are all likely topics. A lot of times I have something I want to blog about, but it doesn’t fit into a project post and isn’t worthy of it’s on post. So, monthly ramblings was born!

So where to begin?

Let’s start with my kids. This month Elijah has started using his very limited communication skills to talk on the phone. Up until now he has just smiled and tried to push buttons when you hand him a phone, but now he has little conversations. His first real one was with my mom, and here is how it went…

Wait, before I tell you the conversation, I have to preface by saying that my parents have a wild turkey that hangs out on their back porch. He has been doing it for years, and he is pretty much Elijah’s favorite thing ever… “Tur-tur” was even one of his first words. Here is a picture of him…

Anyway, this is Elijah’s first phone conversation, and I’m just guessing as to what my mom said.

Grandma: “Hi Elijah”

Elijah: “HI”

(okay, this is kinda lame to type out because you can’t hear how adorable he is when he says hi. Trust me …its adorable)

Grandma: “This is Grandma.. (or something like that)

Elijah: “Tur-tur?”

Grandma:”Oh yes, the turkey’s here, he’s doing good.” (we don’t really worry about proper English around here.)

Elijah: “Paw Paw?”

Grandma:”Grandpa’s doing good too…”

Elijah: “Bye!”

How cute is that? He asked how the turkey and grandpa were doing…. The turkey first, mind you.

And Levi.

He is seven months now. He has two teeth and kinda sorta crawls… mostly just slithers around on his belly. Elijah never slithered, he went right into crawling and was tearing around the house by 6 months. Levi gets around pretty well on our shaggy rug…he just reaches forward, grasps two giant handfuls of shag and muscles himself around. Fortunately he is pretty much useless on the smooth wood floors. It also doesn’t look like he will be walking at eight months like Elijah and I couldn’t be happier about it.

I also decided to start making monthly videos that I’ll embed into all my rambling posts. This is a little bit for you and mostly for me…if I tell you that I’m going to post them, that means I have a deadline and they will actually get done. Right now all our videos are a disorganized mess, this will keep them nice, neat,and watchable. Anyway, I have never done something like this before, so here is a four and a half minute movie that took me forever to make. Enjoy :)

Here’s a question regarding videos….is it weird that there isn’t music, or is music annoying? Would it be better if there was music that was just really really soft?

Learning Spanish

This month Adam and I decided it’s time to learn Spanish. We live in South Texas, where you are in the minority if you DON’T speak Spanish. We both took many years of Spanish in high school, but you know how that goes…the only phrase I can remember is “Cuando es tu cumpleanos”  which means “when is your birthday” and is pretty much a useless phrase to know.  I’m pretty sure most of you have at least heard of Rosetta Stone, it’s a pretty popular way of learning new language. It’s an immersion technique so there is no English involved, it’s mostly pictures and repetition. It’s very through and they should really just use this in high school…I probably would remember more than one phrase if we had done that. Adam and I aren’t very far into it, but I love that it gives my brain excercise.  That may sound weird, but being a stay at home mom sometimes I feel like my brain is turning to mush talking to a toddler and a baby all day. Seriously, I don’t even speak English anymore…Adam and I both catch ourselves calling things what Elijah does, so “tur-tur”, “poopie”, and “bi” (water…don’t ask) are said more than I want to admit. Anyway, if you want to learn another language, I highly recommend Rosetta Stone. That being said, it is really expensive. We borrowed ours and I honestly can’t tell you that I would have forked out nearly $500 for it. If I was paying I probably would have bought Instant Immersion, which also has great reviews and is only thirty bucks.

Hunger Games

I know, I’m like the last person in America to read these books.  In case you haven’t heard already…they are really good. Everyone else I’ve talked to about them say’s something along the lines of “I read the whole series in three days!”. Well, I’ve been reading them for over a month and am halfway through the second book. I’m having a bit of a trouble finding uninterrupted time to read…most of my uninterrupted time goes towards projects and blogging. But anyway, they are really good…Adam is already done with the series. We also (don’t judge us!) both read the Twilight series, and the Hunger Games are better than those. By the time I get around to writing my June ramblings I will be finished with them, so I’m taking suggestions as to what series to read next!


Okay, here is some fun information about me. I am totally obsessed with water. It’s pretty much the healthiest obsession that ever existed, I know. I basically can’t drink anything else…I don’t like coffee, soda, alcohol or sports drinks. I can handle a some juice and sweet tea, but I usually water them down a lot. So whenever I leave the house I MUST have water with me. I’m to cheap to buy tons of bottled water (surprise surprise), so I have a special water mug I take everywhere. If we happen to be going somewhere and I forget my water…the minute I realize I don’t have it my mouth gets all dry and I’ve suddenly never been thirstier. It drives Adam nuts…he likes to say that I would die of thirst if I got lost in our backyard. Anyway, for months…years now… I have been on the lookout for the perfect water cup. It has to stay cold, fit in my purse, be able to operate with one hand, and it CAN’T LEAK. I’d found and used plenty of cups that fit three of those things, but never the ultimate cup that fit all four. Until last month, that is, when I ran across this cup on Amazon.

It’s amazing… it excels at doing all for of the things I need it too. I do wish it held more, but I don’t want it to be bigger. If only this cup held as much water as Mary Poppins carpetbag…

What’s up with all the Amazon links?

I’m sure by now you’ve noticed that I link to Amazon a lot, so let me tell you why.  First off, I’m an Amazon affiliate…which means that when someone buys an item through one of my links I get a small percent of that sale. A real small percent, 4-6% to be exact. You don’t have to buy the item I linked to either, you can buy anything on Amazon. (You can also buy things through the Amazon button on my sidebar, the one that says “Domestic Imperfection: Favorites” on it.)  I mostly became an affiliate because I figured I could make some money back on my own purchases….turns out that’s a big no-no. Oops! That would have been awesome though!  If you are a blogger and want to become an affiliate it is super easy, just sign up here. Don’t expect to get rich though, I don’t even make enough off it each month to fill up my gas tank. Anyway, I don’t just link to it to make bookoo’s money off of y’all…when I post a link to something on Amazon it’s because (usually) I bought the item from there AND I really like it.  Plus you have to love that every amazon item has a ton of honest reviews. What did we do before online reviews? Just drag our grumpy kids from store to store and take our chances on an item?  No thanks.  The point is…well, I don’t know what the point is. I think I just had to get it off my chest that my Amazon links make me money.


Ever since I wrote the post about paying off our mortgage I get a lot of e-mails from people asking tips on being frugal and saving money. I do most of my shopping online and a really easy way to save some money is to use Ebates.  Basically, Ebates gives you cash  back for purchases you make online. It’s really easy to use…you just go to their website, click on the store you want to shop at, then Ebates redirects you and tracks your purchase. Each store offers different percentages of cash back, and on holidays and whatnot they will run double cash back specials.  They have coupon codes for those stores too… though it isn’t the best list and I always check RetailMeNot as well.  I’ve been an Ebates member since 2008 and to date  have recieved$378 back for buying stuff that I would have bought anyway. Pretty sweet right? Unfortunately they don’t offer cashback from Amazon or e-bay, if they did my number would be WAY higher than $378.  Anyway, they mail you a check every three months and I’ve never had a problem.  If you sign up through this link right here we will both receive $5 after your first purchase.

I think that’s all the rambling I have for this month.  I’ll be better prepared for June, this one I decided to write on a whim. Plus that video took forever to make. Oh, I do  have one more thing….last week I lost over half of  my followers on my Pinterest “from the blog” board. I have no idea what happened, but if you were following that way there is a 50/50 chance that you’re not anymore. If you’d like to re-follow, here is the link.

Anyway, I need to get packing…we’re leaving for South Padre soon and there is a lot of stuff to take when you have two babies!

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  1. I am one in the minority who hasn’t jumped on the Hunger Games bandwagon. A girlfriend just finished reading them and now after your recommendation I believe I will have to add them to my growing list of reads. I wanted to inform you you can frequently get the Contigo cups in a 2 pack at Costco for around $15. Our family (including my parents) replace ours at least annually.

    1. Two for $15? Sold! I’m actually headed to Costco tomorrow, I’ll have to look extra careful for them…thanks for the heads up!

  2. I love everything about this post!!! There are so many things I can relate too – “dragging our grumpy kids from store to store” LOL and “I love that it gives my brain excercise” – can totally relate to that too :-)

    In regards to the video, great work! Music might help with the transition into the silent photos, but music also covers up some of the cute baby noises. It’s a tough call. I think it’s perfect how it is!

  3. As a mommy of two grown married boys, I still can understand and remember the days when the “brain to mush” feeling existed. Don’t worry. It’ll pass sooner than you think. And then you’ll find yourself trying to keep up with all the stuff they’re studying and interested in :-) Life is never stagnant!

    Cute video BTW! We’re getting these about our granddaughter now. So cute!

    Good for you about being debt free! It really comes down to a very simple axiom: do NOT buy what you don’t have the money for today! Except for probably a house. Not many of us can whip out our checkbooks and pay for a house ;-) It is totally amazing to me to see so many young couples thinking they have to have all the latest everything; the high-end furnishings in their homes; new cars. That’s why they’re in debt often times. When they learn to get by on less, then things start to come together.

  4. Good for you for not using bottled water. Tons of energy is wasted trucking bottled water around the country (not to mention making the bottles and filling them), and the leftover bottles clog up landfills.

    I also like the Contigo bottles from Costco (I have a three pack — pink, blue, and grey), but I’m not sure they’ll fit in your purse. They’re pretty tall. But if you carry a huge mom purse, they’ll probably fit. : )

  5. I can really relate to your desire to learn Spanish…I also live near San Antonio and find that I need it ALL THE TIME! Especially since I work in a public service job. I’m trying to use the Pimsleur courses right now (which consists of listening and repeating phrases)…if you live in Bexar County you can get lots of language learning materials at the library for free!

  6. Hello, I was hoping when I read that “Learning Spanish” that you would be someone to ask if they tried or had any experience on a children’s DVD called ‘Spanish for Kids: Adentro y Afuera’ there are several movies by ‘Spanish for Kids’ but I hear this one is best. I love reading your blog and value your taste so I was hoping you had some experience with spanish for toddler DVDs. I guess Im just going to buy it and hope its as awesome as Im hoping it is!!!

    1. No sorry….but I may just have to buy the one you mentioned! I would LOVE for Elijah to learn Spanish, it’s one of the reasons I want to learn.

      1. I just bought it, Ill let you know how it goes. My son is 20 months, I hope he picks it up. He knows a few words in spanish but I want him to absorb more. So far all we get out of him is Aqua (water)

      2. blog is just for life. I think Elijah is good at communication now.Anyway, enough rambling from me, but I really enjoyed this new feature. Cheers!

  7. Your kids are adorable! I agree with most of the commenters about no music. I find that very often the music really has nothing to do with what’s being shown and it’s disconcerting.

    I have not read any of the “Hunger Games” series. I keep hearing about them, so maybe I should head over to the library and try the first one. Right now I’m reading a P.D. James mystery.

    You are lucky to have an obsession with water. I find it hard to drink enough!

    Anyway, enough rambling from me, but I really enjoyed this new feature. Cheers!

  8. Hi Ashley,
    I LOVE that you are doing a ramblings post each month! I have been following your blog for a while and enjoy reading it. I will enjoy it even more now because it has a more personal aspect to it. I find that whilst I enjoy the topical blogs, that they become better with some personal aspect. It feels like I am able to connect more at a ‘human being’ level and not just a ‘human doing’ if that makes sense. I remember the blog and the blogger better and look forward to each posting. I may be in the minority on this aspect although I suspect there are others who share my view.
    My own blog is a mix of projects and life. It is only small and doesn’t seem to pick up many followers, so maybe not too many folks do share my view. (Or maybe my writing isn’t interesting enough. Actually I would appreciate your opinion on it and any tips if you are able to spare the time.)
    Your kids are so cute. I will add my vote for no music to the growing pile. Love the water bit – made me smile. and the pics of your family in action – nice!

  9. This is actually interesting and I am sure a lot of people would agree with me.. Anyway, thanks for the video here..

  10. Book suggestions: If you haven’t already read them, The Harry Potter series blows Hunger Games out of the water. I liked both, but I wouldn’t re-read the Games like I do with Potter. ALSO Ender’s Game is a stand-alone amazing book! It has ruined me for all other books because nothing else compares. If you never read anything else in your life, read Ender’s Game.

    1. I read three or four of the Harry Potter books, but that was like 10 years ago. I know they’re good, it’s just a daunting series to start when it takes me so long to finish a single book. However, I’m AM going to put the Ender’s Game on my reading list…how can I not with a recommendation like that?

  11. Sheesh, I’ve been here all day, and I really didn’t mean to be! Love your DIYs (came via Pinterest, naturally!) Thanks for the link to Ebates – I joined via your link.

    My daughter reads the edgy House of Night series by PC Cast and Kristin Cast (mother/daughter), and I think you’d enjoy those very much. I’m in my 40s and even I enjoyed them. I found the Twilight series silly. LOVED the Hunger Games trilogy. I got into the habit of prescreening what she reads when she was a Tween, and we kept that up even though she’s almost 18 and I’m not worried about content anymore ;) Gives us something else to share, which is fun!

  12. So I know I’m late to the party but im going through your blog just because I stumbled across it and I love it so much! Seriously your awesome… all gushing aside you may have heard about this but if not it’s super cool there is an app called Duo-Lingo its teaches you other languages like Rosetta stone but it is free. It’s all age friendly and although it doesn’t have as many languages as Rosetta Stone it has a lot that are useful. I love it I use it on my phone, its like a brain game and I’m a nanny/ babysitter as well and will play with the kids with it … they learn with me. Total game-changer … so in case you didn’t know I thought i could pass on this cool knowledge onto you! (I’m sure I will now find in later posts you know about this … or you are fluent in all languages by now … but still) ….
    Happy Days!

    1. I have actually never heard of that (and am certainly not fluent yet!). Thanks for the suggestion, I’m going to google it right now!

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