August Ramblings

If I could sum up this month with one word, it would be “water”. Not because it rained or anything (let’s not get crazy) but because our month was filled with  two things…swimming and crying. Mostly crying. I’m not sure why the tears were so out of hand this month…maybe it’s teething, boredom,  frustration (they want to do things themselves, but can’t), or maybe they just like to make their parents suffer. Who knows. So it was a little hard to get projects done this month, let alone find some quiet time to write a post. August wasn’t all tears though…we managed to squeeze some fun in as well. To see some good times watch the monthly video!

 

My First Mean Comment 

This month I received my first mean comment. I’ve gotten some critical comments before…people saying that my project is ugly or whatever else. Those comments are fine, I don’t expect everyone to like my stuff and if you’re not a jerk about it then I don’t mind too much. This comment was not like that though, this comment was hateful. It wasn’t even an anonymous comment, which mean comments almost always are. I know you are all curious and want to read it now…I’m not going to post it here, but if your interested it’s on my penny countertop post….just scroll to the bottom and you will find it. That’s right, I didn’t delete it. Most bloggers say that when you get a comment like that to just delete it and move on, but I didn’t…I responded. Why? Well, I wanted him to know that his hatred didn’t just disappear into the internet…someone received it, read it, and was affected by it. Also, despite the fact that he is a total jerk he obviously read and thought about my post and offered some good advice. And even though his words stung I really can’t take it personal…getting that heated over a simple DIY project (he called me “the bane of society”) is so ridiculous that his frustration isn’t about me or my project. He must have been having a rough day (week, year, whatever) and doesn’t know how to handle it. Perhaps above all he just needed some grace (or a swift kick in the behind..but you can’t do that over the internet). I hate that one mean comment by a bitter hateful person can bum me out and undo all the awesome, sweet, encouraging comments that I received that day. Why is that? Why is it so hard not to focus on the bad when there is so much that is good? So to everyone that has taken the time to leave me a sweet comment or supports me by reading my DIY adventures (or random ramblings), thank you. Seriously, I mean it. And to everyone that has hated a project that I have done and not left a mean comment, thank you as well.

Halloween Crafts… and all holiday decor

Now that summer is over everyone is switching gears to fall, which means that bloggers are getting ready for the next big holiday… Halloween. Have you noticed the Halloween crafts popping up everywhere? It’s August. Hobby Lobby even had Christmas stuff up when I went in yesterday. I feel like I’m being rushed along in life to hurry up and prepare for the next holiday. Have you noticed that I generally don’t make holiday decor? I’ve made some trees for Christmas and eggs for Easter, but beyond that, nada. So here is my confession…I hate holiday decor. Okay, that’s a little harsh and not quite true…lets try again. Besides Christmas, I don’t decorate for holidays. Even Christmas stuff starts to bug me after a while. Last year Adam and I took down our tree ON Christmas Day. Before noon even. It was Adams idea…thank goodness we’re in the same page for this. Here is my problem with holiday decor in my own home…my house does not stay clean. Holiday decor + messy house = extra clutter. If my home constantly looked like it was on a magazine cover than I wouldn’t mind holiday decor so much. But it doesn’t, so holiday stuff just makes it look worse. Besides that I’m not a big lover of stuff in general. If it doesn’t get used, isn’t something I totally love, or isn’t sentimental then it usually doesn’t last long in my house. I wasn’t always like that…Adam made me that way (He really hates “stuff”).  Anyway…I’ve totally lost my train of thought here. The point I was meaning to make is that you won’t be seeing any Halloween crafts from me.  Maybe a “fall” related one if I get a wild hair, but that’s it.

 Reader Pet Peeves

Recently I’ve seen a couple of post from bloggers asking what people’s biggest pet peeves are when it comes to reading blogs. This one by Blogging with Amy started it all, and Kristi from Addicted 2 Decorating did a post as well. A lot of the pet peeves I expected…pop ups, music, too many sponsored posts, slow loading blogs, et. However, a few surprised me. The number one answer was sharing too much personal information. Interesting. I get it though….if your supposed to be a DIY blog and every other post is about your kids or your vacation or whatever, people get bored. I feel like I do a pretty good job at that, I stick to my DIY projects (though my kids are definitely involved in that) and keep most personal stuff for my ramblings posts. However, there were two things on the list that I am guilty of and wanted y’alls feedback. The number four biggest annoyance was giveaways. I obviously do giveaways, though I try to be pretty picky about them and not do too many (I get a ton of e-mails from people/companies wanting to do a giveaway). Anyway…do you hate them? Love them? They’re great in moderation? I’d love some feedback…I do them for y’all, so if they are annoying I won’t do them anymore. It doesn’t matter to me, I don’t get paid to host them or anything (though I do sometimes receive one of the items that is being given away). I was thinking I’d like to do one a month and just keep it at that. The other one I’m guilty of is center alignment. I started using center alignment because a lot of the time I’ll do a tutorial and have only a few words between pictures, and if they were off to the left it just looked funny to me. I could see how it would bother some people if you are reading big blocks of text. Anyway, if you have an opinion I’d love to hear it. Thanks!

Awesome Products I Discovered This Month 

I discovered a couple of things this month that made life easier and just had to share. The first is a life jacket for Elijah…the fourth life jacket I’ve bought for him.

The first was an infant one that worked fine, but her grew out of it. The next two were traditional style ones with the floaty behind the head and he refused to wear either. The last one is the Puddle Jumper and the one we’re both in love with. He wears it happily…so happily, in fact, that he wore it the entire first day we got it. He wore it around the house, to eat, to nap, everything.  He swims in it confidently and I can relax and actually enjoy swimming. If your going out in a boat or something this is not the life vest you put them in, but for splashing around the pool it is awesome.

Next up we have we have a toilet seat. That’s right, a toilet seat…with a built-in toddler seat!

I was super excited to find this. Elijah has a separate little seat he uses when I can actually get him to use the potty (and it works great) but we quickly discovered that it is no fun to clean poo out of. So I started looking for a seat to put on the toilet and found this (Bought it HERE, on Amazon of course). The toddler seat is held up by a magnet and the whole thing can easily pop off for cleaning. We haven’t actually used it that much since we are just barely starting potty training, but I’m excited about a good-looking alternative to scraping poo put of a plastic bowl.

 Anyway, that’s really all I have to ramble about…so here’s some of my favorite pictures from the month!

Hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend!



Comments

  1. I for one LOVE your posts and look forward to the ones you post whatever you choose to post about. I don’t really have a “pet peeve” because I think it’s YOUR blog and if you want to blog about something besides DIY that’s your prerogative. Your viewers aren’t paying to read your blog and if they don’t like it they don’t have to read it. :o)

  2. Sorry you had to be the butt of that dude’s crappy day/week/year (whatever), but the way you responded was perfect! :)

  3. I really enjoyed reading your ramblings post. I am one of those people that loves to read the personal posts. It makes me relate so much more to the projects that blogger is doing. If I can see how it all fits into their real life, it makes me want to do it so much more! Some DIY blogs are strictly projects and to me, it seems less genuine somehow. Just my 2 cents. I don’t mind giveaways. If it is for something I don’t want, I just don’t enter and I skip over the post. As far as centering text, that one doesn’t really bother me either, unless it is a work heavy post with hardly any pictures. Aren’t those puddle jumpers great? We have those for our kids and love them! That toilet seat is really cool. We could totally use that over here – where did you get it? Have a great weekend!
    Laura @ Laura’s Crafty Life recently posted..Fake It Until You Make ItMy Profile

  4. Your little boys are so stinkin’ cute I can’t stand it! I LOVE watching the videos you post of them because they are just so adorable. I also enjoy seeing both you and your husband interact with them and the love between you all. I agree with the other comments, I enjoy reading a personal post because it makesme feel more connected to you and your blog, but it is also YOUR blog and you should post what you want. As for giveaways and such, if I am interested in the item and it isn’t too complicated to enter, I will, otherwise I will just delete and come back for the next post.

    Sorry you had to deal with the jerk leaving the mean comment, it seems like an epidemic right now. I wish people would just not say anything if they can’t say something nice. What’s the point? We should betraying to build each other up and support each other, not tear one another down! You handled it like the lady you are!

    Thanks for lovely post and give those cuties a kiss from me!

    • Thanks so much Maureen! I’m glad you enjoy my videos…I think you may be the only one besides relatives that watches them :) That’s okay, I post them so that I have a deadline and will actually take the time to put our videos in a watchable format each month. And I’m glad you say you can see the love! I should post a video of the nightly battle that is getting Elijah to eat dinner, then you might change your mind a little, lol.

      Thanks for your feedback as well!

  5. Personally, I like it when bloggers get personal. It makes me see them more as, well, a person, than just a business! :)

    I like giveaways too!

  6. Hi, Ashley! I’m so sorry you had to deal with such a jerk. I didn’t go back to read it, because I already know it is very negative, & don’t want him to tick me off, too. ;)

    There really are some blogs I just scan through to see if there are any tips for me amid all of theirpersonal ‘stuff’. But those are the ones that started out as great blogs, and evolved into something more like a family newsletter. You have, IMHO, struck a lovely balance. There is enough about your sweet guys (all 3) sprinkled in to keep your blog real and relatable. But, you also are diligent about ensuring that all pertinent information about your chosen project is there. You meld family & project in such a way as to make your posts fun as well as informative. Bravo! Seriously. Bravo

  7. Grr. My phone decided I could only finish this way, or blind. My txting is terrible, so hee ya go.

    Alignment is irrelevant to me, other than when with pictures – I prefer your way. I love give-aways, unless they, like the aforementioned family newsletters, begin to take over the blog. I am an information sponge, particularly when it comes to projects like yours. My hope is that you won’t change a thing about how you blog, unless it’s a change you conciously want to make, as YOU evolve & grow.

    I’ve said it before, and again- I always look forward to seeing you in my inbox.

  8. I, for one, like the personality in your blog (your kids in pictures, your monthly ramblings post, etc.). I feel it makes you more relatable and I enjoy it more that way. I also enjoy the giveaways. If it’s not something I’m interested in winning then I don’t enter, but I think I’ve entered every one since I started reading your blog. And the center alignment is something that some people will like and some will not, just a personal preference. I like it.

    I love reading this blog!

  9. Mean comments suck! I just started blogging last week and my wife did a guest post Friday as she was leaving her job. Today we got our first mean comment which we expected at some point down the road…but not here and not now!

    “You are an immature, selfish spouse, and you have put yourself first with no immediate
    plan to execute. The only thing you have done is QUIT!”

    It was in response to: http://worryfreewithme.com/changes/

    My wife took it very rough but we discussed that some people just love to bring others down! We can take negative feedback but if you are not going to provide constructive criticism then don’t bother!!

    Anyways, what I am trying to say is don’t take it personal! Your blog is fun and enjoyable and both my wife and I love reading it!

    ~Brian
    Brian recently posted..I Quit my Job!My Profile

    • Oh man, a mean comment in your first week AND on your wife’s first post, thats too bad. People sure can be ballsy from behind their computer screens. You’re right though, she (we) can’t take it personal. I think your wife did a brave thing, I wouldn’t want to go to a job everyday that I hate either. Actually, I did…and I quit. Besides, if ya’ll are going to be minimalists then you won’t need two incomes to support your “stuff”. Anyway, thanks for the support and good luck with your new blog!

  10. Wow that mean comment was ridiculous! I love reading your blog because you show things that work and what didn’t! Also, love the bits of family stuff– of course I wish you could post projects every day but totally understand that’s not possible. Also, I love giveaways! I think even one a week is totally fine (more chances to win something!)

    Rachel

  11. Wow! I just read the negative post and cannot believe that this guy decided to get personal toward YOU instead of the project. It’s one thing to tell you that you could have done the project in a different way because you can learn from different ideas. But I hardly think his comments about you or your blog are necessary — especially when they aren’t even true. If he had a point to prove about the project, he lost all credibility when he got ugly with his words.

    • That’s what Adam said when he read it… his first comment was “this guy has some good ideas”, then he finished and said “that guy is an idiot”.

  12. First, shame on that jerk. Grrrrrr If he doesn’t like a blog or a post, move on. Life is too short to get all huffy about something that has nothing to do with you personally. Or….he may just like being mean…sadly I’ve met a few of those. *sigh Me? Love the blog! :-)
    Centering is fine….or not. I don’t tend to be that picky. lol
    Giveaways. While I’m not “technically” stateside (US address, but living overseas at the moment), I think one a month is fine. It won’t be excessive for those “really?!”-type of folks and for those that love them, it’ll be something for them to look forward to.
    I tend to like a bit of personal life. Why? Because a). the writer does have one and it’s nice to know/see whatever the item is in their actual setting…aka: it works well, doesn’t, etc. and b). when a few personal details are given, it’s easier to “connect” with that writer. I think that’s why lots of folks like reading biographies/autobiographies…they can connect with that person and it’s easier to “get into” their story instead of a Recipe-list of “What to do next.”
    Just my thoughts. :-)

  13. Jeri Niksich says:

    I’m sure you got a ton of people telling you to just ignore “the jerk” so i won’t repeat it again ;) I love reading your blogs & seeing the pictures although I personally am unable to physically do very many of your DIY’s I love to see the project come together (I used to make a lot of my own clothes so I can appreciate seeing a piece of something become something) and adding in bits about your kids “helping” ads even more humor to your projects so please keep it up! You’ve even helped me stay away from FaceBook for longer periods of time. Thanks!!

  14. I don’t read many blogs, really I only read 3, yours being one of them. So I guess you are one of my top three favorite banes of society. Thanks! I love reading your blog, it gives me ideas to make my home look better. I want my home to be a retreat for my family, and making it look better is a part of that. So you are helping me, help my family be productive members of society.

  15. Alma Delia says:

    Blogs that have more than 1, what i call fluff, post a week, I stop following. Blogs that have the link party post, then in 2 days, a guest post, then a vacation post, then a sponsor post, then another giveaway, etc etc etc lose my interest. I think its all in moderation. I dont have kids, and while they are cute, if you describe your blog as a DIY, decorating blog, thats what i expect. If you deliver, I will continue to follow your blog, if you dont and want to make it into a personal diy, kids, recipe, nature, etc etc blog…thats cool too, but the straight DIY demographic will stop following. That being said, i dont mind that your kids pop in your blogs, because they pop in during a diy project. I am A-OK with that. It does help a reader identify with the blogger while it doesnt lose your target audience because its weaved into the bread and butter of the diy blog. Giveaways can be cool too as long as its weaved into something you were planning to do as well. For instance, i remember ms mustard seed had always planned to redo her floors, and she did a giveaway on some tile or something with the floor, while she presented the work she was doing on her floor with the product. I have also seen giveaways for clothes and other random non home stuff…that i dont find interesting. If i wanted to see clothes…if follow fashion blogs. As for centering….right left center..doesnt bother me, as long as the post is about DIY stuff. Basically it boils down to this. My biggest pet peave…marketing your blog as DIY and having a bunch of non diy fluff posted weekly.

    PS. that dude has some serious rage issues. and i totally agreed with your comment on his response to a silly counter top post. I mean…hes getting that upset about pennies on a counter top? He needs to get out more and experience life to get some priorities that are higher on his list than some random bloggers cute penny counter top. Like genocide, or child abuse, or pollution…now THAT is the bane of society…lets get enraged about that…not shiny copper pennies….

    • Thanks for your feedback Alma, I appreciate it. You don’t have to worry about more than one fluff post a week from me…I have a hard enough time just POSTING once a week :)

  16. Hey, Ashley. This is my first comment for you, but I’ve been reading your blog for awhile. And I love at, as it is. I don’t think you write too much personal stuff, and I think your boys are extremely cute. :)
    Well about the giveaways… I’m quite indifferent, however sometimes I see some really cool stuff, and then I get sad because It’s US adresses only. :( But that’s fine, I don’t think that anyone can actually be so annoyed by them.

    About Christmas decoration habits, In my country (Hungary) everybody puts UP the tree on Christmas day. (well actually it’s the day before Christmas, but we unwrap the presents on Christmas’ eve so…) Anyway I think It’s beautiful after all that cleaning, cooking, making presents etc. The climax of all the preparing. It means that Chirstmas is finally here.
    Well It’s a little strange talking (writing) about Christmas in the beginning of September, but well I just thought it can be interesting if I share this -at least I think- nice habit from a far country.

    Bye!

    • Thank you for commenting! I think putting up the tree on Christmas is a great tradition. We usually wait until after my birthday to put up the tree, which is the 13th. If you put up your tree on Christmas (eve), when do you normally take it down? Just curious :) And sorry about the US only thing on giveaways…I certainly don’t want to exclude anyone, but the company hosting the giveaway gets to make those decisions.

      • Oh, of course I understood that’s the company’s decision, nevermind.
        The habit is to take down the Christmas tree on Epiphany or The Twelth Day (I don’t really know how do you call it there/ 6th of January)
        Well of course it also depends on the tree’s condition, for example if its needles falling down, covering the whole living room, it can be taken down earlier, but we wait till the new year for sure.

  17. I have to say, I love giveaways. You don’t have to enter if you don’t want to. Who wouldn’t want to win something? And if the product is decent (eg. the blogger likes it!) then certainly there is appeal for readers – I like being shown new products :)

  18. Hi, I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and this is my first comment. I’ll be starting my own blog soon and I wanted to tell you that you’ve been an inspiration to me! Thank you for always being honest and painting a true picture of your projects and also including some of your daily life. I too have two toddler sons and things definitely aren’t easy but you’ve shown that you can still complete projects and write posts with enthusiasm and grace! Thank you. :)

    • Thank so much Jen! “Enthusiasm and grace”, I love it….though if you met me in real life I think you might take that grace part back ;) Good luck with your blog…when it is all up and running send me a link and I’ll add it to my blogroll. Is the title going to be Girl In The Garage? Because I that is a great DIY blog name!

      • Thanks for the kind reply. Yes that will be my blog name- I’m hoping to have it ready by the end of month. I’ll be sure to let you know! I created my blog roll last night and you’re one of the three on my list so far :)

  19. Yes, definitely too many give aways on blogs. If I see the blog heading “Give away” I just delete it without reading it. Also because they don’t pertain to Canadian readers. As far as your “hate” person, there is always someone who needs to try to make others look small to make themselves feel bigger – consider the source! He obviously didn’t read or understand your blog name “Domestic Imperfection”?!

    • Haha, yes…I feel like I have a build-in safety net with my blog name :) Thanks for the giveaway feedback and I’m sorry about that US only thing. It is crappy, sometimes companies spring that part on you after you agree to the giveaway.

  20. Personally, I like the personal tidbits about your life. Kinda makes me feel like we are neighbors. As for the giveaways, doesn’t matter either way. I sometimes enter one, never win, lol, but don’t care if they are there or not. Couldn’t care less about the centering. You can’t please everybody, so you might as well please yourself.
    As for pet peeves about blogs in general, I have a couple. Number one, the bloggers that so rarely post, and then when they do, they start off with “sorry I haven’t been here in ages, but I am going to be here regularly now”—-and then it is weeks before they post again! Why should I bother following somebody, or making the effort to check their blog, if it is a couple-of-times-a -year effort on their part?
    And another is the ones that start off great, I get involved, and then suddenly it is repeats, or just pics with a few words, or ALL about other people’s blogs. I love the info on blogs that are along the same lines, ones I might have missed, but if the blogger is ‘featuring’ the same ones over and over, it is boring.
    Just my opinion, which doesn’t mean squat, since everybody has the right to do their blog, their way. I just stop reading the ones that aggravate me. (which, by the way, is what Tim should do)

  21. Ashley,
    I know I’m repeating some other folks’ sentiments but for what it’s worth….I enjoy reading your blogs. I enjoy knowing about YOU and your family. It is YOUR blog and you should be able to write about whatever you want. Also, who doesn’t like free stuff?! If someone doesn’t want it, then don’t try to win it. I’m not sure why people feel the need to read something that no one made them read and then make disparaging and hateful remarks about it. Keep up the good work Ashley!
    Cindy

  22. I hope it isn’t too late to comment.
    I am enjoying your blog. I don’t mind the personal posts or kid pics cause hey, it is your life.
    As for the give aways, meh * shrug* I can take em or leave em, but it is your blog and if that is what you want to do, do it.
    I dont have an opinion about center alignment.
    As for negative comments first let me say that commenter was a jerk and you handled it well. But I do feel the need to point out that faithful, regular readers are not accepting to different points of view even if the commenter is sincere and kind in her disagreement and I am proof of that. I once told a blogger with love and kindness that I felt her new project didn’t meet her goals (it was a mantle display and she asked for input). I suggested it was too crowded and her readers JUMPED all over me. Two days later the blogger featured my comment and said she agreed with me and changed her mantle ( though she didn’t chastise her readers for the treatment of my opinion). But lesson learned, if I disagree with the way a project is presented or how it turned out I use a pseudo I.d. To comment so I don’t get hate mail. It isnt often, one other time I think that I felt the need to disagree but there it is. Just because you love a blogger, and I do! Doesn’t mean there is no room for respectful disagreement. It is the readers who need to allow the wiggle room.
    So, sorry for the long post. I do love your blog and I’ll be back every week.

    P.s. I hate the pop-up ads.

    ~K!

    • Thank you for your imput. Sorry you got hassled for your opinion, it’s so hard to portray attitude through a computer screen. It’s so easy for something said out of love or helpfulness to come off (or be taken) the wrong way. When Adam was deployed we would talk mostly through IM, so trust me, I know! Also, when you said you hate pop ups..is that in general or are there some on my site? I specifically blocked all pop up ads, so if one is sneaking thorough I’d like to know. I hate those things too, and ad companies seem determined to get them onto your site.

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