February 12, 2012

Day 34

Charlie checking things out
Sorry I haven't had an update in a while. The fact of the matter is there just hasn't been much to do. I'm just waiting to aquire some pieces for decorating but we did pull a few pieces we already had in the house together this week, and we got a mattress. So the room is fully functional now, even if it isn't finished to the point I would like. We have a crib with bedding, a changing table/dresser, a diaper genie, a bookshelf, and a rug. The things I am still looking for are a glider and ottoman, a changing pad for the table, wall art, the valance and the hamper that match the bedding set, and a lamp/nightlight. I have some of that sitting on my registry but if I find it first for a good deal I will buy it myself.

Buying the mattress was like a huge deal to me the hormones were raging and I felt like it was the biggest decision of my life and I had to get the perfect one that was really safe, and yet comfortable, and affordable. I shopped and online shopped, I compared prices and looked for the best sales, and scoured craigslist. Then I reviewed every "deal" I found and tried to get as much information as possible. I was driving D crazy haha. At one point about a week ago we had a mattress given to us for free. It was okay probably safe enough, and it was free so I tried to be okay with it, but it just wasn't good enough I just couldn't risk it. The mattress that didn't make the cut was a Serta Perfect Sleeper. I think it would make a great toddler mattress, but I felt it was just a little too soft for a newborn.
Sticker on the mattress
So yesterday a Simmons Baby Beautyrest Back Care VII showed up on craigslist for $35. Being the wary neurotic mattress shopper I had become I researched it like crazy and I couldn't find a single bad review! It has over 200 15 gauge coils, individually pocketed for reduced movement. A 9 gauge continually welded border wire, double padding, fabric binding, air vents, and an antimicrobial vinyl waterproof cover. Of course despite the good reviews, I still wasn't ready to just commit blindly so I emailed and asked if it would be okay for me to look at it first and then decide. That way I could see what the house looked like, determine if they had smoked and such, and check the condition/ quality for myself. They said that would be fine and I headed out. I was happy to meet an extremely nice couple with a nice house and a mattress that was all I had dreamed a crib mattress should be. They hadn't used it in a couple years but it was stored in a closet in plastic. I bought it for $35 no need to haggle as it was already a great price on a mattress in like new condition that retails for $120. Another craigslist success and a mattress I would recommend to anyone.

As for the free one we were going to try to use it as a dog bed which was something I found out many people do from reading the reviews on others. Sadie likes it, but unfortunately Charlie only wants to tear the sheet we put on it, and I dont want him to rip through the vinyl cover. So I think I'm going to try and sell it for more money to decorate the nursery.

Crib all ready to go
Another thing I've been working on lately (not directly related to the nursery project) which I mentioned the last couple times is putting everything together in a universal registry. I checked out a couple sites including Amazon but ultimately I decided to go through onebabyregistry.com It was a big undertaking to pull together everything I wanted, and I wanted to list for each item all the places it was available so people had options if they wanted to price shop like me. I really like that it does put everything in one place from many different stores. I also like that you can add your own entries so I could write generic things like books. And I like the option to add local and specialty stores. I'm planning to cloth diaper so I was able to add a local store here that sells diapers and accessories and has a great trial program where you can find wich brand/style of diaper works for you.
Of course I have a few concerns about the universal registry mainly, if it will be easy/accesible for everyone to use. It can be used for online shopping in that there is a link embedded for each item so you can purchase it directly, and it can also be printed off to be taken shopping with you. The other potential problem is that once you do go shopping you have to physically go back to the site and say that you purchased the item. I could see people forgetting that step and ending up with a lot of duplicate gifts. But I think I'm willing to give it a try. Here is the link if you want to check it out for yourself to see how it is laid out and you can always leave me some feedback if you think it is a workable idea or not. http://www.OneBabyRegistry.com/myregistry/?i=22525

So I probably won't have much to say about the room again for a while, but we are going to get a 3D ultrasound on Thursday so I will be back to share that experience for sure, probably on Saturday.

February 2, 2012

Day 24

I never knew I could be so in love.........with blinds! (More on that later)

Yesterday we drove out to the other side of the city to pick up a dresser/changer from Craigslist, and went to pick up the blinds. Shopping from craigslist is always a little risky (serial killers aside) but I do it quite often and I love it.

This particular piece caught my eye a while ago, before we even had the crib, but I was waiting on it. First I wanted to have a better idea of the crib color, and then I just didn't have the cash. But I kept an eye on it and even after the seller lowered the price from $100 to $90 it was still there. Finally I was able to contact the seller and even though I thought $90 was an okay price, I wanted to get the best price I could so I asked her to name her lowest price, she said $75 and I said I'd take it. When we got there I was very happy to see that it was a high quality piece, very solid and well made. To be fair it does have a few scratches, and the color doesn't quite match our crib, but overall it was a great find!

From there we went to Bed Bath and Beyond for the blinds. Because we live in a parsonage the blinds are something the church is "responsible" for, but we wanted something a little higher quality than they had previously had, and I wanted cordless in order to be as safe as possible. Also the windows are pretty wide at 39" all of which combines to equal a little bit of a higher price tag.  So I searched for the lowest price, and found a coupon and checked to make sure the church was okay with the cost. We ended up getting some honeycomb cellular cordless blinds and I believe the brand is Insola. The total cost was $97 and change. We went with the dark brown to match
with the crib and to get maximum darkening benefits for nap times and early morning. Today I spent a couple hours putting them up and I am in loooove! They weren't hard to instal and would have even been much easier with a drill but I don't have one and I was too impatient to wait to find one I could borrow. So I made a pilot hole by hammering a nail in and then removing it and screwed the brackets in with a regular screwdriver, elbow grease, and determination. Even with the extra effort it wasn't bad and what took me a couple hours would take probably 20 minutes with power tools. And they look amazing I'm so happy with the purchase. Seriously If you want to do one thing to make your house look better, install these blinds. Seriously do it now!

Also today I went out to Lowes to get our new light fixture. Of course I got an awesome deal again and picked up one for $17.00 and I actually like it the best out of the other ones in the under $30 range. It's the Portfolio brand. D and I worked together to instal it and let me tell you I will not be upset if I never have to put up another light fixture again, what a pain that was. Im sure it might have had something to do with the fact that it only cost $17 but it can also be blamed once again on our lovely old house.

The instructions were so simple and stated that it was easy to instal in about 20 minutes. I think it took us most of an hour. To start with it said to attach the black wire to black and the white wire to white. Sounds easy enough except our wires were so old and dirty and damaged that they were both a dark grey. So we just guessed and figured it would either work or not work. That wasn't so bad just a little confusing. The hard part was assembling the darn fixture where none of the screws lined up as they should and one wouldn't even hold the light to the ceiling and another had to be lined up just so and of course this is all happening while the light is supposed to be held flush against the ceiling yeah right. Oh well eventually we got it up there and it was time for the big test. D went down to turn the breaker back on when he got back we flipped the switch together and....it worked! I still have a small fear that we might have done something wrong and it could catch on fire or something haha but the rational part of me says we didn't do any real electrical work so it should all be fine.

And I stumbled across this pretty switchplate while I was out and for $3 I just had to get it. It's a minor detail but it looks alot better than the off white plastic one that was there.

So now that we have window coverings, a light, and a dresser the room is really starting to come together. Unfortunately all the work today made quite a mess so I guess my next project will be cleaning again. Probably not until Monday though because we have other stuff going on the rest of the weekend.
Happy SuperBowl watching.

Insola Cordless Blinds
Portfolio Ceiling Light