Finding a Pack-N-Play portable play yard or crib for the best price I could. I ended up with the DREAM ON ME ZODIAK brand.

Just another quick fly-by post here as I found a really good (great) deal on a 'pack n play' style play yard or sleeping area for the little ones.

If you recall, I did a review of the  Folding Portable Crib I bought for use when we had house guests with an infant coming to visit.  I do a TON of research before I buy things and I still absolute love that crib.  As a matter of fact, they stayed with us almost 2 months while getting ready to sign paper on their new house after their old house had already sold - and are using it again this upcoming week for another visit. 

But what this post is about is I was looking for a pack-n-play to have at the house for a couple reasons.  One is that little one is coming to visit this week and we had already planned to go camping (and had paid reservations) so we decided we are going to take the toddler and the baby with us.  That meant doing just a little more planning and organizing; one of which was a safe and secure area for the baby to sleep so we ALL can get some sleep.

When my 3 kids were tiny we had a Graco Pack N Play and I loved it.  It got so much use!  We used it everywhere for everything.  Not only traveling, sleeping at Grandmas etc. but I had it in the minivan and brought it out for the babies to sit and play in during Daddy's softball games, reunions, the beach, etc.

I already knew I loved them and it would come in handy - but they are also all made basically the same.  I needed to find one on my tight budget.

And I did.

This weekend I found the  Dream On Me Zodiak Portable Playyard which is the same brand as the folding portable crib I love so much (which is not as 'portable' as one of these.  The cribs are actually wooden cribs - just a smaller size than standard.  These are meant for travel, quick set up, folding down to a small size, etc.)

40 x 28 x 32 inches

The thing is - most of the time you are going to pay about $69.99 for one of these.  CHECK AMAZON.  You can use my links if you wish.  I found it on Amazon at the time of this posting for $39.99 and had 6 different patterns to choose from.  I also found 1 pattern available of the same play yard at Walmart for just $32.  DEALS ARE OUT THERE - you just have to look for them.

If you like any of the ideas on my page, please consider using my affiliate link to make any purchases you have planned through Amazon. (Even if it's something not related to this page). Thanks! Budget at Amazon


Sheets for the Dream On Me Folding Portable Crib - Mini Crib Sheets and Portable Crib Sheets are NOT STANDARD.

I have a quick "sheet" information ONLY post for my Dream on Me Folding Portable Crib post as I am amazed at the number of online reviews I read of people buying standard sized sheets for it and then complaining or leaving negative reviews that the sheets don't fit.

Why would a sheet made for a standard sized baby crib mattress fit a portable or mini sized crib mattress?  They are two different products.  So a quick fly-by "buy the correct sized sheets" post before I go on to use this particular post again for yet another 'new' post on a completely different topic.  :)

Here is what you need to remember and repeat to yourself - your crib is not 'standard' it's mini.  This means your mattress, pads, crib sheets and bedding all need to fit to the mini 38 X 24 size (or whatever the size of your particular brand and model of mini or portable crib is).

Many people replace the little thin 1" mattress pad that some cribs come with (some come with nothing) with a 3" mattress or a 5" mattress.  This is where it gets tricky to find the correct sheets because you cannot just buy any standard crib sheet.  They must be for a portable or mini crib which is 38 inches and not the standard 52 inches.

Searching for sheets:  Make sure you search for mini crib sheets or portable crib sheets

I personally bought the Luvable Friends brand (2) - here and one of these because I loved the argyle beige design.  These two links fit the 5" mini crib mattress I purchased.  

The bedding set I chose is this adorable little jungle animal set:  Dream On Safari Animals Portable Crib Set

The sheet that comes with the set fits the original thin pad the crib comes with but if you opt for a different mattress you have to buy accordingly.

*NOTE:  When I first bought this crib I substituted a thicker mattress at the time because the baby was an infant and not only did I want the support of a good mattress, but leaning over the rail to carefully and quietly place a sleeping infant is almost impossible when the mattress is even further down than the length of your arms. Leaning over the rail, I couldn't even reach the mattress easily so the baby would wake every time he was laid down.  We invested in a nice mattress at the time which raised the tiny baby up a couple more inches, which was high enough so I could easily get him in and out of the crib easily and not wake him by jolting or jostling as I tried to reach the mattress with a sleeping infant in my hands.

If you also are doing that - be sure that once the baby can start to sit up and stand, you need to only use the 1" mattress that comes with the crib.  You need the rail height for safety.  When the baby is pulling themselves to a standing position - OUT comes any other mattress and only use the standard!

If you like any of the ideas on my page, please consider using my affiliate link to make any purchases you have planned through Amazon. (Even if it's something not related to this page). Thanks! Budget at Amazon

Which Did I Choose? Lowe's Home Improvement "LOGGIA" or Aura's "GLACIAL TILL" ?


Small update to the post below regarding the paint decision for the Living Room....

I decided to go with Aura's Glacial Till.

What a LONG drawn out process.

Given a choice with no consideration having to be given to;
  • The current wall color
  • The connecting wall colors
  • The furniture already in the room that we need to keep for at least 1-2 more years
  • Rugs already in the room
I would have chosen the Loggia from Lowe's Home Improvement.

Because of the considerations above, the most intelligent choice at this time was to stay with the Glacial Till color and although Lowe's did a GREAT and PERFECT MATCH for me in their Infinity paint ($25 less than a gallon of Aura), I can only afford about 1-2 gallons at a time on my 'paint budget' and there is no way you can get a perfect 100% match every single time so if I needed to switch to a new can in the middle of a wall it probably wouldn't match.

FINAL DECISION was using Lowe's Loggia shade for the 2 guest rooms (so I DO get to use my favorite shade after all) but staying with Glacial Till in the Living Room.  For now.


If you like any of the ideas on my page, please consider using my affiliate link to make any purchases you have planned through Amazon. (Even if it's something not related to this page). Thanks! Budget at Amazon


SURROUNDED by paint samples: Aura's Glacial Till, Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige, Real Khaki, Naturel, Maison Blanc and MORE oh so many more


You would think choosing a paint color is simple.  But no.  It's never that easy!

I am SURROUNDED by shades of grayish khaki, beige, beige khaki, greenish khaki, peach beige, wheat... blah blah.  You think colors look PERFECT on the sample and then get them on the wall and OH MY... NO.

So I have been trying to make a decision and every time I thought I had my "this is it, for sure this time" decision...  it wasn't.

When we moved into our home 5 years ago, the previous owner had painted the entire inside just before listing.  Used the cheapest, chalkiest weird paint that left chalky gray stripes up and down the walls where his roller was.  NEVER have seen that before in the 5 homes we've lived in and painted numerous times. (I bought of the exact color/brand thinking it was a bad mix or not mixed well enough but EVERY CAN of that brand did it).

So I got better quality paint and I tried like heck to 'match' the paint already here because I figured that would make it easier to paint at a nice, slow pace as needed.  The paint we 'matched' at the time, a few years ago was Aura's Coastal Path by Benjamin Moore.

At the time, on the wall I was matching, it seemed to match perfectly.
In hindsight, it wasn't.  It was a shade too 'orangey brown' if the sun wasn't directly on it.
What happened was that over the next 2-3 years of slowly repainting everything I started to realize our house was to dark.  Too 'yellow' in all our photos.

I took the sample swatches and tried again before I repainted the master bedroom and found a color closer to the original lighter shade I *should* have been using for the past couple years was Glacial Till.

So I slowly started to buy Glacial Till - the bedroom and 1 of the walls of the kitchen and the office were all done in Glacial Till and the difference is awesome.

But dang-it that paint is $65-75 a GALLON.

And that is NOT budget friendly.  Especially when you have a 3 story house.  In the last 5 years I've spent about $1500 on Aura paint....  I could have painted the whole house in the pale GRAY I originally WANTED to 5 years ago if I had foreseen I would be spending that much just to re-paint what was already there when we moved in (that I did not pick).


I started on a quest to 'match' the Glacial Till color I love from the expensive Aura to high quality but less expensive paint I could pick up at my local Lowe's store. 

After DAYS of researching online and looking at a thousand paint samples, images, other peoples blog posts and photos, etc. I decided the color that I was going to try was Accessible Beige by Sherwin Williams.  I loved the photos of it online and it looked like it would be beautiful in our home too.

Lowe's offers tiny little containers of custom mixed paints for you try for about $3 (although they often go on sale for $.99 sometimes).   So I got 3 samples of paints to try - but I was SURE I was going to love and buy Accessible Beige. I just knew it.

I bought samples of;

  • Accessible Beige
  • Naturel
  • Maison Blanc

And did not like ANY of them in our living room.

(The background paint in the photo below is Coastal Path by Benjamin Moore's Aura line)

Then I bought a sample of;

  • Real Khaki

And I didn't love that either.

After living with the splotches on that particular wall for a week I couldn't stand it anymore and painted it all in the Aura's GLACIAL TILL I had on hand.  I loved it. I just do.
But it's so expensive I just can't keep spending $65-75 on each gallon of paint.  We have a HUGE house and a single-income.

I'm going to skip ahead now - because this post is WAY LONGER than I anticipated it to be.

In the end I had Lowe's match the Aura's Glacial Till and I had a guy in the paint department that ROCKS!  HE IS AMAZING.  So the computer 'match' didn't match after all (they rarely do when you are matching a different brand).  It was too yellow.  So he 'tweaked' it - and OMGosh he matched it exact.

I can now get a shade very very similar to my favorite, for $20 cheaper a gallon.  (The Infinity line of Sherwin Williams runs about $45 a gallon, not on sale.) 

But I'm really really really loving the last sample paint I also picked up to try.

  • Loggia.

Isn't this beautiful????

This week I *MUST* make some decisions.

Right now it's between a Lowe's match version of Glacial Till and the Sherwin Williams Loggia SW 7506.


If you like any of the ideas on my page, please consider using my affiliate link to make any purchases you have planned through Amazon. (Even if it's something not related to this page). Thanks! Budget at Amazon

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