1.30.2017

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


Background:

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).

CURRENTLY:

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.


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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











1.18.2017

The Dream On Me Portable Folding Stationary Side Crib & The Portable Crib Bedding We Chose to Fit


 
Last fall we were preparing to have long term guests over the holidays and I was searching for a portable crib and mattress set - I wrote about here.

Similar post: Finding a Portable Folding Baby Crib + Mattress + Mini Sheets - read carefully and get the right sizes

It was a crazy busy holiday but I am here with an update to the crib we chose as well as the portable crib bedding and mattress we chose.

First:  The portable 'folding' crib I chose in 'natural' wood color.... and LOVE.  It was a great decision.



 

From the Manufacturer

The Dream On Me, 2-in-1 portable folding crib, features a United States Patented rail system for ease in converting crib to playpen with one hand. The unique hinges allow the crib to fold flat for compact storage or travel. Included is the stationary (non drop side) rail design which provides the utmost in product safety. Made of solid Pine and having a beautiful Non-toxic finish, this portable crib is one of the most convenient portable cribs on the market. 1" Mattress pad and all tools for easy assembly included.

 


 
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.



 


The baby using the bed over the holidays was in the 5-7 months age group.  This worked so well for him!  Perfect in every way.   The crib has a stationary setting for the mattress, which is deep and safe.  However, if you opt to add a mattress of your own, you have to keep in mind you are deducting safety space between the top of the mattress and the rails.  You want to judge accordingly for little monkies who can pull themselves up and if they are able to climb the rails.  The baby using the crib over the holidays learned to pull himself to standing position the week they left.  When they come to visit again in a couple months I will be removing the purchased mattress completely and using the pad it came with so the rail height is deep enough to be safe for standing babies (him).

I absolutely love our decision to purchase this crib and the bedding I did.  I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again or to recommend it.  The crib is nice and sturdy and we have no complaints.














11.05.2016

The only Baby Child Safety Lock that Worked on our Lever Handled Doors! Safety 1st Side By Side Cabinet Locks!

UPDATED (January 2017) - We LOVED these. They worked perfectly for 'lever' handled doors that no other baby locks worked on. 



When your front doors AND back doors do not have a traditional door knob, but the 'lever' style handles, it's great for easy opening and closing and even great to teach your dog how to open and close... but not great for 2 year old little boys that can not only run in and out, but can figure out and open almost every lock on the face of the earth.

One of my favorite old time Doris Day movies is "Please Don't Eat the Daisies".  If you've seen it, you'll know the scene I'm going to refer to.  If you haven't seen it, read on.

There is a scene in Please Don't Eat the Daisies where Doris Day's character, Kate, the mother of 4 little boys, is introducing the children to the nights sitter.  The 18 month old, Adam is in what is basically a cage - a playpen completely enclosed - even the top - because he is a handful and can into and out of everything!  So the sitter, looking at Adam wants to know what is wrong with him that they have to keep him in a cage?

"When you were 18 months old, could you pick a lock? Any lock?"
"Certainly not!"
"Well, Adam can."

We currently have our own 'Adam' - and lever door handles need baby locks.
Baby locks that are child proof for toddlers who have systematically learned how to open every single baby proof trial so far... up until these.

They are actually marketed for cabinets - but I looked at them and thought; I bet those would work on the lever handle doors if they can go wide enough. AND THEY CAN!

There are a FEW DIFFERENT STYLES that look SIMILAR to these.
For the record, he can operate the other ones; even though they look similar, these are harder to use.

So hard, that even adults find them hard to use.  Not only will they keep 2 year olds out, they will keep most adults out!

The first 3 days these were up... I cursed them.
I hurt my thumb.
I ripped my fingernail.
I debated not even using them.

But after I got used to them?  WE LOVE THEM!!!!!!  They are the Safety 1st Side By Side Cabinet Lock


To operate them:
1. Push in center Secure Tech button and hold while pressing in bottom release tab to separate lock
2. Pull inside lever up to remove strap
3. Place strap through cabinet handle or around knob
4. Reinsert strap through slot
5. Repeat on other side
6. Snap lock together
7. Pull strap to tighten

Step #1 is the bugger.
These take TWO HANDS to operate.
You are pushing up the button button on the right side while pushing in the green button on the left side and at the same time, are pulling the two sides apart.

Like I said, the first 3 days I was cursing them, after that? I'm singing their praises. 

I give you the Safety 1st Side By Side Cabinet Lock as it is currently on our front doors and our back doors (and the baby gate because he figured out the straps, and the locking mechanism).






10.25.2016

Finding a Portable Folding Baby Crib + Mattress + Mini Sheets - read carefully and get the right sizes



Like most of my blog posts, they are born from real-life.  While I do have some projects going on, I'm also busy setting up my household to host a long term guest with 2 little ones!  They will be staying with me for a month while they wait to 'close' on their new home as they are relocating across the country.  This includes a toddler who just turned 2 years old and his baby brother who just turned 5 months.

Because we let someone use our crib and changing table a few years ago they conveniently never returned it (which was basically fine... we knew we weren't planning on having any more children) we decided this long term guest with babies would be the perfect time to invest in a portable crib to keep on hand here at the house.  Our guest has a pack-n-play but those have the thin little mattress pad with the uncomfortable metal support bars under it and we do NOT want to make this adorable little one sleep on that for a month!  So... off I went to research portable crib choices.

While I anticipated having to purchase a full sized crib in order to get the safety and comfort and nice look I wanted for the guest room, it ends up the mini cribs come in a great 'folding' option for easy storage!  This was perfect for us.  I wanted the look and safety of a larger 'real' crib (verses a pack n play) but this way I can easily fold it up and store it away when not in use. It's beautiful while it's out, but for guests without children, I'm sure they appreciate the extra open space in the guest room.

And that is how this post was born.

After I found the crib I wanted (photo below) I then had to find the correct sized mattress, the correct size sheets (difficult and confusing) and the bedding.  In the end, I was able to spend about 2 days researching and I'm thrilled with my choices.  However, in searching and reading online reviews I found the biggest reason for poor reviews was based on the reader not paying attention to sizes and complaining the sheets and bedding didn't fit.

It does get a bit confusing... but I thought I'd post some of my research and the products I ended up purchasing.  It might help someone else looking for a similar set up. 

The portable 'folding' crib I chose in 'natural' wood color....


Dream On Me 2 in 1 Portable Folding Stationary Side Crib, Natural

From the Manufacturer

The Dream On Me, 2-in-1 portable folding crib, features a United States Patented rail system for ease in converting crib to playpen with one hand. The unique hinges allow the crib to fold flat for compact storage or travel. Included is the stationary (non drop side) rail design which provides the utmost in product safety. Made of solid Pine and having a beautiful Non-toxic finish, this portable crib is one of the most convenient portable cribs on the market. 1" Mattress pad and all tools for easy assembly included.

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




5" pocket does not mean it will fit a 5" mattress.  It means it will fit a 3" mattress.  There has to be enough of a pocket to go under the corners and hold them in place.  

A 3" pocket will fit a 1" mattress pad.  
5" pocket for a 3-4" mattress and a pocket depth of at least 6.5" for a 4-5" mattress.

Affordable sheets for 3" mattress:  If you have a 3" mattress and need a mini/portable crib sheet that fits (38 X 24 mini mattress but 3" thick and not the 1" cheap pad they send with most portable cribs) American Baby and TL Care make affordable options (Under $6 each for these jersey sheets with enough 'stretch' they are easy to fit on almost any mini or portable crib mattress.)

A sheet that will fit a 5" mattress like these that are 6.6 inches (from their product description) are available here in 4 different colors and 2 different sizes (both standard and mini) so again; make sure you are looking for the 38 X 24 size if you are searching for the portable or mini crib.

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.

When you purchase the bumper pads, comforters, etc. they do sell 'sets' that usually include a sheet, comforter and either bumper pads or a diaper bag, etc.  Remember to buy the "portable" or "mini" crib size.  It's easy to start clicking on links and following links on the pages and end up on a 'standard' size bedding set without realizing you've left your 'mini' search.  Just keep in mind;  PORTABLE and MINI or the 38" X 24" description.  And keep in mind the bedding sets will assume you have a 1-3 inch mattress so if you've opted for a deep 5" mattress, the sheets with the set might not fit but you can use them on the changing pad or your Graco Pack N' Play instead.

Helpful frugal hint for that extra 'fitted' sheet that comes with the set:  (Since I bought a 5" mattress, the sheet that comes with the bedding set doesn't fit the depth.  Instead, I cut the fitted sheet that came with our jungle animal set off at the corners and edge to remove the elastic; and re-sewed it with a simple straight seam to make it a regular sheet.  You could also use the fabric this way to sew a simple curtain valance for the nursery window as the fabric is the perfect match to your bedding!)









Other similar items available through Amazon you might be interested in;

Dream On Me 2 in 1 Portable Folding Stationary Side Crib, Natural

Dream On Me 4 in 1 Aden Convertible Mini Crib, Espresso

  Dream On Me 3 in 1 Portable Folding Stationary Side Crib, Espresso



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They also have FULL SIZED standard cribs available in the 'folding' style: this kind uses the standard sized mattresses you can buy almost anywhere.  Yes they come in various colors and styles - here is a white crib but if you click on it, you can search other styles and colors at Amazon if you wish. All standard bedding, pads and off the rack 3- 4" mattresses are for full sized cribs.









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