So, I've been a quiet blogger. This is the longest silent stretch I've had in my four-plus years of blogging. Shame on me!
Well, I'm back. Back-ish. I have a new title in addition to blogger and full-time employee: mom.
Speaking of being a mom, a few months ago, I said that I don't plan on this blog becoming a mommy blog. That's still not the plan (note: no offense to parenting-centric blogs; I read and enjoy many of them)… but being a mom has pretty much been my world for the last three months and I'm head over heels for our little babe, so it's only natural that some of my content will be related to being a mom now, and forever. That said, I would imagine my mom-esque content will still be true to the theme of this blog: affordable shopping with possible a little bit of "style" mixed in.
One of my big projects this year was creating a fun and personalized space for our little girl (who arrived on May 12 — Mother's Day! — weighing 6 pounds, 10 ounces and measuring 20 inches long). I didn't want a "bed in a box" type room with matchy matchy bedding, curtains, decor, etc. Dan loves the zoo (seriously, you'd think he's an eight-year-old boy when he's at the zoo… he gets SO excited) so we decided on a jungle/safari theme. Some pinks were okay with us, but I didn't want a look that was over-the-top frilly girly.
I thought I'd share what we found and where it all came from. Being bargain hunters, big sources were Craig's List, Etsy.com, Amazon.com and eBay. Online shopping is a big time saver for me, as who has time to deal with Atlanta commutes and run around to the mall chasing down items when you can easily have them delivered to your doorstep? Plus, it's like you're winning when you FIND the item then you get giddy all over again once it's delivered. #WinWin
- Probably the most epic buy(s) of the nursery. Dan found this Pottery Barn Kids dresser (with changing table addition/extension) — plus a matching bookcase and crib — on Craigslist. They were asking $1,200 for the three new pieces (well over half off retail). Since they'd been listed for a while, he offered the sellers $800. They took it! Score! Dresser no longer available on the PBK website, but this one is similar. Moral of the story: make an offer!
- My Uncle Tom made this mirror for us. Most of our other furniture is darker wood, so it worked out perfectly that this framed mirror happened to be a very similar color to the Craiglist Pottery Barn furniture. Thanks Uncle Tom!
- Roman shades were made custom from a great seamstress I found on Etsy.com. They're durable, have blackout backing and I got to pick out the fabric! Check out KODesigning's shop on Etsy here. The material is from Fabric.com, which is a great source for affordable fabric. They offer inexpensive swatches of many of their fabrics.
- Since baby clothes are small, I opted to get this teeny basket from Home Goods instead of a traditional, larger clothes hamper. Plus, when it gets full, it's a directive to get some laundry done (I don't love doing laundry and make many excuses not to do it). Dan calls it the "snake charmer basket."
- My mother-in-law gave us a super sweet little rocking chair (see below). This was especially neat because my MIL had one in her daughter's room and wanted Margot to have a similar chair. (She purchased the chair in the Panama City, Florida, area — where my husband is from — don't judge! I will try to find out where it's from.)
- Fluffy shag rug is from Overstock.com. A great deal for $100. Super cushy and thick. (Note: the listing on Overstock shows a $125 price tag. There are TONS of coupon codes for Overstock on the interwebs, so do yourself a favor and look one of those bad babies up. I used a new e-mail address and got a new customer discount of 15%.)
7. These jungle/safari prints (also from Etsy) are one of my favorite parts of the nursery. The seller has (had?) lots of types of prints available (like dinosaurs, farm animals, maps), with TONS of colors to choose from. So when I realized I wanted the nursery to be feminine jungle/safari, I knew I had to get these prints. It looks the seller I purchased mine from ("AlleyKids") looks to not be on Etsy anymore. (Update! Susan from Alley Kids let me know her prints are available on her website now: http://www.alleykids.com – check out her stuff! Super cute.)
8. While not my original choice for fabric, this green/white gingham glider (that came with a matching ottoman) ended up being a great find. Dude, gliders are expensive! But they are a must for nuserys, especially nursing moms. We found this bad boy (or girl?) on Craigslist also. SOMEHOW new ones are about $1,000. Here's a new one on Wayfair.com. Highway robbery, right? We considered getting ours re-upholstered, but that would have been an additional $300-ish. No way.
9. The little lampshade and brown baskets with safari animals are identical in design but came from two different places. I found the shade on eBay for $5, then my mom found the two little baskets at TJ Maxx and used them for a baby shower. She had a feeling they were similar to the shade I already had, but we had no idea they were exactly the same. Worked out great. The lamp base is Pottery Barn Kids via eBay.
10. These fabric cubes are from Amazon (manufacturer is ClosetMaid) and come in a million colors. They are hiding the chaos of books, toys, loveys, etc.
11 and 12. (Bookcase and crib) See item #1 (part of the Craigslist baby furniture jackpot previously mentioned)
14. Love these custom name letters (also from Etsy; see shop The Pattern Bag). The sisters who run this store are so nice, communicative and detailed. In fact, they are very disciplined about putting a cap on the number of orders they can fulfill monthly because they want each order to be just right. I sent Chantel and Cherina pictures of Margot's sheet, curtain fabric and art prints and they came back to me with pattern, color and design ideas to match. Their orders really are custom and awesome.
15. We had a little trouble finding a floating shelf to match the nursery furniture. This floating shelf (we bought it from Home Depot and had it delivered free to a local HD store) wasn't right on color-wise but was close enough. It's also available on Amazon.com but is about $8 less at Home Depot. (Shocking, right? I thought Amazon's pricing was almost always best!)
16. Carter's Jungle Jill music mobile. I don't know why I had to have this mobile, but I did. It only plays music for about two minutes before it stops and you have to wind it up all over again. At least it looks cute? Anyway, I probably wouldn't recommend it to a friend because of the short time the music plays and mobile animals rotate. I try not to think about the other things we could have purchased with that $50.
17. Crib. Part of the CL deal-of-the-year Dan scored (see item #1). Dammit, I already numbered the crib as item #12. I'm too lazy to rejigger my photoshop pictures, so I guess I'll just leave it on the list twice. Whoops.
18. Monogrammed pillow was a gift from sweet Etsy shop owner Stacy (see store Hearth and Home) as a thank you for a big order she did for our kitchen (linen roman shades). This was Dan's favorite item for the nursery. It was the first thing that came with her name on it (about six weeks before Margot was born), which made having a baby feel much more real. Similar pillows in Stacy's shop retail for $35 plus shipping. Also, she did a great job with a custom window seat cushion for our kitchen. (Note: Fabric for this monogrammed pillow was also sourced from Fabric.com.)
19. Carter's safari brights sheets. Sadly this item is out of stock on Amazon and essentially anywhere else on the interwebs, but here's some info about the sheet on the Carter's website. Even though I'm listing this item almost last, these sheets are the first thing we purchased and the inspiration for the rest of the nursery.
20. Disney giraffe print mesh/breathable bumper. I know the experts say that bumpers of any kind aren't totally safe, but I'd rather have these then wake up to see our little one's legs sticking out between the crib bars (which has already happened).
Ooops… forgot a few items: The picture frames are from Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Kohl's, etc. I wish I could link to them but who knows where the heck they originated. Each frame was under $10.
Oh, and here's a picture of our little lady. We're in love.
Oh, and a shout out to two of my favorite moms who blog. Kelly over at Fitting Back In and Leah at Leah Case Online. Kelly's blog has some great healthy, easy recipes plus she's great at sharing her monthly and daily personal and parenting goals. She has a precious baby girl named Beckett and she's doing a great job with creating fun activities for Beckette each day, not to mention keeping up with household chores and her fitness. Reading Kelly's blog makes me want to be a more productive human! I love Leah's posts about her sweet daughter Elliot's milestones and her reminders that life is too short for us moms to be trying to outdo each other or judge one another. Check 'em out!