Category: Shopportunities

Oh Sheet!

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

I’ve been stalking my custom made-to-order Etsy crib bedding since it shipped last week.

It finally arrived today.  I happily snagged the oversized box from our new postal carrier, who distracted me from my mission with small talk.   When I replied to her due date question with “Exactly one month from today,” she said “NU-UH! You don’t look that far along!”  We’re going to be great friends.

Once she left, I ran to my desk and quickly opened my parcel, expecting trumpets to sound and joy to spring forth.  Yeah, that didn’t happen.  While the hot pink on light pink floral print looked awesome, the secondary fabric wasn’t what I expected.  Rather than a preppy pink and white lattice-like plaid print, it was more of a contemporary pattern of off-white, pink and brownish gray cubes.

Intending to send the seller a WTF inquiry, I immediately pulled up the original listing and compared it to a quick pic I snapped of the actual product.  The only difference was that mine was a hi-res close-up shot while hers was a tiny, detail-free online thumbnail.  In the end, I knew it was my fault for not requesting a more detailed photo or an actual fabric swatch.

I drove home in a sullen funk as I weighed my options: buy another crib bumper from the same seller or scrap the bedding all together and eBay or Craiglist it.  Neither of these options had much appeal.  I tried telling myself it was just bedding… it wasn’t like someone killed my childhood pet.  I dragged my Eeyore butt up the stairs and into The Wiggle Room.  I reluctantly assembled the components to see just how bad it would look.  When finished, I stepped back and came to the only obvious conclusion…

I was one hundred percent wrong.  It looks GREAT!  What was I thinking!?!

Oh, Wiggles, your mom is such a crackbaby.

2Pack: Lug Life 4ever

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

I bought myself a push present:  my hospital bag.

As I mentally skimmed my closet’s overnight bag selection, I realized my options sucked.  I have a beat up mini rolling carry-on or an open-top boat tote.  Neither would accommodate all the crap I need to pack for Wiggles and me.  I needed something big but not ginormous, cute but not cutesy.   I needed a Lug.

My love for Lug started in 2007 with my first purchase, an orange Puddle Jumper.  I wanted a lightweight, vintage-looking carry-on, something reminiscent of a 60’s stew bag.   It’s accompanied me on every transatlantic flight I’ve taken since then.   Two of my friends even purchased Puddle Jumpers of their own.

A couple of years ago, I played an online contest at that landed me some freebies (luggage tag, travel wallet).  I never win anything, so that was pretty cool.

It just so happened ebags had their Lug weekenders on sale for almost half-off with free shipping this past holiday weekend.  (Psst – the sale is still on-going and ends 07/14)*   My Lug Round-Trip Shuttle Bus Weekender arrived yesterday.  I’m proud to say I have zero buyer’s remorse.  All that’s left is to fill it with everything from personal toiletries and Wiggleswear to the baby book and cord blood kit.

Next on my list?  Gently breaking it to our terracotta warrior, Wang Chung, that there’s not enough room in the bag for him.


* No, I don’t get paid for all these glowing product reviews.  If only.  I’d be rich, I tell ya! RICH!  I just like sharing cool, cheap stuff I dig. 🙂

Shopping ‘Til She Drops

Monday, July 11th, 2011

I’m convinced Amazon Prime owes me a toaster and BabySteals should send me a set of steak knives.

This past weekend, I went through our registries seeing which unpurchased items would be essential during the bambina’s first days.  I then compared prices and availability between Amazon, and Babies R Us.  Amazon Prime pretty much spanked the competition with its discounts, free shipping and no sales tax.  Within two days, Wiggles will have a rectal thermometer (I’m sure she’s thrilled) and a host of other items like diaper rash cream, bibs and wipes.  I tossed in an ItzBeen for Dan and me. I’m pretty much an old school paper chart maker, but the reviews on this puppy were stellar.

Then there were the splurges compliments of Heartsy, BabySteals and Amazon.   These items fall under the category of  “Ooh, that would be so handy dandy…”   Will these be totally necessary to her everyday care?  Nawsomuch. They’re more for my peace of mind as an accident-prone germ freak.

Better Life Cleaners (Heartsy, $20 for $47 worth of products).  Thanks to Season, I saw this deal.  You know by now that non-toxic cleaners get me giddy.  And I am O-kay with that.   I gleefully filled my cart with their cutely named products.  I figure if they work, fabulous!  If they don’t, well, I didn’t exactly blow Wiggles’ college fund.

SnuggleDry Apron Towel (Amazon, $49.98)  Yes, I paid almost $50 for a towel.  This was my crazy splurge that sat in my cart for two hours before I decided to take the plunge.  It started with me hunting for bamboo towels.  In addition to being a renewable resource, bamboo is a super-soft, extra-absorbent fabric.  That’s when I came across the SnuggleDry, the American version of the award-winning UK CuddleDry.   The apron-style allows you to use both hands to remove a wet, wiggling infant from the bathtub.   In the future, I think any additional towel purchases will be the Stay-Dry cotton version (Target, $21.99).

Itzy Ritzy Sitzy Shopping Cart/High Chair Cover (BabySteals, $27.99).  I’ve coveted an Itzy Ritzy cover since I first saw them on  But at prices ranging from $56.00-$70.00, there was no way in hell I’d pay that much.  I registered for a slightly less expensive Balboa.  If we didn’t get it, I would just find one on Etsy when she was old enough to need it.   Then the BabySteals cherubs sang out this morning and featured the Itzy Ritzy at half price.  I checked reviews to make sure it would fit all cart sizes and made the purchase.  Wiggles’ cutie bootie will never have to touch a skunky Target cart.  (As Dan rolls his eyes and thinks “Germ exposure is GOOD!”)  🙂

So there you have it….my weekend shopping spree.

And, yes, I am available for an intervention any day this week after 5:30pm.



Game of Thrones

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

My horoscope for today read:

If it feels as if you have been kind of lazy and unmotivated over the past couple of weeks, Tara, that will all change today. It’s probable that you will have a lot more energy than usual. And since you like to keep busy and to make yourself useful to other people, you won’t have a minute to rest. Even though that couch looks real comfy… Forget it! You can take a nap some other time.

So that’s what I did… I got to work. After breakfast with the Marrieds and Boyshteyn, we snagged some baby hangers (on sale!) at Container Store and headed to Baby’s 1st Furniture to select our nursery recliner. The hangers took mere seconds to pick…the chair? Eh, not so easy.

Dan and I immediately agreed on the chair we liked: the Irvington by Best Chair Co. It was super comfy and the price was perfect. Also on sale! Holla!

The hard part came when selecting the fabric. I know…I know…how could we not pick that fabulous red print up there? 😉 Initially, I wanted a solid pink chair to compliment Wiggles’ bedding fabrics (dark pink on light pink damask and white/pink plaid). Dan was of the opinion we should get something not pink. He had great points: we already had lots of pink and pink isn’t exactly a versatile color. When we no longer need a nursery recliner, it would be best to pick something that could fit into other rooms.

We both really liked the seersucker prints.  I was drawn to the pink or green while Dan leaned toward the blue.   He felt the seersucker blue would blend well with the Sherwin Williams Soar Blue walls.  Concerned that the pink print would clash with her bedding and there not being much green in the room aside from the artwork, I agreed with the blue seersucker choice.

As soon as we left the store, I started second-guessing that decision. Would a blue seersucker look completely out of place? Here’s all this pink and white against blue walls… would it be the blue striped elephant in the room? I panicked and called the store, fearing their no cancellation policy would apply to fabric selections. The store clerk, Liz, assured me we had plenty of time to pick a new fabric. It’s a 4 to 6 week lead time and fabric comes late in the production process. With our bedding arriving Monday, I told her I’d be there to make the switch. She responded with “How about Tuesday? Again, no rush. I’m marking your file ‘Fabric TBD’.” I heart Liz. 

Now I just need to make up my damn mind.

Maybe tomorrow’s horoscope will be more precise.

IKEA: Beyond Thunderdome

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

So I’d be remiss if I didn’t share our IKEA experience from this past weekend.

It was their super-duper, only happens twice a year (or more) July 4th inventory blowout sale.  Dan and I went Friday night to check out an armoire and changing table.   We went fairly late, so it wasn’t very crowded.  Having selected a Pax system, we took the worksheet home to configure the best possible closet for Wiggles.   Dan hearted the Pax big time and daydreamed of either bogarting it for himself (Wiggles could have his half of the master bedroom closet) or just sharing.   I kinda like the latter.  I have giggle-inducing visions of him biking to work in wintertime while accidentally wearing her BabyLegs.

Once we took measurements and made our system accessory selections, we were ready to seal the deal.   It’s a truth universally acknowledged that no sane person in want of keeping his limbs goes to IKEA on a weekend, especially during a sale.  If it must be done, the earlier or later the better.  We opted for later at 6:00pm.

It was not late enough.  The place was insane.  Luckily, Dan had written down all needed parts numbers, so we were able to quickly order our pick-up items and pick up our self-service pieces.   While heading for the drawer aisle, I noticed a lughvlay, well-fed, scarcely dressed family.  The 10-ish kid and whom I assumed to be his father were wrestling mid-aisle.  Kid kicked dad full force in the knee, so dad retaliated with a roundhouse kick to the kid’s chest.  I gasped.  Seeing he was okay, I hauled ass to get as far away from them as possible.   Mom intervened and the ultimate fighting ceased.

We encountered them again as they stood behind us at checkout.  It turns out dad was really uncle.   I realized this when kid and actual dad got into mini shouting match with mom threatening to smack him for back-talk.  Once kiddo was gone, their conversation returned to more prescient matters:  who wanted ice cream and/or cinnamon buns.

Next came the pick-up/delivery scheduling area.  I plopped my feet up while Dan patiently waited in line behind the biggest jackass.  We’d seen him earlier, when he interrupted us trying to order our Pax system.  He had two carts full of various bed and dresser elements, and wanted them delivered to The Woodlands.   I should mention that the delivery area was packed with the weekend’s haul and the line of future delivery requestors was growing by the second.   As the IKEA clerk tried to verify the item count with him, he refused to help.   He stood piggishly by as she explained the items on his receipt didn’t match the items on his cart.   For delivery, those numbers must match.  Makes sense to me right?   He insisted she was wrong but did nothing to expedite the process other than bitch and moan.  His helpful wife pitched by remaining silent and eating multiple cinnamon buns.

After twenty plus minutes of this nonsense, the IKEA clerk decided it was best to just nod and move on.   Meanwhile, the family from before was right back behind Dan.   Their discussion had progressed.  Now they debated dinner options (fajitas or lasagna) while eating cinnamon buns and bitching loudly about how lazy/dumb/shitty IKEA’s customer service was.   Mind you, the clerk sitting mere feet away could hear everything.  Dan was next in line and I felt things would go much more smoothly when I saw him making her smile  I waddled my way over and assured the clerk she wasn’t to blame for the delay.  She’d had a day and we agreed that IKEA had some serious WT asshole customers.

That’s when Eurodad walked up, screaming, red-faced newborn in hand.  I’d seen him checking out as his catatonic wife remained seated.  This kiddo was miserable, so Eurodad bounced him like a sack of potatoes.  Shockingly, this did not soothe le bebe.  He explained to the clerk it had been 20 minutes since he’d checked out and he needed to go, pointing to his infant.  Here’s an idea: don’t bring your one month old to IKEA during a crazy weekend sale.   I turned to Dan and urged him to smack me if that same idea ever sounded good to me.   If it got to that point, I’d surely have lost my ever-loving mind.

Two hours after our initial arrival, we were out the door.  The crowd had thinned significantly by then.

In hindsight, we should’ve gone much later.  If ever asked how to say “much later” in Swedish, the answer is simple: