Black Friday: Washer & Dryer

I love shopping and it has been tradition to go out on Black Friday each year. The ads are starting to come out and I have my eye on a couple of deals.  We are looking for a washer & dryer for the new house so that is priority number one.  Here is what has caught my eye this year:

Option #1: Sears Kenmore Front Load Washer & Dryer, 8pm on Thanksgiving $799 for the pair (reg $1,799). There are just 5 per store, but it looks like both Sears and Sears Outlet are running the same deal (Sears Outlet an hour earlier at 7pm)

BF Kenmore 3.7 cu ft washer 7 cu ft dryer white

Option #2 Sears Outlet Whirlpool Cabrio Top Load Washer & Dryer, 7PM on Thanksgiving $899 for the pair. Exact model is discontinued, but similar products are in the $1,600-range.

BF Whirpool Cabrio Top Load Washer Dryer

Option #3-Home Depot Samsung Dryer $549, no washer.  We already have a washer, and this deal goes on through December 5th. If we do not get either of the Black Friday deals above, we’ll probably just go to Home Depot to buy this dryer. I’ve heard that Lowe’s has a 110% price-match policy, so anything you see at Home Depot that is also carried at Lowe’s can be purchased at a 10% discount. I’ve never tried this before, so maybe we would go for the matching pair, we’ll see what happens:

BF Samsung Dryer

I’ll be posting some other Thanksgiving Day/Black Friday deals that I am looking at in other categories.  My husband wants a TV for the basement, so we’ll see if his Christmas wish can come true next…

Opening Day Buffalo Check

November 15 is a holiday here in the state of Michigan- opening day for firearm hunting season.  Or “Christmas with guns” as they say in the movie Escanaba in Da Moonlight. I’ve been informed by our builder that construction on our house will stop during this two week hunting season (Nov 15-30).  So I guess I will not be cooking my Thanksgiving turkey in our new house. Only in Michigan does the world stop so 750,000 hunters can go out and shoot deer. Or wolves, this year at least.  My mom was at Meijer last night in Brighton and she said there was a line of hunters waiting to get their limited-availability wolf hunting licenses for the season.

Hunting is not really my thing.  As a former vegetarian, I just can’t see myself actually shooting a deer.  Shopping is my sport of choice! Buffalo check is a trend I’ve seen in fashion and home decor this year.  In honor of Opening Day, here are some of my favorite buffalo check finds:

Buffalo Check Collage

clockwise, from upper left

women’s red coat/buffalo check chair/infinity scarf/women’s vest/girls’ coat/kids bedroom

PS- you can watch Escanaba in Da Moonlight for free on Hulu right now to get in the spirit of Opening Day

Winter is coming…Netflix, Hulu+ or Cable?

I was not much of a television-watcher until I had my son, Lucas.  Newborn babies require a lot of time at home for naps, feedings, etc.  My preference is to read books, or go on the internet. But when you don’t have both hands free to do these things watching TV is much easier.  I got hooked on several shows since becoming a mommy. But I can never remember which nights they air or when the seasons start and end.  Usually I watch TV after Lucas is in bed, so I rarely catch shows live.

Winter is coming, which means a lot more time inside the house here in Michigan (anyone catch my Game of Thrones reference, hehe?).  We are trying to decide whether to get cable or not in our new house. The other option is just internet with Hulu+ and Netflix subscriptions. To help make that decision, here is a list of my favorite shows and where/when/how to watch them.

Once Upon A Time, ABC, Sundays at 8pm ET

ABC is really great getting full episodes up on their website the next day.  You can also easily watch on Hulu+ without much of a delay. If we decide not to get cable, I can continue to watch this show without missing anything.

The Walking Dead, AMC, Sundays at 9pm ET

My husband and I used to watch this show together.  But he has lost interest in the story line recently.  I still like the characters, but I am a baby when it comes to scary things and divert my eyes in another direction when the zombie scenes get graphic. When I can’t catch this show live, Netflix is the best place to watch The Walking Dead.

Nashville, ABC, Wednesdays at 10pm ET

I almost never watch this show live.  The 10pm airing is past my bed time.  I usually catch it the next day on demand or on Hulu+ ABC is really great getting full episodes up on their website the next day too.

Grey’s Anatomy, ABC, Thursdays at 9pm ET

I have watched this show since the very beginning (2005).  It used to be on Sunday nights (does anyone remember?) before it moved to Thursdays. My interest in this show varies.  Sometimes I am following along watching every single episode as they air.  Other times, I have been an entire season behind and need to catch up.  Hulu+ is definitely the best way to watch Grey’s if you are not going to watch it live.

Covert Affairs, USA, Thursdays at 10pm ET

This is one of my favorite shows, but my husband thinks it is silly and makes fun of me whenever I watch it.  I don’t care- this is a spy show for women and I like it.  USA Network is inconsistent about putting full episodes up on their website.  Hulu+ and Netflix do not get Covert Affairs episodes.  If we decide not to get cable this is one show I will really miss.

Downton Abbey, PBS, Sundays, Season 4 returns Jan 5-Feb 23

I cannot wait for Downton Abbey to return!! I have been avoiding any internet stories about Season 4 so I can be surprised. I will want to watch this show live if I can.  The PBS website is pretty good about getting episodes up but it is way more fun to watch it on TV than on a laptop.

Game of Thrones, HBO, Season 4 returns March 2014

This summer, I read all of the books and am so, so excited for Game of Thrones to come back.  This show is worth the cost of HBO for me.  I just don’t know if I can wait until it comes out on DVD to see the episodes.  Game of Thrones alone may be the reason we keep cable.

Call the Midwife, PBS, Season 3 returns Mar 30-May 18

Call the Midwife is as equally addictive as Downtown Abbey. I am okay watching this on my laptop, since no one else at my house seems to tolerate this show.

So, we’ll see what we decide to do about cable versus Hulu+ and Netflix.  I am okay with the first few months skipping cable, but when Game of Thrones comes back we just may need to revert back.

Are there any TV shows you can’t live without that require having cable?

Gas lines and paint chips

I have not talked about the house much in the past two weeks! Things are moving along, slowly, thanks to tons of rain and the local gas company.  While I was out-of-town for work the week of October 21, they were able to start building the porch out and added the brick around the foundation:


However, they cannot finish drywall or start siding until the local gas company comes out and installs the gas line.  We are hoping to close the week of Thanksgiving, but if this does not get moving it may get pushed to the first week of December.  I’m okay with that, but part of me would really like to host Thanksgiving at our new house. Please hurry, gas company, so I can cook a turkey in my new oven.

I’ve also been thinking about the details before we move in.  One of those is a kitchen backsplash.  Our house comes standard with the 4 inch granite backsplash, so I’ve asked the builder not to install it.  That way we can put it our own and not have to tear out the 4 inch piece granite and potentially damage the new drywall.  After a lecture about how unfinished the space cabinets may look, they’ve agreed to not install it per my request.  Yay!  One small win…now I just need to pick the backsplash tile.

Also, the hubs wants to paint the walls before we move in.  The problem is, I don’t have a clue how I want to decorate most of the rooms yet! This makes it really hard to pick a paint color.  But I understand his point. It is so much easier to paint without any furniture in the house. I stopped by Sherwin Williams today to see if any of their colors were inspiring enough to commit to now (please excuse the horrible lighting):

Paint Chips

The blue-green-gray colors are what I tend to gravitate towards. Sea Salt and Comfort Gray are my favorites on the far right chip. They are sort of gray with a green hint. Next over I love Interesting Aqua and have been loving that color for a long time on Pinterest. Tidewater is pretty and I almost used it in my old living room. Bathe Blue is on the far left and is more clear than my usual choices.  I tend to go for more muddy colors. When we move in, the builder is painting the entire house in Kestrel White.  It is a creamy yellowish white. We may end up living with that for a while and painting later.  We’ll see.

Enjoy your weekend and welcome to November!

Baby Gear

We are moving again very soon (in 30 days or less), and we did a pretty good job of purging items at our huge garage sale back in May. I took at look in the basement today and noticed the majority in storage is baby gear. Things Lucas has outgrown, but I am holding on to for when we have another baby. How long do I keep baby gear and what do I keep? Decisions, decisions…

When I was a new mom, I researched every item like a crazy person.  I hope this post is helpful to any new mommies out there trying to put together their registries. (note- I have no affiliation with any of these companies or products.  Just sharing my own thoughts on what I liked/disliked).

Baby gear I love:

Love it

Start left upper corner, going clockwise:

gDiapers– these are hybrid diapers that can be used as cloth diapers or you can put in a disposable/flushable insert. We used these exclusively when Lucas was a newborn (0-3 months old).  He did not have a single diaper rash with gDiapers. Daycare was not willing to take part in cloth diapering of any kind, so when I went back to work we tried Pampers disposable diapers.  And then came his first diaper rash!  When we don’t use gDiapers, Target brand is my favorite disposable diaper.

Aden & Anais Swaddles– stretchy soft muslin cotton, ahhh, so lovely.  Just the sight of these blankets gives me baby fever. Possible uses include swaddling (of course), but also sun shade cover over car seat, drool wiper, burp cloth, nursing cover, etc. If you are going to a baby shower, this is the gift to bring.

IKEA Gulliver Crib– we resisted the urge to get a fancy crib.  This one costs $99 and is doing great after 2 years.  . I love the clean modern lines- it works for a boy or a girl. It also converts to a toddler bed.  However, we did not use it as a toddler bed.  When Lucas was almost 2 years old he was getting too long to sleep in the crib, so we transitioned him straight to a twin bed.

Maxi Cosi Mico Infant Car Seat– mine is all black and very gender neutral. It is light weight and clicks easily into its base in the car. The weight limit is 22lbs, so Lucas only used this until he was 5 months old. There are infant carriers with higher weight limits, some as high as 35lbs. However, would you actually want to carry a car seat around with your 35lb baby sleeping in it?  Didn’t think so…just switch to the convertible car seat when your baby gets that big.

Fisher Price Rock n’ Play Sleeper– this device is magical and probably the most convenient piece of gear ever.  Basically, it is a place to set the baby down. It can be easily carried all over the house with one hand, while carrying your baby. We used this every single day from 0-6 months. And Lucas slept in it at night from 0-3 months (yes, it is approved for sleeping unlike a swing or bouncer).  After my c-section, it was the perfect height for picking him up for night-time feedings out of bed or the couch. It is not a swing- there is no motor, no music, no lights.  Just a little taco for your baby to rest. You can rock it with your foot or hand if needed. This is not the prettiest piece of baby gear, but recently they have come out with better looking versions.

Combi Cocorro Convertible Car Seat- we bought this car seat for our Honda Civic because it is very compact and space efficient.  We now have a huge vehicle (Chevy Traverse), so the space-saving features are less important.  However, it is a solid well-made car seat that I’m sure we’ll use for next baby.

Green to Grow BPA free bottles– we used these bottles for daycare for about 9 months. They went through the dishwasher countless times and still look brand new. These bottles only have 3 parts to wash- bottle, nipple and cap.  I also liked for daycare that we were the only family who used them so there was less concern about Lucas’ bottles getting mixed up with another kid’s. These bottles are very simple, sturdy, and awesome.

Mamas & Papas Sola Stroller– this stroller just makes me happy with the fun green color. It is extremely sturdy and lies completely flat for a newborn.  Lucas and I took many walks during my maternity leave in this stroller.  It is a full-size stroller, so it folds down but not as compactly as an umbrella stroller. I looked at some other comparable strollers- Britax , Uppa Baby , etc.  The price of this one was much better at $399 and it still has a solid metal frame. The seat can face forward or towards you- it is really easy to change the position.  It also works with most infant car seats with the right adapter.

Baby gear I can live without…


Starting in upper left corner, going clockwise:

Medela Swing Pump– Its smaller, portable and recommended for travel. Plus it has the great Medela brand behind it so I thought it was the right choice.  However, I regret this purchase.  Some mammas take to breastfeeding and pumping very easily. And some do not. I had to fight for every ounce. Next time, I’ll be renting a hospital grade pump from a lactation consultant or hospital.  It will weigh like 22lbs, but that is okay because I work from home.  I won’t be dragging the pump outside of the house very often. If I do have to travel, I’ll bring a hand pump.

Ergo Sport– these carriers are much-loved by many people, but I have to say it did not work for me.  Maybe it is my short torso and this is a pretty bulky carrier? I did not love it and I’m thinking about selling mine or passing it along to another Mommy.  It would be a good carrier for my husband to wear because it looks manly, but I don’t think that is going to happen.

Maclaren Triumph– this stroller is so frustrating to me.  I got it on clearance and heard great things about Maclarens.  But I just really don’t love it.  The recline minimal- no taking naps in this stroller.  The canopy is easily bent, it never folds up right and the strap gets tangled in everything.  The basket is difficult to take items in and out. The only thing I like about it is the height of the handles.  I’m considering something else in the future….

Joovy Nook– this high chair was great for our first house, which was just 672 square feet.  Every inch counts in a house that size, and this high chair folds up compactly and we could store it in a closet when not in use.  However, now that we will have an eat-in kitchen, this probably will not work in our new house.  The legs are really wide and it cannot pull up to the kitchen table easily for meals with the family.

PPB Sojourn Sling– this sling is extremely comfortable. I bought it when Lucas was about 5 months old.  It was perfect for that age so I could carry him on my hip without the full weight in my arms.  I will probably keep this for future kiddos, but it has a limited timeframe of use and babies grow out of it quickly.

Bumbo– I felt like I needed a Bumbo, but the whole contraption sort of scared me in general.  Lucas is a really tall baby so by the time he was ready for the Bumbo the height of it was not as supportive as it needed to be for his size.  I’m sure mamas with smaller babies could get a lot of use out it, but we sadly did not.

Travel Swing– we got this to see if Lucas would take to a swing.  He hated it, so it was rarely used.  Even if he did like to swing, the height was so low to the ground it was hard to use after a C-section.  If I decide to use a swing for future babies, we’ll probably get a full sized one instead.  Otherwise why not just use the Rock n’ Play?

Boppy– it just felt a little stiff to me for breastfeeding. I preferred to use pillows or actually my c-shaped maternity sleeping pillow which I would wrap around me like a cocoon and set the baby on top. It worked fine for the first 2-3 weeks but Lucas grew really fast and the Boppy could not contain him 🙂

And some items that I really want for our next baby.

Want It1

Just to be clear, I am not even pregnant yet but I like to plan things in advance.  These are some of the bigger items I may purchase when we are ready for baby #2.

Glider– oh why did I not buy a glider for the first baby?  I spent so much time bouncing and walking and so did my husband.  Lucas loved the glider at Grandma’s house, so next baby I am definitely getting one.  We probably did not have the space in our first little house, but this is a must have for next time.

Chicco Lite Way Stroller– for the next baby, I’d like to get one of these to replace the Maclaren. The price is good, it has a full recline and folds up compactly as an umbrella stroller is meant to do. The Liteway Plus allows you to click in your infant car seat.  If that had been available when Lucas was born I probably would’ve only gotten this stroller and skipped the larger one.

Arm’s Reach Co Sleeper– this pulls right up to your bed so baby can sleep safely next to you. Oh I wish I had one of these when Lucas was born. If I have a repeat C-section with baby #2 this is a must-have item.  Getting out of bed for feedings was so painful right after delivery anything I can do to stay lying down is awesome. This is also perfect for lazy breastfeeding mamas like myself. Just pull the kiddo closer to you for feedings and put him right back to bed without ever getting up.

IKEA Antilope High Chair– this high chair is $25, including the tray.  Why spend a ton of money on something that is going to get covered with baby food?  It wipes down easily and pulls up to the table. I also like the design of it and how non-baby it looks. There is actually a sale going on through Nov 27 and this high chair is just $10 for IKEA family members.

Pumpkin Carving 2013

Pumpkin Carving 2013

The hubs did an amazing job on our pumpkins this year. He ended up carving every single one of them with input and direction from us. The left one is for Lucas with the big eyes and sideways smile. The middle one is mine, something I saw on Pinterest and thought it would be a good excuse to break out the drill. And the right one is Mr. Mitten’s and he was inspired by those scary fish in Finding Nemo with the sharp teeth and lights.

How did your pumpkins turn out this year?

Closing in November…

I just heard from our realtor who said we are on track to close on our new house in November!  I’m so excited.  From the outside, our house still looks like this:

7 Oct

However, a lot of work has happened on the inside of the house this past week.  Rough electrical, plumbing, gas and they are getting started on pouring the driveway in back.

November is earlier than I was expecting the house to be finished.  But let me be clear my expectations have been low.   I heard from so many people to expect delays when building a new home.  Our builder told us 180 working days, so I was thinking December or even January so to hear November is amazing.

My mind is racing now with the things we must get done before moving in.  We have a washer, but still need a dryer.  The kitchen appliances have all been purchased. Window coverings (curtains, blinds, paper taped to the window?) of some kind are a “must have” in my book.  We have enough furniture to fill out most of the rooms. Everything else can wait and be added slowly over time. And then there is actual moving to think about; you know what, let’s not think about it now 🙂

What are your must have items when you move in to a new house?



We bought our range over the weekend! Here’s a photo that I snapped at the outlet just after purchase. Pardon the ugliness of the photo, this range was fresh off the truck and not on the retail floor yet. We’ve been looking for appliances since we signed our contract in April on the new house.  I frequently check on the floor samples at the major hardware stores in the area and at appliance outlets for deals.  On Saturday, a sales rep approached me and instead of shooing him away like I usually do I opened up about what I was looking to buy.  He said “we just got a couple of new items in that are not on the floor yet.  Let me ask my manager if it is okay to bring you back to see because I think we have one you might like”.  And sure enough there it was! This is a Jenn-Air Slide In Dual Fuel Range with Convection.  I feel like I am speaking another language sometimes when you talk about features.  But we got it for a great price, which I am excited about.

Our fridge was purchased a little while ago, now the range is done and all we have left to get is a dryer- woo hoo! I hate to pay delivery fees, so my dad was sweet enough to lend us his truck and a hand in picking it up and loading in the garage tonight.  The boys tell me it is really, really heavy.  I am excited to start cooking on it and I’ll share my thoughts in greater detail after we’ve used it for at least 6 months.