Bliss On A Budget: Table & Teething Toy

Today I bring you two things that I found cheaper somewhere else for Bliss On A Budget!

I have been searching for some new master bedroom end tables (along with matching dresser) for a while now. I’m being super picky because I don’t want to spend a super amount on them, but I don’t want them to look or feel cheap. The nesting table look has been catching my eye especially nightstands that give that appearance of multiple levels but in one piece of furniture not two tables stacked. If displayed right with stacked books, adorable bowl and maybe small potted plant it would be super cute. During my search I found a couple of nightstands at multiple prices for all budgets.

So the table that tops the price bracket is the étagère bedside table from Pottery Barn for $499. I love the three levels with different widths and the antiqued mirrors are lovely.

From West Elm I found the terrace nightstand for $299. I’m loving that it too has three levels and I’m smitten with the gold brass finish. In the same collection there is the Terrace side table with more of the nesting look for $249.

For cheaper alternatives I looked on Wayfair and found the Bombay heritage warton nightstand for $129.99 (with FREE shipping). OR I found the cheapest option and with an application of antiqued spray paint (that you can find at Lowes or Home Depot) would give a more pricey appearance! There is the simple wildon home bull run nightstand for $54.12.

I love them all, the only issue I keep thinking of with glass tabletops is the possibility of constant finger prints (from my three old grabbing mommy’s water)…and this momma really doesn’t want to Windex those tables every day!

My other object for Bliss On A Budget is teething toys! Chloe is 5 months tomorrow and is now putting anything and everything in her mouth. She is not yet teething, but she will be eventually and giving her a teether now would be great for hand eye coordination. The one teether that everyone knows about and seems every kid “needs” to have is the famous Sophie giraffe. At $22-23 that is pretty expensive for something that will be drooled all over. But if it dos bring your kid any kind of relief during the painful teething process than really it is priceless. Lily did NOT like Sophie. She hated the rubber taste and the squeaking noise freaked her out! So my cheaper option was found at Target for just $12.99. Keeping with animal theme “Kiki” the elephant from Infantino.

**An FYI Infantino also has a monkey teether $12.99 that has two different models, but one of them has a recall due to a choking hazard of the tail. Check out information regarding this recall here.


View Comments
  1. Bethany commented:
    August 11, 2014 Reply

    I love finding ways to save money but making something look expensive for very cheap. Thanks for sharing!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      August 19, 2014 Reply

      No problem Bethany! Thanks for stopping by!!

  2. Erin commented:
    October 1, 2014 Reply

    Love your blog! Thanks for the information on cheaper furniture!!

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A Public Cry Fest & Judgemental People

judging2When you become a mom dealing with parental guilt in inevitable. Sadly as a parent you will also find yourself in a situation where you are being judged for your parenting skills. Two weeks ago I found myself dealing with both while on vacation.

If you follow me on Instagram (@lilyandbliss) I opened up two weeks ago that my milk supply slowly dried up. With Lily I was ready to switch to formula around 7 months due to her every 1 ½ hour feedings. Even though I was ready to give up breastfeeding I held on to some heavy guilt over the switch to formula. So with only a few days until Chloe was 4 months I found myself crying in the baby isle of Giant Eagle while shopping for formula during our vacation. I had no issues with my milk supply with Lily even with her nursing so often.

I tried everything from drinking more water, eating foods that are suppose to help boost milk production and even used my pump to help as well. This sudden and unexpected situation left me feeling pretty depressed. I wasn’t ready to loose that part of mothering my baby.

A day after the public cry fest at Giant Eagle I found a quiet corner to feed Chloe at the Children’s Museum. As I was shaking the last of the formula into the bottle a woman stopped a few feet away from me. She was carrying a small child in a front carrier and reaching behind for her other kid’s hand. She looked down at what I was doing and looked up at my eyes all while her upper lip curled in disgust. Like she was mad and in pain for my child. I was in such shock that I looked away from her judgmental stare to snap Chloe’s bib together. A wave of pain and guilt swept over me and my eyes filled.

judging1As I took deep breaths in attempt to stop another public cry fest my sister in law came to join and I told her what happened. As she rolled her eyes at this woman’s actions and boosted my confidence Chloe stopped feeding and just smiled at me. It was as if she was saying Hey mom…I’m fine…I’m happy and that’s all that matters.

Now anyone who knows me personally knows that I speak my mind and I’m not afraid to call someone out. But this complete stranger was taking a hit when I was down. Looking back I wish I had asked her if she had a problem. When I looked up to find her gone I wanted to scream, “I didn’t have a choice!!!!”…and even if I did I’m not poisoning my baby by giving her formula.

I wish as mothers we could stand up together and be more supportive. Why must there always be people out there that feel the need to voice if breast is best, and make “formula” moms feel that they are somehow lacking? I obviously believe in breastfeeding. BUT I would NEVER point out to another mom that breast is best or make them feel guilty over formula regardless how I personally felt.

It is so very easy to judge people and their parenting by looking through a window…just like that woman did to me at the museum.

Why must there always be some debate pitching working moms against stay at home moms. Those that decide to home school and those who decide on boarding school. Organic foods, giving a pacifier, crying it out, watching tv…I could go on and on about all the things that parents feel so strongly about and are quick to judge over.

We of course are all free to have our beliefs and feelings regarding parenting. We have the right to raise our own children by those beliefs. I just wish that moms (and dads) wouldn’t voice their beliefs towards others in public and risk the chance of truly kicking a mom (or dad) when she is down or making her second guess herself as a parent.  I’m not innocent. I have judged parents before….but most of my judging was before I even became a mom. Even then I never was vocal or gave the stank eye to a parent with an out of control kid. Now as a mom, I might have an opinion about someone’s parenting, but I won’t confront them or give them some kind of disapproving look. Unless a parent is giving their kid a high five for hurting someone, giving beer to a kid or physically hurting their child (you get my point?) then I won’t be one to step in.


Men all have this universal head nod that they give other dudes. Even motorcyclists give a low two-finger hand gesture as they pass another biker in greeting. Not saying us moms need to throw up some secret mom gang sign or bump chests (because that would actually be quite uncomfortable to the boobs). Maybe next time we pass another mom we can give a simple smile. Maybe while checking out at Target or eating out give the mom who is struggling to tame their screaming kid a smile instead of the disapproving stank eye.

I’ve had a few weeks to come to terms that my milk is gone and that special time with Chloe has passed. Am I still sad and depressed about it…of course! But I feel sorry for the next person who tries to publicly give me any kind of eye while formula feeding my child…this mamma bear has since sharpened her claws and I will not let another person belittle or criticize my parenting….{large exhale}….

View Comments
  1. Katie commented:
    July 23, 2014 Reply

    I totally agree and may never understand why people (especially other moms) are so judgmental towards one another. We can only love them and be kind to those around us. It makes a difference and truthfully it has to start with us. And mommy, keep doing what you are doing. You have a happy baby who loves you. Life is good.

    • Amy Romano commented:
      July 31, 2014 Reply

      Awe thanks Katie!! And AMEN to your thoughts! Plus why be judgmental in front of our kids and set such a horrible example…right?????

  2. Shauna Anderson commented:
    September 11, 2014 Reply

    Love this post, Ames. You are a fantastic mom and a wonderful friend. So thankful to know you.

    • Amy Romano commented:
      September 23, 2014 Reply

      Thanks babe! I’m lucky to have such a fabulous lady like you in my life! Love you too!

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Did You Know About The Fourth Trimester?

Once you pop out that baby you enter the fourth trimester. What you didn’t know you have to go through another trimester??? Yep folks I discussed all about surviving the first, second and third trimesters of pregnancy but let me share the reality of the postpartum stage or what I like to call the fourth trimester. This trimester is a transition period where you’re being physically, mentally and emotionally tested as you figure out your new normal.

Physically recovering from birth is straight up not pretty. Let’s start with the real Victoria’s secret….the granny panty or the fabulous disposable mesh underwear. I highly recommend prior to birth to pick up some non-thong undergarments because there is NO way a string panty will support the humongous pad (or what I like to call the surfboard) that you need while you bleed. OR you can just take a stash of the uber sexy one-size fits all mesh underwear the hospital provides (Fact: I wore these for the first week at home- they’re free, comfy and I could just trash ‘em when blood got on it!). Point is between the granny panty or mesh thingies and the mammoth ‘surfboard’…sexy is the last thing you feel.


While you’re naked let’s talk about the Jello effect. One of the weirdest feelings after you give birth is touching your stomach. For 9 months your baby grew and stretched your belly and after birth your belly feels like jiggly Jello…another sight that makes you feel like Angelina Jolie. Do yourself a favor and do NOT attempt to put on any of your old clothes the first month after birth. There are some women out there that miraculously shrink back to their pre-baby bodies in an impressive time span…I’m not one of those women. Matter of fact I never fully got my body back from giving birth from Lily. I might have hit the pre-baby number, but my body just never looked the same. So for the majority of women just don’t try to shimmy into those pre-baby jeans or you will just feel super depressed. Elastic pants became my best friend along with maxi dresses after both babies were born.

The crazy hormones have done a number on my skin making me feel like I’m going through puberty all over. All that awesome pregnancy hair starts to fall out…literally in big wads when I’m showering. And stretch marks…ugh it looks like a baby bear grabbed my hips and slid down a few inches (From the major lbs. I gained with Lily).

At night I wake up in pools of sweat or a damp bra from my leaky boobs. Can we talk about the rocks inside my boobs?? I mean that’s what it feels like when your tatas are engorged with milk. With Lily my boobs engorged so much that I couldn’t even lay on my side without waking up in major discomfort. With Chloe I get engorged but not as bad since my body knows how much to produce. After the engorgement comes that major deflation when the baby drains you, leaving my boobs looking like the ones on the women in the Amazon featured on National Geographic…I’m talking my nips now point to the floor people. Don’t get me started on the myth that breastfeeding helps you loose weight because that fable never became a reality for me with either baby. Most days I feel like a starving Zombie.

With Lily I sat on a doughnut cushion to help alleviate the pain from the tears in both holes down there.  With Chloe I had a HUGE issue with my episiotomy healing properly and had to be re-stitched twice (not common but can happen).


So that was some of the physical aspects of the fourth trimester. The hardest part, for me, is all the mental and emotional hurdles. You are no longer just a woman, wife or girlfriend…you are a mom. You are now responsible for the care of another human being that will depend on you physically, emotionally and financially.

During the fourth trimester you learn how to live your new normal. Before baby you could just pick up and go wherever to do whatever for how ever long you wanted. Just leaving the house to run a mundane errand like groceries can take forever…checking your diaper bag to make sure you have everything, placing baby in the car seat and then taking baby out of car seat when the diaper explodes, then changing baby and washing out car seat. You have to time your errands around feedings and naps. Eventually you get the hang of it and it becomes second nature.

BUT when you add another kid to the mix it is absolute chaos. I broke down in tears the first time I had to leave the house to take lily to school. Lily was having a tantrum while I started putting on her shoes. She wouldn’t help carry out her backpack, so I had to make two trips for that and the diaper bag while I buckled her in. While I was placing Lily in her car seat I heard the baby start to cry and she cried the entire time I placed her in the car seat and drove to and from Lily’s school.

Every mom is different, but most women experience some baby blues with all the hormones. Anything can make you sad and make you start to cry; even packing your kids in a car will frustrate you to the point of tears. Add in sleep deprivation and a simple tv commercial can make you reach for a tissue.

I broke down sobbing the first weekend home with Lily because I couldn’t get her to stop crying. As a first time mom trying to figure out what exactly my baby needed to stop crying was frustrating and made me think I didn’t have it in me to rock this mom thing. With Chloe I have cried for totally different reasons. I’ve cried because I’m tired and I hate my Jello tummy…but most of the tears are because this might be my last baby. Sometimes when I’m rocking Chloe to sleep I will tear up because I think this is the last baby I get to rock until my babies have babies.


This fourth trimester is physically, mentally and emotionally draining. BUT this little moment in time will forever be carved in your memory not because of the sleepless nights, Jello belly or emotional meltdowns over breastfeeding woes. No, this brief time in your life will reflect some of your most precious memories of your life. The fourth trimester holds that moment you became a parent. You might have been in pain and doped up, but you will always remember those first few moments you saw your baby or held them in your arms for the first time.

The rocks in your boobs might hurt and your eyes maybe dry and bloodshot, but you will always remember how tiny your baby’s hand was when it secured to your pinky while you fed them.

Yes this period can be testing and you will probably struggle as a first time parent on how to do everything. You will wrestle with parental guilt over the tiniest issues. BUT you will walk away not only as a stronger parent but a stronger person in general. Being a parent is THE hardest job. In this trimester you will discover that you can DO so much more than what you thought you were capable of.

You physically grew a human in your body and gave birth, a feat that I believe the strongest man could not handle (my personal belief!). Somehow your sleep deprived and weepy self can sill get through each day and night. So stand up and shout “GO ME” or give yourself a round of golf claps so you don’t wake up that baby…and be proud of everything you will overcome this trimester.

In this trimester your heart grows ten fold for this little child and the unconditional love you get back will make you almost forget all the crazy pregnancy and horrible birth stories leading you to want to do it all again!

{newborn photos cred: Niki Schmidt Photography}

View Comments
  1. Katie commented:
    July 10, 2014 Reply

    I am weeks away from being a new mommy and I love this. It is real and raw but so encouraging. Thank you for writing this 🙂

    • Amy Romano commented:
      July 14, 2014 Reply

      Thanks Katie!! I’m glad you found this encouraging! Good luck in the coming weeks with the birth of your baby…you got this!!

  2. evelyn commented:
    October 5, 2014 Reply

    Gosh the 4th trimester was the hardest for me! I can relate to this post completely , thank you for sharing , sending love & light your way Xo!

  3. Susan commented:
    January 18, 2015 Reply

    I love your honesty and rawness after having a baby. It’s totally true!! I came across the ‘fourth trimester’ after the end of my little ones fourth trimester and it explains a heck of a lot, plus he had severe silent reflux – so many days I sat and cried with my baby, and yes I cried at tv commercials ALL THE TIME. The first one has certainly scared us but I’m sure we will want to give our son a sibling one day. You are blessed with a truly beautiful family, thank you for your blog 🙂 much love xx

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