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.

budgettable
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!

teethers
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.

teetherrecal

 
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  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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Bliss On A Budget: Comfy Beanbags

If you have been following along with my blog you know I like to bring attention to two very similar products, one being the expensive option (the “splurge” item) and the other a cheaper version (the “save” item). The posts are typically labeled Splurge vs Save.

Well sometimes I find wonderful products out there that are affordable, yet don’t have a cheaper or “save” item to compare it to….this is where Bliss On A Budget comes into place. I’ve added this new category to the search bar on the right and you will be able to find all past/future Splurge vs Save posts along with any future posts with just one item that is easy on the wallet!

Today I bring you a awesome deal on comfy beanbags. While shopping at Target I noticed they had a similar beanbag lounger compared to Pottery Barn Teen’s sherpa beanbag. Lily already has PB Kids’s Anywhere chair, so there is no real need for extra seating…but as I sat there looking at the comfy seat I felt a bit nostalgic!  Growing up my brother and I had beanbags….the old school kind. You know the ones that were made from shiny vinyl. If you sat to fast or jumped on the bag you always risked the inevitable hole that would unleash the tiny white ball filling that took forever to clean up. Yep those old beanbags!

beanbags
Well these comfy beanbags have a super soft cover rather than the annoying old school vinyl I had. For all of us women who love a monogram, Pottery Barn’s beanbag has that option (for an additional $7) where Target’s doesn’t. Pottery Barn has them on sale currently, but even with a discount the one at Target is still significantly cheaper!

Splurge: Sherpa Beanbags (Pottery Barn Teen) $199-$219 on sale $149-$185

Save: Bean Bag Lounger (Target) $44.99

 
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Splurge vs Save: Maternity Top

Splurge vs Save is back with a maternity edition! At twelve weeks with my second pregnancy my waistline has expanded. No real bump yet, but I’m in that uncomfortable and depressing “I’m just fat” stage. No one can tell I’m pregnant…but they might think I consumed an entire Thanksgiving dinner…by myself!

We will be in Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving and with a due date in March, I have been doing a little online retail therapy for cold weather maternity clothes. While glancing at Pea In A Pod I had to double take when I noticed today’s Splurge vs Save options. The long sleeved grey tops were literally side-by-side.

splurgematernity2

They are so similar that I re-read the titles and descriptions a few times to make sure it wasn’t a mistake. Then I started to laugh because there is such a big difference in price that I can’t believe they were sold right next to each other.

Why would I pay so much when I could scroll the mouse to the next option that looks exactly the same? Well they’re not exactly the same, but close enough for me! I actually like the back of the cheaper option better with the cute cut out!

splurgesavematernity

Splurge:
Whetherly long sleeve scoop neck super soft maternity top $150.00 (sale $109.99)

Save:
Long sleeve boat neck keyhole detail maternity t shirt $69.50 (sale $49.99)

So would you splurge or save???

 
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  1. adult webshop commented:
    August 27, 2013 Reply

    I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content for you personally? I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on some of the subjects you write related to here. Again, awesome website!

  2. kelsey commented:
    August 28, 2013 Reply

    I like the save better as well!

    And girl… You are amazing! My heart is bursting with happiness for you, Mike and Lily!!

    Biggest friggin’ hugs to you!!!!
    XOXOXOXO

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Splurge or Save: Outdoor Drapes

splurge vs save (and a middle of the road option) for outdoor drapes. Get your patios ready for the summer!Oh the stomach bug has been circulating and it finally hit our home me. I’m so lucky that my mom lives so close because she was able to drop everything and come over to watch Lily for the day. A HUGE thank you to my momma!!!

So on to the post…the warm weather is upon us and for Floridians we won’t have a cold day for a loooooong time. Having a comfortable backyard is pretty important since we will be spending a majority of our summer out there.

Table and chairs…check. Sandbox & water play area for the toddler…check. Flowers and herbs planted…check. Pool gate…check. Pool noodles and other toddler toys for the water…check.

We have already starting taking advantage of the 80 degree weather with evening family pool time. The pool is still a bit chilly, but with the humidity it’s very refreshing. Monday evening when the stomach bug hit me the last thing I wanted was to be out in the heat. Lily was going to enter a full out tantrum if I didn’t go out, so I dipped my toes and just cradled my head in my arms while Mike took her swimming. One of my favorite items in my backyard are the long white grommet drapes that give us some privacy from our neighbor. I found some cheap ones from JCPenny, but with the rain and humidity mold got on the drapes and I could not get it out. Sadly those drapes were discontinued and after web searching I found ones at West Elm that were pretty cheap for a 108″ drape.

Today I bring you a splurge vs save for any of y’all thinking of putting up drapes to spruce up the patio or create some privacy for the summer time! Splurge is Pottery Barn and the save option hails from World Market. I’ve included links to West Elm for a in between option and because I love mine so much!

Slurge: Pottery Barn’s Outdoor Grommet Drape
50” x 84” $59
50” x 96” $69
50” x  108” $79

Save: World Market’s White Escape Grommet Top Curtain
50” x 84” $29.99
50” x 96” $34.99
50” x 108” $39.99

Middle: West Elm Solid Outdoor Drape in white
48” x 84” $49 (on sale now for $39)
48” x 96” $54 (on sale now for $43)
48” x 108” $59 (on sale now for $47)

splurge vs save outdoor drapes in stripeAnd in case you like the popular stripe, both stores have options for you!

Splurge: Pottery Barn’s Classic Stripe grommet drape in tumbleweed  50”x90” $99.

Save: World Market’s Khaki Striped Escape Grommet Top Curtain  50” x 90” $39.99

So Splurge or Save or the middle option!?!

 
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Splurge vs Save: Thong

splurge or save thong“That thong th thong thong thong…” oh I can’t believe that was even a hit song! When I was looking up options for this splurge vs save this song would not leave my head…like an annoying summer gnat.

My apologies if you find yourself humming and breaking out into full booty shaking episode later today…

I became pretty obsessed with Victoria Secret’s seamless thong & panty collection. They come in a cotton option, but I went bananas for ones with the slinky materials. They are so comfy and you barely feel like you are wearing undies. The price tag for panties/thongs is highway robbery…so you can only imagine the crazy happy dance I did in my bedroom in nothing but a thong when I discovered & purchased a copycat version from Target at a fraction of the cost.

Yes I said Target. I swear you can find everything in that store. I think Target has some pretty awesome finds and I’m not afraid to admit it. But I’m pretty convinced they pump a special secret scent in the air called “Buy more than the 3 items on your list” because I have never left that store with only the items I needed. While I was pregnant I went looking in the lingerie department for some cheap comfy granny panties. Yep I have no shame folks. On the days where I was sick the last thing I wanted to wear was a thong. That’s when I found Target’s seamless options that fit just like the ones from V.S. I still wear them and I still sport the granny panty option becuase some nights comfort trumps sexy!

Splurge:

No show sexy thong panty
3 for $33 ($12.50 for solids, $14.50 prints)
Fabulous by Victoria’s Secret Thong panty
4 for $28 ($11.50 for solids, $12.50 for prints)

Save:

Gilligan & O’Malley Women’s Micro Thong $5, 5 for $20
Gilligan & O’Malley Seamless Thong $5, 5 for $20

So splurge or save?

 
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  1. Melody commented:
    April 1, 2013 Reply

    I have also discovered that a lot of the Target undies are comparable to VS! I’m totally with you! Saving all that money trumps having the VS label for me!

  2. kelsey commented:
    April 1, 2013 Reply

    Agree! Same quality, let’s be honest. Target is a hidden gem when it comes to undies!

  3. Zundria commented:
    April 2, 2013 Reply

    The garments are made in the same factory hence they are pretty much the same product only marketed under different company names! And yes, thanks–I am not humming that hideous saong. :)

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DIY Chalk Planter

DIY Chalk Planter. Use chalk paint on cheap clay planters and label it with the flower or herb you place inside! Cute idea for a house warming or hostess gift!Since transforming a huge mirror into our kitchen chalkboard I have barely used the leftover chalk paint on a few tiny projects. The cool thing about chalk paint is that you use such a small amount to cover large surfaces, leaving you with plenty of paint for future projects.

I purchased Rust-Oleum’ s 30 fl. oz. black flat chalkboard paint at Home Depot for around $10.  Only 2 ounces shy of 1 quart, you still have plenty of paint for multiple projects! BTW, 1 quart can cover around 100 square feet. So $10 might seem expensive for a small amount, however you will get a LOT of use out of that little can!

Glancing over West Elm’s new market catalog I loved their chalkboard planters ranging in a variety of sizes from $6 to $18. Sadly I do not have a West Elm near me…but that is probably better for my wallet and Mike! Having plenty of leftover chalk paint I headed to Lowes and purchased an 8” clay pot ($3.97) and matching clay saucer ($2.57) for $7 with tax. The West Elm 8” pot is $18 and with tax and shipping it would be silly for me to purchase it when making one would only be $7 bucks!!

DIY Chalk Planter. Use chalk paint on cheap clay planters and label it with the flower or herb you place inside! Cute idea for a house warming or hostess gift!Laying out some parchment paper under my clay pieces, I gave them one coat of paint. Chalk paint dries pretty quickly for touch, but you have to wait 4 hours until you can apply another coat. Turning the pot over I went in about an inch to where the soil would reach. Once it was dry I popped in a beautiful Hyacinth plant.

I used my chalk pens to label the front and on the back I added notes for the plant’s sun and water instructions. Lily loves to take the little instruction card that is inserted in the soil. I keep mine as a reminder on water, spacing (if I want to add other herbs/flowers to the same pot) and sunlight instructions. Now if Lily decides to take the plant’s  card I will have the instructions right there on the pot!

So here is a great splurge or save option. West Elm’s option at over $20 or my very own DIY chalk planter at $7! Now of course if you have a West Elm nearby and you don’t already have chalk paint you can save $ on shipping & paint and purchase theirs. BUT even if you save on shipping, you can still do this easy DIY chalk project and come out on top! WHY? Because like I said you will be able to use that $10 chalk paint on multiple future projects!

Another idea: Don’t paint the entire clay planter, only paint a small square on the side. Plant a flower or herb, like basil, and take a piece of chalk to label the square. Gift the pretty planter to a friend, grandma or your child’s teacher. I gifted Basil to two of my girlfriends who were testing out their cooking skills!

Tip: While waiting for each coat of paint to dry, wrap your paintbrush or roller in some foil. This will keep the brush/roller from drying out. Unwrap and dip in your paint and brush or roll on!

Another tip: Clay pots tend to soak up more water than other planters so keep that in mind when watering your basil or hyacinth plant!

DIY Chalk Planter. Use chalk paint on cheap clay planters and label it with the flower or herb you place inside! Cute idea for a house warming or hostess gift!

 
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  1. Nancy commented:
    February 19, 2013 Reply

    Love this idea! Like you I have a can of the chalk paint just sitting there. These will make cute little spring gifts for some friends at work. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.
    Xoxo
    Nancy

    • Amy Romano commented:
      February 19, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Nancy! That can of chalk paint was starring at me for months and I’m glad I finally put it to use!

  2. Elizabeth commented:
    February 19, 2013 Reply

    so cute! I made something similar for ella’s pre-K teachers last year. I love chalkboard paint too!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      February 19, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Elizabeth! I’m sure Ella’s teacher loved it!

  3. Christina commented:
    February 20, 2013 Reply

    Very cute! Just bought our first can of chalkboard paint so I am very excited for all the projects!! I found your blog from my bestie over at One Social Brunette! Glad to find some great local bloggers!! Love your blog :)

    xo,
    Christina

    • Amy Romano commented:
      February 22, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Christina! Yay to Tampa Bloggers! I love the design of your blog and your kids are adorable!!

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Splurge or Save: Kick Knacks & Bedding

With the makeover to our kitchen, bathrooms and master bedroom underway I’ve been doing a little online searching for some knick knacks. I fell in love with these glass terrariums and vintage spoons. To see if I could save some bucks I searched online and found cheaper versions!

During my search I discovered the stitched quilt from Pottery Barn that we used to have in our master before we swapped it out for all white bedding. I was a little ticked when I found a similar version for half the price! That I would share if anyone is shopping for new bedding!

splurge or save glass terraniumSplurge: West Elm $69.99

Save: Target $24.99 (I might spray paint this gold!)splurge or save measuring spnsSplurge: Anthropologie $24

Save: World Market $12.99

splurge or save tufted quilt/duvetSplurge: Isabelle Tufted Voile Quilt $249

Save: Organic Cotton Pintuck Duvet $139 $111

 
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  1. Lauren commented:
    January 29, 2013 Reply

    Beware the pintuck duvet from West Elm… we have the same one, and although I LOVE it, in theory, after only a year, it’s not holding up very well. The spots where the fabric is gathered together is starting to tear, and leave holes there. My husband rolled over just last night, and I heard a little rip. So sad! If you aren’t going to really use it, and have it on the bed, I’d say go for it, otherwise, it might be worth the splurge depending on how the Pottery Barn one is made. Good luck with your projects! I can’t wait to see how they turn out! xo

    • Amy Romano commented:
      January 29, 2013 Reply

      Hey Lauren, I already have this quilt (the P.B. one) and you know our’s ripped on the silk side too! I thought it was a result from my husband jerking the covers every night (he’s a big cover hog!). So maybe it was the stitching! Thanks for sharing!!

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Splurge or Save: Sweater Season

A quick little Splurge or Save post on some sweaters I found at H&M and Banana Republic.

Tampa gets sporadic winter days during the season. One day I’m wearing shorts and a short sleeved top…a day or two later a cold front will breeze through and I can break out my Uggs and sweater that has been waiting all year to be worn. Because we have few sweater days I have enough in my wardrobe, but cold front are a great excuse to shop…right?

I love cable knit anything. These two tops are warm enough for a cold day, yet the short sleeves give an opportunity to wear it again when spring approaches.

Splurge: Banana Republic $59.59 $49.99

Save: H&M $29.95

I know that the dresses are not the exact same but there are slim pickings for plain grey sweater dresses. You can’t tell in the picture but the Banana Republic option is really thick making it kind of bulky looking…making it a perfect dress for a skinny chick or  for Spanx! The H&M option is plain but add a bubble necklace or a cute jacket and it could work!

Splurge: Banana Republic $130

Save: H & M $34.95

 
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Splurge Or Save: Leopard Flats

I’m not a big fan of animal print and it’s because I just don’t look good in it! Pretty positive that once I can squeeze back into my goal jeans that my opinion will change. Well until pigs fly (kidding), I’m thinking of adding animal print via my footwear.

Ballet flats are so easy and comfortable for moms. While searching I was drawn to options that have black tips…don’t know why, just was. During a quick internet search I found a huge range of leopard flats from pricey to down right cheap!

1. Cole Haan $168
2. French Sole $274.95
3. Jessica Simpson $78.95
4. BP $49.95
5. Michael Kors $144.95 now $71.90
6. Merona $19.99

 
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Splurge or Save: Media Storage

I received a catalog in the mail from Home Decorators Collection, a company I have never ordered from or heard of. As I was glancing through it I noticed that many of the items looked like ones sold from Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs. Then I came across the Quin Media Cabinet. It was almost the exact replica of the Andover Media Console  that we purchased from Pottery Barn this past Christmas. They even had the Quin Cabinet that matched the Andover Cabinet that we also purchased for our dining room. I became annoyed when I started adding up the pricing and noticed we could have saved $647.13 if I had found this company earlier. So if any of you are about to purchase anything, check out this Home Decorators Collection to see if they have a cheaper version to help save you some $$$!

 

 

 
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  1. Elizabeth commented:
    September 19, 2012 Reply

    I’ve never heard of that magazine either. I will have to check it out though because I love me some Pottery Barn!

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