Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Building a fort

Sometimes I'm just exhausted, and today's one of those days. Between a kicking toddler who was determined to "sleep" in my bed last night (and wakes without fail at 6am), the kicking baby in my belly, having to pee every two hours and getting those nasty pregnancy middle-of-the-night leg cramps, I got about two hours of sleep.

Mia, despite her roly-poly sleep (including falling out of bed once), is full of BEANS today!

I am trying to keep her entertained with (I confess) a bare minimum of effort from me. Watercolours worked for a while, and now we are building forts with the cushions from our patio set. The velcro tabs that are meant to keep them on the chairs make great attachment points to make a little house!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sears The Baby's Room - a tour for you (and a SALE soon!) #SearsBabysRoom

With one month to go before Baby #2 arrives, I'm really tuned in to baby stuff! That's why I am so thrilled to be part of the Sears The Baby's Room Ambassador program.

I've always shopped at Sears but over the past year have seen a remarkable transformation occur in their baby department. With the introduction of wider aisles, new clothing lines and new products, as well as attention to detail like budget-conscious nursery furniture as well as some fabulous higher-end products, Sears has impressed me lately.

The new and improved Baby's Room at Sears has five departments to meet your baby needs:

The Nursery section has beds and furniture, and decor items such as lamps and mobiles.
What I like about this section:
  • The nursery furniture is set up with bedding, decals, lamps and gliders - so you can get a feel for a complete room. The Sears I visited at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary has 10 little room setups (most Sears locations have 5), so lots of chances to see the furniture in place and try it out. 
  • The gliders come with ottomans - no surprise added cost! 
  • There are LOADS of different furniture options to choose from! And, most come in a variety of colours, so if you like a design but not in white - just ask, it's probably available in a different finish.
  • Most of the cribs are transformable - either into day beds or full beds. Nice to have a crib that grows with your little one!
  • There are lots of glider options, with different designs and movement.
  • The cute bedding often comes complete with wall decals - what a nice touch! And, there are "boy", "girl", and cute gender neutral options. 
  • There's a sign in each little room which breaks down the cost of each furniture item AND provides a room total - so you can see exactly how much it's going to cost you for that setup. 
  • They also have a great nursery monitor selection - lots to choose from!
The Travel section has play pens, car seats, carriers, strollers, and accessories.
 What I like about this section:
  • Again, items are set up so you can examine them. Play pens, strollers, car seats and carriers are all out of boxes and assembled.
  • There are many different options for price point and features in everything!
  • They are now carrying Diono and Brica accessories
  • I was happy to see lots of carrier options. I would have loved to see some more unstructured carriers (think Baby K'tan, Boba, or sling carriers), but it is nice to see babywearing featured at a national retailer!
The Feeding section has everything you can think of for feeding babies - think bibs, high chairs, bottles, utensils, as well as tools for making your own baby food.

What I liked here:
  • Seeing fun and cute Boon products!
  • The cute bibs - check out the cowpoke ones in the top row, so cute for Stampede! And the little 'tuxes' - perfect for wedding receptions! Aw! 
  • I was interested to see they carry baby blenders and even yogourt makers! It looks like these products might be discontinued, so watch for some sale prices coming soon!!
 The Bath section has what you need for bathing baby.

What I liked:
  • "Naked" tubs are collapsible, soft-sided, and even come with a hook to hang from the shower. Smart design.
  • Boon frog and whale pods attach to the shower wall and scoop up and store bath toys. Practical and cute! 
  • Lots of cute, fun bath toys as well. 
The Gift section has a good range of gifts for new babies.

 What I liked:
  • Pretty picture frames
  • Lots of stuffies and soft blankets
  • Cloud B products (a favourite of mine), though I didn't see the larger Sleep Sheep and Twilight Turtle there (both on my must-have list for a nursery, we have loved those for our daughter - so much so I bought a second Sleep Sheep for the baby on the way).
  • They also have sleep sacks, another must for babies! The Halo ones are very popular AND what is great about Sears is that they go on sale periodically - for around 25% off!
  • I also loved that they carry reuseable snack bags and wet bags (for those of us who use cloth diapers, a good wet bag is a necessity!). 
They also have needed items like baby gates and bouncy chairs (the new Fisher Price Snuggabye swing and chair are super cute!).

I also can't forget my favourite section: the amazing clothing department. With the recent introduction of Carters and Osh Kosh clothing lines, the cute and well-priced clothing section at Sears just got better. I also love that they have widened the aisles without reducing the selection - there's just less of each item out on the floor. So, you can still see everything, but now you can get your stroller through easily! The bright, fun colours are so appealing and the prices are great.

What I like most about The Baby's Room at Sears is that there is lots of selection, and that the prices are good. Not only that, but Sears has regular sales on that make us budget-conscious parents even happier!

My crushes this time around were on some super sweet little Carters outfits. I can't wait to outfit our little guy in teeny, tiny shorts and shirts :)

What I'd love to see Sears carry next - and they are getting LOADS of new products soon (not that I know what's coming!) - cloth diapers, baby-friendly detergents and cleaning products, and tummy time play mats. I didn't see these things on my tour (though I forgot to ask - next time I will!). 

Now I know you are all excited for details of the SALE coming up! To celebrate the one-year anniversary of The Baby's Room, Sears is having a big sale from May 24th to June 5th! What to keep an eye out for: big discounts on product lines they are discontinuing to make room for new stuff, including bedding, feeding equipment and bright and colourful Sassy baby toys! Mark your calendars (I have) to visit while the deals are great!

Disclosure: I am part of the Sears The Baby's Room Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.