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Happy National Ice Cream Day! Have a “ball” making your own ice cream at home

 

Ice Cream

Today is National Ice Cream Day (July 20, 2014). Have you celebrated the day yet with your favorite ice cream? I haven’t yet but I plan on making my own ice cream later on today after dinner with my family.

Did you know you can make your own ice cream in the comfort of your own home? There are several ice cream makers available, not many of them you can “have a ball” making your own fresh ice cream – that is until now.

Introducing SoftShell Ice Cream Ball from YayLabs! Now you can make fresh home made ice cream in less than a half hour using the SoftShell Ice Cream Ball. Instead of sitting around waiting for the ice cream to be made you can have an active part in making the ice cream.

The SoftShell Ice Cream Ball is exactly that – a ball. It looks like a small kickball and part of it feels like a kickball too. DO NOT KICK THE ICE CREAM BALL! It’s not a read ball. Kicking it will result in injury and possibly breaking the Ice Cream Ball.

FYI… our dog thinks the ball is a play toy. You may want to keep that in mid if you have a dog at home. :-)

I received one of the SoftShell Ice Cream Balls to review. My very first impression of it is that there was no way this contraption could make delicious ice cream. My initial thought was that it was one of those “As Seen on TV” type products that was a lot of hype and failed to deliver. To my surprise I was wrong.

SoftShell Ice Cream Ball

You’ll need a lot of ice and rock salt to make the ice cream. I had a hard time tracking down rock salt but I did find it and made sure to buy a big bag so I had plenty for future ice cream making. I also bought a bag of ice because we didn’t have room in our freezer to make our own ice cubes.

The basic recipe for making ice cream involved heavy cream, sugar and Vanilla. You can change the recipe to suit your needs or preferences. For example, use Almond milk instead of regular cream, or organic sugar. And you can try different extracts. So far we’ve only used Vanilla but I plan on trying Root Beer the next time we use the ball to make ice cream.

Please note – The higher the fat content of the milk/cream you are using the faster it will turn into ice cream. Typically it should take 20-25 minutes but other milks/creams could take up to 35 minutes. You can stop and test out the consistency of the ice cream at any time so you can judge if your ice cream needs to be shaken up a bit longer or not.

Our first attempt (heavy cream) took around 20 minutes (I think it was more like 22 minutes, but you get the idea).

As I said, you can stop and check on your progress at any time. You can also drain out any melted ice and add more ice and rock salt if needed.  You’ll also need to stop half way to scrape the sides of the ice cream container to help it with it’s freezing process. You’ll need to use a wooden or plastic spoon. 

How you shake the ball is up to you (just don’t kick it or drop it). You can roll it back and forth between people or shake it with your hands like a giant maraca. We did both – pushing it back and forth between my kids on the living room floor (they refused to let me take their picture doing it) and we took turns shaking it with our hands.

Ice Cream Close Up

When the ice cream was done it had a soft serve consistency. My kids ate their servings right away with a drizzle of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. My husband had his plain (“as is”). I put mine in a glass left over dish (with a cover) and popped it in the freezer for about an hour. It firmed it up very nicely. I ate it “as is” too but next time I want to see about topping it with some nuts, fruits or cereal (I love Captain Crunch cereal on ice cream).

The SoftShell Ice Cream Ball doesn’t make a lot of ice cream at one time but it’s enough for my family of four to have a small dish each. You can also make ice cream a few times and combine them in a larger container and pop it in the freezer so they all have the same consistency. I am going to try that as well.

This is great to have on hand for those times you want ice cream and don’t have any in the freezer, or if you are looking for something to keep the kids busy on a hot summer day or a rainy day. I can see younger kids having a blast with this (teenagers not so much – LOL).

This would be great to bring with you when you go camping. It would be a lot easier to keep cream/milk chilled then ice cream. Making ice cream by the camp fire would be a lot of fun along side your S’mores.

If you are impatient this is NOT the product for you since it takes a while to make ice cream. If you can wait upwards of a half hour it’s well worth it. The ice cream tastes really good and you can add your own fresh ingredients and even come up with your own flavor varieties.

I don’t know if you can add ingredients aside from the basics (milk/cream, sugar, extract) into the ball when making ice cream. I think you’ll need to add the extra ingredients AFTER the ice cream has been made. It might not freeze good enough if you put the extra ingredients in the ball.

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In honor of National Ice Cream Day, YayLabs! SoftShell Ice Cream Ball has partnered with Organic Valley to host a special Facebook giveaway.

Starting today (July 20, 2014) until August 1, 2014 YayLabs! and Organic Valley will be giving away 25 prize packages that include: a SoftShell ice cream ball, a Zak Designs ice cream bowl, a Light My Fire Spork, and an Organic Valley 1 Free Product Coupon.

Here is the link to the giveaway: https://a.pgtb.me/k5lHGJ. It’s hosted on the YayLabs! Facebook page.

Have you ever made your own ice cream?

What is your favorite ice cream flavor and/or ice cream topping?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from my readers.

YayLabs Logo

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Coolest Pen & Pencil Set EVER!

 

Acme #2 set

I really wanted to get this post up sooner because I believe this set would have made for a fantastic graduation gift. Even though most graduations are over and done with by now I still think this set would make a great post-graduation gift, “off to college” gift, a gift for a favorite teacher or a “just because” gift for someone who is into nostalgia and fun things.

When you think about school, what comes to mind? Teachers, learning, friends… those all probably come to mind for most people. What about things that all you have to look at transports your mind back to your school days? For me it would be a hopscotch “board”, chalk, kick balls and yellow #2 pencils.

As adults we don’t always have need for a pencil. Sadly most people these days don’t even write things down. They would rather text or email someone or use a voice memo over a Post-It note.

I actually enjoy using pencils. Whenever I use a pencil I am tempted to doodle – and most of the time I do. I loved the draw when I was younger. Give me a pencil and some paper and I was a happy child.

#2 Pen & Pencil

I do have a couple of pencils that I keep on my desk. Most of them have business information embossed on them. I even have one pencil (Smencil) that is scented like peppermint.

I received to review THE COOLEST pen and pencil set. It’s called the Number 2 Pen & Pencil set. Both the pen and pencil are exact replicas of #2 pencils – the same ones I grew up using in school, and the same pencils my kids still use today.

The #2 (Number 2) Pen/Pencil Set, designed by Adrian Olabuenaga, comes from ACME Studio’s Collezione Materiali Pens. The design represents the “#2″ Pencil. This set comes with the #2 Rollberball Pen and the #2 Mechanical Pencil. This set includes 2 pencil erasers and a pack of 0.7mm led. It is presented in an ACME Composition tablet box. Instructions are included on the inside of the packaging.

The set also come in a black and white marbled composition notebook box, just like the composition notebooks I used when I was in school.

Check out this brief video that shows you what the set looks like.

 

I LOVE this set. I won’t even let my kids touch either piece.

I can’t even keep any good pens at my desk for when I need them. My kids tend to take my pens and they disappear – never to be seen again. When they are at school I guess they just lose the pens or give them to classmates and never get them back. I don’t mind my kids using my pens but I do like to have a few pens on my desk for when I need to write something out or sign something. As much as I enjoy pencils I do need a pen from time to time.

Up until now I had one pen that was strictly forbidden for anyone to touch because it was the only good pen I had and I didn’t want it to disappear at school or under my kid’s beds. Now that I have this wonderful #2 set the pen the comes with the set is my new favorite pen and the one that my kids are NOT allowed to take.

Pen and Pencil gift set

 

The pen writes beautifully. It also feels good in my hand. I suffer from Carpal and sometimes it feels uncomfortable to write with some devices. This pen feels good in my hand. It’s still hard for me to write neatly with the Carpal, but at least I have a nice pen to help me.

I like the pencil. It’s not a regular pencil but rather a mechanical pencil which means you can replace the lead when it runs out. I like that because you don’t have to worry about sharpening the pencil and ruining it and you can keep it for many years to come. All you need to do is replace the lead when you run out. The set even comes with plenty of extra lead pieces.

Both the pen and pencil are made to resemble the #2 pencil in every way. The only noticeable difference is that the pen and pencil are a bit heavier and made out of a plastic-like material, not wood like a real pencil.

This is a wonderful set. This would make a great gift as well as nice to “gift” yourself.

If you would like to learn more or make a purchase visit Acme Studio website (AcmeStudio.com). Here is the directly link for the #2 Pen & Pencil set. The set can also be found at other retail locations.

When you have a chance you should check out the Acme Studio website. They have a lot of fun and unique products. I LOVE the limited edition Dracula set (it includes red “blood” ink!).

Buzz Dracula

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Cleaning up with the kids – tackling kid-made summer messes

 

popsicle

Summer vacation does have it’s ups and downs. I love doing things with my family and backyard barbecues. On the flip side I hate the heat and humidity and my kids constantly whining that they are bored and have nothing to do.

I had hoped when my kids got older they wouldn’t be so bored during summer vacation with their friends to hang out with. Sadly most of my daughter’s friends have jobs and no one is around for her to hang out with. She’s looking for a job too but so far hasn’t found anything. I hope she finds something soon because she’s driving me bonkers with her constant complaining about having nothing to do. I give her suggestions but like a typical teen she doesn’t want to listen to her parents because our ideas are “lame”.

When my kids were younger I had a “Box Full of FUN” that I would take out on rainy days or summer days when it was too hot and humid to be outside. I would fill the box with crafts, crayons, coloring books, small indoor and/or hand held games and more.

When it comes to things like crafts kids tend to make a mess. During the summer months little ones tend to make even more messes with ice pop drips and bringing sand into the house after a day at the beach.

Here are some great tips from Debra Johnson, national cleaning expert for Merry Maids (Merry Maids can also be found on Facebook). Debra has simple solutions for moms and kids to conquer the sandiest and stickiest messes this summer.

The Ice Pop Drips

Ice pops are always a fan favorite once the weather warms up – but when the frozen treats start melting all over the carpet or furniture, they are not always a favorite to clean up. Johnson explains the best home remedy for removing an ice pop stain from upholstery or carpeting is to dampen the stained area with dish washing liquid solution. From there, place a white terry cloth towel over the solution and run over the towel with a hot iron – this will help transfer much of the stain to the towel.

Get the kids involved: An easy way for kids to help keep their hands clean and the floors dry is to make a DIY ice pop holder. Johnson suggests parents help their kids cut a hole in the bottom of a cupcake wrapper and place the wrapper around the base of the ice pop stick – use multi-colored or printed wrappers to make it fun and personal. This will catch all of the drips and drops and keep kids’ hands (and moms’ floors) from getting sticky.

Surviving Rainy Days with Glitter

On rainy summer days, keeping the kids entertained indoors is a survival coping skill, and many times, the best forms of entertainment involve glitter, glue, paint, and markers. A day of arts and crafts can be fun for the whole family, but leaves a lot to clean. Cleaning up glitter can be a nightmare, but Johnson has some simple steps to help contain the sparkly mess. She suggests spreading paper or plastic over the table before starting any craft projects – hopefully most of the glittery residue will stay on the paper, but prepare for some spillover.

Get the kids involved: Make DIY lint rollers with the kids so they can own the cleanup responsibility. Help them create a loop of tape, sticky side up, that fits loosely around their fingers or hands so they can tap the sparkly surfaces and capture any glitter that got left behind.

Sticky Season

Neighborhood lemonade stands and juice boxes are summer staples, but there’s no avoiding the spills when the kids are running in and out of the house for refreshments. To help prevent the spill area from being sticky, Johnson says the best trick is to wipe up the lemonade or juice immediately – first with a paper towel and then with a wet microfiber cloth, soaked in warm water, to ensure no residue is left behind. If the juice spill occurs on a cloth surface, rub the wet area with ice cubes and blot the area with a dry microfiber cloth.

Get the kids involved: Turn the cleanup task into a team project and get the kids involved by having one person rub the juice stain with an ice cube while the other pats the area dry.

Sand-y Days Ahead

One fun way to entertain the family during the long summer days is to plan a day at the beach. However, before leaving the beach, make sure to use a towel to dust as much sand off of the kids’ feet as possible, to avoid tracking the sand inside. Johnson also recommends keeping a bottle of baby powder nearby. The baby powder helps remove moisture from the skin, making it easier to wipe the sand off before it gets into the house.

Get the kids involved: Before entering the house, Johnson encourages kids to do a little dance on a door mat with bare feet –taking four or five steps on the mat will transfer the sandy soil from their feet to the mat, instead of from their feet to the floor. This will keep debris out of the house and help prevent any scratching of the floor.

Water, Water Everywhere

Warmer weather means kids are spending more time in the water – whether it’s jumping into a neighborhood pool, splashing friends with the garden hose, or running around on a slip ‘n’ slide. However, water activities lead to wet swim suits and soggy towels that can leave marks and water stains throughout the house. Once the kids are done playing in the water, Johnson recommends parents entertain the kids outside for five to ten minutes before heading back into the house, allowing enough time for swim suits to dry.

Get the kids involved: To make it easier for the kids to help prevent any slippery messes, Johnson recommends setting up a towel tree by the pool or placing a laundry line in the bathroom on which kids can hang their swimsuits and towels to dry completely.

I learned the baby powder trick many years ago. It works GREAT! We always bring along a travel size bottle of baby powder when we go to the beach. We just tuck it into our beach tote bag and when we are read to leave we put it all over our feet. It works great!

When it comes to messes, do you have any special cleaning tips you’d like to share? Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section. I always love to hear from my reader.

Sandy Foot

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this (with permission) for the benefit of my site readers.

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Creating my own personal “oasis”

 

oasis

Living in a teeny tiny condo does not give you much space to find some peace and quiet. No matter what room I’m in there is someone always trying to get my attention. I can’t even take a shower or get dressed in the bathroom without a cat hanging out in there with me.

I won’t even get started on my kids. I knew they would follow me everywhere when they were little. I was hoping as teens they would give me some space. Nope. They are usually asking me to drive them here or there or they need me for something. That’s what moms are for. :-)

We do have a balcony. It’s not the greatest. It’s a rickety old wooden 6′ x 12′ balcony. I try and dress it up as much as possible.

We are not allowed to have barbecues (as per the Fire Marshall). That stinks because we love to barbecue.

I do enjoy sitting outside on my balcony when the weather permits.

Kohl’s helped me to dress up my balcony and help me to create my own personal oasis (which I gladly share with the rest of my family). Thank you Kohl’s!

The problem with the balcony is that it’s a mess and not very “inviting”. We also don’t have any comfortable seating. We do have a bench and folding chairs but the folding chairs are not that comfortable. I want to be able to put my feet up and relax.

Before 1

Before 2

Before 3

Even our dog Espn (pronounced Es-pin) is not pleased by our balcony.

I took my kids to Kohl’s with me to see what fun stuff we could pick up to spruce up our balcony and make it nicer.

The first thing that caught my eye was the lounge chair. I really wanted something I could lean back in and put my feet up. My husband and I have both been eyeing lounge chairs for quite some time now. They can be very expensive. When I saw that chairs at Kohl’s were heavily discounted I jumped on the opportunity to get one.

Chair 1

Chair 2

The chairs were available in a variety of colors. I was torn between brown and terra cotta. That is until I saw a green one. I just had to get it. Green is my favorite color.

We have a bench on our balcony. I was thinking some colorful, decorative pillows would be nice accessories for the bench. Not only would they be nice to look at they would also provide some cushioning on your back when seated on the bench so that you don’t have to lean up against the wood.

Pillows

I couldn’t find pillows to match our bench pillow but I found two that I really liked. One had colorful butterflies on it and the other one had a cute bluebird.

Both the chair and the pillows are from the Sonoma brand which Target carries. Sonoma makes a lot of great products including clothing.

To add a little something extra to our balcony I picked up a pair of really nice lanterns with flameless candles inside of them. They run on solar power so I don’t have to worry about batteries or turning them on/off because they do it automatically. When it starts to get dark they switch on and when their power runs out (depends on how much sun they received during the day) they turn off on their own. There is also and on/off switch.

Lanterns how they look at night.

Lanterns how they look at night.

Lastly I picked up a really nice wind chime. I LOVE wind chimes. I find them to be very soothing. Listening to their gentle sounds is very relaxing and ideal for my own personal oasis.

I think it turned out pretty good. I moved some things around and added a few more personal touches.

After 1

LOVE this chair! The head pillow can be re-positioned. The butterfly pillow ads a pop of color too.

After 2

Notice one of the lanterns? The wind chime in the back behind the chair is the one I purchased from Kohl’s.

After 3

Our dog Espn seems pleased with the new look of the balcony – my personal oasis.

I have to laugh about all of this. I tried to create a personal oasis for myself but my kids tend to use it more then I do. I’ve caught my kids out there on more than one occasion – both day and night – enjoying the comfy chair and using the pillows on the bench. They like to read out there, listen to their music with their eyes closed and most recently enjoying the fireworks across the way from the local ballpark.

My favorite time is in the evening when it’s cooler outside. I like to close my eyes and listen to the wind chime gently swaying in the breeze. I even posted about it on Facebook the other day (I blocked out personal information).

Facebook

 

Koh’s had a lot of other great things that I would have loved to add to my balcony. If my balcony was bigger I would have purchased another lounge chair. There were also a lot of color accent pieces I was looking at too.

My family and I are enjoying our little oasis thanks to Kohl’s.

To find a Kohl’s near you please visit www.Kohls.com. You can also find the brand on the various social media sites.

Do you have your own personal oasis? Where is it? Can you describe it for me? I always love to hear from readers.

Kohls Logo

Kimberly

*I received a gift card to pick up pieces to review for this post. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

 

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Color Your World with Clark+Kensington and Ace – Plus “Star Spangled Savings”

 

Colors

If you read my blog on a regular basis you might recall a post I did about a week or so ago about colors. I had shared several color “swatches” and asked for readers and followers (Facebook, Twitter) to share their thoughts about the colors and what the colors were for. Were they for a new line of beauty products? Furniture? Toys? If you guessed paint you were 100% correct. The color swatches are from Clark+Kensington, available exclusively at The Paint Studio at Ace.

The helpful folks at Ace Hardware sent me color swatches for all of Clark+Kensington’s paints to pick out a color for a project. When considering a color palette, I pulled inspiring images from fashion, beauty and nature that I thought might work well within our home. I have to tell you that Clark+Kensington has hundreds of colors to choose from. I thought it would be impossible to pick one color. There were so many beautiful colors to choose from.

Clark+Kensington paint swatch book. Not all the pages are seen either. There are hundreds of colors to choose from.

Clark+Kensington paint swatch book. Not all the pages are seen either. There are hundreds of colors to choose from.

My project is our bathroom. Our bathroom wall color is HORRIBLE!

We remodeled our bathroom a few years ago (well, as much as we could with our budget). We replaced the toilet, sink, vanity, hardware, light switches and medicine cabinet. We also put up a ceiling fan and had the painters cover up a massive hole that the previous owners did a horrible job of covering up. It was where the old toilet paper holder was.

It’s hard to tell from these photos, but during the day the color is a boring beige/yellow combination. By night it looks like a mustard color – that is the color we can’t stand.

Bathroom 1

Bathroom 2

Bathroom 3

Since we had planned on putting our place on the market we opted to have the bathroom painted in a neutral color. We went to our local supply store and looked over swatches. We found a color that looked to be beige in the store and picked up enough to have the bathroom painted.

The color we liked in the store looked nothing like it at home.

When we did put our condo on the market we had four rooms repainted – the bedroom (light turquoise blue), living room (pale light green), dining room (one shade lighter than the living room) and the hallway (dark yellow with white trim). The bathroom however remained the ugly mustard color. We didn’t have enough money at that time to have the bathroom repainted.

We ended up having to take our home off the market. Now that we’re stuck here indefinitely we wanted to repaint the bathroom to a color we can enjoy. Thanks to Ace and Clark+Kensington paint+primer in one, our bathroom is going to be painted in a nice sage-green color called “Believe Me”.

Believe-Me

I chose this color because green is my favorite color and I find green to be cheery and relaxing at the same time. It reminds me of nature. Since we don’t have a yard I do what I can to bring the outdoors inside.

It was a toss up between “Believe Me” (a sage green color) and a soft blue color called French Rivera (below).

French-Riviera

I received a paint swatch when I picked up my paint and supplies from our neighborhood Ace store. I immediately taped the swatch up on the wall so I can view the color from different times during the day. During the day it’s a light sage green. At night it’s a darker green (more like a moss color). Dark or light I like how the color looks at any time of the day. I can’t wait to have the bathroom painted.

I can’t wait to see the finished product. I’m already keeping an eye out for new bathroom accessories to match the new paint color.

If you are looking to refresh a room or two in your home, or give it a completely new look with a totally different color, be sure to check out your neighborhood Ace store where they believe “Helpful is Beautiful” which means with their Paint Studio and their help, you’ll be able to find the perfect color. You may have seen their commercial on television.

 

Unlike other paint stores, The Paint Studio at Ace’s “boutique-style” paint shopping experience is has the style and sophistication one might find when shopping for high end cosmetics. Ace offers exclusive paint collections from brands like Clark+Kensington, Valspar and more.

If you are like me and not sure about what color to choose, Ace’s knowledgeable and helpful sales associates can help you to find your perfect color. They offer consumers personalized service as well as mood inspired color palettes that are displayed in unique drawers with bright lighting, similar to a cosmetic counter at a high end department store. You’ll think you are shopping at a department store – not a hardware store!

At the Paint Studio you’ll find a rainbow of colors to choose from.

Color we chose to repaint the bathroom with. The color changes at night but at least we like the color.

Color we chose to repaint the bathroom with. The color changes at night but at least we like the color. You can also see how the current wall color changes from day to night too.

If you are “on the fence” with some colors you can purchase paint samples for only $4.99. That is a great way to really get to know the color/colors and how they will look in the room you want to paint from all angles and lighting situations (daylight, night time, lamps…). That way you can feel confident that the color you end up choosing will be perfect.

Valspar offers a Color Guarantee – if you don’t like the first color you choose, you can select another color for free. Please check with your neighborhood Paint Studio representative for more information.

I am looking forward to working with the Clark+Kensington paint. It’s a paint and primer in one so we should be able to paint the wall once instead of having to paint the entire bathroom with a primer first then paint it again with the paint. Having the paint and primer in one saves a lot of time, energy and money. Plus it will help cover up any little imperfections our bathroom walls might have.

Clark+Kensington has colors for the entire color spectrum. I realized that when I had the swatch book and I was trying to narrow down all their beautiful colors to just one!

C+K Logo

 

We chose eggshell as our paint finish. We felt semi-gloss would be too much for a small bathroom, even though Clark+Kensington
was recently ranked #1 by Consumer Reports for its semi-gloss interior paint.

I like that the paint also forms a stain resistant barrier which helps keep the color looking fresh and vibrant for many years to come. With kids and pets you need a paint like this.

Although we haven’t painted the bathroom yet I hear that Clark+Kensington paints reduces sticking which means you shouldn’t have to worry about your windows getting stuck when you paint them (providing that you do it correctly).

I think my most favorite thing about the Clark+Kensington paint is that it has low VOC (volatile organic compounds) levels, minimal odor and environmentally safe ingredients.

Paint

To find an Ace location near you to check out their Paint Studio visit www.AceHardware.com. For specific information about The Paint Studio at Ace visit www.ThePaintStudio.com.

From July 2, 2014 – July 7, 2014 Ace is having a Star Spangled Instant Savings in-store event. When consumers purchase their paint at Ace during the Star Spangled Sale they will get an instant savings of $5.00 off the purchase of Clark+Kensington paint as well as $5.00 off Valspar paint. 

You can also check out Ace Hardware on the various social networking sites – Facebook, Twitter (@AceHardware), Pinterest and Instagram. You can also check out the hashtag #HelloBeautiful.

Do you have any rooms in your home you’d like to paint? Have you checked out the The Paint Studio at Ace yet? After reading this post do you think you’ll check out the The Paint Studio?

I’d love to hear from my readers. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

ACE Logo

Kimberly

*I received free paint and supplies as well as compensation from Ace however the opinions expressed are entirely my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Finding the perfect piece of furniture from Sauder.com

Minolta DSC

Buying a new piece of furniture is a lot like buying a car – you need to do your research, make sure what you are looking at will suit your needs and make sure the price is right. After all, you wouldn’t want to have “buyer’s remorse”. Not only do you want to make sure you purchase exactly what you need, but you also want the buying experience to be a pleasant one.

My family needed a new bookcase in addition to a new television stand for the kid’s room. We REALLY needed a new bookcase because the one we had prior to it (located in the corner of the kid’s room) had literally collapsed. It was stuffed full of books. The shelves couldn’t support the weight anymore and it broke.

After we tossed out the bookcase I weeded through the books and donated the ones we didn’t need or want to the library. After that the remainder of the books just sat piled up in the corner for many months. We could have easily bought any old bookcase and remedied the situation, but I wanted something that would not only support the books but also be an appealing piece of furniture.

In addition to the bookcase we wanted a smaller television stand for the bedroom. We were using a horizontal bookcase as a television stand but even that was starting to fall apart. It was also not made to support televisions and we always worried that the bookcase would tip over due to the weight of the TV.

tv stand

We have purchased Sauder brand products in the past including an entertainment center, bookcase and desk. We knew that was the brand we wanted to look into first and foremost. Not only are their pieces attractive but they are also affordable and relatively easy to assemble.

The Sauder.com website is very easy to navigate. You can shop product (desk, bookcase, dresser…), space (bedroom, dining room…) or collection (French Mills, Lake Point…). There are even more sections available to help you find the perfect piece of furniture – even starting with the finish first – as well as images to help provide you with inspiration.

Since I new exactly what I was looking for (a bookcase and a television stand) I searched under products. Once I was in the section that I needed there were other options available to me to help narrow down my choices based on personal preferences (features, size, style, width, collection…) or simply scroll through all the furniture options. You can also search using price (high to low).

The only downside I found with shopping at Sauder.com was that they had too many wonderful pieces of furniture to choose from. It took me a few days to narrow down my choices. I finally opted on the following;

Bookcase

Bookcase from the Barrister Lane Collection.

412995-1600-00

TV Stand from the Beginnings Collection.

I was not 100% sure about the bookcase, but I was drawn to it for some reason. I really like how it has the face plates on the front so you can organize your books by the letters of the alphabet or genre. I also liked that it had different “cubbies” so that I could group books together in ways that seemed logical to me.

It also looks very sturdy and it looked like it’s a piece of furniture that will last for many years.

I chose the television stand for two reasons – it was compact (we don’t have much space in our condo) and because it had shelves for the equipment and books (specially school books). At $69.99 the price was great too.

We needed a sturdy bookcase and television stand for the kid’s room. We also needed pieces that would not take up a lot of room and ideally last us for many, many years to come. That is why I chose the pieces that I did.

I could also see the furniture serving other functions. When my kids are on their own I might use the bookcase for storing movies (I can separate them by genres). The TV stand would also be perfect for our hallway. I need a piece where I can put the car keys, mail and other things I need at hand when I am leaving our home. I like pieces that can serve more than one function. It’s like getting more for your money.

The ordering process was a breeze. I was also pleasantly surprised at how quickly both pieces showed up (on the same day too!).

I wasn’t about to assemble these on my own. I don’t have the patience for it. I had my husband put them together for me.

Originally he was going to do one a day but they were both very easy to put together that he ended up putting them both together. It took him about an hour or so to put them both together.

As per my husband the directions were easy to understand. The pieces were also labeled so it was easy for him to find the piece he needed to complete a step.

My husband had a sense of accomplishment once they were put together. He knew he did a great job. He was also impressed that he was able to do it without getting angry. LOL!

assembly 1

Hubby putting together the television stand

assembly 2

Television stand almost complete – just need to add shelves

assembly 3

My husband putting together the bookcase. Our cat Bella thought it was a cool new cat home. LOL!

I LOVE both pieces – most especially the bookcase. I can’t believe I was entirely sure about the bookcase. I really love it! So much so that if we ever moved and had a bigger place I would want to get one or two more to use with all our books (we have a few other bookcases).

I love the finish on it. Oddly enough it doesn’t seem to attract as much dust as other pieces. Maybe I just don’t see it. Our fireplace/TV stand in the living room is like a dust magnet.

Here are both of the pieces and how they look today.

bookcase

Please disregard the mess. I also haven’t added papers to the face plates yet, however the books are separated and organized so much better with this bookcase then any other bookcase we’ve ever owned. The entire bottom is filled with cookbooks. The middle section (from left to right) are sports books, miscellaneous books (two middle sections) and comic book (right). On the top shelf it’s coffee table books (left), reference books, non-fiction books and then books about animals (right).

I like the top shelf (where the clock and air purifier are). You could add more books there (with book ends).

This bookcase is VERY sturdy. I am impressed by the quality of it. It looks and feels like an expensive piece that was purchased from a fine furniture store – not an affordable piece of furniture that my husband assembled in less than an hour.
TV stand

The television stand is really nice too. My kids have some books on it, DVDs and some of their school books on the bottom shelf. There is also plenty of room for the DVD player, satellite dish receiver and our Roku.

Their TV is 42″ if you would curious to know. Also, please disregard their mess.

Both pieces together (not including shipping) cost under $250.00. You could easily spend that one just a televsion stand if you purchase one from a furniture store – not including shipping to your home.

Don’t let assembly scare you from enjoying any of the beautiful furniture from Sauder. My husband assures me it was very easy to put together because the directions are clear to understand and the pieces are labeled. It takes my husband more time to put together our Christmas tree then it did to put either of these pieces together.

If you are in the market for new furniture add Sauder as one of your shopping destinations. Visit Sauder.com to check out all the available furniture and collections.

What do you think of our new furniture? Is it something you would purchase for your home?

Are you in the market for new furniture? If so, do you think you’ll check out what Sauder has to offer?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section of this post.

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Kimberly

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sauder. The opinions and text are all mine.

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