Should You Buy An Expensive Crib?

Should You Buy An Expensive Crib

I remember when I found out I was pregnant.  I took four tests JUST to make sure! The minute after peeing on the stick was literally the longest minute of my life! The second I saw those four positives, everything literally went blank.  The second after that, a list of everything we needed to buy starts rolling in my head. Diapers, crib, clothes, bibs, bottles, toys omigod so many toys…and the dog…the dog hates everyone! Will he hate the baby?

It’s all so overwhelming. (BTW the dog LOVES the baby…LOVESSSSS…)

After the initial joyous shock wore off, my husband and I started to plan. The list that was rolling around in my head made its way on paper. Over the next nine months, we weighed the pros and cons of different baby items, cloth vs. disposable diapers, get a swing or not (GET ONE), etc. One of the last things we acquired was the crib. Purchasing a new crib is advisable, unless you can be absolutely certain the safety of the second hand crib you have your eye on has not been compromised. Drop-side rail cribs were prohibited in 2011 in line with new federal safety standards. In the end, a used crib is usually not worth the uncertainties. You should at least buy a new crib. (disclosure: Our crib was pre-owned by a trusted friend of mine.)

Should you buy an expensive crib? Let’s face it. Babies are very expensive. With all the gear that babies need, sometimes it’s hard to process all the information and cost! One of the biggest investments aside from the stroller and carseat is the crib. Not only do you have to factor in the cost, but safety standards and practicality are something you also have to consider. While the cribs pictured below are no doubt high end and beautiful, remember, an expensive crib doesn’t mean better crib. There is something for every budget.

Before purchasing anything (brand new or used), make sure that it complies with up-to-date safety standards. The spacing between the slats MUST be 2 3/8 inches or LESS to prevent a baby’s head from getting caught. Also, lead based paint may be present in older pieces.

Babies use their cribs for an average of 24 months. Every baby is different and transitioning from crib to bed is essentially up to them. For this reason, “lifetime cribs,” more commonly known as “convertible cribs” are a practical choice. The 4-in-1 lifetime cribs can transform from a standard crib, to a day bed, toddler bed and single/twin sized bed! Even if you choose the most expensive convertible crib model, you’ll still get a great deal.

In the end, if your budget allows for a fancy and safe crib that you will be happy with, then by all means, buy what will bring you joy. If the cribs below are too indulgent for you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! The first priority should be safety, and there are plenty of affordable crib styles that fits any budget.

Pet Portraits!

Last week I decided to start commissioning pet portraits again! I’ve missed drawing and I love to draw animals most of all. Seeing as my dog Donut has over 1600 friends on Instagram, I decided to let him spread the word. He’s unemployed, after all, so he can do a little to help his mama out. 😉

I got a couple of commissions right away, both Yorkies! Now, I ADORE Yorkies. I’ve always wanted one, myself. In high school, I did a report on Yorkshire terriers. Somehow one has always eluded me, but maybe we will have one in our family, someday.

Anyway, here are the two darling Yorkies I had the pleasure of drawing last week!

Pet Portraits by Yvonne de Salle
Instagram @girlsyxx
Pet Portraits by Yvonne de Salle
Instagram @lil_yuki_big_world

My process involves sketching the outline in pencil, layering in the colors with crayon and pastels, and then adding in the details on top. If necessary, I do a little bit of clean up on Photoshop.

For your own portrait, contact me through Fiverr! Starting at $5.00!

An Unplanned Hiatus and Announcement!

So the end of November threw me into an unplanned hiatus from blogging and personal social media. My online activities were restricted to the social media responsibilities for my job, as well as extra holiday hours at the store. Not that it wasn’t a welcome time to be busy, because as you can tell from the photo below…

Pregnancy Announcement

…the hubs and I are expecting our first child in July! We are very excited, terrified and so so happy! We aren’t particularly sentimental/cheesy/corny people, but we do love to laugh. So we included Donut in our announcement! Poor kid, haha! He’s been demoted to reindeer next Christmas. The first thing I bought for the baby was a Santa suit. Girl or boy, who cares.

Donut and his soon-to-be-baby

Other than that, I’ve been really busy working because of the holidays. Since it is the start of the slow season, I’m working on increasing my social media client base and adding more inventory to my shop. I want to work from home so that I can stay with the baby. My parents both worked full time so growing up I had nannies and babysitters around me the majority of the time. I lived for Thursdays because that was the day my mom would be off from work! Because of how both parents working out of the house affected me growing up, I would rather be the one at home taking care of the kids and return to the workforce once they are old enough to go to school.

I don’t plan on putting too many pictures of the kids online. I want them to be able to control their own level of privacy. That cute picture of them on the toilet when they’re  five could come back to haunt them when they’re fifteen.

Pregnancy has been fairly easy so far (knock on wood), aside from mild food aversions (still can’t eat chicken), and dairy has become my worst enemy (gas gas gas……..), but chocolate is still my friend and french fries have saved me from starving on more than one occasion.

I have a couple things planned for this blog. I will continue to feature my talented friends in my monthly round-ups (performances, industry, etc.), but I’ll be adding more DIY, recipes and some music. Stay tuned!

Australian Scent – All Natural Skin Care

Australian Scent
The products above were c/o Megan from Australian Scent and Karen from Echo.

This evening, I had the pleasure of visiting the manufacturing facility of Australian Scent! They are a small batch skin care line whose products are 100% natural and organic. I had a great time sampling and learning about their various soaps, cleansers, and moisturizers. Everything smelled so good! Just as I was revamping my skin care routine, I discover this beautiful line. Owner Megan was so great at explaining every ingredient and why they do what they do. They don’t just sell a product, they share their heart. They do what they do to help people lead a healthier and more natural life through their skin. Australian Scent came about when Megan’s husband Eddie was diagnosed with a severe case of Psoriasis. Prescription creams proved futile, so Eddie asked Megan to make a cream that might help. He figured that with her background in nutrition, she may have some insight. So Megan created the first batch of what is now known as the “Balm of Gilead.” It is one of their best selling items and within two weeks, Eddie’s improved so much. After distributing the product to some friends, they persuaded them to start selling it, and so Australian Scent was born!

I am so excited to begin my new skin care regimen! You can find Australian Scent at select boutiques across the country. If you are local to the Hudson Valley, you can find them at Echo!

 

This post contains affiliate links. The products shown were gifted, but the opinions are my own.

 

Keys To The Animal Room

My next project is a staged reading of Peta Murray’s Keys to the Animal Room at The Beacon Theatre. Directed by Christine Vittorini, it takes a hard look at domestic violence and how the signs of abuse so often go ignored. I play the role of the battered wife, Julie. After our first read thru last night, we talked about how interesting it was that there are so few scripted works by American writers that tackle this delicate subject. As an actor, it is my job to delve wholly into the character and the circumstances surrounding her. It was so hard to let myself go there because the subject matter is so dark, so scary…having no personal experience in physical abuse, I feel like I have a responsibility to those who have suffered and are still suffering.

Performances are scheduled for one weekend only. For more information, go HERE.

Presently…

Can you believe it’s almost the end of September? Where did all the glorious warm weather go? It’s been such a busy past few months. I’ve been working a lot, and next week I start rehearsals for a new project I’m working on. On the go as always, and even though I just returned from a week long vacation in Mississippi visiting family, I’m already in dire need for another one!

Watching: Married With Children. I never get tired of this show. Ever. I’ve been watching it since I was a kid, even though I shouldn’t have been, haha! The jokes went over my head back then, thankfully.

Preparing: I’m getting ready to do two giveaways! One with a sponsor and one with a friend of mine. Details to come!

Writing: Another article on the real lives of actors. This one is going to be focused on actors who have moved to the United States for their career.

Reminiscing: Miss Saigon celebrated her 25th Anniversary, and watching the trailer for the new production in London brings back so many memories. Like the time I threw up in the middle of a dance number, or the time I was dropped on my head, or the time I had to leave my pants onstage because they got caught on an immoveable set piece and I needed to exit…oh yes, all true! LOL, oh the stories I have to tell!!

Organizing: My office has been in a state of madness for a few months. I took everything out to sort, and I’m in the process of FINALLY setting up my sewing machine. Pajamas for all!

That’s it! What are YOU doing?

Happy 25th Birthday to Miss Saigon!

Twenty-five years ago today, the first production of Miss Saigon opened at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane starring Lea Salonga. In 1994, I saw the show in Los Angeles at the Pantages Theatre starring Jennifer Paz (Melinda Chua alt.) as Kim. I remember thinking to myself “That’s what I want to do when I grow up.” My dreams came true full circle almost 10 years later when I was cast in the North American Tour with Jennifer. I lived that dream for a year and a half in the ensemble, covering the roles of Gigi and Kim.

It was such a wonderful time in my life. This show made me believe that there was room for me in the musical theatre world, and since then I’ve played many roles that both support and challenge my type. The friends I made because of this show are forever, and I have Miss Saigon to thank.

Here is a video of the musical farewell that my tour roommate Kyle Bruich and I recorded with the two kids who alternated the role of Tam (Jonathan Wade and Brianna Laxson). These kids are both taller than me now, and have been for awhile!

Please excuse the messy room in the video, haha!

Happy Birthday to Miss Saigon!

Behind the Scenes of The Pawffice!


Pet360 Free Shipping The web series I worked on earlier this summer with Pet360 went LIVE today! Check out ALL the episodes of “The Pawffice” HERE! Here is one of our blooper reels! The other actors Joie and Brett were great to work with, but the most professional actor of all was little Noodle. He walked into the office and sat down in front of our director Tim as if to say “I’m ready for my closeup!” Louis (the dog eating the lunch) was a hoot! He patrols the office of Pet360, making sure everyone is where they should be. I asked him to fetch me a coffee on his next round, but he said he couldn’t run personal errands while he was on duty. Busy busy!

Watch all episodes of The Pawffice now!

The Pawffice

I’m so excited! The web series I shot with Pet360 is finally going live next week and I can’t wait to see how it turns out! This project was one of the most fun gigs I’ve ever done. We shot 6 episodes and I am in 3 of them. The salad I was eating was pretty tasty, too. We shot that scene a little bit after lunch so I was already full so it was kind of difficult to eat but you know me, I always room for more food, LOL!

My little leading man Noodle stole the show, and my heart! (don’t tell Donut!)

 

On the set of "The Pawffice" with Noodle!

Watch the trailer and head over to Pet360 for more pet parenting advice and information!

Throwback Thursday : The Secret Garden


A few days ago, an old friend and colleague of mine Gregory Cooke posted this video! I found it about a month or so ago while writing reflections on past blog entries. Being in rehearsals for The Secret Garden concert (a one-night performance this coming Saturday!) have brought back so many happy memories! These voices, this music…ahhh!! Glorious.

With The Secret Garden director Michael Osburn
With The Secret Garden director Michael Osburn. This was before I learned how to put on stage makeup, yikes!!

Coming down the home stretch with this show! I’m looking forward to a little bit of normalcy for awhile afterwards. My husband goes to bed before I get home and he’s gone to work before I wake up. It’s definitely hard, but he understands and supports me in my career.

In non-theatrical news, I’m writing a couple of articles, working on a giveaway with a friend of mine which should go up in a few weeks, new jewelry will be added to my shop, and this blog will get a facelift. My professional site got a revamp yesterday, so now it’s the blog’s turn!

One day, I will sleep again.