When I moved into my new home, post divorce, I had to start from scratch. The first item on the list - a bed and accessories. My theory on purchases and living has always been "quality over quantity" and "less is more." I like to buy the best quality I can afford at the time and keep the items for as long as I can.
When it came to the purchase of a bed and accessories, I wanted quality. I love to sleep. Truth be told, the older I get the harder it is to fall asleep and stay asleep but that topic is best left for another blog post.
Aside from quality, there was also a certain "look" I was trying to achieve. I want my home to feel like a day at the spa or a beach resort or a hotel suite. I wanted to create this feeling of luxury in my bedroom.
After dozens of hours of research, I made my purchases and have absolutely no regrets. I was looking for the best quality I could find at the lowest expense possible. Here is what I came up with.
The Cypress Bamboo Gel Mattress from Brentwood Home is the mattress I selected. They stopped producing this exact mattress so the link directs you to the one most similar in style and price.
I had four non-negotiable's that I wanted in a mattress. First, it had to be CertiPUR Certified. This certification means that it is without mercury, lead, heavy metals, formaldehyde, phthalates, depletes and has a low Volatile Organic Compound. Second, I wanted it to be foam vs. innerspring for example. Third I wanted the mattress manufactured in the U.S. And, fourth I wanted it to be a stand alone meaning I did not want to also have to purchase a box spring.
I was worried I would not be able to find such a quality mattress for under my $1,000 budget, but they are out there if you do your research. With taxes, the cost for this queen size mattress was $630. I did purchase the 13" depth size because I like my mattress on the soft side.
I will admit, I had my doubts when it showed up in a box the size of a mini fridge. I opened up the box, cut open the plastic it was in and the mattress bursted right out. Fair warning - defiantly take the box to the room the mattress will live in before you open it up.
I let the mattress sit on the platform for an entire day to air out before putting on the sheets. This mattress one of the best investments I have made. When the lifespan of this one is over, typically 7-years, I will purchase another one.
The Leonard Upholstered Platform Bed from Wayfair is what I selected. I was the most anxious about this purchase because I had never had a platform bed before. I was concerned it was going to be very low to the ground. I was used to a typical metal frame, box spring and mattress and had concerns that I would feel like I was sleeping on the floor. I spent a lot of time looking at dimensions, measuring from the floor to the top of my current mattress, looking at the dimensions of my new mattress and researching from there. The research paid off, because this platform is simply perfect for me. Just the right height and look I was going for.
Having an idea of what style you are looking for also helps. I knew I wanted a light color (beige, off-white, light blue). I also knew I wanted it to be fabric and have button tufting. The more specific you can be in your search the easier it will be to pin point what you want. I paid $280 for this platform. I just love it!
The Organic Cotton Comforter from Coyuchi is what keeps me warm at night. There were three things I was looking for in a comforter. First, it had to be 100% organic cotton. Second, the fibers needed to be certified through the Global Organic Textile Standard. (Look for labels that say GOTS Certified.) Third, I wanted it to be a minimum of 200 thread count.
I knew to get this kind of quality I would have to be okay with opening up the pocket book. I was right. This comforter was $250. Hard to believe that a comforter and platform bed would be the same price. But, it was worth it. I will have this comforter for as long as it will last. I feel good knowing that something I spend 8-hours a night with is free from harsh chemicals.
The weight of this comforter was another big selling point for me. I knew I was going to layer it, so I wanted to make sure it was light enough to get me through the four seasons, but still could keep me warm during the winter months and not too hot during the summer months. The comforter serves it purpose. I just love it.
The Sateen Stripe Sheets from Boll & Branch were the perfect touch to help me complete my "hotel bed" look. For $225, I purchased the set which included a flat sheet, a fitted sheet and two pillowcases. Similar to the comforter, I wanted to be sure that the sheets were 100% organic cotton and were GOTS certified. These sheets were also OEKO-TEX® certified and the cotton used was fair trade.
Since I like the layer look I placed the flat striped sheet over the comforter. I do not like comforter protectors. I find them annoying to clean and take on and off, so the layering works perfect for me and gives me that vacation-beach home look that I am going for.
Since I did this, I needed another sheet to come between me and the comforter, so I picked up a 300 thread count organic percale flat sheet from Coyuchi. Again, I wanted to be sure they were 100% cotton and I wanted the peace of mind that came from being certified. I did not need an entire set, so I did research to find only those company's that would sell individual sheets while still meeting my expectations for quality. The sheet was $108.
So to clarify, I have the striped fitted sheet on, followed by the basic white flat sheet, then the comforter, then the striped flat sheet on top of the comforter. I have a photo of what it all looks like put together at the end of this post.
I actually ended up purchasing two My Pillows because I wanted to see what all the hype was about. I like them. I am a back sleeper, side sleeper, stomach sleeper - pretty much a little bit of everything throughout the night. I like how I can adjust the pillow to what position I am in at any given time. The cost was $50 per pillow.
All that said, the material used is not backed by any certifications and is not organic. When it comes time for some new pillows I will choose ones that meet more of my qualifications. And, when I do I will report back to this blog post and let you know what I find.
in my home
When it was all said and done, I spent around $1600 to complete my bed. I have had everything for almost a year now and love it all! No regrets. I know some will ask if I have any extra sheets? I do not. Every week, I simply wash all the sheets and immediately put them all back on the bed.
I do not like a lot of extra clutter and having extra sheets just takes up space. If you are looking to simply your bedding thing in terms of layers. Instead of having a comforter for every season, layer sheets and comforters together so you can mix and match no matter what the weather.
Aside from what you see pictured, I do have a quilt my mom made for me. It stays on the couch, but if I need it at night I will grab it. and, I do have a heating blanket on those really chilly nights.
I encourage you to think about ways to simply your linens and focus on quality over quantity. Have ideas or questions? Drop me a line in the comments section.
the pieces of the pie make up you
How are you feeling about going into the year 2020? New Years Resolutions can be effective, but I encourage you to think of your life as a whole. You are a complete person. Each part of what makes you, you all works together to create a life you love. I created what I call my Wheel of Life. I started by making a list of all the areas in my life that are most important to me and I put them into a pie chart. Within each piece I wrote down what success looks like in each area. In this post I will show you how to create your own wheel.
selecting your pieces
The first step is to make a generalized list of what is most important to you. One might call them values. Psychology Today has an excellent list of values if you need inspiration. What excites you? What makes you come alive? Who do you want to be? What completes you?
Just start writing without thinking too hard about it. I found that when I did this exercise that I began with making statements like, I want to eat more nutritious foods and work out five times a week and take more relaxing baths. When my brainstorming list was complete I realize that I could actually put all those desires under self-care.
After you have your pieces then you can put action steps under each piece. Here is what my list looked like.
Knowing your Why will also play a big role in developing the action steps under each piece. Why do I read the Daily Word daily? Because it grounds me. Because it gives me calm before I head off into a chaotic world. Why do I meditate? Because it gives me clarity. Because it is in those moments of stillness when I can feel and hear God. Why do I attend church weekly? Because it allows me to connect with other people who share similar beliefs. Because it helps me feel like I am not alone.
The Why is important. If you don't know the reason, the purpose for doing what you are doing then what is the point? It is not just about doing but understanding the underlying reason for doing... and that circles back to your values. Because if I value a more meaningful relationship with God, if I value the feel of community that comes from being with others on the same spiritual path, if I value the knowledge I gain from reading scripture then I will take action because those are my core values. They make up me. They complete me. And, when I am complete that is when I am most happy and satisfied with life.
My bullet points serve as gentle reminders. I do not need to write down what time I will go to bed or what time I will wake up. I know what I a want that routine to look like. What these points do for me is remind me on a daily basis of what is important. So, when I want to stay up an extra hour to clean something, I remind myself that I am going against what I said was important.
There may be some additional work you have to do on the side. Vitamins is a perfect example. I went to the doctor. I know what my levels are. I also know some of the health challenges I face and had to do research and try out different vitamins to see what works for me. But now I know, will adjust accordingly when necessary. But seeing it written down reminds me everyday that, yes, this is certainly important to my well-being.
I currently manage a high-rise condominium. The safety of the residents that life there are of highest priority to me. So, when an after-hour calls comes in or an emergency comes up I respond with understanding, control and empathy. There are no action points under this piece specifically, but I did feel it was important for me to recognize that this is a part of my life and an area where I want to continually succeed.
Your action steps may look a little differently. Maybe you want to get more education or certified or get a promotion. Those are certainly points you may considering writing down.
I listed non-romantic and romantic in two different pieces, because to me they deserve a different amount of energy and attention and action. Some might not see a different and put them together.
My action steps under non-romantic were more in the form of communications. My intent is to regularly reach out to my immediate family, extended family and friends that are pretty much like family. I will do this by calling or sending greeting cards or vacationing together, but especially by remembering special occasions.
My action steps under the romantic piece of my pie are as it relates to the five love languages, as originated by Gary Chapman. The idea is that you show your partner love in the way s/he wants to be loved. While the principles are easy to understand, putting it into practice and showing your unconditional love, especially during the times in life when you don't feel like it take dedicated work, so much work that to me it needed to be its very own piece of the pie.
This year I want to adopt a dog. I consider this service. When the dog is trained I will take her to a nursing home where others can get the huge benefits that come with looking and touching a dog. I also consider this service. Those are my two actions steps.
I wanted this a piece of the pie because I wanted to make sure that I saw it everyday to remind me that service is not just about volunteering to serve food to the homeless on Thanksgiving day, but that service is something I do everyday. Maybe I hold the door open for someone, or let someone in before me when driving or being kind to those who put you down. Everyday there is an opportunity to show service. For me, I realize that why my definition of service may not be as formal or rigid as others that it does play a significant part of my daily living.
There are so many things I do for fun, I really wanted to hone in on my favorites so that a) I do not get distracted and b) so I know where to put my money.
I really felt like I needed to identify what brings me the most joy, so that I do not feel guilt when I am doing one of these actives. There is sometimes a feeling that I should be doing something productive at all times. When I have my list of favorites it almost gives me permission to do them without the guilt because I know that this is one of the areas that completes me.
Also, some of these actives can become expensive. Snow skiing tickets, concert times and travel are not cheap. Now, when I spend money on them I do not feel remorse, because again they compete me. They bring out the best in me and when I am at my best I can shower others with love and support them to become their best.
My first passion is writing. I fulfill that passion through this blog. But it does not stop there. I would like to write a few books, do more public speaking, build a brand. I want a small home on the beach down south with a boat. I want to walk the shoreline of the beach each morning with my dog and drink really expensive coffee.
My passion list does go on, but you get my drift. I wanted passions to be its own piece of the pie because I want to make sure that it remains forefront in my mind. The other areas allow me to be happy in the present, but having these future passions as something I am actively pursing is very exciting.
I currently have a spreadsheet where I track my expenses and bills for the month. I also am activity in a debt reducing program with a clean timeline for when I will be debt free. I wanted this to be on my pie chart because I know that without debt = freedom which is a value that is important to me.
the importance of the pie
While the pie represents who we are and what we want, we have to accept the reality that the chances of all the pieces being great at the same time are very slim, probably impossible. That is why focusing on your entire being versus just one area is short-sighted. If you put all of your focus into love and that love fades, then what you have left is nothing. If you put all your focus into service and those opportunity become draining you will feel defeated because you didn't focus more on your self-care, etc.
water your garden
Think of each piece of your pie as a flower. The rose bush might represent love. The tulips might represent passion and so on. You have to spend time watering each group of flowers. If you do not water them they will die. If you overwater any particular flower it will drown. Each group of flowers needs your attention, not too much and not too little.
Yes, sometimes some areas will require more attention than others at certain points in our life, but it is up to you to recognize when that attention is not necessary anymore so that you can return back to a more whole, complete and balanced life.
When we rely on only one piece of the pie to feed us, we may wind up in trouble if that piece of the pie is not going well. We will feel like the entire world is crashing down. If you have the other pieces of the pie in place, then a piece non working out great won't be as devastating.
Trust me... I am speaking from complete experience here.
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