My Grandpa Died Today

I'm not the sort of person who believes in things like this, but my Grandpa died today and when I got in my car after work, the radio was playing an oldies station. Old oldies, like music from the 30s. The radio display said I was still on the same R&B station as this morning, yet it was actually on a different number altogether. Before thinking anything of it, I pressed the button to change the station. The station did not change.

Overbudget? LOL

When considering our custom home builder, the only negative thing we heard was that he underestimates allowances, resulting in his projects finishing over budget. He might say to expect $4,000 for bathroom vanities and sinks, but spend $6,000. $2,500 for lighting instead of $5,000. Well meaning friends and family didn't want us getting in over our heads. We were warned.

Apparently, these folks don't know me at all.

I scour the internet all day, every day for deals. It's a blast! Here are a few of the "premium" purchases I've made for our house so far:

VITA Eos XL pendant - made of approximately 6,000 goose feathers!
$942 retail - paid $100

DVI Chimera chandelier
$783 retail - paid $125
 Quatrefoil wall sconce
$124 retail - paid $20

Madison Park Eva bar stool
(For our theater room. This is going to be the best house ever!)
$300 retail - paid $50

 Bellflower pendant
Retail $313 - paid $100

 Napa Home & Garden Gavin Pendant
Retail $140 - paid $20
(Side note - this is huge and gorgeous and actually worth the retail price. Buy it! You'll find a place for it later.)

Whitehaus brushed nickel faucet
Retail $279 - paid $88

Oh, and ummm, a top-of-the-line security system. And an electrified gate. And a pack of ferocious guard dogs.

Which we shall refer to as "the hounds", obviously.

(And also, don't be a dick and break into people's houses to steal their stuff. You're just as capable of finding these deals for yourself.) 

(Oh! And snipers on the roof! Almost forgot about the snipers on the roof. How silly of me.)

Our biggest savings of all? My heart was set on the enormous chandeliers I'd seen at Restoration Hardware. There were two problems though. They're $2,500 each...and I need 3 of them. Searching for similar, yet affordable, chandeliers wasn't much luck either. When the lights you're envisioning are more than four feet (!!!) wide, your options are limited.

Well guess what? Sexy Nerd is building our chandeliers! They're even going to look better than the ones at Restoration Hardware. (At least, Sexy Nerd insists they will. They had better.) We're adding a third ring (because the $2,500 light pictured above isn't grand enough?) and some copper accents. The DIY price of our "$7,500" chandeliers?

About $60 each. Have I mentioned lately that I love that Sexy Nerd of mine?

The hounds will be vigilantly protecting all of my deals except the 4' chandeliers. Sexy Nerd says if someone can get up to the 16' ceiling and steal 100 pounds of chandelier without breaking their neck, they've earned it.

No promises that the hounds agree with him though.

Our Plan for Saturday

After seeing that the window place doesn't open until almost noon on the weekend, I told our rep we'd meet whenever was convenient for him. He wasn't supposed to choose 8am!

5pm: We need to meet our Pella rep. to discuss windows and doors.
4pm:  We need to meet our Pella rep. to discuss windows and doors.
3pm: We need to meet our Pella rep. to discuss windows and doors.
2pm: We need to meet our Pella rep. to discuss windows and doors.
1pm: We need to meet our Pella rep. to discuss windows and doors.
12pm: We need to meet our Pella rep. to discuss windows and doors.
11am: We need to meet our Pella rep. to discuss windows and doors.
10am: We need to meet our Pella rep. to discuss windows and doors.
9am: We need to meet our Pella rep. to discuss windows and doors.

Is 30 Too Young to Retire?

Working in a pediatric dental office is the best. I have an extremely lovable, quirky boss. Remember when she bought me a cheesecake and a box of Fairytale Brownies? She's all about doing nice things for her employees.

Before Christmas a few years ago, I arrived at the office to find a list that would be used to help our boss with her holiday shopping. It asked all employees to write down a couple personal details. Just little things, you know, like your favorite color and if you prefer milk or dark chocolate.

Oh, and your bra size. On display. For everyone in the office to read

The question flustered me because I've always been a tank top sort of gal - I have no idea what bra size I would wear if I wore one. Yes, I'm weird. And, come to think of it, maybe this is why my boss decided a bra would be a good gift idea. I answered the question with my best guess (nothing like a little peer pressure, right?) and returned to my job, answering phones and posting insurance checks. The list was thankfully removed from the wall at some point. Later that afternoon, I received a call from a man who wanted to resolve his balance.

As I wrote down his credit card information, I could hear giggling from my coworkers behind me. The next thing I knew, my boss was standing over me, holding a long string of dental floss. My posted bra size? She wasn't believing it.

Before I could wriggle away, my boss had the floss wrapped around my chest. She'd decided the most logical thing to do was measure me herself using the floss. In front of everyone. While I was talking to a patient.

Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on

Unsurprisingly, I discovered when I went to process the credit card payment that I'd made a mistake while taking down the information.

Amerisleep Mattress Review: 5 Years Later (and Coupon)

4/19/17 Update: Hi, everyone! I wanted to let you know I just received an email from Amerisleep stating they're increasing their prices on April 25th. If you've been thinking about upgrading your mattress, now is the time! Currently, you can save $200 (promo code TAKE200) + an extra $50 through my referral link.

This review is NOT sponsored by Amerisleep. Not in any way whatsoever. Unlike other "impartial" reviewers out there, I did NOT receive my mattress for free. All the opinions here are 100% my own.


 A few months ago, Amerisleep started a new referral program. If you order through my link, you'll save an additional $50 on top of other discounts and specials!

If you buy through my referral link, that would be swell because then I'll get a referral bonus from Amerisleep that I can use toward purchasing other Amerisleep products for the house we're about to break ground on hopefully any day now we're finally building (!!!) which is going to need 3 more Amerisleep mattresses, so placing your order through my link would be so helpful, especially as we're a bit (a lot!) over budget already. We're planning to buy more of the exact same product again - you can't get a better endorsement than that. Plus, I very much appreciated online mattress reviews when trying to decide on the best one to buy, and I love being in a position to help others with their decision, especially my bloggy friends.

Oh, and I may have initially, technically written this review as a "screw you" to Simmons, a company we loathe. More on that below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Be sure to check out my Q&A memory foam mattress review post too. If there's a question I haven't covered, feel free to send me an email. I love hearing from my readers!

Okay, finally on to the review. I'm a bit of an update-addict.

mattress review
No more Sexy Nerds jumping on the bed...because one fell off and bumped his head.

My Amerisleep Review from 2012

Have you heard of Amerisleep? Sexy Nerd, my engineer husband, and I finally replaced our crummy (and lumpy! and saggy!) old (but not old enough that it should need replacing) Simmons Beautyrest (BLECH!!!) and are loving our new Amerisleep memory foam mattress.

Yeah, we have a little bitterness toward Simmons. Can you tell? We saved up more than a thousand dollars for that Beautyrest, while I was working a just barely over minimum wage job and we were both going to school full-time, and we felt so cheated.

Beautyrest? More like Uglyrest. (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

We were nervous about making such a big purchase online, especially after our bad experience with Simmons, but were swayed by all the Amerisleep reviews I'd read and by their top-notch customer service. I spent a lot of time emailing back and forth with Amerisleep representatives before making my purchase and they never seemed to mind my many questions. I even received a few personalized emails from the CEO of the company! I loved how enthusiastic they were about their product. We also had the option to return it if it didn't live up to the hype of the mattress reviews I'd read, which was reassuring.

"I look forward to hearing how much you love your new bed!!" is the email I received after placing my order. It was from a real person who had helped me. A great sign.

The following week, our Liberty Bed arrived...

Unpacking Our New Mattress

amerisleep photos
 The box was bigger than Sexy Nerd! I recommend you have a second person to help you move it to the bedroom. Luckily, I'm stronger than I look.

Sexy Nerd claimed he could have moved the package upstairs on his own. He "just didn't want to". Yeah.

Also, wouldn't it have been great if I'd moved the dog bowls out of the way before taking this photo?

Oh! And here's a 2017 update that I just noticed: to the left of the box, you can see a model of the house we're currently a photo from 2012. I knew the construction process would take a long time, but this is ridiculous.

mattress review before and after
Pica was hunting the mysterious black bag in our bedroom.
It seemed wise to stop her from attacking it.
 biscuit is too afraid to give a mattress review
Biscuit wouldn't even enter the room.

 amerisleep coupon and mattress review
Sexy Nerd was very careful when removing the packaging. He had to be, with yours truly jumping around, frantically saying "Careful! Don't cut the mattress! Are you being careful? Oooh, be careful!"

dont judge our messy bedroom in this mattress review
It began expanding even faster than we'd expected.

The Liberty Bed must be freed!

organic mattress review
It expanded this much in about a minute.

amerisleep discount
It kept growing and growing!

amerisleep promo
There was still more plastic to remove before our new bed was ready.

amerisleep codes
At first, we were surprised by the amount of plastic. Really though, if it weren't for all that plastic, might a rogue mattress start expanding on the shipping truck?

FedEx and UPS would not be happy.

best memory foam mattress

mattress made in america
No more waking up with back pain for this Sexy Nerd.

funny mattress review
What did Pica, who was sooo excited about our new (and still expanding!) mattress, think of it? I don't know.
She isn't allowed on the bed.

My Amerisleep VS Tempur-Pedic Test

Amerisleep claims their products are equal to Tempur-Pedic, but for a lot less money. We have been sleeping on our Liberty bed since 2012 and I agree. Anyone can say they're as good as Tempur-Pedic though. There seemed like there must be a way to prove this.

You know those fancy commercials where the person jumps on the Tempur-Pedic bed and the wine glass doesn't tip over?

tempurpedic wine glass test
Wine glass test, sans wine. I was fairly confident our brand new Amerisleep mattress would pass with flying colors...but how would I ever live it down if it didn't?

Sexy Nerd, the always serious engineer, had much more fun taking these photos than I'd expected. I couldn't get him to stop jumping on the bed!

My Amerisleep Mattress Review from 2017

We've owned our Liberty Bed for a long time now and are completely happy with it. Sexy Nerd says it's perfect in every way. It hasn't had any problems with sagging (unlike our piece of garbage Simmons Beautyrest, which this had to replace after only a few years) and it doesn't trap heat or get hot, which I've heard is a common problem with other memory foam mattresses. I worried it was ever-so-slightly too firm for my taste when we first got it. The next softest (the Amerisleep Colonial Bed, according to the comparison chart on the Amerisleep site) is much more expensive though, so if I could go back, I would probably still choose the Liberty bed. As someone who doesn't like too-firm of a mattress, I do think it's worth paying a little extra to get the Liberty over the more firm choices (the Americana Bed and Revere Bed).

My favorite thing is that there is absolutely no transfer of motion, meaning I can continue sleeping when Sexy Nerd gets up for work at 5 am. I'd love to splurge on the "extra soft" Amerisleep Independence Bed one day, which I imagine is like sleeping on a fluffy, gooey marshmallow, but at twice the cost of the Liberty, I'm happy with what we have. Plus, Sexy Nerd says he wouldn't change a thing, so he'd probably just complain if I "upgraded" us to a softer choice.

Mattress Review Photos After 5 Years

After all this time, our Liberty Bed is practically brand-new, even though we've slept on it almost every night for half a decade! I don't understand why anyone is still buying traditional spring mattresses. For such a large investment, you're money ahead to get one that lasts forever. Really, ours has aged so well, I'd be surprised if it's showing any wear at all 50 years from now. Take a look for yourself:

longterm mattress wear review
Is our mattress still level after 5 years, even on the section I sleep on every night?

mattress review update
It is! Our Simmons Beautyrest wouldn't have been able to pass this test after 5 weeks, let alone years.

But that's not all! I have received not one, but TWO emails (from different people!) since publishing my original Amerisleep blog review, saying they enjoyed my mattress review...but they feel so sad for Pica. So, here is an update for all my fellow dog lovers:

Mattress review from a spoiled dog
Shhh, don't tell Sexy Nerd.

(To be fair, Pica usually looks pretty sad, whether she's allowed on the bed or not.)

JRT loves her new bed
Also, I think Amerisleep makes memory foam dog beds. Shhh, don't tell Pica.

Casper VS Amerisleep: A Mattress Comparison

Casper mattress review
My Casper review = a throwaway memory foam mattress

I've written about our mattress firsthand and have speculated on some of the competition, such as Leesa and Casper, here on my site. It has always seemed to me like Amerisleep is an inexpensive alternative to Tempurpedic, while the other brands that have sprung up online lately are more of a cheap, short-term solution for apartment living. Still, I've wondered if maybe memory foam is just memory foam and all of these mattresses are actually the exact same thing. Well, guess what? I was able to test out a Casper mattress when I visited Washington DC last week and was shocked by the difference.

My Casper Review

It's hard to explain, but there were no "memory foam" qualities to the Casper mattress. It was soft, like the pillowtop portion of our old Simmons Beautyrest, where you just sink right in wherever pressure is applied. Our Amerisleep mattress, by comparison, supports your body, whether you're sitting on the edge of the bed with your legs dangling, are propped up with pillows to watch TV, or are dozing off. You don't just fall in, like with the Casper mattress. This isn't necessarily a dealbreaker for Casper, especially if you fit their target audience of someone looking for a cheap, short-term mattress solution, but I just could not believe how much I preferred our Amerisleep mattress. It is sooo much better! I actually got into a little discussion about it at the store, with myself...out loud. They're used to that at West Elm, right? My in-store theory was that the Casper mattress must be especially soft and unsupportive because so many people have tested it. Thinking about it later though, I think that must just be how the mattress is. The display looked new, plus with our Amerisleep mattress, it doesn't matter that we've been sleeping on it forever. The wear and tear of daily use isn't breaking it down.

Amerisleep Coupon

Since writing my original review more than 5 years ago, Amerisleep has started a referral program. If you order through my link, you'll save an additional $50 on top of other coupons and specials, including their Deal of the Day. You don't even need to have a code or do anything special other than clicking on the link.

THANK YOU for using my link! Blogging can be a thankless hobby sometimes and it's so fulfilling when I see that a real person out there is enjoying the site I've put so much into. It truly does mean the world to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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