May 31, 2012

More Table Talk: Out with the Old, In with the New - Baltimore, MD. May 2012

Tuesday dawned with excitement. We were not only celebrating our sweet girl's 2nd birthday, we were also excited about the scheduled delivery of our dining table and chairs from Su Casa.

If you're just tuning in, we are knee deep in a contest to win furniture from Su Casa - Baltimore. Here's the run down:

As the 3 o'clock hour neared we decided to do a little prep work before the delivery people were scheduled to get there.namely the removal and stashing of our old table. Even though Su Casa has a complimentary furniture removal program where in which "Su Casa has partnered with a local charity to donate used furniture in good condition", the Hub wanted a contingency plan in place just in case we didn't like the furniture or something went wrong with the delivery. Plus we take any chance possible to use power tools!!! WOO HOO!!!
Out with the leaf and off with your legs old lady!
I don't know if you can see it in this picture, but our drill lights up when you squeeze the trigger! SO FUN!!! 
AND we discovered all this writing on the under side of the table.
I'm guessing it's a code and map that will lead us to our new dining room table... He he! Do you have a better idea?! 
(The real question that needs answered is where on earth are we going to store this table? Don't forget, our apartment is only 1300 square feet.)

The floor got a good vacuuming, and right at 3:10 the Su Casa delivery guys knocked on our door. Right away they set to work. One by one our chairs maid their way up the 39 steps to our dining room.
(They look like their waiting in line outside the principles office.)

Next came the table legs and top. Then fast as lightning the table got it's legs!
I have to stop for a moment to say how fantastic these delivery guys were. They were punctual, SUPER nice, very professional, and had no problem entertaining my game of 20 questions. 

1.) Y'all been busy today? - Not too bad.
2.) Are we your last delivery? - No ma'am 3 more deliveries left for today.
3.) Do you guys work for Su Casa or are you just contracted to deliver for them? - We work for Su Casa only.
4.) Is it heavy? Not too bad. (Come to find out Su Casa hires super heros as delivery guys because this table is SOLID WOOD and HEAVY as H - E - Double Hockey Sticks!!!
5.) How do you put the leaf in? - Oh it's really easy you unlock the locks slide the table apart, pop the leaf in, and relock the locks, like this.
6.) Do you want some water? - That'd be nice, thank you ma'am 
7.) Can I take your picture while you put the table together? - Sure, this is my good side.
All joking aside, the true mark of their professionalism came about 5 minutes after they arrived. They discovered , while unpacking the final chair, that it had been damaged durring shipping. They brought this poor injured baby up all 39 steps to show me the damage and advise what the next steps were.
(A claim was filed against the shipper. Su Casa contacted me within 5 minutes of them leaving. A new chair was ordered immediately. Su Casa contacted me the next morning to confirm the order was received by the manufacturer. We expect the new chair in 4 - 8 weeks i.e. FOREVER!)

In the mean time, here it is! What do you think?
(The birthday girl playing "ring around the table)

NOTE TO READER: Tune in Monday for your first chance to win a "baby" piece of Su Casa. (Just a quick HINT: Every comment you make on these Su Casa blog posts "counts" and could help you be the WINNER!)

Till Next time,
Bon Voyage!

May 29, 2012

Look Who's 2 - Baltimore, MD. - May 2012

2 years ago at 12:31pm our little Monkey arrived
A tiny 4 lbs 11.7ozs and 17 inches long. 
Our world has been forever changed by this ball of joyful energy.
Thank the Lord! Happy Birthday sweet girl! WE LOVE YOU!!!

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

May 24, 2012

Our Table: We Set A Date! - Baltimore, MD. - May 2012

So late yesterday afternoon the phone rang and the caller I.D. read Su Casa Fells P.
My heart literally did a little dance!!! It was Leslie one of their interior designers calling to say our table was in and she was ready to set a date. 
Next Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - OUR DELIVERY DATE!!! As you can see, we'll have lots to celebrate that day!

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

May 23, 2012

Our Table: The Waiting Game - Baltimore, MD. May 2012

I really didn't want to have to write this post.  I kept hoping I'd get a call Monday, and even waited till mid day Tuesday before I picked up the phone.  But the major point of this Test it. Blog it. Win it. contest is to document the process start to finish, good, bad, and everything in between.  Over the last month I've been documenting what we ordered, how we came to choose the peaces we chose, and our overall experience, but in reality, we ordered our furniture on Saturday, March 10th, with a quote of 8 - 10 weeks for delivery.  This Saturday May 19th marked 10 weeks of, gleeful, excited, agonizing, but expected waiting.

Now, at this point I must take a brief side step to say, although I've never purchased furniture from anywhere that I didn't have to assemble myself, I've witnessed several friends go through some disaster furniture orders (NOT from Su Casa).  My friend Anna ordered a couch with a 12 week lead time that turned into 6 months.  Our friends Katie and Kyle had the wrong buffet cabinet delivered 3 times!  So I was warned that no matter how much you like the store or what they promise, "Expect the worst" and "Never believe them when it comes to delivery date and time". That way if it turns out the way they said you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Yesterday, I called Su Casa Kenilworth and a woman named Pat answered the phone.  I explained the situation and asked if she was able to find out the status of my order.  I did not tell her I was part of the Test it. Blog it. Win it. Contest.  She said she had to call the Fells Point location and she'd get back to me.  Less than 5 minutes later she called me back and said that my furniture wasn't due in until the end of the month and she wasn't able to tell me why.  Just before hanging up I asked her one more thing, "If I hadn't called today would anyone have contacted me to communicate the delay?"  She was very quick to let me know that "the 8 - 10 weeks time line was just a quote, not a guarantee".  They were "at the mercy of their vendors" and they "generally do not contact customers unless the customer requests it".

I really hoped for the best, and above all, even if it wasn't going to be on time, I was sure that someone would call to communicate a delay or change in the timeline. I was wrong.  You may be thinking 'Lili, aren't you jumping the gun a little? I mean it's only been three days, cut them some slack.' Try being 3 days late on a project at work and not communicating with your boss that there have been delays.  Try being 3 days late for Christmas, see how that goes for your kids.  Try being 3 days late for your anniversary without so much as a peck on the cheek and you let me know what your spouse says.  If you're 3 days late with your rent they make you pay with a money order and you have a 15% late charge.

The retail cost of this furniture is in the top 6 most expensive purchases we've made, the other 5 being our cars, our computers, and my engagement ring.  All of this to say, where we spend our money and what we spend it on is important and it isn't spent lightly or without serious thought.  Even if it's become common place for furniture delivery to be unpredictable, being late without communicating isn't cool.

I must stress that I don't care that the furniture is late. Don't get me wrong I can't wait to have to remove Cheerio's from the table top with Goo Gone.  I'm waiting with baited breath to tell the Monkey a million times that she's too tall to stand up underneath the new table.  And there's also the much anticipated finding of our "spots" because this table will have 6 chairs to choose from, not just four!  Woo Hoo!  FANCY!
I have no doubt we're going to LOVE what we've ordered, I just want to keep it real as we walk through the experience.

Till Next time,
Bon Voyage!

You Know It's Almost Your Birthday... - Baltimore, MD. - May 2012

You know it's almost your birthday when you find the actual date on the milk jug... 
And it's EMPTY!!!
Only 7 days till this little lady is TWO!!!
Till next time
Bon Voyage!

May 21, 2012

Su Casa: The Shopping Experience - Baltimore, MD - April 2012

"We want you to experience exactly what every customer experiences, so sorry, no special treatment!" -Su Casa

Ten weeks ago (a week after our little MJ arrived and just 4 days after we were released from the hospital) The Hub, The Monkey, MJ, and I braved a beautiful, cold, and WINDY day (I'm talking blow your skin off windy!) and headed into town to find our table.
Although we would have loved to venture down to the Inner Harbor location, parking, and the gale force winds weren't the best environment for milling about with a newborn, so we were pretty pumped to find that there were 4 locations to choose from (Baltimore in Fells Point, Ellicott City, Kenilworth in Towson, and Dewey in Dewey Beach, DE). We were even more excited to find out that all of the locations have pretty much the same merchandise on the floor.
I have to be honest, I've always been a little skeptical of furniture stores in shopping malls.  I think it's because it just feels too "Big Box" and trendy for my taste but because parking close and keeping the baby out of the cold as much as possible was at the top of our list this location fit the bill. So, with just a little reluctance we chose to do our shopping at Su Casa - Kenilworth
Upon our arrival we met Pat V. who was extremely non intrusive. She let us know she was there if we needed her and was always close enough for us to ask a question, but really let us wander around without making us feel like she was hovering. It was a good balance of what I like (to have my best girl friend with me while I shop) and what the Hub likes (don't mess with me I'm on a mission).
(This is Pat on the left, super sweet and cute!  I on the other hand, 7 days post major surgery and running on less than 2 hours sleep, am not super sweet and definitely not super cute!  ha ha!)

First of all, even though it's not at the top of everyone's list of important things, it was pretty stroller friendly.  The store was set up in a way that made you feel like you were really walking through someone's home. SUPER comfy and uniquely eclectic. Sort of like how you feel when you walk into a nice antique store.     Somehow, even though they were in a mall, Su Casa made me feel like the furniture I picked would be one of a kind. I know that may sound silly, but it's a feeling that a lot of people, especially women, have while shopping and even if you aren't consciously aware of it, how you feel while you're shopping plays a key role in deciding if shopping turns to buying.

In looking back on the experience there's only one thing I keep coming back to as a source of a small amount of trepidation. We never really discussed our space. No measurements, no questions about how this table and chairs was going to "fit" in our home. In hind sight that could have been because we seamed to know what we were doing, but in reality, that couldn't have been further from the truth. This is our first REAL furniture purchase! Now, over 10 weeks later, I'm holding my breath, biting my finger nails, and waiting on the call. I truly have NO idea if this table is going to look ridiculously huge in our space! Oops!


I think the best part so far about my Su Casa shopping experience is that this store helps you imagine the possibilities. As I meandered around the store, I had no trouble putting one of these pretty rugs underneath our beautiful new table.
And setting our table for dinner with these dishes.
 And kicking back after our bellies are full on a couch that looks a little something like this.
Be it an entire house, your favorite room, or one piece at a time like us. Oh the possibilities!

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

May 11, 2012

Have A Seat... Or Two! - Baltimore, MD. - April 2012

I have to be honest, I'm a simple girl and can count on two hands the number of items we own that were over $500.00.  So, when we first started window shopping on line for chairs I thought that the price must have been either a misprint or that it was for a set of chairs. There was no way one chair could cost between $145.00 and $525.00 (these prices were the least and most expensive chairs listed on the Su Casa website). However, after doing a little digging I found that chairs in general are pretty expensive, and a custom, solid wood, upholstered chair for under $250.00 isn't a bad price at all.

(I hope this doesn't come out badly, I'm still not sure why just one of these chairs is $525.00.)

Okay down to business. When I received the email notifying me I'd been selected as a finalist blogger for the Test it. Blog it. Win it. Contest for Su Casa Baltimore the instructions were very clear. Shop as you normally would, "no red carpet treatment" and don't reveal you are a blogger until it's time to pay. So that's exactly what we did.

Upon entering the store we were informed that there was a special if you bought a table and 4 chairs you got 2 additional chairs free. So after choosing a table and keeping the special offer in mind we quickly had a short list of favorite potential spots to park our cabooses (or is it cabeese? I never know with this sort of thing.). Anyway, after about an hour of rearranging the furniture at Su Casa - Kenilworth (you know this table, that chair... This chair, that table...) we finally decided on....
Their Stats: L18” X 24” X H39” 

Just like with the tables, there were a few really close contenders.
Stiles series Chairs both with and without arms 
These were simple clasic chairs that sort of remind me of king and queen thrones. I think with our choice of table, they would have just been a little too matchy matchy. Like many of the tables we saw, they were beautiful, but just not for us.

This chair was such a close second that I actually almost changed my mind after hearing all of your reader comments. I really had the phone in hand and had dialed all but the last number when I caught a glimpse of my toddlers place at the table immediately after a meal. The Texas chair has these 9 beautiful buttons on the chair back and I just couldn't imagine cleaning smashed Cheerios out from underneath all 9 of those buttons at least once a day, sometimes twice. I still LOVE this chair and daily second guess not choosing it but every time I come back to the one we ended up choosing

Extremely simple but in a color, wasabi, that makes you say "WOW!"

(The Hub made the final decision for color because I really wanted him to like what we got and I have to say, I LOVE it!)

The Valencia is our clean and sophisticated choice. for us, it was the perfect marriage of comfort, like our old chairs, and the classic style we're hoping to grow into. It's a chair that I'm not worried about spilling something on. These chairs will look great for every day and will be so easy to clean and will look beautiful when we have company as well.

The back legs have this cute little flair that makes them just a little bit less ordimnary. It's like a little wink that makes me smile.
If wasabi isn't your color...
there are 8 other color options.
Oh and in case you were wondering, the deal for buying a table and 4 chairs and getting 2 additional chairs free is still going on so definitely check it out! it could save you several hundred dollars (especially if you have expensive taste in chairs).

So those are the choices and our order has been placed.  Like I mentioned here, we're just waiting on the call.  In the mean time, the next thing we'll need to talk about, and some would argue the most important thing, is our shopping experience.  Stay tuned and keep the comments coming.  You might want to let me know if you've posted about this little project of mine and link it on your Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest pages.  I'd love to see what you're saying!  Next time you'll get to meet Pat and the ducks, and if your leaving comments and linking people back to my blog posts, you just might get the chance to take a little piece of Su Casa home to your Casa! 

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

May 9, 2012

Old Table vs. New Table - Baltumore, MD - May 2012

I'm sure this will be the first of many posts like it, but for the record, I just want to say, THIS is something I will not miss!!!
At least twice a day I find these on the floor...
And have to track down their location of origin.
Yep there's a pipe cap on the end of each of these swanky tubes.
My new table, The Buster Dining Table: Straight Leg, has NO pipe caps
In fact, it doesn't have any pipes at all!!! Woo Hoo!!!
Monday marked 8 weeks from our order date so we should be getting the call from Su Casa any day now.  We can't WAIT!!!

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

May 8, 2012

TENNESSEE - April and May 2012



Double N


Double S

Double E


Our Tennessee vacation is at an end. We had a wonderful time with family and friends! We miss you all so very much!

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!