This Is How We’d Register for Our Wedding Now That We’re About to Be Parents


Forget the kitchen, let's talk about sleep

by Jareesa Tucker McClure, Contributor

apw x crate and barrel

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Studio 220 Images

It was pretty early in our wedding planning process that I realized there was a ton we didn’t know, and how to make a wedding registry was at the top of the list. I understood the purpose—after all, I’ve purchased gifts from registries—but I didn’t have a good idea of how my husband and I should create one for ourselves. With no clue of where to start, I did what my scientific training taught me to do: research. That’s how I found Crate and Barrel.

I was super excited when Maddie told me that APW was partnering with them on registry roundups (I may have squealed at the news). I’m a huge fan now… but I didn’t know much about the Crate and Barrel brand until I started looking at registry options for myself. When I say I didn’t know much, I mean I knew the company name—but that’s about it. Around the same time that I was researching registries, my friend Erin told me about the fun she and her fiancé had at a Crate and Barrel registry event. The only thing that means more to me than online reviews is a personal one, so after she raved, I went over to the website to check it out for myself.

I don’t really have a design aesthetic (does anyone besides interior designers?), but if I can use it, it’s cute, and I feel the price is worth it, I’m sold. And I found a lot of stuff at Crate and Barrel that totally fit my vibe. So off we went to Crate and Barrel to start a registry of our own.

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Studio 220 Images

We missed out on one of the private registry events (which I hear are awesome), but we made our own fun in the store starting a registry on our own. My husband and I spent a couple of hours looking at everything from flatware to bar carts to rugs. My husband is an amateur chef, and he spent a good chunk of time browsing through their kitchen offerings and pointing out what he liked. He deemed me “keeper of the phone,” which meant I got the fun job of scanning bar codes to add them to our registry via the Crate and Barrel Wedding Registry App. We used the provided checklist as a starting point, but we also added items that we liked, thought were cool, or that we thought we’d love to use. I was immediately drawn to the clothes steamer (I hate ironing!), while my husband decided on a fancy bar cart.

I know some people find the registry experience to be stressful, but it turned into a fun afternoon and an opportunity to learn more about each other. Even though we lived together at the time, comparing products taught us things about each other that we’d never discussed before. It turns out my husband is really price conscious and wanted to make sure we provided lots of options for our guests, while I wanted to use our registry as an opportunity to upgrade some of the items we already had in our home. I got to see more of his likes and dislikes, as well as what he’s passionate about—like a really good set of knives for the kitchen. All of this could have been stressful, but Crate and Barrel made it… fun. We had the space to walk around and try things out, and ask questions of the staff with no pressure or sales pitches. Our only source of stress was agreeing on what to add!

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Studio 220 Images

Since our wedding, I’ve been obsessed with the offerings at Crate and Barrel, and some cool stuff has made it into our home (like a pizza stone we love). Now that my husband and I are embarking on our next adventure and having our first baby, we’re shopping a ton to get our home ready. But the baby doesn’t get all the good stuff—we’re also using this time to upgrade our bedroom, because new parents also deserve a nice space to get (a little) sleep in! With that in mind, if I could create a “new parents need an awesome bedroom” registry, this is the stuff I’d make sure to register for.

A Comfy Bed That You Can’t Wait To Sleep In

Crate and Barrel Bedroom

1. Gia Upholstered Bed 2. Belo Grey Sheet Set 3. Siesta Grey Blanket 4. Union Square Duvet Cover and Pillow Shams

If I could have only one piece of furniture, it would be a bed, complete with the best furnishings I could find. Sleeping is a secret hobby of mine, but I do a lot of other things in bed too—read, write sporadic blog posts, surf the web, knit, and watch Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix. I’d gladly spend all of my time in my bed, only getting out for trips to the bathroom and the kitchen. For years I’ve been daydreaming about the day when I could afford to buy an awesome bed, and then outfit it with soft sheets and comfy blankets to keep me warm. My daydreams have been answered with the Gia Upholstered BedBelo Grey Sheet Set, and Siesta Grey Blanket. Cute bed? Check. Comfy sheets that get softer with each wash? Check. Thick blanket to snuggle under? Check. Now all this dream bed needs is the Union Square Duvet Cover and Pillow Shams, and it’s perfect. Try getting me out of it!

Classic Storage For Everything

Crate and Barrel Storage

1. Harbor 5-Drawer Dresser 2. Water Hyacinth Oval Baskets 3. Harbor 5-Drawer Chest 4. Harbor Nightstands

Confession: I have a lot of stuff. Like, a lot. My husband continues to be amazed at how I can take over an entire dresser and two closets and still not have enough space for all my stuff. Add his stuff to my mountain of stuff and you get a bedroom that is in desperate need of storage space. We’ve given up on us both using the same dresser (that ship sailed a long time ago), so getting both the dresser and the chest from the Harbor Collection is a good choice. Separate dressers means we don’t have to fight over who gets more drawer space or have to live out of laundry baskets anymore (yay!). For the rest of the random stuff that makes it into our bedroom, like pillows, blankets, and magazines, the Water Hyacinth Oval Baskets will come in handy, along with the Harbor Nightstands. With all this storage, I can finally get our bedroom organized and looking presentable.

The Right Window Treatments

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Wallace White Blackout Curtains

Since childhood, I’ve been cursed with the inability to sleep unless the room is completely dark. Once I discovered blackout curtains, I finally learned the joy of sleeping in or taking a nap in the afternoon. They’re now a must in my bedroom. Normally blackout curtains come in dark colors like black, brown, or blue… which are, for lack of a better word, a downer. I mean, I love a pitch-black room when I’m ready to sleep, but during the day I need all the light I can get. These Wallace White Blackout Curtains are great because they’re white. Do they work? Reviews say yes. Clearly, I need them.

Fun Stuff, Cause It’s Not All About Sleeping

Crate and Barrel Fun Stuff

1. Hug/Kiss Pillow Cases 2. Bedside Alarm Clock 3. Glow Table Lamp

As I mentioned, I do everything in my bedroom; it’s my favorite place to hang out and relax. I like the functional stuff, but my favorites are always the little extra things that make my bedroom a great place to hang out. I’m totally going to use these Hug/Kiss Pillow Cases as a subliminal message for my husband. We may be having a baby, but we’re also still newlyweds. Speaking of my husband, he always complains about the lights and my alarm in the morning, so a Glow Table Lamp and a Bedside Alarm Clock seem like a good idea. Though word on the street is that babies are their own alarm clocks, so… that’s one thing I might not need to worry about when outfitting my “I’m a parent now” crib.

CB New Logo

This post was sponsored by Crate and Barrel Wedding Registry. Crate and Barrel understands that a registry isn’t just a shopping list; it’s an opportunity to define what home means with your partner. Whether you’ve been together for years and already have most of the basics, or you’re just getting started, Crate and Barrel has registry options for every relationship. Plus, get like-price guarantee, free shipping, and exclusive pieces from Crate and Barrel’s artists and designers when you sign up for a Crate and Barrel Wedding Registry today. Click here to learn more or sign up for a live Crate and Barrel registry event near you.

Jareesa Tucker McClure

Jareesa Tucker McClure is a thirty-something newlywed in the Twin Cities. She’s a chemist turned supply chain project manager (and part-time writer) who spends her time knitting and running a Twin Cities Black professionals organization. Follow her rants on Twitter at @Jubilance1922 or on her blog, Black Girl Unlost.

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  • Jessica

    I love your pictures. I am a U of M alum so recognize some of them. : ) And YES to having a comfy bedroom. We bought a thick wool rug for our bedroom; it makes it so much cozier. Congrats on the bambino!

    • I’m a U alum too! I totally loved doing our engagement pics on campus, and getting married at McNamara fulfilled a secret dream of mine. And thank you!

      • Jessica

        I just went into McNamara for the first time a few weeks ago–what a cool space! I love seeing the wedding photos around the U!

      • Lolauren

        Just had to chime in to say that I’m reading this while at the U- where I now work and went to school. Glad to see so many Minneapolis people on here! (also, loving these suggestions as we have a little one on the way and just purchased a home we need to furnish!)

  • Her Lindsayship

    Mostly just here to say that top picture of you and your husband is PERFECTION!!

    But also, I liked your story about the registry curation process and how it became an opportunity to learn more about each other. You guys sound fun. :)

  • UGH, BEDS. I love beds. I have a complicated relationship with mine–chronic illness will do that to you–but overall, I love bed. Husband and I are working on investing in new bed linens (upgrading from the scratchy jersey sheets and bed-in-a-bag set we bought when I started grad school five years ago) and it’s an ongoing project. We’re trying to find a good time to go to a brick-and-mortar store to rub our faces on stuff and see how things feel without looking totally weird.

    ALSO, SURVEY QUESTION: What do y’all do with your throw pillows when it’s time to climb into bed at night? We’ve got about five that sit on the bed during the day/serve as the dog’s nap spot, but I kind of just toss them into a corner at night, and I feel like I should have something to put them in. A big basket, maybe?

    • Amy March

      I throw them on the floor in an untidy heap.

      • So do I! But it’s been pointed out to me by my loving spouse (who would gladly dump all the pillows in a bonfire) that there is, um, kind of a lot of dust/dog hair on the floor, no matter how often we roomba it up? So I’m thinking maybe some kind of dog-hair-free receptacle might be nice.

    • Eenie

      We do not have any non functional pillows on our bed. I think maybe a cute wicker basket? This one is 22 inches wide (I have no idea the size).

      https://smile.amazon.com/Household-Essentials-Banana-Laundry-Basket/dp/B003ZX8ERU/ref=sr_1_18?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1470935702&sr=1-18&keywords=wicker+basket+wide

    • emilyg25

      This is why I don’t do throw pillows. We just each have two pillows and put the extra one on the floor next to our side when we’re done reading and ready to sleep. A big basket is a good idea though. I feel like baskets fix everything.

      • Yeah, it’s a fragile balance. Some of them are for propping us up while reading/crossword-ing in bed, a few of them are sentimental (my childhood nanny embroidered us a word cloud pillow with words from our wedding website as an engagement present and another one with our hyphenated last name, wedding date, and wedding location as a wedding present). But we don’t actually sleep with all of them.

        • Also…you can likely remove the pillow from the sentimental pillowcases and just have them framed or something.

    • Kadee

      That’s why we got these: http://www.containerstore.com/s/grey-montauk-rectangular-hamper/d?productId=10034922&q=Grey%20Montauk, and omg am I in love. They have lids that you can use to hide stuff if you need to (no mom, it’s always this clean I swear! or sure friend, come on over since you’re in the neighborhood), are fairly roomy but also low profile, which is important for our tiny SF apartment, and liner is removable and washable, and since they’re made of polypropylene they won’t shed, trap, dust, or get mildew-y from the damp SF air, which means they’re easy to clean and won’t trigger my dust allergy.

  • Ashlah

    Ooh, maybe this is a good place to ask for pillow recommendations?? I hate my pillow! I’m a side sleeper, so I need volume/structure, but I also hate firm pillows. They make my face and ears hurt. Ideally, I’d like something malleable and cushy on my face, but with filling that won’t ball up and separate, and that is just firm enough to hold my head up so I wake up without neck pain. Suggestions for what I should be looking for? Or a store you know has a generous return policy on pillows? The expense of fancy pillows is what’s been stopping me from trying anything new, and I’m left with a bunched up piece of garbage under my head.

    • Amy March

      The Company Store is good, and takes returns for 90 days.

      • Ashlah

        Thanks, I’ll check them out!

    • BSM

      YOU SOUND LIKE ME, and I actually just bought an awesome pillow from IKEA. It’s the firm down one (link below), and I looooove it. I’ve always thought I needed something firmer because I like the support when I’m just laying around, but it really bothers me when I’m actually trying to sleep. I also have never really been into down, but this is too good. Solid structure but very malleable; it fluffs up well and, paired with my new mattress (Casper!) and bed (Crate & Barrel), is giving me the best sleep of my life.

      Also, it cost $20.

      http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10269615/

      • Ashlah

        That sounds promising! And you can’t beat the price. Also nice to hear more positive reviews of the Casper–we need a new mattress too! Just trying to decide between queen and king…

        • BSM

          We ended up going with a queen (previously debating the same thing), and it still feels HUGE compared to the full.

    • Eenie

      High loft firm was what I bought (it’s the perfect pillow for me side sleeper self). I don’t know about returns though. It’s pricey, but I’ve had my pillow for almost four years and I still love it.
      https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0049DYI70/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      I also use a body pillow for my knee/arm. It goes perpendicular to my head pillow. It changed my life.

      • AP

        This side sleeper has been thinking about getting a body pillow…I stayed at a place recently with those long king-sized pillows and used one like a body pillow, and I think it really did improve my sleep. It’s the pillow for my head and neck that I still haven’t figured out yet.

        • Eenie

          My husband and I are both side sleepers. He used to crumple up a regular pillow and kind of hug it at night, so I bought him this. He loved it so much he bought me one as well. It’s got a nice length to it. The memory foam pillow I recommended has served me well. When we travel by car, we always bring at least one pillow a piece. Husband chooses body pillow, I choose my memory foam head pillow. It may be worth it to look for a less expensive option, but I have definitely gotten my $60 out of it. I’ve also found it holds up better than down/cotton pillows. I’ve had to replace my husband’s pillow twice in the same time frame.

          Whatever pillows you do end up buying, write down any and all information and send it to yourself in an email so you can easily re-buy the pillow in the future. We have these magical pillows that we also love but can’t remember where we bought them and we ripped the tags off.

          Body pillow we bought:

          https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CTFMD1S/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

        • Amanda

          I’m a side sleeper with big hips, and the body pillow I use helps align my hips better. I also use one of those ergonomic foam pillows. I love it, it makes my neck less cricky in the morning. I forgot to bring it on vacation this summer and I was so sad and had such a hard time sleeping without it.

          Also, body pillows are great if you are pregnant. You have so much more BODY going on by the end, and your hips get all loose and uncomfortable. Plus, you have to side sleep in the end. They have pregnancy pillow all in one’s, but I need my ergo foam pillow to sleep, so I made my own out of a collection of pillows. Foam head pillow, body pillow, under the tummy wedge. Quite the comfortable fortress. A cover on the body pillow was key for me when I got night sweats while pregnant (eww).

    • Cdn icecube

      I highly suggest memory foam. It’s squishy but not super firm so that you get the best of both worlds.

    • emilyg25

      I did my boudoir photos in a room in a Kimpton hotel and the pillows were so comfortable I bought one! They sell them through their website.

    • Natalie

      I’m also a side sleeper with the same preferences as you (ear pain from side sleeping on crappy pillows is no joke). I recently bought a memory foam pillow from Bed Bath and Beyond that I LOVE. It does exactly what you’re describing perfectly. BBB is constantly sending out those 20% one item coupons, making the expense a little less bad.

    • I’m a side and back sleeper…maybe try a shredded memory foam pillow? You can usually remove some of the shredded foam if it’s too firm for you. ‘Get custom firmness that way.

    • k
    • Lexipedia

      I’m a side sleeper, and I like something with a firm structure, not not that smushes my face. This has a memory foam core and a “down” sleeve around it – I love my pillow. http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/brookstone-reg-biosense-reg-memory-foam-classic-pillow-with-better-than-down-reg-cover/3274813?Keyword=brookstone+pillow

    • Kaytie

      Try IKEA’s memory foam pillow. It is firm but since it’s memory foam, there’s enough give that it shouldn’t hurt your face. And for $9 it’s definitely worth trying.

  • emilyg25

    I went into crazy nesting mode toward the end of pregnancy and whipped our bedroom into shape. Good thing, too, because I spent a lot of time in that bed with a newborn!

    • Anything you recommend to have? I’m taking recommendations!

      • emilyg25

        For the bedroom, the most useful thing was something for the baby to sleep in next to me. We used a pack n play at the bassinet level; others use a co-sleeper. And for pregnancy, I loooooved my Snoogle pregnancy pillow. So worth it.

      • Jessica

        I’d say if you’re going to have one splurge/investment piece, make it a rocker/glider. You never know what your baby will like (pack’n’play v bassinet? wraps vs ergo? etc etc) so it’s best to borrow those or get them second-hand in case your baby hates the super expensive swing. BUT you will use the glider a ton, so get something that is super comfortable for you, and has machine-washable covers. We got the second-cheapest model at Baby’s R Us, and it’s already showing signs of wear after 4 months. (Plus the cushion covers can’t be removed…I don’t want to think about how much spit-up is in there!!)

  • Amanda

    I would also like to suggest a night light for your room if you’re a new parent. Nothing worse than banging yourself on unseen things when rushing for a crying baby. I really like this nightlight, the orange glow supposedly doesn’t screw up your circadian rhythm like blue toned lights do. Your sleep is already going to be screwy, right?
    http://www.bulletproof.com/low-blue-nightlight?utm_source=google_shopping&m=simple&gclid=Cj0KEQjwxLC9BRDb1dP8o7Op68IBEiQAwWggQJvdan5IPP887Pj9Dy5phq41BvawJrKaSvnyRXvZ_C4aAjjW8P8HAQ

  • Looooove C&B, but all the in-store events near me are at 9am. Who’s going to wake up 2 hours earlier than they usually do to go to a registry event?! Now, like, an after-hours 9pm event…maybe!

    C&B also has a nice completion discount. After your wedding, 10% off everything in the store, even stuff not on your registry (some exclusions apply I suspect. Likely the same ones that apply everywhere else, like on: Le Creuset, Wustof, …most of the big pricey brand items).

    • I loved that completion discount – I could even use it when buying things for another person’s registry, which was awesome. C&B also takes stuff back like a year and some change after it was purchased, which is also awesome.

    • Specifically, the completion discount can’t be used on: Breville® USA, Global® Cutlery, Kyocera®, Le Creuset®, Miele, Rösle, Schmidt Brothers® Cutlery, Shun®, Technivorm–Moccamaster, Vitamix®, Weber®, Wüsthof®, or ZWILLING J.A. Henckels

      BUT, if you were interested in Staub (rather than Le Creuset), you might be able to get away with it. Some additional high end, but not THE BRAND everyone wants substitutions might be possible. And silverware is likely allowed…so there’s some strategy to employ ;)