This post was sponsored by Zinus. All thoughts and opinions about the most glorious bed in the world are my own.
You never realize how odd your family traditions are until you get married. In my case, I didn’t realize that some of the things my family did every year were traditions. Imagine my husband’s surprise when for Christmas, we not only needed to have Christmas gifts, but we also needed to have candy gold, perfume, and chapstick to be the gifts from the three kings. Excessive? Probably. But for me, it can’t really be Christmas without it.
The fascinating thing about creating family traditions is that it doesn’t take much to create them. You just have to pick something and be consistent with it. Garrett’s family grew up saying “rabbit, rabbit” on the first day of every month to have good luck and he still feels bad when he misses it.
Traditions are something that make home feel like home or family feel like family. Whether it’s orange rolls, a particular jello salad, or going to the same street to see Christmas lights, we turn to tradition to feel secure.
When COVID-19 hit, all of a sudden, we found ourselves facing something unprecedented and uncertain. We did our best to help our kids understand what was going on. Our kids our young, so what they wanted from us more than anything was making new memories.
After a week of being trapped at home, we started searching for new ways to make new memories, distinguish the days, and make things feel special.
We needed tradition. That’s how we started our daily movie nights.
Movie Night Begins
Like every great hero, our movie night tradition has an origin story. It was a weeknight. Most of the time, we let the kids play and then put them to bed early because they have school the next day. This night, the kids were restless and we needed to do something. They had already played with every toy, ran around outside, and done everything they could think of. It was that awful hour of the day where it’s getting late, but it’s not quite bedtime yet.
And we’ve been parents for eight years, so we know what happens if we send them to bed early in this state. I’d paint you a picture, but just think of the last horror movie you watched. Our kids turn into the unsleeping dead. Wandering the hallways to complain until we finally snuggle them to sleep.
Nope. Not doing that again. It was movie time! 10% for fun and 90% for survival.
Normally, we just hang out with the kids on the couch in our media room. But this time, in an effort to make it feel special, we let the kids come pile in our bedroom. We carried in our largest pillows in and plopped the kids down. Layers and mounds of blankets were piled on every side.
We popped popcorn and made my favorite caramel corn recipe. Soooo good. We brought in a bowl for everyone and started the show.
And do you know what? It was magical. Not because the movie was magical but because it felt special. The kids loved it and so did we. The first words out of our eight-year-old’s mouth after the movie were, “Can we do this tomorrow night?”
So we started doing it every night. Popcorn. Movie. Rinse. Repeat.
There was just one problem…
The Queen-Sized Bed Blues
I love being that close that to my family, but about halfway through the movie, I wanted to run away. Like a bride at the altar of one of my favorite rom-coms. Bet you’ll never guess which one.
Trying to fit our whole family in our queen-sized bed was like a really poorly made puzzle. Or like someone trying to make a 3-D puzzle out of a clearly normal jigsaw puzzle. No matter how we configured, we couldn’t all fit on there comfortably.
About halfway through every movie, I’d have one of my legs casually keeping my body upright on my side of the bed. My husband would get restless and need to reshuffle his pillows and ask everyone to move even just an inch so he wasn’t half in the air. He was quickly becoming unpopular. Don’t tell him.
We’ve had our queen-sized bed since we got married. It was a hand-me-down from a family member’s guest bedroom that had been hardly used. It had served us well for 10 years, but we were starting to lose the magic.
It started to become a point of frustration for us and we realized that we needed a fix. While we had relied (for years) on doing it for ourselves with DIY fixes or hand-me-downs, we wanted a better, well-designed bedframe with a king-size bed without breaking the bank.
Long Live the King-Sized Bed
I’ve ordered several pieces from Zinus before and I’ve always been impressed with the quality of their products. We spent a couple of nights, looking through their products until we settled on this beautiful Aimee bed frame and King-Size Cooling Gel Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress.
I need to nerd out a bit about how great this whole setup is.
Delivery & Packaging
Right now, it wasn’t an option for us to go out and buy a new mattress and bed frame. The stores are all closed and we are doing our part to stay at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Zinus made this simple. They shipped the mattress and the bed frame to my house in manageable boxes for two people to carry. I know this might seem like a little thing, but I’ve moved enough mattresses in my life to know how big of a difference it makes. I mean, I cannot tell you how many stairwells and doorways I’ve navigated a mattress around.
It wasn’t too heavy and we quickly got it inside our room. Much quicker than the time it took us to move our old mattress and bed frame out.
I really appreciate good packaging. Everything that Zinus sent was packaged neatly so you could find the right bolts, nuts, and the instructions. I’ve pulled my hair out so many times because of poorly packaged tools.
Zinus’ Aimee Wood Platform Bed Frame
Everything about setting up this bed was so easy. Last year, we put up our kid’s playhouse and it took us a week. I can feel my cortisol levels rise when I see assembly boxes arrive at my house.
But they make it simple. One of my absolute favorite things about this whole process is that Zinus sends you these amazing ratchet alan wrenches. THEY ARE GENIUS. I mean, I’ve put together a TON of furniture. Slowly twisting an alan wrench or maneuvering it to just the right spot to reach a bolt can be a real pain. These make the setup a breeze. I’ve now started a little collection of them in our tool chest. No, I will not share them.
The quality of the bed frame was even better than we expected. The wood is solid and the quality was incredible. As we attached all the panels and boards, it became clear just how nice this was compared to all the other bed frames we’ve had over the years. Confession, our last bed frame I got at Goodwill and was missing the wooden slats, so we just spaced them out further until we cut some more. We are very high class here.
The Aimee Wood Platform Bed Frame add some much needed style to our bedroom. Before, I was always trying to make-up for the bed frame, but now it’s a stylish centerpiece.
Devil is in the Details
Zinus really goes the extra mile. It’s usually a pain to get the wooden slats in the right place. Zinus gives them to you with them strapped together and with velcro so that they stay still. It’s almost like super large Jacob’s ladders. They were quick to add to the bed. To go even further, they even have sticky pads on the top of some of the slats that prevent the mattress from sliding.
These kind of details make such a huge difference.
Garrett and I have had this tradition before bed for years. He hops into bed and starts reading or watching a show, but then I promptly ask him to exit so that we can adjust everything. We fix the mattress position, we adjust the mattress cover, realign the sheets, tuck everything in, and then we finally get in bed. I can’t say it’s his favorite tradition. He may roll his eyes even.
We’ve been sleeping on this bed for about a week and we haven’t had to fix anything but the sheets because Garrett is a sheet-hoarding night thief.
I feel strongly about buying from brands that take the quality of their products seriously. It’s easy to make something—it’s incredibly difficult to make something great. Zinus has a 10 year Worry Free Limited Warranty. They stand by their products and I totally respect that.
Zinus’ Cooling Gel Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress
Zinus’ Cooling Gel Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress comes vacuum-sealed. You just unroll it a bit and then put it in position. Tear open the plastic wrap and the mattress comes to life!
I’m not going to lie. We sat there and watched it unravel for a while. It was like watching one of those sponge bath toys that slowly expand out, but enormous.
We aligned the mattress on the frame until we got it just right. Within seconds, we were both on our backs giggling about how amazing this was.
After a week on this bed, I can’t say enough good things about it. Before we were sleeping on a memory foam style mattress pad and an old mattress. This is like sleeping on a cozy, cool cloud. I didn’t really think much about the cooling gel feature, but now I get it. I have to flip my pillow around so much during the night and I used to shift around so I could be in cooler spots of the bed. Now I don’t.
Even better, Zinus gives you a 100 night trial. We’ve been on it for almost a week and won’t ever look back—but it’s good to know you can try it out.
The mattress is sooooo cozy. I’m absolutely in love.
Movie Night Returns
Now, with the fate of our new tradition in the balance, we attempted a movie night with our new king-sized bed. I will never, ever go back to how we did this before. We can easily fit the whole family on our bed, popcorn and all. We can all snuggle up comfortably while watching the same movie we’ve seen three times before. And you know what, it didn’t take much to make this tradition even better. We had never looked at mattresses or buying newer, nice bed frames because we just assumed it would be expensive. Making your room cozier and more comfortable is actually affordable.
Movie night might seem simple. It’s not nearly as elaborate as some of our other family traditions, but it doesn’t really matter. We’ve already made a lot of memories doing it and created a place that our kids now gravitate to.
Our kids now flop onto our bed to read books, talk about what’s on their minds (95% of the time it’s Animal Crossing), and take naps. This last weekend, we even stayed in bed late and read books for a few hours. My older sister, who is in self-isolation with us, even comes in and crashes on the bed to watch shows late at night with us.
We are building new traditions that we didn’t intend, just by changing one piece of furniture in our room. And I love that.
This might seem like a small thing, but right now, I find that I am taking a lot of pleasure in the simple things. While the bed I sleep on may not have meant the world to me 4 months ago, it does now.
I think it’s so important to be kind to ourselves during this pandemic. You deserve nice things. You deserve to make new traditions with whoever is with you. You deserve to have something that feels special.
Now if you don’t mind, I’ve got to plot out how to trick my family into watching the Lizzie McGuire movie with me tonight.