S ince Bobby and I will only be in Miami for about 6 months (I’m telling you, this golf pro lifestyle is a wild ride), we didn’t want to invest in an expensive bed frame – or even an expensive mattress, for that matter. We have a legit mattress but it’s residing in a cozy storage unit in New Orleans right now until we have a more permanent home.

Should we rent a mattress? Rent a bed frame? Find a cheap mattress on Amazon and make it comfy with a mattress pad? So many options…and then we stumbled upon the perfect, throw-back-to-our-college-days type of solution:

Let’s sleep on the blow up mattress! Genuis. (Don’t worry, it becomes more grown-up in a bit.)

Why yes, little disgruntled iguana, that’s exactly what we decided. See, for our 1st anniversary, Bobby went all out and bought a complete camping set. He was going to get us a romantic room at a quaint bed and breakfast, but after researching the rates he knew I’d like it WAY more if he invested in something that we’d have for a long time – in this case, our own bed and breakfast set-up whenever we want it.

In the past year and a half, we’ve gone camping…3 times? It was high time to start getting our money’s worth out of this fancy air mattress. We purchased an additional mattress pad AND a quilted cover to go on top so it wouldn’t feel like we should be in a tent. For a grand total of $180 (FAR less than a new mattress), we’re basically sleeping on a cloud.

But this wasn’t quite the look we were going for…

We needed to elevate the bed. That’s when Bobby suggested the use of pallets. YES, that would be perfect! Fits our general, vintage-y style and would certainly fit our budget.

Like any seasoned Extreme Crafter, I went straight to Pinterest. So many great ideas, but a little too intense for our liking – I wanted to put in minimal effort for this project.

Like, maybe stacking the pallets would be fine…I think we could handle that…but sanding them down with an electric sander and painting them and screwing them together and and and…I was exhausted just thinking about it. (PLUS, we have nowhere to sand and paint – how do people craft in condos?!?)

It was time to go get some pallets.

Let me just recommend something. If you’re yearning for some stress in your life…I have a really great idea for you:

  1. Rent an apartment in a condo – make sure they have very specific rules around when you can move stuff in and use the moving elevator. Preferable if you have to be done by 5pm and can’t do it on weekends.
  2. Have no access to friends with trucks. That would make this far too easy.
  3. Don’t start the whole pallet project until 2:30pm. You want to be under the gun for the 5pm deadline in your condo.
  4. Mix in some crazy Miami traffic and you should be good to go! Being time crunched is really key to this whole thing.

We basically followed all of these steps, so we were GOLDEN.

We scrambled to rent a UHaul pickup truck. Then we drove about 25 minutes out of Miami to the pallet place (they deliver but only for orders of 100 pallets or more. Boo.). We picked out our pallets – $6 a piece babyyyyyy – and they fork-lifted them into the truck for us. Then Bobby and I strapped them in to make sure they didn’t fly out all over the highway. Next, we (safely) raced back to our condo.

It all felt very intense.

Isn’t that SO MANY pallets? The man in charge of the loading/unloading area downstairs is super nice…he had been told we were going to be unloading some “small pieces of furniture,” and he didn’t even seem phased when we pulled up with old, recycled pallets in our truck. Class act. I’m going to make him some muffins this week for putting up with our shenanigans.

I borrowed the valet cart to help transport our “small pieces of furniture” up to our apartment. The cart was maxed out at 4 pallets, so this meant 4 trips up and down before we got all of them inside the apartment. A total of 8 elevator rides with loading and unloading in under 30 minutes. Yikes.

We did it, though! Let me just say that 16 pallets stacked inside an apartment is pretty intrusive…

We hadn’t eaten since breakfast, it was such a whirlwind day. So while I cooked dinner, Bobby hauled 12 of the pallets up to our bedroom area (the other 4 are going to be transformed into a daybed/couch downstairs). He’s such a champ.

Finally, it was time for the SIMPLE part. We took a 5 dollar tarp and tucked it around the bottom of the air mattress to save it from popping against any splinters.

We stacked the pallets in 4 quadrants of 3 pallets each. Nestled them against each other. Centered the mattress on top of them. And…voila!

100 times better, wouldn’t you agree? And here’s the thing – if you take away all the craziness with getting the pallets physically into our place, the actual work of making them into the “bed frame” was basically ZERO. I actually like the look of the exposed pallets and wouldn’t want them cut down to size or sanded/painted.

Here’s my declaration: this is The World’s Easiest Pallet Project!

Graham even approves. He just likes to lay in his doggy bed and stare at it in amazement. Next up for the bedroom? Stacking our vintage crates as night stands on each side! And then maybe something to decorate the walls? Any ideas? Let me know!

J ust in case you ever visit Miami…Or in case you already live in Miami (and if this is true, then we should be friends)…Or in case you really love antiquing and want to plan a trip to come to the most amazing treasure shop you’ll ever step foot in…

I MUST tell you about Stone Age Antiques.

Bobby and I have been in search of vintage crates. We want to stack them next to our bed for nightstands. We were told about this place and thought we’d give it a try before resorting to Ebay.

Well, we didn’t find the perfect crates but we DID find this alligator for $1,200! I think it’s going to give our living room that certain je ne sais quoi…ha. Actually, no. We did find some crates! (And decided to hold off on the gator.)

This is one of the crates we really wanted. It was $50, though, and we needed cheap ones. Old, good, but cheap. So we kept on exploring…

The owner of this place, Gary, has carved out a name for himself in the world of TV and film. He rents a lot of his finds to various movies or commercials that are being shot in the area. Of course, we have exquisite taste and wanted to buy everything that said “rental only”, like these amazing suitcases.

Much of their inventory is nautically themed, so Bobby and I felt right at home, seeing as we fell in love on Semester at Sea.

This was from an old ship. Can you imagine what a good conversation starter that would be if it were just plopped on your balcony? Gary had an array of these, so you could actually have one in every room. You know, just in case you’re REALLY big into the whole sailing theme.

Someday I want to have an entire set of mismatched, vintage silverware. Seeing as we are living a nomadic lifestyle between Vermont and Florida, now is not the time to amass said silverware collection. But when we are more settled, I’ll obviously know where to come.

Is this not the BEST gallery wall you have ever seen?!? Marilyn Monroe next to a huge lobster. It’s perfect in every way.

Here’s a photo of Gary in his natural habitat. He was GREAT. When we first pulled up and started to look around his outside area we told him how much we loved it. “How do you even know?” he asked dismissively. “You haven’t even seen the place yet.” Gary isn’t easily flattered. You have to earn his affection.

He thought we were CRAZY for wanting to buy some of the crates from outside (those were the only ones we could afford, since we might be getting rid of them after our 6 month stint here…). We asked him for the price on some of the crates outside – that were practically falling apart, mind you – and he was like, “you don’t want these! The bottom is going to fall out any minute!”

After insisting long enough that we actually did indeed want them, he told us they’d be $10 a piece. Good enough.

(If you look closely, you’ll see that a couple of them say Burlington, VT on them. So good! Maybe we’ll try to collect a crate from every state we’ve lived in…)

I guess Gary liked the crazy in us, because after we dug out these crates he completely warmed up to us. Told us lessons he learned from his dad about the psychology of smell and selling things, showed us a black and white photo of his dad next to a full-grown lion that was licking his face (“I love that picture because you can tell my dad is second guessing his decision of getting in the cage with that tiger. But he was a tough guy. Had to be. You know the lesson there? If you’re going to be dumb, you’d better be tough.”)

We had an amazing time talking with him. I’ve officially decided that I am bringing all visitors to visit Gary at Stone Age Antiques. It’s going to be a staple to the Grace Tour of Miami.

Goodbye, Stone Age! We’ll be back!

M oving has been on my mind a lot these days. I don’t think it’s being dramatic to say that it’s one of the more stress-inducing life events.

Talk to people about moving and you’ve probably got an automatic common ground. Nobody likes it. “It’s the worst” seems to be a common phrase surrounding the whole process.

Mr. Tortoise knows he has it easy. No boxes, packing tape, foam peanuts, U-Hauls, long car rides, realtors, Craigslist, elevator trips, Target runs…

Just a shell and 4 little legs.

If you have EVER moved in your life – even once – Mr. Tortoise salutes you (and I do, too!).