The Bedding Snob

Cultivating relaxation need not leave you starving for style …

Snobbish Thoughts August 2011

No plans for Labor Day? Why not try a “staycation?”

Alaska Vacation 6/07 by mattbaron, on flickr

Alaska Vacation 6/07 by mattbaron, on flickr

The concept of a “staycation,” sticking close to home as opposed to traveling, has become quite popular in recent years. With fuel costs and airline ticket prices on the rise, many opt for the convenient – and less stressful – alternative of staying at home. However, making the most of a staycation and actually treating it as a vacation can be a bit tricky. Curious about how to make the most of your time at home? Here are a few tips for getting into the vacation mindset.

  • Make a plan. “Decide up front what you want to have at the end of the vacation,” says Diane Brennan, life coach and president of the International Coach Federation. Though it’s easy to fall into the pattern of lounging around and watching television all day, make sure this is how you want to spend your time. By scheduling activities, you’ll actually feel more refreshed at the end. (Surprising but true!)

    Vacation 290 by spilltojill, on flickr

    Vacation 290 by spilltojill, on flickr

  • Unplug, at least for a little while. While it might be tempting to answer just one email or return a work-related phone call, we all know it can be hard to stop once you’ve started. So, if you can, refrain from checking work-related emails while at home. In an interview with CNN, Brennan recommended “letting co-workers know that you’ll get back to them when you return from staycation, just as you would if you were removed from the technology.”
  • Think like a tourist. Is there a museum in your town you’ve always wanted to visit, or a new restaurant you’re dying to try? Now’s your chance! Take day trips to neighboring cities or pack up your camping gear and spend a night under the stars. You could also try taking a class, such as cooking or knitting. We’re lucky in Maine that there are so many activities right in our backyard. My personal favorite is venturing out to the islands in Casco Bay. Though they are just a short boat ride away, the trip truly feels like an adventure.

Tell us, what are your favorite “staycation” activities? We’d love to hear!

Why Seersucker is a Summertime Classic

Seersucker Fabric in Multiple Colors

Seersucker Fabric

Seersucker, while less well known in the Northern states, is a fabric of almost legendary popularity in the South, where heat reigns heavy during summer months. What makes seersucker such a great fabric for coping with the heat? The unique weaving process causes some of the threads to bunch together, creating a puckered, almost wrinkly texture. These puckers create little air pockets that allow air to flow between the fabric and your skin, keeping the body nice and cool.

While modern technology (specifically, air conditioning) has made seersucker attire less of a summertime necessity, the tradition of seersucker in summer remains. In fact, the tradition is so strong that for one day in June every single year, the United States Senate members don cool, comfortable seersucker suits in an event known as “Seersucker Thursday.” You can check out a snapshot of the 2011 Seersucker Thursday on The Washington Post blog.

Not only do the members of the United States Senate dress in seersucker every year, but people from all over Washington, D.C. deck themselves out in seersucker suits, dresses, bow-ties, and elaborate hats to come together for an annual “Seersucker Social

Catch the action - Seersucker Social Bike Ride in Washington, D.C.

While most people think of clothing when they think of seersucker, it also makes for fabulous bedding. Our favorite use for seersucker? Sheets! Cool, breathable cotton seersucker sheets. They never cling to your skin like some sheets tend to do in the heat, making them oh-so-comfortable on those hot, sticky summer nights. If you’ve never slept on seersucker before, we highly recommend that you give it a try!

It was a dark and stormy… wedding??

Stormy wedding - bride and groom

Stormy wedding

Not exactly the weather you’d plan for a wedding, but Cuddledown’s own Megan, who blogs here frequently, is getting married tomorrow. We all want to wish her the very best, and are keeping our fingers crossed that Hurricane Irene chills out and doesn’t disrupt Megan’s nuptials. And if that bawdy wench of a hurricane does storm all over the ceremonies, as the old saying goes – a wet knot is harder to untie! Many good thoughts to Megan, her husband and family (and to all who are hunkering down for this storm!)

Feel free to share your own stories of weddings interrupted by weather!

“Pillow Talk” – Picking the perfect Pillow for a great night’s sleep!

Cuddledown's 700 Fill Power Down Pillows

Cuddledown heavenly pillows, 700 Fill Power down

Having just moved my entire kitchen and dining room around for a kitchen makeover – I’m pretty sore – particularly my neck and shoulders. That being said – I really need a good, comfy night’s sleep, so my choice of pillow is even more important than ever.  Working for one of the world’s best pillow-making companies, I get to try many different types of pillows (in fact, I have a selection on my bed from which I choose depending on my mood)! But for those of you who can’t do that, having more information is key to picking the right pillow!

Cuddledown was featured this summer in “Pillow Talk,” an article in the Portland Press Herald, by reporter Ray Routhier, about choosing the perfect pillow, and we’re happy to share it with you. Among the highlights, Ray found information that was surprising to me – that back sleepers should use a “thinner” pillow so your head is not pushed forward. However, “thinner” doesn’t mean squishy – the pillow should be firm and supportive, just not overly thick!  You don’t want a pillow that’s so soft your head and neck sink right to the mattress.

So enjoy the article and let us know your thoughts – what do you like in a pillow – soft and squishy? Firm and supportive?

Oh, and don’t forget – it’s that time of year – you can get a great Cuddledown pillow for 25% off!  If that’s not the best incentive to getting your perfect pillow right now, what is?

Our runaway pillow turns up in Freeport!

"Phill Power" comes to Freeport!

"Phill Power" comes to Freeport!

We found him! This past Sunday, we spotted “Phill Power,” our runaway pillow, racing through town in the Freeport 5K. Don’t be fooled by his fluffy appearance; this pillow is fast! Clocking in 12th overall, Phill Power is proof that pillows can be just as speedy as they are soft.

Jake Holz, the athlete behind “Phill Power,” talked with us about his love for running. A runner since college, Jake first became interested in the sport as a way to gain fitness. Since then, he has participated in a number of long-distance races, including a 50K (31 mile!) race on Cranberry Island, which he completed in six hours. Though Jake has become an experienced runner, his goals remain simply to have fun and explore new places.

And, in case you’re wondering, this isn’t Jake’s first time running in a costume. Having previously dressed up as a pie and a bottle, he was well prepared to race in his custom-made pillow outfit!

This isn’t the last you’ll see of Phill Power! Be on the lookout for him at future races and events around Portland.

Preventing One of the Health Hazards of College Dorms

The Dorm Room

The Dorm Room by Peter Alfred Hess, on Flickr

At Cuddledown, we are well aware of the dangers of bed bugs, so we weren’t surprised when we read an article on Yahoo Health noting that bed bugs are considered one of the 7 major Health Hazards Hidden in College Dorms!

So how does one detect a bed bug infestation? Bed bugs leave telltale signs behind, such as eggs, which can often be detected in tiny cracks and crevices by a discerning eye. For pictures and examples of what to look out for, check out How to Tell if You Have a Bed Bug Infestation on MedicineNet.com.

Fortunately, while you can’t necessarily prevent a bed bug infestation in a dorm, you can keep your bedding from getting infested by the nasty little buggers!

Bed Bug Proof Box Spring, Mattress, and Pillow Protectors

Bed Bug Proof Box Spring, Mattress, and Pillow Protectors

Tightly woven and durable protective covers lock bed bugs out, and will also kill any bed bugs trapped inside. Bed bug protection box spring covers, mattress covers, featherbed covers, and pillow covers are all designed to completely encase your bedding and keep it safe from infestation – meaning you won’t have to throw your mattress or favorite pillow away, even if your dorm hall does have a bed bug infestation! Our video guide on bed bug prevention has even more information on how to keep these pesky creatures from calling your home their home.

So if you are sending your kids off to college (or heading there yourself), we wish you the best, and a bed bug free dorm!

Is that Cuddledown pillow running?!

The elusive "Phill Power." (Image by Charles Chan)

The elusive "Phill Power." (Image by Charles Chan)

If you happen to be in Freeport, Maine this weekend and spy an oversized pillow racing down Main Street, you’re not dreaming. Rumor has it that Cuddledown’s own “Phill Power,” the running pillow, is on the loose.

This mysterious fluffy character was last seen sprinting past Cuddledown, presumably on his way home to take a nap. We hear he’s most often seen wearing a sateen pillowcase and that he has a soft spot for all things down.

Why does he run? We’re not exactly sure, but it’s been said that he needs an outlet for all of the energy acquired during his nights of restful sleep. After his daily run, he recharges with a power nap and is ready to hit the streets once more.

Where can you find this stuffed behemoth? Sources say he’ll be making an appearance in Freeport this Sunday, August 14th during the Freeport Half Marathon/5K.

Stay tuned for more on Phill’s dash (and about the athlete behind “Phill Power,” Jacob Holz)!

Cuddledown’s own “Joan Benoit” races the TD Beach to Beacon!

Beach to Beacon Finish at Portland Head Light

Beach to Beacon Finish at Portland Head Light

One of Cuddledown’s own, our Marketing Assistant, Sarah Wissler, will be running in this weekend’s TD Beach to Beacon 10K race. The well-known Maine event got its start ten years ago when the first-ever female Olympic marathon winner, gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson founded the race. Based in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and appropriately named, the 10k (6.2 mile) race starts at Crescent Beach and follows a route along the coast, winding through ocean-front neighborhoods and culminating in some rolling hills leading to one long, excruciating hill up to the finish at the iconic Portland Head Light. “That last hill is a killer,” said Sarah, “but you have the food tent pushing you on – they often have fresh blueberries and Greek yogurt – so that’s even more motivation!”

Cuddledown employee Sarah Wissler in training for Beach to Beacon

Cuddledown's Sarah Wissler trains for Beach to Beacon

Sarah is well aware of the need for judicious fuel, and pacing, as she has run the Beach to Beacon seven times, mostly improving her times each time she races. Unlike the elite racers from throughout the world who participate, Sarah runs for pleasure. A former non-runner, she got her start in high school when a friend convinced her to do long-distance running. She came to love the team aspect of cross-country running and the challenge of trail running, and continued to run for fun and stress relief in college as well. In the past several years, she’s begun to run more frequently – at least 2-3 times/week, including running weekly with a dedicated training/racing group on Portland’s Back Cove. She even ran a half marathon (13 miles) two years ago and would love to carve out the time to train for another.

This year’s Beach to Beacon race, sponsored as always, by TD Bank, is benefiting Day One, a local nonprofit, which focuses on youth substance abuse prevention, intervention and treatment. More than over 6,000 runners participate and the spots are highly sought after. Sarah said, “I was lucky to get my slot, whereas my boyfriend, who is a much more competitive runner, didn’t even get in this year!” And more than 10,000 spectators line the route, offering encouragement, even blasting music from their homes. Sarah said, “The crowds are so friendly, and there are so many of them – it’s really motivating and makes it even more fun!”

We’ll be rooting for Sarah to have a great run and a strong finish! And a hint for future posts – she’s not the only runner we have working here – keep your eyes peeled in upcoming races around Maine for the running Pillow Man!  :)

How to pick your perfect pillow!

Our new 700 Fill Power White Duck Down Gusseted Pillow

Our new 700 Fill Power White Duck Down Gusseted Pillow

Looking for a new pillow, but aren’t sure where to start? Not to worry! Finding the pillow that fits your needs can take time, but we’ve just made the process a whole lot easier.

Our new Pillow Picker tool is designed to take a lot of the guesswork out of selecting a pillow. Simply click through the prompts to find the option that best suits you and your sleeping style. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious silk pillow fit for a side sleeper, a traditional pillow filled with lofty down, or if you’re not quite sure, we’ll help you find the right one. You can also find solutions pillows – a great choice if you sometimes sleep poorly due to head or neck pain.

Even better, all of our pillows are now 25% off during our Annual Pillow Sale!

Tell us, what’s your favorite type of pillow? We’d love to hear!

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