The Bedding Snob

Cultivating relaxation need not leave you starving for style …

Snobbish Thoughts March 2012

Surprising stain fighters found around the house!

If you tend to be a magnet for spills (like me!), you’ve probably acquired more than a few stains on your clothing. Instead of reaching for the usual stain fighters, why not try these easy remedies using commonly found household items, as seen in Real Simple!

lemon by havankevin, on flickr

lemon by havankevin, on flickr

Citrus fruit  Put your lemon rind to good use! Salted citrus peels are great for removing coffee and tea stains from the insides of cups. Lemons also work wonders in removing stubborn food stains from cutting boards. Simply slice in half, squeeze a bit of juice onto the board, rub, and let sit for 20 minutes before rinsing. Easy and eco-friendly!

Baby powder  To prevent those pesky yellow stains on the collar and underarms of your shirt, sprinkle a bit of baby powder on the fabric then run an iron over it. The powder blocks oil and dirt from getting into the material, so your shirt will look cleaner longer.

Salt  Few stains are worse than the ones left by red wine, but with a little salt, you can get them out with ease! If the fabric is washable, stretch it over a large glass bowl and cover the stain with salt. Then, gently pour boiling water over the stain.

Starch  Keep your new sneakers looking great by spraying on a little starch. It repels dirt, so you won’t have to worry about wearing them all over town. Of course, if you’re planning to play in the mud, we recommend opting for a cute, comfy gardening clog to keep your feet warm and dry!

You can find more handy stain fighting tips on Real Simple. Or, if you’re looking for eco-friendly cleansers to use every day, our new line of Caldrea products effectively clean without the use of harsh chemicals (and they smell fantastic, too)!

Sleep more, weigh less? Cuddledown likes this study!

"Dieting" koala

"Dieting" koala courtesy of flickr/brittgow

Not getting enough sleep has been linked to health issues including everything from headaches, to depression, to stress and high blood pressure, and even to obesity. There have been plenty of studies on the harm caused by not getting enough sleep, but we recently read an article at Lifegoesstrong.com, where researchers at the Mayo clinic focused on concrete weight gains linked to lack of sleep.

The Mayo researchers found that sleep-deprived people ate an extra 549 calories a day, which could cause you to gain up to a pound a week (do the math… yikes!).  Most people require 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and the researchers surmise that the fatigue of those who don’t get it, especially on a regular basis, could be affecting the hormones that regulate appetite.

So the lesson learned for us anyway, is — snuggle into your perfect nest, heaped high with super comfy, cozy bedding, and you can lose weight, the easy way!  Just kidding, we know there are also things such as exercise, eating right, etc… but wouldn’t it be awesome if all it took was more sleep!  ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Cuddledown listed as one of Apartment Therapy’s top 10 favorite bedding stores!

Eria Orchid Percale Bedding

Eria Orchid Percale Bedding

As fans of Apartment Therapy – we were thrilled to see Cuddledown featured this past Saturday in their Weekend Shopper’s Guide as one of their top ten favorite bedding stores!

They mentioned the fact that our Cuddledown core bedding is made in the USA and the article featured one of our new, exclusive Spring bedding designs, our Eria Orchid Percale bedding.

Apartment Therapy is a great resource for tips and techniques for the home (not just apartments), from cleaning and renovating, to green living and even luxury designs. Their stated mission is: Helping people make their homes more beautiful, organized and healthy by connecting them to a wealth of resources, ideas and community online.

Congratulations to one of Cuddledown’s own!

We’d like to congratulate our Sr. Web Designer, Chad Rossignol, on recently being named a Rising Star at the Spring NEMOA (National E-tailing and Mailing Organization of America) Conference! I caught up with Chad to find out a bit more about how he got his start in web design and what he loves most about being a designer.

Could you tell us a bit about your background?

My route to web design was inundated with u-turns – I began college as an engineering major, ended up with a journalism degree, then launched a career in graphic design. My first design job took me out of state to a printing shop, creating print material. After a few years, I decided to move back to Maine and take a job with a marketing group designing logos, product packages, print ads and websites for various consumer brands. Five years later, I chose to concentrate solely on web design and landed a fantastic opportunity at Cuddledown.

What did you take away from the conference and how might you apply this to your role at Cuddledown?

My biggest takeaway from the NEMOA Conference was to keep in mind the customer experience. In marketing, you sometimes get caught up with sales performance and goals that you neglect some opportunities that exist in making connections with your customer.  In designing any customer interaction with our brand, the underlying goal is to nurture a relationship with that customer; keeping her happy, clear to your message and coming back. Cuddledown has done this for years, providing the highest quality product and customer satisfaction. I hope to extend this through the web experience.

Finally, what is your favorite aspect of web design?

My favorite aspect of web design is this aforementioned interaction that’s always in motion and evolving. Web design affords you the unique opportunity to create a dynamic and interactive dialog. Starting out with a paper sketch, designing the look, hacking the code and ending up with a live shopping experience is really exciting. It has that real “Hey Mom, look what I did” impact for me.

Thanks Chad – and kudos once again!

Kicking off spring with fun new footwear!

We couldn’t be happier about the arrival of warm, sunny days here in Maine! We’re optimistically packing away winter boots and coats (although an April snowstorm isn’t unheard of!) and are digging out our spring apparel.

At Cuddledown, we’re excited to offer a wide array of new apparel, accessories, and footwear, including these fun, comfy Born® Kai Shoes!

Born® Kai Shoe

Born® Kai Shoe - on cuddledown.com

Laura, our lovely shoe model, told us how much she loves her new sneakers! Not only are they cute, they’re incredibly comfortable, too.

We’d love to hear and see how you’re refreshing your bedroom and/or wardrobe for spring! Feel free to share in the comments section below, or on our Facebook page.

Easy ways to get a better night’s sleep!

For many, getting a quality night’s rest is easier said than done. Whether you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or just getting enough of it, here are the latest tips for getting the slumber you need, courtesy of Lifehacker.

Pink bedroom by nolaclutterbusters, on Flickr

Pink bedroom by nolaclutterbusters, on Flickr

1. Use proper bedding Naturally, we’re a big proponent of this at Cuddledown! But in all truth, using the bedding that fits your needs plays a big role in your sleeping comfort. Bothered by neck pain while lying down? Consider trying a Sleep Solution Pillow that’s specially designed to alleviate the aches and pains you might have. You might also consider using a mattress pad to give your bed extra support or cushioning.

2. Exercise in the morning Although this is often debated, the National Sleep Foundation recommends exercising in the morning as opposed to at night. Morning exercise can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply, while exercise too close to bedtime may actually make it harder to fall asleep. Since this isn’t true for everyone, Prevention Magazine suggests experimenting to see how evening exercise affects you.

3. Limit screen time Sure, it’s tempting to tote your laptop/phone/iPad to bed and use it until you fall asleep, but did you know that backlit screens  can suppress the release of serotonin, which helps to promote sleep? Lifehacker recommends developing an evening routine so you’ll feel relaxed before bedtime – and turning off electronics at least an hour before you’re ready to sleep.

4. Wake up gently There’s nothing worse than being jolted awake by a loud alarm clock! While it would be ideal to wake up naturally every day, for most, that just isn’t possible. So, why not wake up more gently? There are lots of new devices that are making the traditional alarm clock a thing of the past – like this handy new Wake Up Light app! It simulates a sunrise on your computer, so you’ll feel as though you’ve awoken naturally.

Tell us, what’s your secret for getting a great night’s sleep? We’d love to hear!

Spring is springing

Here in the northern hemisphere the March equinox marks the start of spring. What signs do you look for when spring is right around the corner?

It could be a familiar smell, more sunlight and longer day’s, the sound of the sugar maple sap dripping, or when the birds start singing earlier each morning and the pussy willows start to get fuzzy. Spring is a beautiful time of year in Maine, if you are planning a trip or have ever thought of visiting this great state then you should check out some of our favorite places and things to do in Maine.

Free Early Spring Tulip Creative Commons
Early Spring Tulip by D Sharon Pruitt on Flickr

Some tulips and crocuses were spotted this weekend, we’re hoping to see more flowers start sprouting and blooming soon. Please feel free to share some of the early signs of spring that you enjoy by commenting below or you can upload a photo and share with us on Facebook.

“Practically Green” shares tips on Cleaning Green!

We’re pleased to introduce Sarah Finnie Robinson, Practically Green’s Head of Social Programming, as our first-ever guest blogger. Having met (virtually) the gang from Practically Green when we co-hosted their recent Tweet party, we are impressed by their great suggestions for improving our health as well as the environment in which we live. So since it’s Saint Patrick’s Day and all about the “Green” – we thought we’d share some of their Green wisdom with you!

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Easy cleaning tip - remove shoes indoors

Easy cleaning tip - remove shoes indoors

Cleaning Green is pretty simple, really.  You can postpone major dirt purges by having a few rules about taking shoes off at the front door and not allowing food outside designated eating areas. You might even ask the smokers in your life to desist in your space.

Think about it: if everyone’s eating meals at their desk, or while standing up walking around, or grabbing pizza while splayed out on the sofa – to say nothing of smoking a butt here and there – your place is bound to get messy. Fast.

Once you’ve made up your mind to clean, here are few guidelines:

1) Be picky. As in, be selective about your cleaning products: read labels and don’t use anything containing ingredients you can’t pronounce. You might be surprised how easy it is to use natural ingredients for great results. Ingredients like vinegar, lemon, and hot water. (As our editorial director Lexy Zissu likes to say, you may feel as though
you’re mixing salad vinaigrette, but trust us, these ingredients are effective!)

Lemon and vinegar - natural cleansers

Lemon and vinegar - natural cleansers

2) Be careful. If you absolutely must use a strong chemical product to get rid of a horrendous stain, then be careful about it: open windows to let fresh air in, and wear protective gloves/goggles if need be. Do not let your pets or kids nearby.

3) Be mindful of how much water you use when you clean. Must you use hot water, or would or lukewarm do? A few degrees can make a big difference to your energy bill. Think about what happens next to that water. If you use natural cleaning products, can you reuse the greywater to water plants or rinse off your driveway, balcony, front gate, or dog?

4) Do you go through a six-pack of paper towels when you tackle a cleaning project? Are they made from recycled paper? Consider a reusable cloth rag or towel instead.

We’ve got 19 green cleaning actions on Practically Green, and we’d love to have 20. Check out Switch to a natural all-purpose cleaner and Stop dry cleaning your clothes (or never start); or Clean your microwave safely and the DIY favorite Make your own cleaners, including laundry detergent. Try one and let us know how you do! If you have an idea for green cleaning action #20, we’d love to hear from you.

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Sarah Finnie Robinson, Practically Green

Sarah Finnie Robinson, Practically Green

Sarah Finnie Robinson is the Head of Social Programming at PracticallyGreen, where the team blogs an action a day, pins eco-friendly ideas on Pinterest, and tweets from @practicallygrn. You can follow PracticallyGreen on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/practicallygreen

 

Cuddledown Likes Dress for Success Maine

Dress for Success Maine

DFS Maine director Kim Allen -- from the Portland Daily Sun

Cuddledown is pleased to assist a great organization, Dress for Success Maine, with their fundraising efforts towards their mission of providing professional clothing for women as well as interview training and continued job training.

We here at Cuddledown are happy to lend our support to this worthy organization. We’re pleased to provide Dress for Success Maine with a selection of some fine sleepwear and clothing for their upcoming fundraising sale, which is being held on Saturday, March 17, 9-1 at 565 Congress Street, Portland.

Dress for Success Maine, March 17 Sale

The organization provides all services, clothing and accessories for free to clients. Corporate and individual donors provide the professional clothing that stocks the boutique, located at 565 Congress Street, Portland, and their newest location in Bangor. To raise money they’re allowed three sanctioned sales per year of donated items that are perhaps not as appropriate for office attire.

So if you want a bargain and are in the Portland vicinity this Saturday – come contribute to a very worthy cause and get yourself some great clothing as well!

And check them out at www.facebook.com/DressforSuccessMaine and at Twitter @DFS_Maine – they’re in need of volunteers and of course, funds!

Thinking spring with a life-size bird’s nest!

We’ve had a couple of simply gorgeous days here in Maine, which has us thinking spring. A few of us even saw a small herd of deer running across the street from the office! In honor of the warmer temps and this weekend’s “spring forward” time change, we thought we’d share a picture of this adorable, life-size bird’s nest – complete with pillow “eggs!” Wouldn’t this be a fun place to relax at the end of the day?

Bird's nest by O*GE Creative Group

Bird's nest by O*GE Creative Group

We’d love to see pictures of your own cozy nest & invite you to share them with us on Facebook!

Great Green Ideas from our Twitter Party with Practically Green!

We a fantastic time with Practically Green and friends at our Twitter party last week! It was such a dynamic, exciting event, and we loved being part of the fun. Thank you to everyone who joined us, including our special guests Mad Gab’s, FetchDog, Lori Bitter, and Ramblers Way, just to name a few! For those of you who weren’t able to attend, here’s a small sampling of our favorite tweets. Believe us, it was not easy to pick favorites – there were so many great ideas!

Green Leaf by Epsos.de, on Flickr

Green Leaf by Epsos.de, on Flickr

Question 1: Describe your favorite eco-friendly possession: what it is, why you love it.

Bretta: I enjoy “up-cycling” items that have “lived their life” and making something fab from them…so fun!

Kimbo: I have an eco-friendly journal that I use, I love it because it holds my memories. :)

ToodiesMomma: It’s always nice to receive something your child makes you from recycled boxes and containers.

 

Question 2: What one thing in your life could you change to be more eco friendly?

Eileen Burke: Would love to start an herb garden this spring.

Mom4EverAndEver: I have not plugged in my dryer since moving here (over one year!).

Jen: I would like to be more aware of the clothing I am wearing and choose those made of eco-friendly fabrics!

 

Question 3: My favorite way to save energy is ____________

Sandra Gassner: [Using] the Cuddledown Primary Down Comforter. [It] has been a favorite in our house for years. You can find one on most beds in our house!

Alison Abbott: I wear a down vest to save energy during the day.

Lori Sullivan: Cold water for washing all clothes around here. Stopped warm/hot water a year ago and haven’t missed it.


Question 4: What’s your favorite green cleaning tip?

Peggy Armijo: I use lemon in my microwave and down the garbage disposal to freshen both!

Evon Cassier: Baking soda in a parmesan cheese shaker is my go to cleaner.

 

Question 5: I don’t mind spending extra money on ____ to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Dr. Carrie W: Cloth diapers – more up front, less money long term.


BONUS Question: What new efficient/healthy/sustainable routine are you ready to begin.. right now today!

LLLSummer: Daily walks and drink more water.

ThoseYoungMoms: I’m ready to begin composting (which will be challenging in an apartment) and riding my bike 2 work (even at 6am!).

Kimberly Pinkson: GETTING MORE SLEEP! Good night all! xo

 

Thanks again to everyone who made our party such a fantastic event. We hope to tweet with you all again soon!


Easy tips for planning an eco-friendly vacation

Palm Trees by ajcreencia, on Flickr

Palm Trees by ajcreencia, on Flickr

It’s around this time of year when we start getting a bit antsy in anticipation of spring (13 degree temperatures again?!). If you’re also dreaming of balmy days and perhaps even planning a trip to a tropical locale, why not consider a vacation that’s eco-friendly, too? Taking a green vacation doesn’t have to be pricey or challenging; in fact, it can even be less expensive than a typical trip. We searched the web for the best eco-friendly vacation tips – here are a few of our favorites!

1. Consider alternative transportation If possible, why not take the train to your vacation destination? You’ll leave less of a carbon footprint, plus you’ll get to experience the journey from a new perspective. Bonus: you can put the money you’ll save on tickets toward activities on your trip!

2. Plan green activities If you’re headed to a warm, seaside spot (lucky you!), consider doing more “people powered” activities, like swimming, snorkeling, and hiking, instead of jet skiing. Not only are these activities greener, you’ll squeeze in a little fun exercise, too!

3. Opt for green lodging Selecting an eco-friendly hotel or resort is a great choice if you want to reduce your carbon footprint. Some, like the Hoopoe Yurt Hotel, are run entirely on solar power! The Coveside Guest Houses, located in Maine, are both eco-friendly and energy efficient, plus they’re located near trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. If you’re really feeling adventurous, you might even consider volunteering at a sustainable farm.

4. Buy Local We often strive to buy local at home, but why not buy local while you’re on vacation, too? When souvenir shopping, you can support local artisans by purchasing handmade goods. These gifts will also be more meaningful to your guests!

Tell us, are you planning to take a (green!) vacation this spring?

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