The Bedding Snob

Cultivating relaxation need not leave you starving for style …

Snobbish Thoughts May 2012

Maine: Home to One of America’s Greatest Main Streets

Library Park in Bath, Maine - a gorgeous spot!

Library Park in Bath, Maine - a gorgeous spot! by Dana Moos, on Flickr

We were so pleased (but not surprised!) to learn that nearby Bath, Maine was recently touted as having one of America’s Greatest Main Streets by Travel and Leisure Magazine.

Bath, a picturesque town not far from Portland, is one of our favorite weekend destinations because it is a great spot for visitors of all ages and interests – with unique architecture, beautiful gardens, scenic mountain biking and hiking trails, fantastic local shops, bakeries, and restaurants, and the one-of-a-kind Maine Maritime Museum, it truly has something for everyone!

With so much going for it, it is not surprising that Bath was also named “One of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations” by The National Trust for Historic Preservation for having “a dynamic downtown, commitment to historic preservation, interesting architecture, cultural diversity, an economic base of locally owned small businesses, and walking access for residents and visitors.”

If this inspires you to start planning a trip to Bath, why not drop by Brunswick, Maine, while you’re in the area? Recently highlighted in the, “Your Kind of Town” section of Smithsonian Magazine, Brunswick’s bustling downtown area features a variety of locally owned shops and a wonderful array of restaurants, including an artisanal gelato shop not to be missed!

We hope you enjoy your journey if you make a trip to the beautiful midcoast Maine region – and if you do, don’t forget to stop by and visit us at our Outlet Store in Freeport, Maine!

Growing Your Own Herbs

Growing herbs indoors

Fresh herbs are a delicious addition to your ingredient list, efficient and easy to grow.

There are lots of good reasons to start your own little herb garden on your window sill or outside if you have the space available for a few pots. Here are Top 10 Benefits of Growing Your Own Herb Garden from Gardening Know How.

If you are new to the idea or just looking for some helpful information, the Food Network Healthy Eats blog has a great post, How To Grow Herbs: Indoors and Outdoors.

It will be fun, you can even try something new like lemon basil or maybe chocolate mint.

 

Happy Memorial Day!

Grilled Corn on the Cob by stevendepolo, on flickr

Grilled Corn on the Cob by stevendepolo, on flickr

We hope everyone is having a wonderful long weekend! The weather is beautiful here in Maine, and we’re celebrating the unofficial start of summer with fun-filled barbecues, grilled corn, juicy burgers and outdoor get-togethers. ‪We’d love to hear how you’re celebrating – tell us in the comments below!‬

If you’re out and about in Freeport, it’s the final day of our Memorial Day sale at our Outlet Store. Stop in and save 20% on all merchandise!

Happy Graduation!

graduation

graduation by sovietmole, on Flickr

Congratulations to all the recent graduates – they’ve worked hard, and they deserve a rest!

If you looking for the perfect gift for the graduate in your life, we have some food for thought – high school grads will soon be moving on to a dorm room, away from the comfort of their own home, while many college grads will soon be moving into their very first apartment. This means all recent grads will be in need of items for the home or dorm, among the most important of which is new bedding!

A new comforter or a set of high-quality sheets make great (not to mention practical!) gifts for recent high school or college grads. If your grad is moving to a dorm, a twin extra-long mattress pad or featherbed might be just the thing to make their transition more comfortable!

One of our own wrote a blog post with the perhaps elaborately long, but certainly much appreciated, list of items she sent her “baby” off to college with – you can read her post, Off to College for even more ideas!

In the meantime, please share your tips with us – what kind of items do you think make the best gifts for recent graduates?

Memorial Day Weekend Sale at our Freeport, ME Store!

Whether you’re a Maine resident or just visiting, don’t miss the opportunity to shop at our store in Freeport, Maine!
Memorial Day Weekend Sale 2012

Did You Know? Our retail store has an extensive collection of home decor items and gifts not found in our catalog or on our website. Shop for distinctive accessories and jewelry, soaps and candles, unique glassware, serving pieces and items to liven up your summer entertaining. Plus, you’ll find great discounts on our apparel by Lilla P, Ramblers Way and Miraclebody®. Click for driving directions to our Freeport store

Cuddledown’s 800 Fill Power European White Goose Down Pillow – Product Review of the Week

800 Fill Power European White Goose Down Pillows at Cuddledown.com

800 Fill Power European White Goose Down Pillows at Cuddledown.com

There is nothing we love more than hearing from customers whose sleep has been improved by their Cuddledown bedding!

“My neck doesn’t hurt anymore!!” – from a customer in Asheville, NC

“I had given up trying to find a pillow that would really give me a good night’s sleep. I have bought pillows everywhere, including others from Cuddledown. None of them gave me comfort for more than a day or two. I just thought this was how it was going to be as I got older. After reading the reviews of this pillow, I decided to bite the bullet and spend the money and AM I GLAD I DID. I bought the medium fill, I am a side sleeper and it is pure heaven. I wake up without a neck or shoulder ache. It is somewhat smushable, so it adjusts to my head, neck, and shoulder heights. I LOVE it…thank you Cuddledown. This is SO WORTH it. After more than a month’s worth of use, I thought it was time to write this review and I have never written a review of a product before.”

Have You Tackled Spring Cleaning Yet?

Rubbermaid HomeFree series closet system

Spring is a beautiful time of year – the flowers are blooming, the trees are green again, and the air feels fresh and clean after a long, cold winter. One thing we don’t quite love about spring? The inevitable spring cleaning. However, whether you agree with this line from Martha Stewart.com: “There are few rites of spring more satisfying than the annual clean.” or you absolutely dread spring cleaning, it is one of those tasks that inevitably must be done.

We were doing some browsing around the web for ideas on where to begin, and stumbled across an article on Real Simple with some great tips for Organizing your Linen Closet.

It’s a relatively painless place to start (in comparison to, say, the garage or the attic!), and as they point out on RealSimple.com:

If you’re as worried about guests seeing your clean laundry as you are the dirty, it’s probably time to reorganize your linen closet.

Keeping your sheets and towels neatly folded and in their respective places isn’t always easy, but it can be done! Bathroom furniture, such as a linen tower or an extra bathroom cabinet can help minimize clutter and keep things in their place. Another way to save space and stay organized is to store linen sets inside a matching pillowcase rather than stacking them in piles which are likely to fall over or get mixed together.

If you are ready to tackle the whole house, About.com has a great roundup of room-by-room spring cleaning checklists.

And for those wary of the unknown components of many cleaning products, you can cut the chemicals out with all-natural Caldrea cleaning products made with plant-derived ingredients and essential oils – and they really work!

We’d love to hear from you – share your spring cleaning tips with us by commenting below!

Celebrating Eco Day at Maine’s Wells Reserve

Beach at Laudhom by mamaloco, on flickr

Beach at Laudholm by mamaloco, on flickr

If you’re looking for a fun family activity in Maine this Saturday, why not head over to Eco Day in Wells! The Wells Reserve at Laudholm is hosting a sustainable planet fair filled with guest speakers, live music, workshops, and food (from coffee to chowder!). You can try your hand at fly casting or paddleboarding, learn about eco-friendly building, and check out lots of green vendors from around the state. There are also activities for kids, including kite making! For more information, check out the Wells Reserve’s website.

If you’re not in Maine this weekend but are planning to visit, our Employee Favorites page is great resource for the best events around the state!

“Mom knows best” – our product reviews of the week!

With Mother’s Day just a day away, it’s only fitting that our product reviews of the week feature two Mom-approved items: the 300 Thread Count Sateen Synthetic Fill Gusseted Pillow and the Calida Soft Cotton Long Sleeve Nightgown.

The ticket to a great night’s sleep ~ from a customer in Poulsbo, WA.

300 Thread Count Sateen Synthetic Fill Gusseted Pillow

300 Thread Count Sateen Synthetic Fill Gusseted Pillow, at cuddledown.com

Quality never comes without a price but the pillows and comforters we’ve purchased through Cuddledown are worth every penny! It goes to show, mothers DO know best (my mother has been buying Cuddledown products for decades)!
It took a few tries to get the right pillow density for each of us but we’re all now once again getting superb support while we sleep after having to abandon our beloved down pillows due to allergies. The synthetic pillows are so similar to our down pillows it has made the transition seamless. We particularly recommend the gusseted pillows for the additional support provided for those who suffer from cervical spine problems.

Calida’s cotton is so unbelievably soft! ~ from a customer in Seattle, WA.

Calida Soft Cotton Long Sleeve Nightgown

Calida Soft Cotton Long Sleeve Nightgown, at cuddledown.com

This is such a favorite of my mother’s, on a cold night I finally ordered one for myself. WOW! The Calida cotton is like a whole different kind of fabric, just so soft, smooth, and in a perfect weight for this cozy nightgown. Thanks, Mom, you know about long-term quality and you’re right again!!

Why buy organic? Practically Green has the answers!

One of our favorite guest bloggers, Sarah Finnie Robinson from Practically Green is back to share her thoughts about buying organic linens (and apparel)!

5098 Cuddledown Organic Sheets

5098 Cuddledown Organic Sheets

What’s the big deal about buying organic cotton sheets? Who cares? It might be intuitive to eat vegetables and fruit that haven’t been treated with possibly dangerous chemical fertilizers and preservatives – but bed sheets?

Since Cuddledown has one of the best selections of organic linens we can find, we thought it would be a good idea to explain, right here on The Bedding Snob. Search for “organic” at Cuddledown.com, and as of this writing you’ll find 23 organic products to choose from: shower curtains, sleeping jammies, bedskirts, towels, underwear, and sheets.

As a special offer to readers of the Bedding Snob as well as Practically Green – from Thursday, May 10 through Wednesday, May 16, we’re offering 25% off all Cuddledown organic items not currently on sale!

Here’s why you might like to shop in the organic section, starting with sheets — switch to organic cotton sheets.  If you’re in the market for new sheets, choosing organic cotton ones can drastically reduce the impact of what you buy.

According to the Sustainable Cotton Project, conventional cotton farming uses about 25 percent of the world’s insecticides and more than 10 percent of the pesticides. These chemicals aren’t permitted for use on organic cotton. Beyond sprays, there are other eco-concerns involved with the manufacture of sheets: processing and washing are water-intensive; the chemicals used to bleach and dye cotton can harm our waterways, and some colorants contain heavy metals; formaldehyde is used to create permanent press fabric; packaging and transportation take a toll. Many of these concerns are minimized or avoided with organic cotton sheets.

And if you should wish to purchase bedding or apparel that’s safe, but isn’t purely organic, look for items that are Oeko-Tex®-certified (in case you wondered, Oeko rhymes with “loco”). At Cuddledown, all of the pillows, comforters, featherbeds and more that they make in the beautiful (unless-it’s-completely-fogged-in-and-you-are-on-vacation) state of Maine are Oeko-Tex-certified to be free from harmful chemicals. The same goes for the vast majority of their sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers, as well as sleepwear and apparel items. Oeko-Tex is a world-wide standard developed in 1992 by a group of European textile institutes, for testing and accreditation for the screening of harmful substances in consumer textiles.

Sweet dreams, everyone! And don’t forget to add 10 points to your Practically Green score when you choose organic sheets!

—————————————————————-

Sarah Finnie Robinson, Practically GreenSarah 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

 

Planting a garden? There’s an app for that!

For many, the arrival of May means the start of summer gardening (although here in Maine, it’s still relatively chilly, especially at night)! Whether you’re just starting to think about planting, or if you’ve already begun to dig in the dirt, there are several new mobile apps that are specially designed to help you get your garden off to a green, healthy start!

Mediterranean Garden in May by Old Itch, on Flickr

Mediterranean Garden in May by Old Itch, on Flickr

As described in the New York Times, the Garden Tracker for iPad and iPhone is a neat new app for those planning to plant large, rectangular gardens with several different varieties of plants. You simply enter the desired number of rows and columns to create a grid representing your garden, where each box represents one square foot. After clicking inside a box, you can choose the plant you’re planning to add in that space. The app then tells you how many plants can fit inside the square foot area, and provides information about watering, soil temperature needs and the planting depth required. It even tells you if two plants are incompatible in an area!

Another handy (and eco-conscious) app is the Rain Harvest app for iPhone and iPad. Particularly helpful for growers in dry climates, this app calculates how many gallons of water you can obtain from a rain gutter. Or, if you’re trying to grow the ultimate vegetable garden, the Clean Air Gardening Blog recommends checking out the Botanical Interests app. It offers tips for growing your favorite veggies and provides information on almost 300 varieties. For those who are gardening in the city, Apartment Therapy suggests checking out the Urban Gardening app. It tells you all you’ll need to know about growing plants right in your apartment.

If you’ve already started gardening, our Waterproof Gardening Clogs are ideal for keeping feet comfy and dry, and our Straw Sun Hat has a wide brim to shield your face and neck. Plus, both of these stylish items are now on sale for 30% off!

Tell us, are you planning to plant a garden this spring? We’d love to hear from you!

Happy Cinco de Mayo from Cuddledown!

Recycled Cold River Vodka bottle glasses

Recycled Cold River Vodka bottle glasses

The 5th of May this year is not only Cinco de Mayo, but it also celebrates the running of the Kentucky Derby, both of which often feature popular drinks, including Margaritas and Mint Juleps. Plus it’s the weekend prior to Mother’s Day!

Whether a great gift for Mom, or for serving those tasty adult beverages at whatever event you’re celebrating — we’re selling some great new tumblers, made from recycled Cold River Vodka bottles at our Cuddledown outlet store in Freeport, Maine!  (PS: we’re holding a Mother’s Day sale at the store through May 13th, with up to 70% off select items!)

For those who are among the uninitiated, the award-winning Cold River Vodka is made by Maine Distilleries, an increasingly well-known company located in Freeport, Maine that also makes Blueberry Vodka and Gin. Their liquor is 100% made in Maine – from the water sourced from the Cold River Aquifer to the potatoes grown at their family-owned Green Thumb Farms in Fryeburg, Maine, to the distillation and bottling plant in Freeport (which btw, you can take tours of!).

And for some creative ideas for vodka (or gin), check out the recipes on the Maine Distilleries website — here’s one that’s perfect for Cinco de Mayo!

Mexico River
Courtesy of Bartender Joe Ricchio (Old Port Sea Grill, Portland, ME)

1 oz Cold River Vodka
1 oz Cointreau Liquor
1 1/2 Fresh lime juice
1/2 oz Simple syrup
3 lime wedges
1 Orange wheel (slice of orange)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and muddle.  Add ice and shake vigorously.  Pour contents into a glass.

Admire, insert straw and enjoy!

 

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a siesta!

Not surprisingly, we’re big fans of napping and wouldn’t mind a good afternoon snooze every so often (or daily!). But, are siestas actually healthy? Although some feel that naps are only necessary for children and the elderly, recent research indicates that just about all of us can benefit from midday shuteye.

Large straw sombrero by Horia Varlan, on Flickr

Large straw sombrero by Horia Varlan, on Flickr

Studies at the University of California, Berkeley found that sleep may increase your ability to learn, while other studies suggest that napping offers cardiovascular benefits.

Office workers in the UK love the idea of afternoon naps so much that nearly half would forgo lunch in favor of a siesta. They’re not alone – Winston Churchill was known for napping daily, and even had custom earplugs crafted so that he could sleep undisturbed!

So, before your Cinco de Mayo festivities, why not try an energy-boosting power nap? Happy snoozing!

 

Tell us, are you a fan of the afternoon nap? We’d love to hear from you!

How NOT To Fold A Fitted Sheet

We were so pleased to receive a lovely email from one of our blog readers linking to the cute, funny video below – with the cold, dreary weather we’ve been having, the video and this reader’s comments gave us a much-appreciated boost in the form of a good laugh!

“Our package of goodies from your birthday sale arrived yesterday. Included was a fitted sheet. I know you have instructions on how to fold them on your web site, but I came across a YouTube of someone who REALLY needs some additional help. Now that things are somewhat thawed out in Maine, maybe you could take a trip south to DC and help her out. : -) .

You can see the difficulty she is having here:

“She probably isn’t aware of Cuddledown’s videos. For those who do not know, the ‘Tian’ she is calling to for assistance, is her male consort at the National Zoo (http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/GiantPandas/default.cfm). We are hoping she will need lots of crib sheets in a few months as she and Tian did get together (with help from vets!) this past week-end.

Enjoy !!!!! – ShiningStar

In addition to the National Zoo, ShiningStar also mentioned another great reason to visit Washington, D.C. – the Textile Museum, a favorite vacation hotspot of our Ecommerce manager. Textiles are dear to our heart here at Cuddledown, and we love the fact that the Textile museum preserves this important historical legacy for the world to appreciate. We highly recommend a visit should you ever find yourself in our nation’s capital.

Many thanks to ShiningStar for the note – and for sharing this adorable video!

We loved hearing from ShiningStar – and we’d love to hear from you, too! Please feel free to comment below or email us directly anytime you have feedback or a story to share. Oh – and if you find yourself getting as frustrated as Mei Xiang while trying to fold your fitted sheets, you can watch our video guide on how to fold a fitted sheet, which shows you step-by-step instructions for quickly, neatly folding your fitted sheets.

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