The Bedding Snob

Cultivating relaxation need not leave you starving for style …

Snobbish Thoughts January 2013

Cuddledown’s tips in case the Groundhog predicts long winter!

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

This Saturday, here at Cuddledown, we’ll await with anticipation the appearance of Punxsutawney Phil, who will let us know with a twitch of his furry whiskers, if we’re in for a long winter or not. The history of this unique day makes for a interesting read.  Groundhog Day most likely was a European (perhaps German) tradition originally involving a hedgehog, which was translated here in the USA to a groundhog!

Regardless of what Phil says, we here in New England know that February 2 is really the heart of winter, and true spring won’t be here for a while! To beat the cabin fever we all get while waiting for the cold, dreary weather to end, we’d like to share some tips for things you can do to get you to spring.

Top ten things to do to prepare for Spring and beat the winter blues!

  1. Make over your bedroom or the living room with a simple decor refresh such as adding new decorative pillows
  2. Replace your sheets – getting a good night’s sleep will energize you in low light time
  3. Organize your home with convenient containers
  4. Simplify your weekly routine by scheduling repeated tasks (ie laundry, food prep, shopping, vacuuming)
  5. Change your laundry detergent to an eco-friendly, healthier version
  6. Give your pet’s bed a refresh
  7. Add an exercise or meditation routine to create an oasis from life’s stresses; plus treat yourself to a soothing lavender pillow
  8. Force flowers or start seeds indoors for spring gardening
  9. Plan a trip to a place you’ve always dreamed of, and be sure to bring your own personal travel pillow for comfort
  10. Know that regardless of what the Groundhog says, Spring will arrive, one way or another!  :)

5 DIY blogs we love!

Art Supplies by vintagecat, on flickr

Art Supplies by vintagecat, on flickr

To wrap up our series on DIY projects, we wanted to share a handful of our favorite crafty blogs. Even if your DIY endeavors usually end up like these cupcakes, these fabulous bloggers will provide you with inspiration as well as fun, easy projects.

1. Centsational Girl  One of the top rated home and garden blogs on the web, Centsational Girl is a great resource for home improvement and decorating tips, furniture makeovers, outdoor gardening projects, and more.

2. A Beautiful Mess This fun blog offers daily tips and inspiration on a wide range of subjects, ranging from fashion and hairstyles to recipes and photography.

3. IHeart Organizing As the name indicates, this blog covers all aspects of clutter-busting and even includes free printable checklists, labels and more.

4. House*Tweaking Filled with beautiful images, this blog provides home renovation tips and shows the author’s renovation of her own new home.

5. Pretty Handy Girl Hooked on home DIY projects? You’ll love this blog, chock full of handy repair and maintenance hints, like how to clean your dryer ducts and a tutorial for making your own fire pit

For more craft projects and tips, visit our Pinterest page and follow our DIY board!

Cuddledown Striped Comforter, 600 Fill Power White Goose Down – Review of the Week

This weeks review is from a customer in Melbourne Australia on our Cuddledown Striped Comforter, 600 Fill Power with White Goose Down

Striped Comforter, 600 Fill Power White Goose Down

Striped Comforter, 600 Fill Power White Goose Down

I got the level 4 in King Size. It is very warm and has plenty of loft. I am sleeping toasty warm as we are into winter down under in Melbourne. Very happy customer.
The delivery was very prompt, I had no problems, even though I was ordering from Australia, and the comforter arrived in a week. I will definitely shop with you again and recommend you to friends.

5 stars - star rating

Customer, Melbourne Australia

1973 – the birth of Cuddledown!

Cuddledown 40th Anniversary logoHere at Cuddledown we’re celebrating our 40th anniversary, so during the coming year, on “Flashback Fridays”, we’ll reminisce about our history, how things were done then and now, share old catalog images and more!  We encourage you to share your comments – we’d love to read your stories too!

With temperatures in the single digits (or lower) and wind chills as low as -35F this week in Maine, the incredibly cold weather prompted a reflection about why, back in 1973, Cuddledown was born. Any of you who lived through the 70′s, probably remember the great oil crisis of 1973. For those who don’t, a refresher — back in ’73, people had big, heavy cars that used a ton of gas and speed limits were, well, unlimited in some places. None of that mattered because the price of a gallon of gas was around $0.39 per gallon (comparatively, the median family income was around $11-13,000/year, a new house was around $32,500.00 and a basic car cost $2,500.00).

1973 oil crisis

1973 oil crisis

Then came the great OPEC/Arab oil embargo, causing gas and oil shortages throughout the U.S. The price of gas was drastically escalated, as high as $1.20 for a gallon of gas, and many gas stations ran out, with lines all around the block. In some places the gas was rationed and speed limits were lowered on highways to 55 mph. The lack of oil suddenly caused many to think of new ways to keep warm.

Original Cuddledown owners the Mansons

Original Cuddledown owners, the Mansons

When Cuddledown’s original owners, Dave and Carol Manson had traveled to Europe, they discovered the superb warmth of the European down comforters (which were uncommon in the U.S. at the time.) and vowed to bring them back home to share the comfort. Eventually they began selling them out of their home, and thus was Cuddledown born!

Today, we offer down comforters in a wide range of fill power, and warmth levels, as well as hypoallergenic, lofty synthetic fill that feels like down — something cozy for everyone!

To be continued… stay tuned for the next Flashback Friday. And stay warm – we know we will!

 

What’s old is new — from feedsack dresses to DIY pillowcase nightgowns!

Feedsack dressesToday we take for granted the easy availability of inexpensive fabric and clothing. But back in the day, especially during the Depression, our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers, out of necessity and sheer practicality, made do with what they had. From the 1920s through the 1950s, flour and sugar were sold in large cotton bags. Women of that time found creative uses for the sacks, making not only household goods like towels, curtains and so on, but also creating clothing such as aprons, undergarments and dresses. Companies selling the products soon realized the opportunity for marketing and began creating attractively printed sacks.

Today with more emphasis on recycling and the current economic climate, we’re looking back at the practicality of our elders. We may not have flour sacks, but most of us have bedding we could recycle. How many of us have worn out sheets, but have extra pillowcases stPillowcase nightgownill in good shape? Rather than throw them away, or stick them in the dusty back of the closet, pretty printed pillowcases, such as Cuddledown’s floral and paisley pillowcases, could make a cute skirt, or a child’s nightgown!

There are many craft bloggers and websites with tutorials on how to make a pillowcase nightgown and even more with other great ideas for crafty recyclers! Our grandmas would be proud!

Make your own painted pillow covers

DIY Polka Dot Pillow Cases, courtesy of Say Yes to Hoboken

DIY Polka Dot Pillow Cases, courtesy of Say Yes to Hoboken

If you want to brighten up a plain pillowcase but you don’t have a sewing machine, we have the perfect DIY craft for you, courtesy of the great DIY and craft blog Say Yes to Hoboken. To start, you’ll need a white pillowcase, fabric paint, a pencil, and old cardboard or newspaper.

First, spread out your pillowcase (we’re using a Cuddledown Cotton Twill Pillow Cover) and put folded newspaper inside to stop the paint from seeping through.

Next, place paint in a small bowl (optional) and dip the end of your pencil into the paint. Stamp the pencil onto the pillowcase until it is fully covered.

Let the pillowcase dry overnight. Once the paint is dry, remove the newspaper and “set” the paint per the instructions on the bottle. When the paint has set, wash and dry your pillowcase. It’s then ready to use!

For another easy DIY pillowcase craft, why not try making this button pillow, as featured in Country Living!

Cuddledown Bamboo Towels – Product Review of the Week

This weeks review is from a customer in Southeast Texas on our Cuddledown Bamboo Towels

Bamboo Towels

Bamboo Towels

I begin to smile as I prepare to wash my face in the evening. I soak my bamboo wash cloth in hot water, wring it out, and smother my face with it. Then comes the comforting and relaxing sensation that drains my weariness after an active day and prepares me for a pleasant retreat into a restful evening. The cloth takes me to my own personal spa every time I use it.

5 stars - star rating

Customer, Southeast TX

DIY Fail – when not to throw in the towel

What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Or  this Japanese proverb: “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” This time of year, many of us try to achieve our New Year’s resolutions, or attempt some new DIY projects, for ourselves or our homes.

But …    most of us are not Martha Stewart.  And most of us just throw in the towel. But we’re here to let you know, never give up – your failed project just might be salvageable!Cookie Monster Cupcake fail

This woman’s blog tells the story of a DIY fail that was  rescued from the ashes of despair. What seemed like a simple bed restoration project, then turned into a nightmare of painting, sanding, repainting… and wasps.  Yes. Wasps.

If you’ve run into a funny DIY fail or have a story of your own, please share it on our Pinterest DIY board, or post it on our Facebook page!  If you get it in before Monday, January 21, we’re selecting one winner to receive our customer fave Bamboo towels!

And follow this blog, or our Pinterest DIY board and Facebook for more tips – and we’ll try to keep it simple to ensure fewer fails!

5 quick DIY projects to make your life easier

Covent Garden Alarm Clock, available at cuddledown.com

Covent Garden Alarm Clock, available at cuddledown.com

With a new year comes a time of making resolutions, starting fresh and trying new things. So, with this in mind, we looked to one of our favorite Pinterest boards for the best DIY tips to save money and time – and to make your life easier!

1. Make your own eco-friendly fabric softener. This all-natural fabric softener is healthy for you and your family, and it couldn’t be easier to make. In a large bucket, mix 8 cups white vinegar with 1 1/4 cups warm water. Gradually add 1 cup baking soda while stirring the mixture continuously. Pour the mixture into a clean, 1 gallon plastic milk jug, and add 1/3 of a teaspoon of your favorite essential oil. Seal the jug and shake well. To use, shake well and add 1/2 to 1 cup to your wash at the start of the rinse cycle.

2. Use orange peels to clean coffee cups. Stubborn coffee stains can be difficult to remove from coffee cups, but lightly salted citrus peels make the job much easier. Simply sprinkle a little salt on the peel and rub on the stained surface.

3. Unshrink your clothing with baby shampoo. We tested this easy tip for unshrinking clothing using baby shampoo and a large towel – and were thrilled with the results!

4. Repurpose old sweaters as pillow covers. Have an old sweater that no longer fits? This easy tutorial shows you how to turn it into a cute pillow cover.

5. Add sparkle to your smartphone. We love this simple DIY craft project from Design*Sponge – it’s the perfect way to add pizzazz to your iPhone cover, and it also makes a great (and inexpensive!) gift.

For more easy DIY tips, visit our Pinterest page!

Cuddledown St. Moritz German Flannel Sheets – Review of the Week

This weeks review is from a customer in Lakewood Colorado on our Cuddledown St Moritz Bedding

St Moritz Bedding

St Moritz Bedding

I use these sheets every day. For MONTHS after I got them I literally went to sleep smiling because they are phenomenally soft. After many washings (a year’s worth) they are still as soft as most flannels when you buy them. I’ve been waiting all year for this sale to get another set. I’ve bought Cuddledown heavyweight flannels for about 20 years. They last forever. Love it.

5 stars - star rating

Customer, Lakewood CO

Pain in the neck? Our Good Housekeeping-approved pillow may help!

Forget about your annoying co-workers or relatives, your pain in the neck might actually be due to your pillow!  When you’re tossing and turning and just can’t get comfy – it’s time to re-evaluate your fluffy friend!  According to several experts quoted on WebMD, pillows can not only impact the quality of our sleep, but also how healthfully we rest and recharge, and the wrong pillow can actually worsen headaches, neck pain, shoulder and arm numbness, and numerous other issues, and at the very least, keep you from getting a good night’s rest.

Start the New Year out right by sleeping comfortably! At Cuddledown, our product development and manufacturing teams have created several “sleep solutions” pillows, specially designed for individualized sleep comfort. Our Synthetic Contour Cradle Pillow is recommended by the experts at Good Housekeeping, stating “A special shoulder cut-out makes this comfy pillow perfect for side snoozers!”

Made with German hypoallergenic synthetic fill, our soft, yet supportive pillow is great for side and back sleepers – side sleepers can rest on the “arms” of the contoured shape, while back sleepers can lie straight or tilt their heads to either side while still being supported. And you can use a regular standard pillow case.

Follow the experts’ advice and improve your health with better sleep!

Cuddledown Contour Cradle Pillow in Good_Housekeeping_Jan2013

Cuddledown Contour Cradle Pillow in Good_Housekeeping_Jan2013

Tips for staying well this winter

Staying healthy during the winter can certainly be challenging at times. However, with a few simple fixes, you can boost your immune system so you’ll stay well – and have more energy, too!

Winter Landscape by David Blackwell, on flickr

Winter Landscape by David Blackwell, on flickr

1. Get more sleep.  Sleep plays a big role in preventing the common cold. As described in Real Simple, sleep helps regulate the release of cortisol, which is linked to both stress and immune function. Studies have also shown that people who don’t get enough shut-eye are three times more likely to catch a cold. So, aim for getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night to keep your immune system strong. To sleep more soundly and have a quality night’s rest, ensure that you have a supportive pillow and a comforter that’s the right warmth level for your needs.

2. Exercise regularly. Not only does exercise make you feel good, it’s also a great way to bolster your immune system. Moderate exercise (30-90 minutes) most days of the week will increase your immune function. Even if you have a cold, consider going for a short walk, as studies have shown that light exercise can help you feel better faster.

3. Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is crucial for flushing out toxins and staving off dehydration. Although the optimal amount is debated, some doctors recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces each day.

Tell us, how do you stay healthy in the winter? We’d love to read your feedback in the comments section below!

Cuddledown’s winter white sale is on!

With temperatures in the teens here in Maine, we’ve been staying warm under cozy comforters – and if you don’t have one, now’s a great time to try one out!

Cuddledown's Annual Comforter Sale is going on now!

Cuddledown's Annual Comforter Sale is going on now!

During our Annual Comforter Sale, save on our lightweight, lofty down and synthetic comforters, in styles and weights to perfectly meet your sleeping needs.

Tell us, do you have a Cuddledown comforter? We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section below!

Cuddledown Pikolinos Boots – Review of the Week

This weeks review is from a customer in Lincoln California on our Cuddledown Pikolinos® Leather Buckle Boots

Pikolinos® Leather Buckle Boots

Pikolinos® Leather Buckle Boots

These boots will be worn with my pants, skirts or dresses. They are a bit on the casual side. I am not only a boot nut but a Pikolinos nut as well. This boot hits a home run in all areas……quality, comfort and style. If you have never owned a pair of Pikolinos you are in for a treat…….they are made well and if taken care of, will last forever!

5 stars - star rating

Customer, Lincoln CA

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