The Bedding Snob

Cultivating relaxation need not leave you starving for style …

Posts by Matti

Winter Road Trip and the New York International Gift Fair

Snow, snow, go away…we’ve got work to do!

I had the pleasure of attending the New York Gift Fair last week.  We’ve recently moved the Cuddledown Freeport Store to a new; bigger and better location just down the street from our previous location and I was in search of store specific items to add to our customers’ choices. 

But this isn’t about what I found (which is going to be great!) but more about this crazy winter we’re having and how it turned an inconvenience into a truly memorable road trip.  I am always surprised by how a “crisis”, usually in the framework of a change of plans, can result in some great stories to tell. 

The vendors and the buyers were all a twitter (not Twitter…just “a twitter”) at the show as yet another snow storm was descending upon the East Coast.  Cell phones were burning brighter than usual as, amidst the buying and selling, thousands were trying to figure out if flights were going to happen.  The Cuddledown team had flown to New York on a 6am out of Portland and were scheduled to return on an 8pm the next day.  By the end of day one, our flight had already been cancelled and we had been rescheduled on a 4pm; cutting our trip short and causing us all to pick up the pace to reschedule meetings and get through the show.   We stayed in contact as we hustled in our different directions, only to find out, on the morning of departure, that our flight was once again cancelled and we had been put on a flight to Maine via Washington, DC. What?!?  Isn’t DC in the wrong direction?

We decided to brave the ice falling from the sky and regroup back at the hotel.  I was the last to arrive and my colleagues had picked up a stray…the charming Claudia Brahms, Creative Designer behind the beautiful Brahms Mount textiles produced just up the street (well, more like an hour) in Hallowell, Maine.  Claudia was in search of rescue and we were all in search of escape.  This storm was to be a doozy and, really, there’s nothing quite like a good snow storm when in Maine. We all had homes, significant others, children, and animals that would need help digging out.  We HAD to get home and being the hearty New England women (this particular group happened to be all women) that we are we decided to head out on our own…in a rental car…an Impala, to be exact; with one major defrosting design flaw. 

We were five, ranging somewhere between 30 and 55 (I think.)  We were acquaintances at best then, and certainly friends now.  It was a “cozy” trip with the 5 of us and our luggage.  It was a work day and one of us who shall remain anonymous (Michelle) was working at least two (we accused her of more) cell phones a good part of the trip; wheeling, dealing and taking care of customers.  We staggered the phone calls as everyone checked in with loved ones and got a wide variety of contradictory weather reports regarding the conditions we might expect on our journey.  Of course, we were thirsty, hungry, and needed a few comfort stops along the way.  We all remarked on the quality and care of driving that everyone on the road seemed to be exercising as we slowly progressed at 40 miles per hour.  Claudia, grateful for rescue, drove the entire 9+ hours without incident or alarm as she battled the constant icing of the windshield and slush on the roads. 

Claudia Brahms -Exceptional Winter Driver & Textile Designer

When 5 women of an industry are trapped in a small space for lengthy hours…well, let’s just say the problems of the world are solved and, certainly, the trends and foibles of the textile industry were discussed and debated ad infinitum!  We definitely know more about each other than professional acquaintances should…say no more!

There are many stories to tell but suffice it to say that I was very lucky to have hooked up with this particularly jolly and amenable group.  There is no doubt in my mind that with these women in charge, the economy will be fine and Cuddledown and our customers (and Brahms Mount) can expect many great years to come.  Happy winter everyone and don’t forget to visit us at the new store!

Textile Trends & the Heimtextil Trade Show

Last week, 5 of Cuddledown’s design team traveled to the Heimtextil trade show in Frankfurt, Germany. Heimtex is the largest home textile trade show in the world and is one of many excursions that keep Cuddledown at the forefront of home fashion and trends. One of my most vivid memories, back in the day when I attended, was sitting in an enclosed cubicle in 1991. I was about 5 months pregnant and was privy to very intense negotiations between Cuddledown’s president and the German down proof fabric suppliers. At the time, there was absolutely no consideration in Europe, when it came to smoking, for my delicate condition. All I remember was trying to hold my breath for the 4 hours it took our president to finally break them down and agree to our pricing. It’s no easy task making the finest bedding in the world affordable. To this day, anytime my son misbehaves, I blame that smoke filled room!

But, I digress.

As the year’s first trade fair, Heimtex presents not only the latest products and concepts for interior design with textiles but also the trends for the coming seasons. With over 2,600 exhibitors from more than 60 countries showing in 9 buildings (separated by walking sidewalks) with multiple floors, its a daunting task to get through Heimtex and find the vendors you do business with as well as find fresh and innovative, quality designs and products at affordable prices to add to the Cuddledown catalog.

Trend directions concerning color, textures, patterns and materials are ever changing. They are influenced by social and cultural trends and attitudes. Four specific trends dominated this year’s show.

First, according to industry experts, the new consumer landscape is characterized by quality, longevity, sustainability and significance. A new generation of designers are researching forgotten skills, and traditional craftsmanship is making a comeback. The consumer has expressed the need for pure, clean, simple designs that translate into charming & timeless looks.

The second trend highlighted this year focuses on mix and match; turning something old into something new, combining colors and patterns with abandon. This trend clearly shows how tradition is being turned on its head and stylized ethnic influences from all over the world meet with novel patterns, prints and fabrics.

The global financial crisis, natural catastrophes, and an over abundance of products and information are causing people to pause to think about and reflect on their current lifestyle. Experts say that a deciding factor for commitment to purchase is the emphasis on what is really important. Consumers are not only looking at design for design’s sake; simplicity, accessibility and an invitation-to-use, are important components for today’s designers. Designed for everyday use, products in this category suggest a longer lifespan and incorporate modest and unadorned components.

Lastly, a “wilderness” trend is emerging. A movement back to where we came from. The world we live in is high-tech. Confidence in governments, economic structure, and energy supplies has been compromised.  Consumers are striving for more self-reliance and want to achieve an ultra-sustainable lifestyle. In order to achieve this, some are breaking free of their normal way of life in a radical way and adopting the “wilderness lifestyle,” which means being at one with nature. It has been suggested that people are looking for distinctive, individualistic features marked by imperfection not perfection. There is a renewed interest in simple design and manufacturing techniques with an eye to wild, natural shapes, created from untreated materials.  A new generation of designers are at work transferring forgotten skills and craftsmanship into the modern era, with the aim of creating a meaningful link between the local and the global.

You won’t see these trends translated on the pages of our catalog until next year, but for now, we’d love to hear what you think-what directions in home textile would you like to see?  I’d like to know what changes or additions you would suggest in our home, bed, bath and gift products. Let me know!

Bed Bugs: Where?

Part 5 of the Why, Who, How, When and Where series on Bed Bugs

WHERE are they? 

Bed bugs are found most often in sheets and bedding as they typically feed at nighttime when people are asleep. However, they can also be found behind pictures and in cracks in the wall. They can be found behind loose wallpaper, in wood furniture, base boards, in electrical outlets, and in drapery pleats and hems. Other favorite hideouts are underneath the edges of carpets, where ceilings and walls meet, and inside appliances. Apart from the actual creatures themselves, tell-tale signs of Bed Bugs include blood spots, specks of excrement, discarded skins, and, of course, bites. 

Bed Bugs are attracted by both warmth and the carbon dioxide we exhale while breathing. There are often a cluster of bites caused by disturbing the bugs while they feed, causing them to detach and reattach to continue feeding. A well fed Bed Bug can live anywhere from four to six months, while a dormant one might live without feeding for up to 18 months.  They will feed for about five minutes before returning to their hiding places. 

The bites can be found just about anywhere on your body, with exposed bits of skin being the preferred feeding ground for the bugs which makes your face as much a target as your arms and legs. The bites cannot be felt at first because the little critters inject anti-coagulants and anesthetics as they feed, but as the anesthetics wear off and the skin begins to react to the injections, the bites can make themselves felt minutes or even hours after the bugs have returned to their hiding places. 

Some people may actually be allergic to Bed Bugs and the degree of itching is determined by how allergic a person is.  If you notice any signs of infection, call your physician.  Scratching the bites can also result in an infection.  If you do not get an infection, the bites are simply an irritating nuisance. It may take a few weeks for the itching to subside and for the welts to disappear.  I am happy to report that, unlike mosquitoes and ticks, Bed Bugs do not carry pathogens.  So I guess there is some good news?

Lastly, we look forward to hearing from you.  We hope you will add any words of wisdom you may have or just tell us your Bed Bug stories in the comments below.  Don’t hesitate to give Cuddledown a call at 800-323-6793 if you have additional questions.  Our staff experts are here to help, and if we don’t have an answer for you we will find it and get back to you.

Sleep tight! Don’t let the Bed Bugs bite!

Bed Bugs: When?

Part 4 of the Why, Who, How, When and Where series on Bed Bugs

WHEN do I know I have a Bed Bug problem?

Previously, we discussed How we ended up with this problem, but ultimately, you need to know when you have the problem.

Adult bed bugs are the size of an apple seed. The bugs are wingless and possess a flat, oval body that is generally brown in color (though immature bed bugs are translucent) with bands of small hairs that give the bug the appearance of having stripes. They live exclusively off of the blood of warm-blooded mammals (us) and other animals, and often live in nests or bedding so that they can bite their victims as they sleep. They tend to be most active approximately an hour before dawn, biting their victims with a mouthpiece made up of two tubes that inject them with saliva to prevent clotting and then suck the blood from the wound.  OK…so that’s pretty gross.

You know WHEN you have been bitten when you notice bites similar to mosquito bites, usually in a grouping of three.  You know WHEN you have a mattress infestestion when, upon pulling away your fitted sheet and inspecting the seams of your mattress, usually in the corners, you notice brown or red spots.  The brown spots are bug excrement and the red indicate a crushed bug.  You may also find exoskeletons, as Bed Bugs shed about 5 times during their lifetime.  Ew, ew, ew…

Depending upon the extent of the infestation, you may opt to just get rid of the old mattress and box spring and start anew (invest in a bed bug proof mattress protector and bed bug proof box spring protector to help avert this scenario). Since I am getting itchy just writing this blog, I think I would likely spring (no pun intended) for the new mattress and box spring.

Bed Bugs: How?

Part 3 of the Why, Who, How, When and Where series on Bed Bugs

HOW do we protect our homes from Bed Bug infestation?

Of course, first and foremost, we should take every precaution to deter them from joining us in our homes.

My family has been in the bedding business for decades.  I feel like I’m usually pretty up to date on bedding concerns and yet, I recently asked the following question as I prepared for a trip,

“Exactly HOW do I figure out if the room has Bed Bugs? And, if it does, what should I do?”

First, check www.bedbugregistry.com; an easy to use resource for identifying a hotels’ Bed Bug status before you arrive.  Then, once you do arrive, here’s an outline I hope you find simple to implement and I encourage you to use:

1 – Upon entering the room, put all bags on a luggage rack (pulled away from the wall and bed), desk, or other surface that does not have “hiding” places.  NOT on the floor, bed or upholstered chair.

2 – Carefully check all corners of the bed along the seams as well as the headboard.  Pull off the cushion of the upholstered chair and check nooks and crannies and cushion seams.

3 – If there is sign of life…immediately remove yourself and your belongings from the room, insist on another room, and…

4 – repeat steps 1 through 3 until you are completely satisfied that your room is bug free.

I strongly recommend that if you don’t already travel with your own pillow (doesn’t everybody?…maybe it’s just because I’m a bedding snob) then you should definitely travel with your own bed bug pillow protector.  If a full size pillow is too cumbersome in your luggage…try a travel pillow!

I am told that just because one hotel room has Bed Bugs, does not mean that they all do and there is probably no reason to relocate to an alternate hotel.  I would use the 3 strike rule for Bed Bug protection.  If you are not bug-free by the 3rd room, it is time to switch hotels (and be sure to let www.bedbugregistry.com know!) When you arrive home, wash everything in the hottest water available. Vacuum out your luggage and remove it from your room.

Now, most importantly, let’s protect your home from the hassle and expense of Bed Bug infestation.  The best way to protect your bed and yourself is through encasement-style protectors.  One of the products that I don’t go to bed without is the bed bug proof box spring protector designed by Protect-A-Bed with the BugLock zipper system certified by an entomology laboratory to be Bed Bug entry & escape proof. You can also keep your pillows and featherbeds safe with dust mite and bed bug proof pillow protectors and encasement-style featherbed protectors.

The good news is that washing sheets, vacuuming carpet, and steam-cleaning mattresses and other furniture can help, too.  A very nice little regimen to pursue after the guests leave!

The most common misconception about Bed Bugs is that there are repellents that can be used to deter them.  So far, that’s not the case and I certainly don’t recommend insecticides in your bed!  Inspection and prevention are the best ways to avoid Bed Bugs.

Bed Bugs: Who?

Part 2 of the Why, Who, How, When & Where series on Bed Bugs.
In part one, I discussed “Why” bed bugs have returned.

In this part, we’ll talk about “Who” is at risk.

WHO is at risk?  Well…sorry…we all are. Bed Bugs are not indicative of an unclean or untidy home and they can be found in even the cleanest environment.

Being the world travelers that we are, these little critters travel with ease from one country to another via clothing, luggage, and, yes, on us. They are found in hotels, motels, on airlines and in cargo holds. The bugs wind up staying in the seats of airplanes, buses and other means of public transport, eventually clinging to a passenger and finding their way into homes.

Short of hosing down the house guests as they arrive for the holiday visit, you are at risk. Houses with no history of Bed Bug infestation have suddenly become infested soon after visiting relatives leave. Bed Bugs aren’t a sign of filth but are simply opportunistic parasites who are able to get into even the cleanest homes. Bed Bugs do not discriminate and are not at all particular about WHO they choose to live on…I mean with.

Discreet precautionary measures can be employed as we head into the holiday season.  Reassure your incoming guests that they do not need (you do not want them) to bring their own bedding and pillows.  Protect your guest bed with bed-bug-proof bedding protectors.  Provide luggage racks for your guests and encourage their use.  Upon their departure, wash all bedding in hot water and thoroughly vacuum mattresses, and the room; paying particular attention along the walls, corners, and draperies.

The bottom line is that Bed Bugs feed on human blood and will live anywhere that it is available. YUCK!!  However, we can limit their residential opportunities by taking some basic precautions.

Bed Bugs: When?

Part 4 of the Why, Who, How, When and Where series on Bed Bugs

WHEN do I know I have a Bed Bug problem?

 Previously, we discussed How we ended up with this problem, but ultimately, you need to know when you have the problem.

Adult bed bugs are the size of an apple seed. The bugs are wingless and possess a flat, oval body that is generally brown in color (though immature bed bugs are translucent) with bands of small hairs that give the bug the appearance of having stripes. They live exclusively off of the blood of warm-blooded mammals (us) and other animals, and often live in nests or bedding so that they can bite their victims as they sleep. They tend to be most active approximately an hour before dawn, biting their victims with a mouthpiece made up of two tubes that inject them with saliva to prevent clotting and then suck the blood from the wound.  OK…so that’s pretty gross. 

You know WHEN you have been bitten when you notice bites similar to mosquito bites, usually in a grouping of three.  You know WHEN you have a mattress infestestion when, upon pulling away your fitted sheet and inspecting the seams of your mattress, usually in the corners, you notice brown or red spots.  The brown spots are bug excrement and the red indicate a crushed bug.  You may also find exoskeletons, as Bed Bugs shed about 5 times during their lifetime.  Ew, ew, ew…

Depending upon the extent of the infestation, you may opt to just get rid of the old mattress and box spring and start anew (invest in a bed bug proof mattress protector and bed bug proof box spring protector to help avert this scenario). Since I am getting itchy just writing this blog, I think I would likely spring (no pun intended) for the new mattress and box spring.

Bed Bugs: Why?

  Part 1 of the Why, How, Who, When & Where series on Bed Bugs…

I Googled Bed Bug and got 1,150,000 search results!   Trying to absorb the web of information regarding this newest and most disgusting of annoyances has resulted in my little blog about bed bugs turning into a 5 part series.  Hopefully, by breaking it down and keeping it simple, I am able to help with a problem that will stay with us for the foreseeable future.

WHY are Bed Bugs suddenly so prevalent?

The truth is that bed bugs exist in American literature as far back as the early 1700s.  It is suspected that they arrived on infested sailing vessels from Europe.  The Bed Bug epidemic, therefore, is not a new phenomenon, just a recurring one that has probably been around for centuries. They just took a little break from the mid 20th century until now.

WHY if we were able to all but eliminate them, are they here now?

The most direct and frightening answer I got for the “why?” question is that the elimination of the use of DDT (Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) has brought the Bed Bug curse back.  Before the use of DDT, Bed Bugs were just another daily life annoyance that folks dealt with as a matter of course.  There is a very interesting report on the EPA website, DDT Regulatory History: A Brief Survey (to 1975), which I recommend if you are interested in the long version.  For brevity’s sake I will summarize my take on the situation. 

DDT was widely used as an effective control for such diseases as typhus and malaria.  According to the EPA, approximately 1,350,000,000 pounds of DDT was used in the United States during the 30 years prior to its cancellation as an effective and cost efficient tool in both agricultural and commercial pest controlWell, I’m thinking that much pesticide should kill just about anything…and that should be a concern.  A wide and varied array of reports ensued and eventually, in 1973 a court ruled that there was “substantial evidence” to support the EPA Administrator’s ban on DDT. 

My conclusion, therefore, is that short of having the exterminator drop by and spray DDT or a similar toxic potion around the home, bed bugs are here to stay and precautionary measures need to be employed to protect your bedding, home, and family from Bed Bugs.

Who is at risk?  Stay in touch for part 2 of Thebeddingsnob’s 5 part Bed Bug Series!

Stain, Stain, Go Away: Our Handy Stain-Removal Guide

Stain removal techniques can vary depending on the fabric you’re treating.  When it comes to removing stains from cotton, the finish of the fabric is critical.  It is harder to remove stains from smoother finish fabrics than from those with a rougher texture.  Additionally, cotton fabrics in darker colors respond better to stain removal techniques than those in pastel colors.  However, common to all cotton, the first rule is to dab…not rub…when working on the stain.  Moving quickly, as soon as the accident occurs, also increases your chances of successful removal.  Never use hot water when removing stains from cotton.  Stains will typically set further with hot, and even warm, water.  Always, always, always, test your stain removal technique of choice on an inconspicuous area of the sheet, like the corner of the fitted sheet.  Check washing instructions to be safe.  if the fabric is dry clean only…don’t pre-treat…just throw on your shoes and head directly to the dry cleaners!

So, let’s summarize:

  • Review the washing instructions on the label of the fabric. Heed any special care instructions.
  • Move quickly once the accident happens
  • Dab
  • Cold or lukewarm water
  • Test anything you use on an inconspicuous area before applying to highly visible areas.

Now let’s talk about removing specific stains:

Ink

Hairspray is a great way to remove ink stains from cotton. Apply a little at a time and always wash the area well with detergent and water before it dries to prevent residue from forming. If you don’t have hairspray on hand, try nail polish remover.

Blood

The most important first step when removing a blood stain is soaking the stained area in cold water mixed with salt (1 teaspoon per cup) for at least an hour until the stain turns a faded brown color.  Salt can potentially cause some colors to fade, so, feel free to just use cold water if that is a concern. After soaking, apply a pre-wash stain remover to the affected area and rinse.  If the stain remains, soak it in a solution of ammonia and cold water.  Another effective remedy is applying a paste made out of meat tenderizer. Work the paste in gently and rinse.  The meat tenderizer breaks down the proteins in the blood which should release them from the fabric.

Makeup and lipstick

Dab, dab, and dab again using dishwashing liquid in cold water.  When the stain disappears, wash it as you normally do and check again before putting it in the dryer.  Lipstick is best removed using oil-based cleaning solvents.  Once applied, let the stain dry, scrape off the residue and wash as usual.  Again, double check the stain area before putting it in the dryer.  You may need to repeat the process and wash again.

Tea and coffee

Quick!  The number one key to removing these stains is acting immediately!  Run or soak cold water on the stain as soon as possible and wash.  If you are following the first rule of speed, another effective method is to pour enough salt on the stain to soak up the liquid.  Once you have managed the bulk of the stain, soak in cold water for an hour and wash as usual.

Red, Red Wine

Combine 1 teaspoon laundry soap or pretreatment (or dish soap) and 1 cup hydrogen peroxide in a small bowl. Soak a clean sponge in the mixture, squeeze it halfway dry, then gently dab the stain. Wash in cool water and air dry if the fabric is machine-washable.

Do you have any stain fighting secrets to share with our readers? Send them along!

May all your whites be white and all your colors be bright!

Smiling in the Face of Adversity…

 Who has not been touched by cancer?  I would venture further and say that most people I know have intimate and multiple relationships with the rotten killer via family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues.  My sister lost her 10 year battle with cancer in 2001.  I miss her every day.  What a beautiful spirit she was and will always be in my life.  Her extended battle included 3 rounds of chemotherapy (only to be told she was cancer free after each one) and 3 rounds of radiation (that left her with permanent health problems for the remainder of her short life), and, finally, a bone marrow transplant that bought her the years she so desperately wanted so that she could see her two wonderful boys graduate from high school and move on to college. Eventually, she was even able to be at her eldest’s wedding; a gift for sure.  Enough.   

The point is that the experience is wrenching and no more wrenching than when we are in the midst of it.  I remember vividly the confusion and difficulty we had getting answers and finding resources to help our family through the tangled maze of cancer treatments and doctors.  Emotions ran high and low, and low, and lower, then high again.  It was draining to say the least.   

Last weekend our team participated in the Dempsey Challenge to support the work at The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing.  The first paragraph of their mission states:  

The mission of The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing is to provide the highest quality of education, support and wellness services to enhance the quality of life of individuals, families and communities touched by cancer. We strive to embrace the whole person including body, mind and spirit in a respectful, inclusive and healing environment.  

Oh, how I wish places like this existed just 20 years ago!  

I am so proud to be a small part of such a tremendous group of people.  Together, our little team raised almost $6,000!  A nice contribution to the 1 million plus collected overall.  I am humbled to recognize the Cuddledown team members that participated, cheered, and supported the effort.  I’m safe to say, and the picture attests, all rode with a smile on their faces (or a grimace…depending on the incline of the hill they were climbing!)  

So here’s a cheer for Amanda! Chris! Gerhard! Michelle! Laura! Nina! Rebecca! Wanda! Jacob! And Danielle!!  YEA!!  And a special thanks to their families and friends who joined in and/or stood out in the chill to cheer them on! I’m forgetting someone I’m sure…probably you…because, honestly, I think I’m safe to say we are all contributing what we can.  Maybe you’re not up here in Maine…but I’m sure you’re participating in and supporting the fight, too.   

We will ride another day, so next year, when the challenge comes around

…let’s do it again!   

 

Allie 1951 – 2001

The Leaves are Coming! The Leaves are Coming!

There is no place on earth as breathtakingly beautiful as Maine in the fall.  I grew up in southern California.  I had never seen seasons until my first post-college job took me east.  I had no idea what I was missing until I was dating this adorable man (now my husband lo’ these 24 years) who drove me up the coast to see “the leaves.”  Oh my!  I was enthralled and for 7 hours pressed my nose against the car window.  At one point he even gave into my naive request to pull over and let me collect some.  I didn’t realize, at the time, that the leaves didn’t stay that color forever.  I even made a colorful wreath with the leaves I collected only to have it turn brown and brittle within days.

The turning of the leaves is an annual event that cannot be saved or preserved or truly captured in a picture.  It has to be experienced.  Since the course of my life has kept me in New England for the last few decades it is an experience that I now look forward to every year.  As much as we wait for summer warmth after our long and dreary winter (a season I also enjoy very much), fall is my favorite.  Talk about distracted driving!  It’s the bright red, orange, and yellow that appears one day, out of nowhere, that distracts me.  Maine has a no-billboard law so it’s nothing but a scenic drive up, down, and through the state.  I encourage everyone to experience it at least once.  Once you have…once will not be enough!

Aside from leaf peeping, Maine has multitudes of other attractions for our visitors in the fall.  There’s my favorite fair, the Common Ground Fair, or some of the most challenging and scenic golf courses in the United States like at the Belgrade Lakes Golf Club.  I also recommend the Apple Festival in Rangeley Lakes or Acadia’s Oktoberfest on Mount Desert Island.  The leisurely visitor will enjoy antiquing and/or visiting some of Maine’s more than 60 lighthouses.

Of course, Maine is the best shopping destination in the country.  Freeport is the home of most nationally known outlets/retailers and many of Maine’s own artists; all set in a lovely, New England town on our rocky coast just 20 minutes from downtown Portland.  You really cannot visit Freeport without visiting the brand new location of the Cuddledown Outlet Store.  The Columbus Day weekend sale is right around the corner!  I ask you, is there any better reason to visit Maine in the fall??  I think not!  There is no better way to welcome the change of season.  Visit Maine, see the leaves, and get all of your holiday shopping done.  What a perfect way to snuggle into winter!

I could go on and on.  Isn’t it lovely that after living here so long, I still think it’s a timeless and stunning  place with charming and welcoming people?  I admit the overall climate does not suit everyone, but I certainly believe that everyone should want to visit; just not in January…wait…unless you want to go skiing!  Maine has great skiing…but that’s for a winter blog :)

There’s Something about YOUR Bed…

What is it about your OWN bed?  After all the summer travels; visiting friends, going to reunions, visiting colleges, and staying in hotels, its just so wonderful to be back in my own cozy bed.  My pillow’s not lumpy, my sheets aren’t scratchy, and my bed isn’t concave in the middle.  Really…why put all the reject bedding on the guest bed?  I’m thinking it’s time, before the guests arrive for the holidays and before I get too heavily into the Christmas season, that I upgrade the guest bed.  Maybe it’ll start a trend.  My guests are so enamored with my guest bed that they are motivated to upgrade theirs.  Thus, my visit to their house next year will be ever so much more restful!  My silk sheets will start a chain reaction of silk sheets all over the country!  

~ Visualize this thing you want.  See it, feel it, believe in it.  Make your mental blueprint and begin ~  Robert Collier

  I can dream…mostly because I’m in my own bed!   My pillow isn’t lumpy…it’s just all soft and perfect. 

Here’s a hot tip for a cooler night.  I have an electric mattress pad.  I crank that baby up while I’m brushing my teeth and when I climb under my comforter it’s already toasty…a no-shiver zone of perfection!  Then, I turn off the mattress pad and voila! Perfect…yep…my own, warm, soft, cuddly bed.  It almost makes saying goodbye to summer and the return of the school year and routine A.O.K.!

Off to College!

Can’t live with ‘em…can’t live without ‘em!

So, what does a Cuddledown mom send with her kiddo to college for his bed? OK, I admit it, maybe I went a little overboard; a featherbed (‘cause college mattresses are flat and gross) with a nice waterproof mattress pad over that – just in case… and it will protect him from dorm room “ickys” (like dust mites-and with recent outbreaks of bed bugs – a little extra protection doesn’t hurt), a nice set of sheets (not only because the aquamarine was on sale…a good boy color…but also because, with deep 18” pockets,  they’ll fit over all the other stuff and will wash easily…if he washes them! I hope he washes them), a down comforter in “blanket warmth” (he’s a heater so a down blanket, being lighter, is perfect, and aren’t dorm rooms usually warm?)  etc…etc…etc… Yes, there’s more but I’m already embarrassing myself!  Or am I?  He, too, thought I was nuts until all the kids on his floor wanted to test out his bed and (if I may just brag) who’s the most envied on his floor?  My guy!  So, I ask you…what can Mom do to help her college kid get off to a good start?  And make sure they sleep well…if they sleep?  Maybe I didn’t go overboard after all!  I’m going to be proud of myself until the first girlfriend comes around, right?  What kind of bedding did you send your kids/grandkids off to school with?

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