The Bedding Snob

Cultivating relaxation need not leave you starving for style …

Lovely, lightweight batiste sheets – 40% off for 40 hours

Hard to believe it’s already the first Friday in June!  So since summer’s here, our Cuddledown First Friday Sale features the perfect bedding for a hot summer day (or a warm bedroom year-round) – our featherweight, 100% cotton batiste sheet sets!

If you love 100% cotton sheets, you’ll really love our luxuriously lightweight European batiste. This special fabric’s soft, 330 thread count, combed cotton drapes gracefully against your skin. Sleeping in our lightweight batiste leaves you feeling refreshed and rested. And it’s Oeko-Tex® certified to be free from all harmful chemicals and dyes.

Cuddledown Batiste Sheets

Cuddledown Batiste Sheets

Best of all, our batiste sheets are now 40% off – but only for 40 hours!  So order yourself some summer comfort – you won’t regret it!

Bar Harbor, Maine – the way life should be… from Cuddledown!

Sand Beach, Acadia National Park

Sand Beach, Acadia National Park

Many Mainers have adopted this beautiful state as our own, including yours truly. I moved here having fallen in love with the state, having enjoyed a two-week stay every August since my childhood, at Goose Rocks Beach (near Kennebunkport). And I’m not the only one who’s discovered the state while on vacation. Maine is full of such fantastic spots – from the southern tip to the far north, and from gorgeous wilderness to cultural highlights, there’s something here for everyone.

At Cuddledown, we’ve put together a spot where people (locals or visitors) can peruse the Maine places we all love to visit. And we’ll be sharing some of our favorites here over the next few weeks!

This past Memorial Day weekend, I was lucky enough to go to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. There’s way too much to share here, but there are some great websites full of information. Some highlights of my own trip were as follows:

Cadillac  Mountain, Acadia National Park

Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park

1) Of course, Acadia. There’s really not a spot in this national park that isn’t photographable. In fact, you’d have to be the world’s worst photographer not to get at least one poster-worthy image – even on a cloudy day! The best thing about it is that it’s a very manageable park – if you have people with you who aren’t that active, you can drive through and stop for short walks and still have a fantastic experience. Or you can go full nature lover, and hike and camp to the extent of your ability.

Lobster gnocchi, Fathom restaurant, Bar Harbor

Lobster gnocchi, Fathom restaurant, Bar Harbor

2) Rainy day shopping and eating out – the town has lots of great shops, with items ranging from the typical tee-shirts and tchotckes to unique stores selling products such as Native American arts, Maine-mined Tourmaline gemstones, and one particularly interesting shop selling everything from seashells to fossilized scorpions!  As far as dining – the world’s your oyster… or lobster… literally…  From fine dining lobster gnocchi at Fathom, to a luscious lobster omelette at Jeannie’s breakfast, you could eat it 24/7.  But don’t forget about the other food items – there’s Bar Harbor popcorn and of course Mount Desert Island ice cream, where President Obama enjoyed the coconut ice cream. I would concur with his choice – it was delicious!

Bar Harbor_view from biplane

Bar Harbor_view from biplane

3) Other activities. You can take trips via foot, bike, car, kayak, sailboat, or do something a little more exotic, like take a Windjammer Cruise, or see Bar Harbor and Acadia from the air in a biplane! The views are fantastic, the pilot was knowledgeable, and the ride was over way too soon!

There’s so much to do in Bar Harbor, you really need more than a day – I’d definitely recommend at least a long weekend – with time to take a leisurely drive back down the coast for at least one leg of the trip.  If you’ve been, please feel free to share your favorite things to do in Bar Harbor – we’d love to hear from you!

Bar Harbor sunset

Bar Harbor sunset

 

5 easy DIY green cleaning products!

Green blast, by JPDaigle on flickr

Green blast, by JPDaigle on flickr

With warmer weather and longer days, it’s the perfect time to open up the windows and do some much-needed spring cleaning! Luckily, a thorough scrub no longer means that you have to fill your home with harsh chemicals. Instead, why not use some of the great green cleaners that are readily available – or make your own! Here are a few eco-friendly cleansers you can easily make with ingredients found in your cupboards.

1. Drain Cleaner: As recommended by Apartment Therapy, you can clear a stubborn drain with baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water. Simply pour 1/2 cup baking soda into the drain, followed by 1 cup vinegar. Let it sit and fizz for 15 minutes, then rinse with hot or boiling water. Repeat as needed, or let the baking soda and vinegar sit in the drain overnight.

2. Fabric Softener: The blog Fabulously Frugal has several great tutorials for DIY green cleaning products, including one for fabric softener. In a large pitcher, combine 6 cups hot water, 3 cups white vinegar, and 2 cups hair conditioner. Stir until mixture is smooth. To use, add approximately 1/4 cup of the mixture to the fabric softener dispenser in your washer.

3. Kitchen Counter Disinfectant: As seen on thedailygreen.com, you can make your own disinfectant by combining 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil. The mixture can be sprayed or rubbed onto countertops.

4. Tile and Grout Paste: The website greenlivingideas.com is full of helpful hints for eco-friendly living, as well as several DIY projects. To make a tile and grout paste, they recommend combining 1 cup water and 3 cups baking soda. Mix the ingredients into a paste, and use a toothbrush to scrub it into grout.

5. Toilet Cleaner/Deodorizer: Better Homes and Gardens has many simple green cleaner recipes, including this one for a toilet scrub/deodorizer. Sprinkle 1/4 cup baking soda into the toilet bowl and gradually add 1/4 cup vinegar. Scour with a toilet brush.

Do you have a favorite green cleaner? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Cleaning green – back in the day!

Old timey outdoor drying rack

Old timey outdoor drying rack

Today there is increasing concern for the environment and preserving the planet’s precious resources. With energy costs being what they are, people are harkening back to their parents or grandparents’ ways of keeping things clean … and green, something we’ll address in today’s “Flashback Friday” post!

Since it’s now late spring, and the weather’s warmer and sunny – it’s perfect for hanging laundry outside to dry.  Not only will you save money and conserve energy, your linens will have that fresh, sun-kissed smell!

Cuddledown WallFix Drying Rack

Cuddledown WallFix Drying Rack

There are many great new systems you can buy for drying laundry outdoors, and one such, is a convenient wall-mounted drying rack that can expand out when you’re using it, and fold back up to keep your back porch or yard from being unsightly.

In addition to environmentally-friendly drying racks, today you can find all sorts of laundry cleaning products that are less harmful to the environment as well as to your skin.

So follow in your parents or grandparents’ footsteps and dry your laundry outside – your family and the planet, not to mention your wallet, will thank you!

What Oprah recommends for better sleep

Cuddledown comfort for better sleepAt Cuddledown, we love Oprah’s O Magazine for all of its great tips on pretty much everything in life.  So when we saw this article about bedtime rituals for better sleep, we felt we had to share it, given our focus on better, healthy sleep!

In the article, O gives some great sleep tips from a variety of people, including Jillian Michaels of “the Biggest Loser” and the Chairman of the Board of the National Sleep Foundation. Among the tips are the following (which we all think are great advice!)

1. Get as close to 8 hours sleep as you can – it’ll help make you more rested, and even less hungry. If you have trouble falling asleep, try an audio book with the volume turned way down so you can drift off.

2. Block out sleep interference, especially when traveling. Wear ear plugs to block loud or annoying noises, and block light with a mask, or dark curtains, and make sure your clock, phone etc. are not shining light on you as you sleep. The light can cause interference with the melatonin produced by your brain, thus keeping you awake. If you’re worried about getting up in the morning, you can use a vibrating alarm (there are apps for that!)

3. Similar to the above tip, use a fan or white noise machine to create a steady, soothing hum that will block out sleep-interfering noises.

4. Do some stretching exercises or yoga before going to bed to relax your body.

5. Let your furry friends sleep in their own beds. As much as we love our pets, experts recommend not sleeping with them, as they can significantly disrupt your sleep, according to a study by the Mayo Clinic.

 

 

 

First Friday 40% off sale – Cuddledown Seersucker Sleepwear!

40% off Cuddledown Seersucker PJsIt’s that time again! The first Friday of the month where we’re celebrating our 40th anniversary with our “First Friday 40″ special sale!

You love our seersucker bedding for its lovely look and soft, lightweight feel. Now you can enjoy our Seersucker fabric in sleepwear – plus it’s now 40% off – but only for 40 hours!

Take advantage of the sale, and get the Mom in your life some sweet PJs or a cute nightgown or robe!

 

 

April showers bring May flowers …

May flowers

But what do May flowers bring?

It’s May 1, and here in Maine, we’re thrilled to see all the trees and flowers bloom and green grass return! May is also a great month for celebrating – the Kentucky Derby, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day (not to mention my birthday)! :)

Speaking of Mother’s Day – we’ve created a great Mother’s Day gift guide with some terrific ideas for gifts we know she’ll love!

Last night I didn’t get to sleep at all – are separate bedrooms the answer?

How to sleep better - with a partner or alone?

How to sleep better - with a partner or alone?

To sleep together or alone?  Back in the day, our grandparents and generations prior, found nothing odd about sleeping in the same room in separate beds, or in completely separate bedrooms. Today, more and more couples are finding that sleeping together can be the cause of a poor night’s sleep and even lead to marital problems. Regardless of the potential disadvantages, many still wish to snuggle up for the night, and studies have found that most couples like to sleep back to back!

Snuggling with your hunny bunny aside, a hot topic of discussion today is whether sleeping alone might be a better idea for a solid night’s sleep. Last Night I Couldn’t Get to Sleep at All… no… noooooooooo!”  is how the popular 196os song by the 5th Dimension goes. Many of us suffer from a restless night’s sleep, and often the cause is a beloved spouse.  From snoring, to leg twitching, to cover stealing, to varying temperature preferences, sleeping with a partner can be a recipe for a wakeful night and a grumpy morning.

For beds, size matters!

For beds, size matters!

There are many remedies out there for snoring and you can find some great solutions for the cover stealers (separate twin comforters, for one thing), and for the heat miser/cold miser wars, a temperature regulating or dual warmth comforter can be a huge help.

However the most basic way to sleep better with a partner is to find the right size bed! Our “How to Sleep Better” infographic illustrates the advantages of a bigger bed for the most sleep comfort.  When it comes to beds, size apparently does matter!

Whether you choose to sleep together, or alone, finding the right bed, bedding and room environment can vastly improve your chances for a solid, restful night of ZZZZZZZZZs!

 

 

Earth Day 1973 – 2013

Scenic Maine, courtesy of the Harraseeket Inn

Scenic Maine, courtesy of the Harraseeket Inn

Hard to believe it’s been 43 years since the very first Earth Day!  Since today is “Flashback Friday” as we celebrate our 40th anniversary, and Monday is Earth Day, we thought we’d take a look back to Earth Day 1973.

Back in the late 1960s people became more aware of industrial pollution causing great harm to not only our environment, but to our health. People drove huge, heavy V-8 engine cars that guzzled leaded gas, factories belched black smoke into the air unmitigated, and rivers ran with toxic sludge. Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” was published in 1962, alerting even more people to the growing problem. In response to this increasing concern, and after seeing the disastrous 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson was inspired to create a national celebration around the budding environmental movement.

The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, with 20 million people across the United States participating, to educate people about cleaning up our planet and protecting our precious natural resources. The concern engendered from the event helped result in the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, the Endangered Species Act, and the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. “It was a gamble,” Gaylord recalled, “but it worked.”

Forty plus years after the first Earth Day, as a society we continue to work through the issues surrounding the environment. We continue to work towards developing clean energy resources, and promote clean and healthy products, all for the betterment of our environment and for the health of us all and for future generations.

Here are some great links to sites for information about Earth Day, the environment and practical ways to “go green!”

www.epa.gov/earthday

www.practicallygreen.com

thesunriseguide.com

www.earthday.org

And stay tuned for Monday as we’re doing something special for Earth Day!

 

Soldier, fetus, starfish? Better sleep positions?

Why to sleep on your side

Why to sleep on your side, by Cuddledown

Hmmmm …  odd as they may sound, soldier, fetus and starfish are actually popular sleep positions!  In an article by the Better Sleep Council, they state that some 41% of people prefer the “Fetus” position where they are curled up on their sides with their hands tucked under their chins or their pillows.

According to sleep experts, sleeping on your side (whether the “fetus” or any other side position) is the best position to sleep, as it helps alleviate insomnia and sleep deprivation. And side sleeping is especially recommended for those people who have back or hip pain, or for pregnant women.

Why to sleep on your back, by Cuddledown

Why to sleep on your back, by Cuddledown

If you’re like many of us, you may flip from side to side, or roll onto your back. If you sleep on your back consistently, the experts say it may exacerbate lower back pain, snoring or sleep apnea. Even if none of the above apply, you can sleep more comfortably on your back if you place a soft pillow or rolled up towel under your knees. An added bonus to sleeping on your back is it can minimize facial wrinkles!

And if you like to fling yourself facedown on your bed, the sleep experts say sleeping on your stomach can cause lower back strain and neck pain, and at the least, cause more tossing and turning throughout the night. If you’re going to sleep on your stomach, they recommend using a soft pillow so your neck is at a comfortable angle.

For more great information on sleep positions and more, check out our new “infographic” on how to sleep better!

 

 

Congratulations to the 2013 Boston Marathon Winners!

Boston Marathon - elite women, via Kinchan1 on flickr

Boston Marathon - elite women, via Kinchan1 on flickr

It’s a beautiful day for a marathon! We’re so inspired by all of the athletes who raced today in Boston; what a fantastic accomplishment.

Top finishers:

  • Women’s: Rita Jeptoo of Kenya, 2:26:25
  • Men’s: Lelisa Desisa Benti of Ethiopia, 2:10:22
  • Women’s Wheelchair Race: Tatyana McFadden of the USA, 1:45:25
  • Men’s Wheelchair Race: Hiroyuki Yamamoto of Japan, 1:25:32

Maine’s own Joan Benoit Samuelson also raced in this year’s marathon, commemorating the 30th anniversary of her world-record win in 1983. Way to go, Joan!

For more on today’s race, check out Boston Marathon 2013 Results at Boston.com.

Updated: Our hearts and thoughts are with those affected by the tragic events at today’s race.

Pillow fight aftermath, and last chance to save on new pillows!

Cuddledown Pillow Fight team - 2013

Cuddledown Pillow Fight team - 2013

As part of International Pillow Fight Day, this past Saturday, our Cuddledown team of fighting “Pillow Ninjas” and peaceful “Pillow Protesters” (employees, families and friends) joined a crowd of several hundred people of all ages for Portland, Maine’s first-ever pillow fight!

Portland Pillow FIght 2013

Portland Pillow Fight 2013

We were featured in the media by several local newspapers and our major CBS affiliate on their nightly news program. You can enjoy some clips from the Portland Press Herald and the Bangor Daily News here.

Whether you joined millions across the world in the epic International Pillow Fight or not, you may have pillows that need replacing! Save 30% off pillows until midnight tonight!

We’ve all recuperated, and are eagerly planning next year’s battle!

 

Pillow Ninjas are back, and featured in the Portland Press Herald!

Cuddledown Pillow Ninjas 2013

Cuddledown Pillow Ninjas 2013, courtesy of the Portland Press Herald

Flashback Friday  – just two years ago, our intrepid web team came up with a great promotional idea around International Pillow Fight Day…  the debut of the Pillow Ninjas!

Now, two years later, Cuddledown’s Pillow Ninja team has grown, and will be a part of tomorrow’s big pillow fight in Portland, Maine – they’re so popular, they’re even getting press coverage!

For those who would say it’s juvenile seeing grown people act like children, we say, what a great way to let off steam, and what better way to fight fluffy than with a super soft Cuddledown pillow!  Check back tomorrow, or view our Facebook page and you just might be encouraged to go out and get a Cuddledown pillow of your own!

First Friday 40% off sale – Organic Cotton Percale Bedding

Since it’s the First Friday of the month, our organic percale sheets are 40% off for 40 hours, don’t miss your chance to save! The deal will expire at midnight on Saturday, April 6th. Click here! (Discount will be applied once added to cart)

We’re also happy to share a rave review from one of our customers in Washington DC on our 300 Thread Count Organic Cotton Percale Bedding.

Organic Cotton 300 Thread Count Percale Sheets

Organic Cotton 300 Thread Count Percale Sheets

These are very high quality sheets. I’ve ordered organic sheets from almost every place I could and these are my favorite. These have that crispy percale feel I love. As I’ve spent some time researching organic cotton products, I’ve learned that it’s not only using organic cotton that is important for you and the environment, but also the finishing of the product.

These sheets are also Oeko-Tex® certified – which is actually a big deal. That means they were also finished in a manner that keeps a whole list of harmful chemicals off the sheets and out of the environment. If you are buying organic sheets that are not certified with Oek-Tex or GOTS, then you should switch. Organic cotton sheets can still have harmful chemicals and bleach could still be used in the finishing. Companies can take the organic cotton and do whatever they want with it, but say they used organic cotton, make sense? This is why you can sometimes find really inexpensive organic sheets. Products must be certified, like these from Cuddledown, to ensure they don’t have for example, formaldehyde, in them.

Anyway, although these are a little pricier than some, worth it and thanks to Cuddledown for carrying them!

5 stars - star rating

Customer, Washington DC

The best alarm clock apps – tested by Cuddledown!

Sunrise through the clouds by Betchaboy, on flickr

Sunrise through the clouds by Betchaboy, on flickr

As much as we’d love to wake up naturally every day (preferably to the sight of this gorgeous sunrise!), we rely pretty heavily on our alarm clocks during the week. So, we were excited to find out about about a few new alarm clock apps for iPhones and Android devices that make waking up a little easier – and maybe even more enjoyable!

This past weekend, I tested out the Rise App. Not only is it beautifully designed, it couldn’t be easier to use. With a flick of your finger, you can set the time you want to wake up and select your alarm of choice. If you choose to try Rise, make sure that you don’t have your phone set to Do Not Disturb – or the alarm won’t disturb you (aka, wake you up in the morning)! Although Rise is a straightforward alarm clock and doesn’t analyze your sleep patterns, it’s both aesthetically pleasing and simple to use. I’d recommend it if you’re looking for an elegant alternative to your basic alarm clock app!

Next, I’ll be trying out the Sleep Time app. This app goes beyond the basic alarm clock, monitoring your sleep patterns and waking you up at the optimal time.

Have you tried out a new sleep app? We’d love to hear about your favorites in the comments section below!

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