The Bedding Snob

Cultivating relaxation need not leave you starving for style …

How to get more A’s in college – get more Z’s

 

1970s dorm room

1970s dorm room

Dorm rooms haven’t changed all that much from the 1970s when Cuddledown was founded until now. Some dorms today may look more like a high-end hotel suite, and of course, students come with a wide array of technology, from iPads to flat screen TVs, and some dorms even allow coed rooms (yes, men and women sharing the same room!). But the essentials are still the same. From the hard and narrow twin-size dorm room beds, to the annoying loud parties next door (of course you never joined in!), to the roomies snoring, watching TV, or inviting friends in late at night, it’s amazing college students can even function by noon, much less get up for an early morning class.

Dorm room 2000s

Dorm room_2000s

There’s a growing awareness on college campuses that sleep plays a huge part in a student’s success at college, but only a few are acknowledging it, or providing education on the topic. In a 2012 article on the impact of sleep on college students by the Washington Times,  a health official at the University of Arizona stated that the average student is functioning with a clinical sleep disorder, averaging about 6.5 hours per night (an amount they say is over-reported, so the actual number is probably lower).  And a University of Delaware psychologist said that students who think they have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder often are just sleep-deprived, and that improving sleep is a far better option than taking medications.

Cuddledown Meribel Comforter_perfect for students

Cuddledown Meribel Comforter_perfect for students

One very simple way for college students to get more sleep is to create a better sleep environment. That can include earplugs to avoid all the noise in a typical dorm. And another is to avoid early morning classes! But the best way to get a good night’s sleep is to make your student’s dorm bed into a heavenly nest with perfectly comfy bedding. And where could one find such a thing?  Why Cuddledown of course! Keep your student happy and well-rested with our collection of comfy college bedding, including sheets, comforters, mattress pads and more in Twin or Twin XL sizes, as well as our student bedding protection kit to protect from dust mites, bedbugs and other nasties!

 

Easy dorm decorating tips!

Inside a dorm room by MTSOfan, on flickr

Inside a dorm room by MTSOfan, on flickr

Even though it’s not quite back-to-school time yet, it isn’t too early to start thinking about ways to decorate the dorm. Granted, dorm rooms aren’t always the coziest places (think linoleum floors and worn-out mattresses), but with a little TLC, they can be made much more comfortable – and stylish, too! Here are a few simple ways your college-bound student can perk up his or her space.

1. Add a DIY Headboard. If your child is lucky enough to have a relatively spacious dorm room, she might consider making a cute headboard to add personality to the space. A handy headboard tutorial can be found at HGTV.com.

2. Decorate walls with removable wallpaper. If allowed by the school, dress up a plain wall with patterned peel-off paper! To find out how to make your own, our post on DIY wallpaper has everything you’ll need to know.

3. Top the bed with a colorful comforter. A bright, fun comforter will not only keep your child cozy, but also will make a drab dorm room more cheerful. Our Meribel comforters are available in both down and synthetic fills, and come in several bold colors. Even better – they’re now on sale!

4. Bring in a hardy plant. Not only do plants purify the air, they also add beauty to desks and night tables. When selecting a plant, choose one that’s relatively low-maintenance, like cactus or aloe vera.

5. Look to Pinterest. For more decorating tips, follow us on Pinterest, where you’ll find ideas for simple DIY projects, upcycled decor, room inspiration and more.

Tell us, what are your tips for decorating tiny spaces? We’d love to hear!

Supremely comfy featherbed – 40% off for 40 hours!

Cuddledown Original Baffle Box Featherbed 40% off sale

Cuddledown Original Baffle Box Featherbed 40% off sale

As most of the nation swelters in the hot July weather, perhaps a cozy featherbed is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, if you’ve got a/c or if you’re thinking ahead to the cooler months, now’s the time to get one of our supremely comfy featherbeds – because for the next 40 hours, it’s 40% off!

Our Original Baffle-Box Featherbed gives you an extra layer of comfort and support that you’ll look forward to every night. Made with 100% cotton twill fabric and filled with a blend of 95% Small Goose Feather/5% Goose Down, it’s supportive yet soft, plus it’s Oeko-Tex® certified to be free of all harmful chemicals. And best of all, it’s made right here in Maine by our own bedding experts, so you can be sure of its quality!

Maine restaurant wins “America’s Best Lobster Roll” competition!

Lobster roll from the Clam Shack of Kennebunkport, ME (photo courtesy of the Clam Shack)

Lobster roll from The Clam Shack of Kennebunkport, ME (photo courtesy of the Clam Shack)

For the second consecutive year, The Clam Shack of Kennebunkport, ME has been crowned the winner of the Lobster Roll Rumble! Taking place in New York City, the Lobster Roll Rumble brings together 20 contestants to compete for the coveted title of “America’s Best Lobster Roll.” Three other Maine restaurants were also in the running – Bite Into Maine, Eventide Oyster Co., and The Galley Restaurant & Pub – with Eventide’s brown butter lobster roll taking home the title of “Editor’s Choice.”

If all this lobster talk has you hungry, why not plan a trip to Maine and sample some! In addition to the delicious restaurants mentioned here, our Employee Favorites page highlights some of the best eateries around, plus events, outdoor venues, and shops!

Get your Dad something comfy for Father’s Day!

Rambler's Way Henley

Rambler's Way Henley

Whether your Dad is fashion-forward or not, he most certainly can appreciate being comfortable!  Whether shopping online, or at our Outlet Store in Freeport, Maine – from bedding, to sleepwear, to casual wear – we have something to please your Dad!

For super athletic, merely active or even couch potato Dads, we’ve got fine Rambler’s Way comfortwear. Perfect for working out, or for lounging – it’s made entirely in the US – and it’s is even on sale!

Calida Corbin Short Pajamas

Calida Corbin Short Pajamas

If your Dad appreciates super comfy sleepwear - we carry a selection of fine cotton Calida items. Calida – a European company, is known for their supremely soft, 100% cotton sleepwear, and these pajamas live up to the reputation! Plus they’re perfect for warmer weather.

Cuddledown Southwest Harbor Percale bedding

Cuddledown Southwest Harbor Percale bedding

And if your Dad appreciates a great night’s sleep – get him some of our lightweight, breathable percale sheets – perfect for summer! Our Southwest Harbor bedding even features an exclusive print that any man would love – modeled after architectural boat blueprints!

 

 

 

World Wide Knit and Crochet in Public Celebration!

Knitting through the back loop by mollydot, on flickr

Knitting through the back loop by mollydot, on flickr

If you love to knit or crochet, now’s your chance to join fellow enthusiasts in celebration of World Wide Knit and Crochet in Public Day! Getting its start in 2005, the event began as a way to bring knitters together, and has now expanded to over 700 events around the world. It’s also more than just a one-day event – public knitting parties began on June 8th and will continue through the 16th.

To find an event near you, or start one of your own, the World Wide Knit in Public Day website has everything you’ll need to know.

Tell us, do you knit or crochet? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

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!

 

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