Monday, October 27, 2014

Duvets/Comforters explained

Temperatures are dropping, it’s time to put my winter weight duvet/comforter on the bed.  Why change from summer to winter weights?  It’s a personal preference which takes into account the ambient temperature in the bedroom (I run it cool), our mattress (memory foam tends to be on the warm side) and preference for having a lighter covering in the summer and denser, fluffier cover in the winter.  

Duvet Buying Guide

The perfect duvet weight and filling will keep you at the best temperature to enjoy deep and restorative sleep.

There are two main things to decide on:
  1. Type of filling - natural or non-allergenic
  2. Tog rating - high or low

Natural duvets are filled with feathers and/or down. They're generally regarded to have the most luxurious feel of cover, although their weight can massively vary.

Non-allergenic duvets contain fillings made of synthetic fibers, like hollowfiber and microfiber, or silk, which is naturally free of dust mites.

Synthetic duvets
These days, synthetic duvets aren't necessarily made of stiff and clunky foam. Many on the market are silky soft, cozy warm and beautifully lightweight with a wonderful drape. Just beware of cheaper versions, which will soon become lumpy and uncomfortable.
Synthetic duvets are inherently dust mite free, but make sure you choose one with a mite proof cotton cover. You can machine wash synthetic duvets at 30°C.

Silk duvets
Silk or silk blend duvets are ideal if you suffer from allergies but want the luxury of a natural fiber
filling. They're filled with silk floss, with mulberry silk floss being the most premium due to its fine
long yarn for a softer feel and silkier drape.
Silk is wonderfully lightweight and naturally hypo-allergenic. It also helps to regulate your body temperature by trapping warm air next to your skin in winter and drawing it away from your skin in summer.  Silk duvets rarely need cleaning, though you can machine wash them at 30°C. More often than not, you should simply freshen them up by airing outside on a sunny day.

Tog rating
A tog rating tells you how warm a duvet is. The higher the tog rating, the warmer the duvet. Tog rating is based on a duvet's ability to trap warm air. Natural duvets have better thermal properties than synthetic duvets, so they need less filling to achieve the same warmth.
A tog rating is given irrespective of filling. So a 9 tog natural duvet will be just as warm as a 9 tog synthetic duvet. It might just feel a little lighter.
Silk duvets can't be measured by tog rating because the fill is made of floss. Instead, their warmth is shown by weight in gsm (grams per square meter), but we'll always give you a comparable tog value too.

Summer Lightweight
Spring/Autumn Warm
Winter Toasty
3 to 4.5 tog
7.5 to 9 tog
10.5 to 13.5 tog

Duvet casing
Duvets are filled, or quilted, and then stitched with box or diamond casing to ensure an even spread of filling. More premium duvets also have 'baffle walls', which improve loftiness by saving feathers and down from getting trapped in the seams.

While in theory you can wash and dry your duvets at home, we strongly recommend professional laundering because you need a very big machine to properly tumble dry them.
Dust mites are killed at around 57°C

What's best for children?

Babies under 12 months
Children under 10 years
Children over 10 years
Shouldn't sleep with duvets, quilts or pillows.
Instead, we advise using a baby sleeping bag, which is difficult to kick off or slide down over their head.
Young children should use a lightweight tog rating as their small bodies trap more air, making them much warmer than adults would be under the same duvet.
Older children may want a toasty warm 10.5 tog duvet, especially if their room is quite cold.
Help your child to regulate their own temperature by choosing a lower tog duvet and leaving a quilt or blanket, folded concertina style, at the bottom of the bed. That way, they can easily pull it up for extra warmth when they need it. In high summer, switch the duvet to a cool top sheet with a quilt or blanket
Choose 1 tog in summer and 2.5 tog in winter.
A first duvet should be the lightest 3 or 4.5 tog. As a child grows, they may want a warmer 7.5 or 9 tog.

Child may want a toasty warm 10.5 tog duvet,

Small bodies get hotter in bed than adult bodies

 With thanks to The White Company, London for this excellent buying guide.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Enjoy the Fall!

Be prepared for the first chill by setting your fireplace with logs for a cold evening.  If you don't have a fireplace, light some candles instead. Check out your recipe cards for a favorite hearty stew or casserole and plan to dish that up for your family.  Indulge in a nice bottle of red wine to serve with it. Offer soup for lunch with warm crusty rolls. my favorite is my Minestrone!  

Make a batch of pancake batter when cooking the evening meal, pop it in the fridge for a quick start in the morning.

Set you lamps on a timer to come on as the daylight fades, so your home is welcoming when you get home in the evening.

Rope Lighting

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It's the Christmas Countdown!

Let's kick some items off the To Do list early!

So, it's October, not even Halloween, not even Thanksgiving, but domestic divas are ahead of the game.  To make a start with your holiday preparations, consider doing the following:

Start a Gift Ideas list noting sizes, color preferences, brands, favorite activities and any hints you have picked up

  • Order and purchase your Holiday Cards.
  • Make a list of your favorite stocking stuffers and keep an eye out for them when shopping.
  • Make a list of hostess and vendor gifts you need to buy.  Purchase non perishable items.
  • Write a family newsletter to send out with your card.
  • Purchase your holiday paper goods, gift wrap, tape and ribbon.
  • Address and stamp your holiday card envelopes.  Check international mailing deadlines!

  • That's a great start!  Next time you are in the stores you can smile at the Christmas Displays knowing you've got that handled already!

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    Halloween Happenings in the Lowcountry

    Ghost Tours in downtown Beaufort
    1006 Bay Street, Beaufort
    October 24through 26th & 30th
    6.30 pm every 20 minutes
    Take a carriage ride or walking tour through the moss lined streets of Beaufort's historic district while listening to storytellers tell haunting tales of the area shared by residents of Beaufort. You may witness a "vision" or two along the way!

    Zombie Mile 5K and 1 mile Run
    The Calhoun Street Promenade in Historic Downtown Bluffton, SC
    Saturday October 27th
    Halloween 5K and 1 mile fun run thru the streets of Historic Bluffton followed by
    Post Race Halloween Festival is fun for the entire family with a Costume Contest, Trick or Treating, Kids Play Area, Pumpkin Toss, Story Telling, Food & More. To Benefit American Cancer Society Relay for Life & Bluffton Fins Swim Team.

    Trick or Treat TangerStyle
    Tanger Outlets 1 & 2
    Bluffton, SC
    Sunday, October 28
    2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Calling all ghosts, goblins, ghouls, princesses and super-heroes! Join in the Halloween Harvest Festival and Trick-Or-Treat on Sunday, October 28, 2:00pm – 4:00pm. This will be a great afternoon of “frightful fun” games, activities and contests for families, especially children ages 12 and under.

    Haunted House at Pineland Station
    Oct. 23-27 and Oct. 30.
    Doors open at 7pm each night
    Firefighters plan to turn into fire “frighters” for the Halloween season as they host a 13-room haunted house on Hilton Head Island. Let them know if you need a PG version of the maze for smaller children.

    Spookalicious Saturday Halloween Festivities
    The Sandbox Children’s Museum
    Saturday, Oct. 27
    Wear your favorite costume and come enjoy holiday festivities and fun exhibits/activities at The Sandbox. Enjoy Halloween themed crafts, programs, and “Trick or Treats!” all day long.

    Annual Pumpkin Patch at Shelter Cove Park
    Friday, October 26th
    4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    The Island Recreation Center is hosting a Pumpkin Patch Friday, October 26th at Shelter Cove Park, features a costume contest, carnival games, pumpkin painting, bouncy houses, a haunted hayride, and a petting zoo.

    Monday, October 20, 2014

    The Last Big Job For The Fall! Organizing The Garden, Patio and Deck!

    We are fortunate here in South Carolina that we don't have to batten down the hatches when the seasons change, (except for hurricanes, that is!) but we do need some moderate cleaning up of our outside living spaces.  For example, our grill was rarely covered during the summer months, now it's time to hose that baby down and cover our BBQ, we will still use it but not as often. Check the condition of your BBQ utensils, are they a little worn? Hint, hint for your Christmas List!

    Pool floats and toys need to be put away, and summer accessories stored away to make room for table top fire bowls and seasonal candles.  In fact, anything exposed to the elements should be stored in the dry space, such as the garage or a shed.  This will reduce the amount of cleaning and power washing we will have in the spring.  If you have a sheltered area on your patio you may be able to leave some items outside, and enjoy your garden year round.

    Saturday, October 11, 2014

    Do you feel a chill in the air?

    It's officially the fall and my thoughts are turning towards the holidays, wood fires, cozy sweaters, hearty foods and all things autumnal.  It's time to switch out summer accessories for warmer fall themes and colors. 

    To maintain a festive yet uncluttered look for your home, store seasonal accessories in clear plastic totes.  Gather your summer items and place them on a kitchen counter or table. Decorate your home with your fall accessories, switching out candles, cushions, throws, table accents and wreaths for fall colored/inspired items.  Wrap and pack your summer accessories in to your now empty tote and store it away.
    Later this month add your Halloween Decorations!
    Use dried peas, lentils, corn and nuts!

    Did you Miss Me?

    Polar Care Ice Therapy
    I missed a few posts over the last few weeks due to having shoulder surgery on my right shoulder, my writing arm!  Being unable to type and on medication, it's just as well that I took a break!  At some point I will post an AMA on Rotor Cuff Repair Surgery, what to expect, and what the recovery is like.  For now, I'm am still on that path.  Some advice I will pass on now is the Polar Care Cube will help.