When I go to buy sheets, I am amazed and confused by the dizzying options and varieties. I had thought that thread count was the only important factor to consider, but after ordering some on line that turned out (to my dismay!) feeling like cardboard – I decided to do a little research.
Thread count is important (it is the number of threads per square inch) BUT it does not necessarily represent quality.
Also pay attention to the following factors:
Fiber. Cotton-polyester blend sheets are wrinkle-resistant, durable (polyester lasts longer than cotton), and relatively inexpensive (up to half the cost of all-cotton). But if you’re looking for that cool, soft feel, nothing beats 100 percent cotton. You’ll hardly ever wake up clammy on cotton sheets, since the fiber wicks moisture away from your skin. And cotton sheets are less likely to stain than polyester blends; a water-loving fiber, cotton releases dirt easily when wet.
Good options are Egyptian cotton, pima, supima, organic cotton, and bamboo.
Weave. The weave affects everything about the sheet – how it looks, the way it feels, its longevity, and its price. Two common choices are percale (which has a crisp, cool feel) and sateen (which is softer and warmer).
Source. The sheets origin can make all the difference in quality. France and Italy are considered some of the best sheet-maker. Experts say 200-thread count sheets from Italy will be better quality than 1,000 thread count sheets from Pakistan.
For sheets you’ll sleep on every day, treat yourself. Choose the best you can afford. After all, you’ll hopefully spend 8 hours a day lying on them! When you find some you love – buy at least one more set, so you don’t need to go through the decision making process again. ☺
Spring is here and allergies in the Nashville area are about to skyrocket. Although we can’t do much about the pollen outside….we can take steps to improving the air quality inside our homes. Protecting yourself from household allergens can be a daunting task, but start simple and you might see quick results.
* Use two doormats at every house entry point — one inside and one outside.
* Take off your shoes when you enter the house.
* Vacuum carpets weekly using a vacuum with a small- particle filter.
* Damp-mop floors once a week.
* Wipe down surfaces with a damp cloth once a week.
* Hang machine-washable curtains instead of heavy draperies.
* Encase mattresses, box springs and pillows in dust-proof zippered covers.
* Wash bedding in hot water once a week.
* Repair cracked or broken caulk and tile in the bathroom.
* Always run the bathroom exhaust fan when you take a shower.
* Clean out under the kitchen sink and check for leaks.
Monitor the humidity in the air (ideal is 30 — 50 percent).
* Change air filters once a month.
If you can only make a few changes, start with your bedroom — you spend about one-third of your time sleeping! And, if possible, go to an allergist and find out what you are allergic to. This will help you focus your efforts and make sure you are treating the right problem.
If you live in the Nashville area – or almost anywhere in the south, crepe myrtle bushes are one of the most beautiful flowering shrubs. During the late spring and into the summer, depending on the variety, these bushes fill with large clusters of red, pink or white blooms. To keep them at the desired height and in the desired shape, pruning needs to be done each year during the bushes’ dormant stage. If a year or two of pruning is skipped, or if you purchase a property that has existing overgrown crepe myrtles on it, you may have to do a more severe pruning to bring the flowering shrub back to its original glory.
“Crepe murder” is a term used to describe the pruning technique that leaves the crepe myrtle bushes looking like bare sticks with pom-poms protruding from the stick tops. The correct way to prune crepe myrtle bushes is to simply prune away last season’s growth during the winter when the bush is dormant. Prune away the long, dormant limbs that grew during the summer and all of the seedpods. Also cut away sucker growth that sprouts from the bottom of the bushes’ trunk.
Before you start, it’s a good idea to know what you’re trying to accomplish – you can always go back and cut more. The objective is to maintain well-spaced, main trunks with handsome bark and to thin out the center to permit easy penetration of sunlight and air.
Late winter is the best time to prune a crepe myrtle, because it’s leafless and you can easily see all of the branches – but it’s not too late to do it now. This weekend, go out and enjoy the warmer temperatures we’ve been having and prune back your crepe myrtles and enjoy them in your landscaping for years to come.