Sweetnight Mattress Review (Here’s What Happened!)

This post is sponsored by Sweetnight.Store. While I was provided a free 10 inch, queen size flippable mattress to test, the review below is my honest opinion of the product.

As I’m getting older, I’m having a harder time being comfortable sleeping, and waking up easily.


I’ve suffered from neck and back pain for the past few years, and when you also factor in 2 small children with autism, and you can imagine I’m pretty beat by the end of the day.


When Sweetnight asked if I wanted to review their queen sized, 10 inch memory foam flippable mattress, I jumped on the opportunity – their website promised a cloud like experience, and with “breathable fabric for sleeping cool,” I knew I had to give their mattresses a test drive!


Getting Our Sweetnight Mattress

Our Sweetnight mattress arrived very quickly from Amazon. You wouldn’t think a mattress would fit in a 4’ box, but somehow, the Sweetnight staff managed to shove it in there!  


We were sent a queen sized mattress to review, but there are different size options available.

sweetnight mattress on a bed


Getting the Sweetnight mattress from Amazon gave me confidence in the product because it shipped quickly – I got it within 48 hours. On Amazon, the queen size Sweetnight mattress has multiple 5 star reviews (with a 4.6 star overall review) – with over 400 reviews!


In addition, Sweetnight mattress foam is CertiPUR certified, which means they are made without using ozone depleting products and are free of heavy metals (important for anyone with children!)


After we unboxed the mattress, the directions said to wait 72 hours for it to reshape itself. However, our mattress only took about 24 hours to return to a fluffy shape, ready for bedtime.


It also came with a booklet that promised the mattress was as soft as a cloud. It WAS very soft from the moment we unwrapped it! Larry couldn’t wait – he had to test it out immediately after it reshaped, and said it was the most comfortable mattress he’d ever laid on!


Actually Laying On Our New Sweetnight Mattress

The first thing we noticed is that the mattress is very soft – believe me, the “cloud like” experience promised in the booklet wasn’t kidding! From the moment we laid on the mattress, we could feel our bodies relaxing as the memory foam gelled to our bodies.


Even my husband, who is pretty picky about mattresses, LOVES how soft (yet supportive!) the Sweetnight mattress is!


We tested both the soft side and the firm side, since the Sweetnight 10 inch queen size mattress is designed to be flippable. I personally prefer the firm side, but Larry prefers the softer side – so we’ve been using the softer side of the mattress (which is still supportive enough that I don’t wake up with aches and pains).

drawing of a sweetnight mattress


Every week, I see a physical therapist for neck pain, so I asked of my neck and shoulders felt any different – she said the muscles in my shoulder blades felt looser. So I took that as a good sign!


I haven’t woken up with neck pain since we started using this mattress.


All in all, our experience with Sweetnight Mattress has been excellent!


Where to Buy Sweetnight Mattresses

You can purchase these mattresses directly on the Sweetnight store (Sweetnight.store) or on Amazon by clicking here.


So, How Many Stars Did We Give It?

Sweetnight Mattresses are excellent, and the review team at Pampered Chicken Mama gives them 5 stars! The 10 inch, queen sized mattress we tested is super comfortable and cozy to sleep on, supportive, and everything their website promises. They’re also reasonably priced (prices vary based on the different models, but compared to other options out there, they’re very affordable).


Coop Refresher: All Natural & Organic

Coop Refresher: All Natural & Organic

Yes, it’s true. You can make your own organic, all natural coop refresher, and it won’t even cost you a million dollars.


While I love the commercial coop refresher products you can buy, there came a day on the farm when we NEEDED something to squelch the stench in the rabbit coop and the chicken coop.


And by squelch, I mean eliminate completely. We needed a coop refresher and we needed it NOW.


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It was one of those hot fall days when you never know what to expect – it can be 80 degrees during the day (yeah!) and a kit-and-chick-killing 42 degrees at night. (Here’s how to prepare your chicken coop for winter).


We keep the coop very clean, but at those temperature swings, it doesn’t take much to make me worry.


After we cleaned out all the straw, I wasn’t satisfied – something was needed to make the coop extra clean.


Now, here’s the thing. We live 45 minutes from ANY sort of store that might sell a commercial chicken coop refresher.


And it was Sunday evening. Running to town in order to buy something like a chicken coop refresher just wasn’t going to happen.


But something needed to happen – fast.


So, I improvised. And it worked so well, that we now ONLY use my favorite organic all-natural coop refresher recipe on the farm.


And the best part?


It costs less than a few dollars, and last a good long time. And your chickens will be happier and healthier for it.


herbs for backyard chickens

Organic all-natural coop refresher is easy to make at home. If you need a quick chicken coop refresher spray recipe, this is perfect for backyard chicken beginners!

Making Your Own All-Natural Coop Refresher

So, the purpose of a chicken coop refresher is to soak up any animal waste and neutralize the odors so your chicken flock doesn’t breathe in ammonia or other fumes that can harm them.


Now, I don’t have anything against commercial chicken coop refresher products.


But I don’t think they’re always necessary. I think – no, I KNOW – you can achieve the same results for a coop refresher with basic ingredients you probably have in your home right now.


That day that one fall evening when I was in a panic, it dawned on me that two simple ingredients – flour and baking soda – could produce the same effect we might spend a lot of money to solve.


Think about it – flour is extremely absorbent. We all know that from making bread.


If you use organic flour to make your own coop refresher…well, you’ve got an organic solution to your smelly chicken coop.


(Want more chicken keeping goodness? Grab The Backyard Chicken Bundle (TM) – it’s 3 full-length e-books, plus checklists and recipe books. All for the price of one. Yes, a 90% discount. You can’t beat that. Get it here while it’s on sale.)


Baking soda is the gold standard for neutralizing odors – that’s why we’ve kept it in our refrigerator since our childhood.


Why couldn’t it also be used in a homemade coop refresher to neutralize odors from chicken waste?


Well, it can. And it costs less than $1.




Particularly if you’re worried about using diatomaceous earth or something like lime, this combination can be a good solution while not sacrificing a clean chicken coop.


While the flour and baking soda particulates won’t hurt your flock, it’s still a good idea to allow the dust from your all natural coop refresher to settle (so to speak) before allowing your hens back into the coop.


herbs for backyard chickens


The ratio of flour to baking soda in your chicken coop refresher

Now, I’m kind of making a production out of this all-natural coop refresher idea, but the truth is the ratio of baking soda to flour is not as precise as, say, the ratio if you were baking.


Typically, I go for a 5-pound bag of flour and mix in 1 small box of baking soda in a 5-gallon or painter’s bucket.


Brands don’t matter, just make sure it’s fairly high quality and not the bottom shelf who-the-hell-knows-what’s-in-it brand (I’m looking at you, Dollar General Clover Valley brand of flour. You can literally smell all the chemicals in that “flour.”)


Mixing baking soda with flour, I found, makes it easier to sprinkle the chicken coop and sweep out than if it were either ingredient alone. (Check out these awesome FREE chicken coop plans!)


Once you’ve put both ingredients into the bucket, thoroughly mix (I use a feed scoop, you can use a big spoon if you don’t have a scoop), and get to sprinkling.


You’ll notice the smell start to neutralize fairly quickly, assuming you’ve done a good job cleaning your coop as thoroughly as possible. Learn how to clean your chicken coop like a pro!


(If you have puddles of urine everywhere, then you might need just a tad more coop refresher. Or a few bucketfuls.) And if you’re having problems with flies in the chicken coop, click here to read how to keep flies out of the coop.


Sweep out, resprinkle the coop refresher, and sweep out as necessary. I personally resprinkle a final layer of my homemade coop refresher and put straw on top. You can do whatever you feel is best for your flock.


It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s cheap. I guess for once, you really can have all three. Happy sprinkling!


herbs for backyard chickens

More Chicken Raising Resources:


Learn More about Types of Chickens with the Backyard Chicken Bundle!

The Backyard Chicken Bundle is a unique ebook bundle with every resource you need to start raising a flock of healthy hens! (Total value $250)

Included in the bundle are:

  • 5 individual ebooks with over 40 gorgeous full color photographs, charts, and recipes for all-natural coop cleaners, layer feeds, herbal first aid salves, and more.
  • 34 page Herbal Encyclopedia to growing 30 different herbs for your hens right in your own backyard
    E-books naturally complement each other so you have information at your fingertips.
  • 3 downloadable checklists to save your flock from bad weather & predators, and to keep them healthy while molting.
  • 1 Apple Cider Vinegar for Backyard Chickens video that shows you step-by-step how to make organic apple cider vinegar in your own kitchen.
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Backyard Chicken Bundle


How to Keep a Camper Warm in the Winter

How to Keep a Camper Warm in the Winter

Thinking of living full time in an RV in winter? Learning how to keep a camper warm in the winter is easy!


I know many of you are pioneering winter travelers or committed to living full time in an RV in winter.


While I’m not a huge camper, ever since we got our cabin, I’ve been discovering all sorts of “off the beaten path” ways to stay warm without using conventional ideas like gas, oil, or electricity.


(Discover how we avoided propane and saved money this winter by installing a wood stove.)


If you own an older camper (or live in a cabin) and plan to be outdoors a lot in the colder months, then you’re going to want to know how to keep a camper warm in the winter.


Here are some tips to keep your mobile home warm and cozy.

Wondering how to keep a camper warm in winter? These 7 genius winter camper living hacks and winter camper ideas will keep you toasty while the wind whistles outdoors!

Insulate your camper

Although most campers have some sort of insulation, this can be effected by several factors such as make, model, and maintenance. (Yes, maintenance. If you don’t do upkeep on your mobile home, you’re pretty much SOL.)


As we all know, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so do periodic checks for leaks around windows, doors, and anywhere with rubber seals.


Any ideas about how to keep a camper warm in the winter that we talk about in this article are useless if your RV is drafty and not well insulated.


Of course, extra insulation is essential in subzero temperatures. Nobody likes to be frozen when the North wind blows.


In addition to fixing any drafts, you can insulate the windows and doors of your camper with insulation panels like these. You can also use spray foam to fill in any gaps.


Insulate the roof, walls, and especially the floor with heavy blankets (see this article about how to stay warm in winter for additional ideas).


While this idea is very simple, it’s also very effective, and will help keep any warmth inside the camper.


Also be sure to insulate your hot water pipes since, if you’re cold, a warm bath can help you heat up. Use foam covers, (these have saved our butt many winters), spray foam, or even old clothes (this is one we use a lot, and a good use of ripped and old clothing you’d otherwise throw away).


How to keep a camper warm in the winter off grid

So, on to how to keep a camper warm in the winter if your heating system sucks.


Ask me how I know these tips (hint: I refuse to use the central heat in our home because I think the cost of propane is highway robbery. We use a wood stove instead).


Gas heaters are one option for a camper that’s off grid and doesn’t use electricity. Here’s one option for propane heaters you can use indoors (just remember: you’ll have to pay high prices for that propane AND you’ll blow through it quickly.)


Electric heaters are another option. Your best bet, as far as electricity goes, is to get a solar generator, and plug an electric heater into it.


They’re not cheap, but they’re still affordable and because they use a renewable energy source, your camper can stay warm in the winter longer. You can buy a regular electric heater at any dollar store.


Pro Tip: Choose an energy-efficient electrical heater to avoid surges.


If a solar generator just isn’t an option, you can buy adaptors to turn a cigarette lighter into an electrical socket and run the engine of your car. Check out one option here.


Bring the right items so you stay warm in the winter

Getting the right items to keep you warm throughout the winter nights is essential. After all, you can insulate your camper but still feel cold, especially if temperatures reach extremely low numbers in your area.


Here’s my best tips for staying warm in winter without heat, and if you’re cold, then one of the easiest ways to warm up is to walk around, weather permitting.


There’s been many a morning where I’ve groused about the freezing weather only to quickly warm up when I started feeding our chickens.)


Learning how to keep a camper warm in the winter is easy as long as you make the right preparations.

How To Install A Wood Stove For Beginners

Ever since we moved to our farm, learning how to install a wood stove has been on the bucket list.

It’s not just that a wood stove screams homesteading, but it’s also about saving money, using the resources around us (we have 5 acres of woods), and, frankly, not buying propane for our central heat system and dealing with the upkeep of said system just so we can stay warm.

square foot gardening plant spacing

Our first year on the farm, we actually did use propane to heat the house. And it was about $500 a month. And ever since, I’ve refused to use it because, honestly, I think that’s highway robbery.

So, enter the idea to use wood. In this article, I’m going to show you how to install a wood stove.

This is just the way we did it – you might read about other ways to install a wood stove on the Internet, and that’s fine. Definitely do your research! This is an easy decision to make, but also a big one.

Wondering how to install a wood stove hearth? If you're thinking of getting a wood stove fireplace, and aren't sure if it's for you (or whether a wood stove surround is a good idea), then read this wood stove ideas guide!

So, here’s a quick breakdown of the steps to install a cast iron wood stove in your house:

  1. Decide on a model to buy
  2. Get a chimney kit, if needed
  3. Decide on a location to install it
  4. Build a fire-safe base
  5. Install the wood stove and chimney kit
  6. Use chimney braces, if needed
  7. Seal the interior chimney pipe so they don’t leak smoke

So, let’s look at each of these steps.

square foot gardening plant spacing


Decide on which wood stove you’ll buy

This isn’t a light decision, and you should make it carefully. After a lot of research and talking to people, I decided on this model.

Honestly, I was overwhelmed by all the options (you can buy stoves from $300 to $3,000 and everywhere in between) and I had no idea which was best.

I ended up asking a friend I trusted about the model they bought and whether they liked it and whether it was easy to install (she purchased hers a few years ago and it’s still going strong), and just ended up buying that exact model.

Why reinvent the wheel, right?

Something to consider, though, is the size of the area you want to heat. I installed my wood stove inside my 12×24 cabin; as it turns out, the wood stove I bought was WELL equipped to heat a larger space (1,800 square feet to be exact, and the cabin is quite a bit smaller than that).

While I don’t regret my choice at all, now that I have more experience and I’m less overwhelmed, I might have looked for a smaller model.

Wondering how to install a wood stove hearth? If you're thinking of getting a wood stove fireplace, and aren't sure if it's for you (or whether a wood stove surround is a good idea), then read this wood stove ideas guide!

Something else to consider is the price. By all means, stick to your budget. But don’t cheap out on this purchase.

If your cast iron stove is well made, you will likely never have to replace it. You can’t beat that investment.

So, high quality means you will never have to figure out how to install a wood stove again, and it will likely have more design, safety features, and sufficient draw than a lower-quality purchase.

We noticed with our stove, that it had all kinds of safety features, including a way to deprive the fire of oxygen if it got too strong.

That’s good for us, since my husband has burnt down the barn in the past (that’s a LOOOOOONG story. Well, not really long, but an annoying story, so we’ll save it for another time).

We purchased our wood stove new, but if you can find a high-quality used one (maybe from a relative who upgraded and you’ve seen their old stove working), then by all means, go grab it.

I would be a little concerned about stoves purchased from yard sales or flea markets; you don’t know what you’re necessarily getting into, and might waste a lot of time and money.

square foot gardening plant spacing


Do you need a chimney kit or a kit to customize your chimney?

Most wood stove chimneys are designed to go through the roof of your home, and that’s how most people install them.

We weren’t going to cut a hole in the ceiling of our cabin for a variety of reasons, so we decided to install a wood stove through the window.

Wondering how to install a wood stove hearth? If you're thinking of getting a wood stove fireplace, and aren't sure if it's for you (or whether a wood stove surround is a good idea), then read this wood stove ideas guide!

It saved us the effort, expense, and inevitable heartache (lest we make a drilling mistake – a likely occurrence on this farm) of drilling through the roof.

Additionally, not all wood stoves come with chimneys, so you might need to buy a kit. The best thing to do is consult the manual of the stove you end up buying.

And be aware that the cost to install a wood stove isn’t just the stove itself – the chimney kit will cost you as well. However, like the wood stove, don’t skimp on this expense.

To run the chimney through the window, we needed a 90 degree elbow and a chimney pipe that had 2 layers so it didn’t get so hot.

We were able to find both at a local big box store, and knew what to buy thanks to the manual that came with our stove.

square foot gardening plant spacing


Decide where you’ll install your wood stove

In our case, I knew right away where I wanted to install our stove. In a small cabin, there’s only so much space!

But here’s some things we DID take into consideration: We have 2 small children, so we wanted it to be in a place where we could easily build a barrier to keep the kids away from the flames.

Similarly, we wanted it to be in a place where we didn’t have pets (our cats live in the house) so they didn’t accidentally burn themselves or the cabin down.

We decided that the wood stove would be the focal point of the room, and then we would design the rest of the cabin around it. So, we installed it in a location that made sense from a design standpoint and where there was enough space away from everything else so any chances of a fire were reduced.

The only caveat to installing it through the window is we lost the lower half of the window and a certain amount of light. So, we will need to decide how to recover the natural light in the cabin.

Build a base

After you’ve chosen a wood stove and decided where you’ll put it, you need to build a base. The point of the base is to provide a fire-safe structure for your stove to stand on.

In our case, we used cement board, tile, and mortar to install the wood stove. We started by screwing the cement board to the floor (if memory serves, it was 5 feet by 4 feet), then laying the tile on top.

It was easy and took about an hour to complete. There wasn’t enough tile to cover all of the cement board; I’m going to go back and find some easy to install tiles (read: no cutting involved) to cover the rest of the cement board.

Before continuing, we allowed the tile to dry for 48 hours. When dry, put the stove on the base and prepare to install it permanently.

square foot gardening plant spacing


Install the chimney kit

Installing the chimney kit wasn’t hard, but it’s one of those projects that takes a bit of brain power.

We had to find something to support the chimney through the window. Wood wouldn’t work because we wanted to eliminate the chance of a fire.

So we used a spare piece of tin. You can probably find kits online, but we had tin laying around, so why not use it?

Install the chimney kit according to the directions that come with your kit.

In our case, we had to also use a chimney brace. We have very strong winds in our area, and things that aren’t nailed down, will likely go bye-bye in 70 mph winds (I remember one time I bought a shed kit for my grain, only to find it scattered in pieces the next day because a tornado came through – worst $300 I ever spent).

Wondering how to install a wood stove hearth? If you're thinking of getting a wood stove fireplace, and aren't sure if it's for you (or whether a wood stove surround is a good idea), then read this wood stove ideas guide!

So brace that sucker unless you want to buy a new one.

Seal the chimney pipes so they don’t cause smoke in the house

Finally, we sealed the interior portions of the chimney kit so they didn’t leak smoke (found that one out the hard way – no big deal, except it might cause carbon monoxide poisoning.)

We used a stove sealant like this one. Allow it to dry before lighting the fire.

Wondering how to install a wood stove hearth? If you're thinking of getting a wood stove fireplace, and aren't sure if it's for you (or whether a wood stove surround is a good idea), then read this wood stove ideas guide!

That’s it – now we’ve figured out how to install a wood stove, and we can be toasty warm all winter. Hope this guide helps you out!

square foot gardening plant spacing
How To Heat A Greenhouse In Winter

How To Heat A Greenhouse In Winter

Wondering how to keep a greenhouse warm in winter without investing in electric or fuel-supplied heating systems?

Yes, it can be done. And without adding any more costs to your household budget. I mean, who needs another bill right? Right.

Now, you might be wondering why bother keeping your greenhouse warm during the frostier months anyway – why not just enjoy the season? Well, this girl likes her greens.

Ok, you caught me. I DO like greens, but I’m not a superfan. I like them…but more like sprouts on a sammich. NOT full blown salads. Unless they’re Southwestern salads. Then, bring on the arugula. ANYWAY, I like to keep growing over the winter because, well, I like to grow vegetables. Like any normal, sane person.

The other reason to keep a greenhouse warm in winter is because if you ARE growing anything, you’ll want to provide a healthier living environment for your vegetables, prevent cold spots, and reduce the risk of fungal diseases.

I have more readers growing crops in the winter, and naturally, a common question is how to heat a greenhouse in winter for free (which mean you can grow a wider variety of vegetables, too).

Wondering how to heat a greenhouse in winter? Here's 4 easy but genius ideas to heat a greenhouse without electricity! You can even heat a greenhouse with compost!

Understand the Basics of How to Keep a Greenhouse Warm in Winter

Before we delve into our ideas, let’s first establish some basics. In this season where temperatures can go unpredictably low, you can only do so much. In other words, don’t try to grow oranges in sub-zero weather. You won’t be successful, right?

So, let’s talk about some basics to help you run your greenhouse in winter.

  • Choose the right crops to grow for the season. Go for low-lying greens like kale, spinach, and mustard greens that can stand below-freezing temperatures
  • Invest in a good quality thermometer like this one that can read max and min temperatures throughout the day.
  • Only heat the areas necessary. Grouping plants together will help you save energy and cost.
  • Install proper ventilation to prevent the spread of fungal diseases and maintain a healthy growing greenhouse.

Here are 3 more effective strategies in controlling the temperature inside your structure without having to waste fuel or energy.

Store Thermal Energy Using Thermal Mass

Thermal mass heaters are the bee’s knees, and easy to incorporate into your greenhouse. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, thermal mass, sometimes called a heat sink, absorbs and stores solar heat energy.

This involves putting materials around your greenhouse that absorb heat from the sunlight during the day. These heat sinks are then capable of slowly releasing thermal energy at night time when the mercury drops like crazy.

Here are some effective methods to collect thermal mass:

Idea 1: Build a cobbled pathway across the floor of your greenhouse using dark gravel or small stones (you can reach out to a local nursery or a dealer that sells rocks for driveways).  These rocks naturally absorb heat – and the release of this heat keeps your plants warmer during the dark, cold hours of winter.

Idea 2: Since water has higher heat capacity than land or soil, try putting water or rain barrels around the interior of your greenhouse. Place dark barrels at a Southern-facing location, where they can easily absorb sunlight in the day. Make sure they’re also near tender plants that need more warmth at night

Idea 3: Use cinder blocks or earthenware ceramic pots to further absorb solar heat. They can be used to support planters on table-tops and benches, and they can release their heat around the plants (this is also a good idea to keep your chicken flock’s water from freezing over the winter).

Note: Painting these materials dark (i.e. black) helps absorb more thermal mass and one additional tip on how to keep a greenhouse warm in winter.

square foot gardening plant spacing

Build an Indoor Compost Pile

This is a genius idea that’s also one of the most sustainable techniques to keep your greenhouse warm this winter.  (Psst…it’s also cost-effective since you can build it nearly for free AND you won’t have to use power or fuel to heat your greenhouse. This is what we call Win-Win-Win.)

As the material in your pile composts, bacteria that break down organic material generate a considerable amount of heat to the environment. We cover compost piles in depth in Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Farming. Save 10% with coupon code GREENHOUSE right here.)


Insulation is another option to keep a greenhouse warm in the winter.  So what do I mean by insulate?

Well, you can insulate the entire greenhouse using plastic sheeting, OR you can add row covers (yes, row covers over crops inside your greenhouse) for added protection.

Plastic helps absorb more heat without keeping the sunlight away from your crops. Combined with the other ideas in this article, you have quite a few ways to keep a greenhouse warm in winter.

There are many other natural techniques for keeping your greenhouse thermally controlled throughout the year. In the most challenging seasons, let these suggestions guide you on how to heat a greenhouse in winter for free. You don’t have to do everything. You just need to find the right combination that will work best for your set-up.

square foot gardening plant spacing