[Headline: Custom faucets create personalized bathrooms]
Want your bathroom to better reflect your personality? Both the sink and bath faucet can add style and functionality to the space. KOHLER’s Components line of interchangeable faucet elements offers a wide range of timeless, modern options that allow you to create a personalized faucet configuration tailor-made for any environment and decor. Choose your spout, then handle and finally finish — polished chrome, matte black, titanium and brushed nickel — for an ideal update that suits your design ideals.
[Headline: How to swap your SIM card]
Activating your smartphone with a different carrier can be as simple as swapping to the new provider’s SIM.
Network: Some networks use CDMA and some use GSM. That means your smartphone will only work with a carrier that uses the same type of network it is designed for.
Unlock: Your phone must be “unlocked” from your current carrier before it can be activated with a new provider. You can get it unlocked from your wireless carrier if you meet certain criteria, like paying the full price of your device or ending your contract and being in good standing.
Switch: If your new provider’s network is compatible, you’ll get a SIM card, and insert it into your device. Consumer Cellular, for instance, provides the SIM card and activation on their networks for free when you sign up using a compatible GSM phone.
[Headline: Bringing tech into the bathroom]
Technology plays a big role in most of our lives, so it’s no surprise that it has started to pop up in bathroom designs, too. Consider how technology can simplify your daily routine. For example, defogging technology can be built into the vanity mirror to allow one person to shower while another is using the mirror. For items like an electric toothbrush or razor, consider installing USB ports inside the medicine cabinet to ensure they are always ready to use.
Technology can bring entertainment into the bathroom as well. If you like to start off the day with some energetic music or unwind in the bath listening to your favorite podcast, Bluetooth technology can add entertainment without sacrificing counter space.
The bathroom plays an important role in your day-to-day life. Find more ideas for bathroom upgrades at www.robern.com.
This spring, many people are making improvements to get their homes ready to sell. These days, home upgrades increasingly mean one thing: connectivity. Here are the best ways to improve connectivity and add value to any home.
* Smart security systems — New technology means you can control your system remotely and view live video to make sure your home is always protected.
* Updated garages add value — Innovations like the SilentMax Connect from The Genie Company allow you to remotely open or close your garage door, view a history of when it’s been opened and receive updates when it’s being opened or closed.
* Save energy, increase comfort — Smart thermostats improve energy efficiency and comfort with custom scheduling and individualized settings.
* Lighting the way — Connected lighting systems can increase security, energy efficiency and convenience by letting you remotely turn lights on or off, schedule your lights or create cool visual effects.
[Headline: Satisfy your comfort food cravings]
After a long, chilly day, digging into a hearty pasta dish or a piping hot bowl of soup can fill you with warmth.
The good news is that comfort foods don’t have to be unhealthy or take a lot of time to make. Consider these tips:
* Combine frozen and prepared foods with fresh produce. That can be much easier and faster than cooking a full meal from scratch.
* Try recipes featuring a balance of protein, dairy and vegetables. Cozy up on the couch with a rich and tasty mug of minestrone soup loaded with seasonal vegetables. Adding refrigerated pasta like Buitoni Three Cheese Tortellini helps make it a complete meal, cutting time on preparation, but not on taste.
* Use fruit to indulge your sweet tooth. Because fruits offer greater nutritional value, consider warm berry cobblers, baked apples, carrot cake and/or smoothies.
[Headline: Tile spruces up any room]
Looking to create an inviting room? Consider tile:
Elevate small spaces. Use tiles interchangeably to create a design, elevating baseboards, fireplace surrounds or backsplash areas.
Make a color statement. Choose colors that work with elements already in the room. Consider complementary color pairs such as red-green, blue-orange or yellow-purple.
Create a calm mood. Everyone wants their home to be a sanctuary. Choose colors, lines, shapes and scale with simplicity in mind to create a calm feeling.
Personalize your space. Work with a designer or manufacturer to make your space your own. The Ann Sacks Radius Collection by designer Barbara Barry provides tools for consumers or designers to customize patterns.
Create visual interest. Choose differently textured materials to break up an ordinary surface. Tile adds an interesting textural element to a room.
[Headline: Protect your new home against today's fires]
If you're building a new home, a top priority should be the best possible fire protection: home fire sprinklers. Home fires today are hotter and faster than fires of the past and become deadly in just
Guidelines for customizing your fire protection:
* Your contractor will customize your fire sprinklers to protect your home and its unique design.
* Sprinklers will be supplied by the household water main or a tank and pump if the house is on a well.
* Fire sprinklers work automatically if there’s a fire, controlling or extinguishing the blaze while it’s still small.
* Each fire sprinkler works independently based on its identification of high heat. Home sprinklers aren't set off by smoke alarms, burnt toast or cigarettes.
Get more info from the nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, a non-commercial educational organization offering free information and resources. Follow HFSC on Facebook and Twitter.
[Headline: 3 ways to prepare for bad weather]
Prep your family. Make sure phone numbers are written down (not just on phones), in case batteries go dead or service is inaccessible. Create a plan for weather emergencies. Ensure older children can find emergency supplies if power goes out before parents are home.
Prep your car. Invest in good tires, confirming they're in top condition to avert accidents when road conditions are poor. Catch up on car maintenance and manufacturer recalls. Store emergency supplies, like jumper cables, a first-aid kit, blankets and safety flares, in your trunk.
Prep your home. Create an emergency box with flashlights, batteries, water, non-perishable food and first-aid kit. Be prepared for power outages by investing in a generator. Kohler automatic standby generators are permanently installed outside a home and turn on within seconds of a power loss, even when nobody is home.
[Headline: New year, new bathroom]
You don't need to completely remodel your bathrooms for the refresh you crave in 2019. Consider these ideas for simple installations with big impact.
Project 1: Eco-friendly upgrades
The Town Square S collection is designed to reduce installation time. Plus, the WaterSense-certified bathroom sink faucets deliver a powerful water flow that uses only 1.2 gallons of water per minute (gpm), saving 45 percent more water than standard models.
Project 2: Modern flooring
To elevate the room, consider heated flooring to add comfort and a touch of luxury. This top trend works with a variety of different types of flooring, such as ceramic and marble tile.
Project 3: International luxury
Bidets have been a staple in Europe and other parts of the world for decades, but recently are a growing trend in the United States. Add one to your room and enjoy the rejuvenating experience.
[Headline: 5 tips to help keep pests out]
The pest management experts at Terminix offer the following tips to help keep your 2019 pest-free.
Inspect your home: Take a walk around your entire house exterior, looking for any cracks or holes, and be sure to seal any gaps you find.
Eliminate standing water: Refresh the water in bird baths, fountains and other water features at least once a week, and dump out any other unnecessary water on your property.
Be mindful when away from home: Check hotel rooms for signs of a bed bug infestation such as blood spots or shed skins.
Keep firewood at a safe distance: Be sure you’re storing firewood piles away from your home.
Call in the professionals: If you’re dealing with a pest problem too big to handle alone, know when it’s time to call in the professionals.
[Headline: Winter home improvement ideas]
Homeowners can use the winter months to enhance their homes' value and functionality by tackling some simple improvement projects.
Upgrade appliances: The kitchen is the heart of the home and gets an instant face lift with new appliances. Explore modern options in your budget at www.maytag.com.
Declutter: Donate or sell things you don't use and focus on organizing the rest. Consider storage solutions like closet organizers and kitchen pull-outs that make organization a snap.
Fresh paint: Whether you paint all the walls in your favorite spaces or just one with a pop of color to create a focal wall, you can customize this project to your personal tastes.
Replace hardware: Update knobs, handles, hooks and more with a new look that reflects your style. Brushed metals continue to be popular, and brass is poised to make a comeback.
[Headline: Tips to entertain like a boss]
Brighten up winter evenings by entertaining. Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman of A Beautiful Mess offer these tips:
1. Clean at least one day ahead and set the table the night before.
2. Stock up on ice and easy-to-fix drinks to simplify bartending. The LG Smart InstaView refrigerator can boost ice production from your phone, thanks to the LG SmartThinQ app.
3. Prep food ahead and warm dishes that day. LG’s ProBake Convection technology gives you optimal heating distribution on every rack, every time.
4. Delegate. If guests ask, "What can I bring?" — don't be shy. Request a bottle of wine or favorite treat.
5. Cater to all the senses. Set a pretty table, prepare delicious food and play upbeat music. If you don’t have a yummy smelling dish cooking, simmer water with cinnamon and cloves, or use scented candles or essential oils to enhance your party.
[Headline: Stir-crazy? Try these tips]
The winter months are known as a leading cause of indoor stir-craziness. Here are some outside-the-box ideas to help maintain sanity.
Establish an indoor work station
Tackling the list of projects around the house requires a work station where you can get things done, though being confined indoors means that space is at a premium. The portable Keter folding work table from Northern Tool + Equipment is an efficient way to establish this home base that you can easily fold up and store when finished.
Embrace the elements
The only surefire way to overcome stir-craziness is to get outside, no matter what the elements may present. If it’s snowing, try a snowmobile rental. If your area has been hit with heavy rains, fight back by taking the truck out “muddin.’” Be creative and get the whole family involved.
[Headline: The Year of the Space-Age Home]
* In 2019, the “space-age” home will become a reality with modern innovations that are poised to change the way we think about luxury, elegance, and comfort. Incorporating advanced technology into your home is essential when elevating its overall style, design, and functionality.
* To add style to your bathroom, the Flotation Tub with ZERO DIMENSION from TOTO USA combines a weightlessness experience with neurological research to provide maximum relaxation.
* Smart mirrors that double as TVs can display weather and other useful information, blending seamless connectivity in a sleek design.
* Making your home as eco-friendly as possible will soon get easier with solar windows that capture solar energy while remaining transparent.
* Install a home automation system to make everyday life easier. Users have control over various systems and appliances throughout their house at their fingertips.
[Headline: Create a colorful home]
Lifestyle expert Camille Styles offers simple ways to bring color into your home:
Paint an accent wall: An accent wall commands attention, and will easily become the new focal point of any room.
Add a vibrant rug: A rug with a bright color or pattern can help create the illusion of more space and make it more inviting.
Start small: Incorporate a new, bold tone with items like a coffee table accessory or oversized pillows.
Embrace the unexpected: For example, paint the trim instead of the wall. EasyCare Ultra Premium Paint’s Crow color will definitely wow your guests.
Introduce different, colorful textures: Add a plush throw blanket or a woven basket for visual variation.
[Headline: Efficient home offices]
To maximize home office efficiency, tidy up your space. Ensure that your office is equipped with the latest equipment and stocked up on supplies. Having your items delivered right to your doorstep will help alleviate the time it would take to do this on your own. In fact, over one-third of Americans think that ink and toner replenishment is a good idea, according to an independent study from YouGov. With only a few simple steps, you are enrolled and guaranteed to get your items right when you need them. Services like Brother Refresh allow customers to quickly and easily replace their ink and toner without having to think about it.
Don’t let the busy holiday season bog you down. Get your office set up right, so you can get your work done efficiently and enjoy your time with the family.
[Headline: Holiday home security]
Be prepared and protect your home before you travel with the following tips:
Set the system: It may sound simple, but it is important for people to remember to set their home security systems to the appropriate settings before leaving for travel.
Smart doorbell: Invest in a smart doorbell, which automatically sends a text or email to you each time the bell is triggered.
Remote locks: These locks are useful if you are planning on going away for the holidays, but still need to allow certain visitors into your home while you’re gone.
Video: With video surveillance, you’ll be able see live video of your home from your smartphone, tablet or computer.
For more information and tips, visit: USAA.com/ADT.
[Headline: 5 simple cookie tips]
* Get a food scale. For consistent results, weigh ingredients, especially flour. The rule of thumb: Every cup of white flour equals 5 ounces.
* Use high-quality ingredients. Use the best quality natural ingredients and flavorings, such as double-strength, flavor-rich Watkins All Natural Baking Vanilla Extract, to bake your best cookies yet.
* Chill the dough. Chilling dough for at least an hour prevents cookies from over-spreading while baking. Another upside: You can prepare dough ahead of time and chill until you’re ready to bake.
* Use parchment paper. No need for pricey baking sheets. Parchment paper on each cookie sheet does wonders for preventing overdone cookie bottoms.
* Decorate with care. Start with good dough (chilled) and use cookie cutters for perfect shapes. Wait for cookies to cool before applying icing or toppings. Use a variety of toppings (candies, sprinkles, icing, etc.) for beautiful results.
[Headline: 5 ways to prevent MRSA]
Infectious diseases, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are spreading rapidly among public places like gyms and schools, but prevention efforts should continue at home. Consider the following MRSA prevention tips:
1. Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
2. Keep to yourself and do not share personal items, such as towels or razors.
3. Regularly clean countertops and other surfaces in our home with an EPA-registered disinfectant, like Clorox Regular Bleach with Cloromax.
4. Act fast and take care of cuts and open wounds by covering them with a clean, dry bandage until healed.
5. Use a barrier, such as a towel, between skin and shared equipment at the gym.
Learn more on how to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria, such as MRSA, at Clorox.com.
[Headline: Holiday pest prevention]
It’s easy for things like pest prevention to get overlooked during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
Unfortunately, rats, mice and squirrels don’t hibernate and can remain active in the winter. As resources grow scarce and temperatures turn cold, your home can start to look like a safe refuge for these critters. Without proper preparation, you could be faced with squirrels gnawing through drywall and rats contaminating food supplies with droppings. To help avoid these troubles, seal possible entry points and inspect all cracks and crevices in your home’s exterior regularly.
Maintaining a home can be stressful, especially during the holidays. Without proper pest management, infestations can get out of hand quickly and ruin your winter fun. Terminix’s trained technicians can help you protect your home from winter pests, leaving you free to enjoy the season.
[Headline: What is cold brew coffee?]
Cold brew coffee is slowly steeped in cool water using rich, coarser beans than you would in hot brewing at home. While you can brew a pot of traditional hot coffee in a few minutes, cold brew takes hours — 12 or more — to achieve the signature result.
Coffee made using the cold brew method has a smoother, naturally sweeter result that is less acidic than traditional hot-brewed coffee. The reason is organic acids (like citric, malic, formic, quinic and acetic) enhance coffee’s flavor and aroma, yet dissolve in hot water. The cold brewing method allows these important molecules to stay intact, which results in a difference you can taste.
Java House(R) Authentic Cold Brew Dual-Use Liquid Pods can be enjoyed hot or cold at home, so you can taste the difference without all the work.
[Buying in a seller's market]
Here are some tips from the pros at RE/MAX for buying a home in a seller's market.
Prequalification vs. preapproval. They're not created equal. In a mortgage preapproval, you do all of the paperwork upfront.
An experienced Realtor. Don't even think about starting the process of buying a home in a seller's market without an experienced Realtor in your corner.
Interest rates. Experts predict we'll see a few more increases in 2019.
Speed. Be flexible enough to get to showings quickly.
Your best offer. Figure out the best offer you can afford and go with it up front.
[Headline: Recycling at home]
Save the planet, energy and more by adopting these simple recycling tips from the experts at the International Bottled Water Association.
Location: Place your recycling bin near your trash bin to make recycling fast and simple. It serves as a visual reminder when it's right next to the garbage.
Caps included: Enjoy convenience drinks, empty them, replace the cap and recycle. Every part of a plastic water bottle can be recycled.
Set reminders: Set an alert on your phone so you remember to bring out the recycling on the designated day.
Reuse: Think about how you can reuse items, such as transforming an empty milk jug into a watering container for plants.
Buy recycled: Purchase goods made from recycled materials to support the ongoing life cycle of products.
[Headline: Rule the holidays]
Most of us know all too well that the holiday season is busy, busy, busy. Use smart home technology to cut through the chaos and make your life easier this holiday season.
* Create a stress-free routine by using your smart home to control lights, music, set alarms, check the forecast and review your daily schedule.
* If you’re hosting, use your smart home device to play games and music, sing carols or test everyone’s holiday trivia knowledge.
* Finish your holiday shopping by using voice technology to order gifts quickly and easily.
* Cook the perfect holiday meal with help from your smart home by receiving recipe suggestions, setting timers, ordering groceries and more.
* There are more than 20,000 devices that work with Alexa, from smart lights, doorbells, locks and more, so take some of the stress out of the holiday and let your smart home device do some work for you.
[Headline: Dealing with snow]
Are you ready if a blizzard hit tomorrow?
Beyond securing the necessities and winterizing your home, there are a number of tools that work even when your power doesn’t! Below are the tools that can make dealing with a large accumulation of snowfall much more pleasant.
* A battery-powered snow thrower cleans off the driveway. Greenworks Tools 60V 20” Snow Thrower will get the job done and eliminate the noise and hassles of dealing with fossil-fuel options.
* A generator that provides portable power can be of great use in charging cell phones or other essentials.
* A cordless, battery-powered snow shovel helps clear a path without the back-breaking work.
* A cordless, portable heater helps prevent frostbite in the absence of electricity or a fireplace.
With a little preparation, you will be ready for anything Jack Frost throws at you this winter.
[Headline: Brighten Your Beauty Routine]
As you relax and socialize this holiday season, consider these effective steps to make your face look brighter and more vibrant:
* Eat well and stay hydrated. When you cut out junk food, eat nourishing foods and drink plenty of water, your skin tends to reward you by looking clearer right away.
* Use a simple product that will whiten your smile. Turning your teeth dazzlingly white, even if they’ve been discolored by time and/or the frequent consumption of coffee, tea and red wine, can be difficult. Actress Debra Messing attributes her signature smile to Colgate Optic White(R) High Impact White(TM) Toothpaste, which features the key ingredient hydrogen peroxide. “I don’t mess around with anything that doesn’t work — who has time for that?” Messing notes.
* Tame those wayward eyebrows. These days, women and men are both paying more attention to the definition, shape and overall neatness of their brows.
[Headline: Keep pests out]
The experts at Terminix have a few tips for protecting your kitchen from insects, so that you can spend your time enjoying the holidays rather than combating pests.
Start with a deep clean: Clean your kitchen and pantry top to bottom, removing food spillage and stains that could attract pests.
Don’t try to salvage contaminated food: If you find a food item that’s been contaminated, simply throw it out.
Store supplies carefully: Seal the plethora of holiday leftovers and open packages in airtight containers.
Inspect new purchases for signs of damage: Be sure to examine each new food product for signs that it could already be infested.
Call in a professional: Trained technicians can help determine what kind of pest is trying to invite itself to your classy dinner, and how best to get rid of it.
[Headline: Picking the right desk light]
Proper task lighting is an easy hack that can improve your health, comfort and productivity at work.
1) Light affects your health: It influences your biological circadian rhythm, your emotions and overall sense of well-being.
2) Lighting needs vary based on age: According to Jonathan Puleio, a Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE) with Humanscale, “By the time we reach our 60s, we require more than 250 percent more contrast to view the same documents we did when we were in our 20s.”
3) Features make a difference: Prioritize quality of lighting (look for the latest LED technology), adjustability and footprint.
4) The light’s reach is also important: It should offer a wide range of light output so you can find the best brightness level to illuminate your work area.
Consider task lights to promote your ocular health and keep you comfortable while you work.
The holidays usher in a sense of celebration and opportunities for lavish seasonal gatherings. To leave a luxurious, lasting impression, try these tips from award-winning Chef Michael Voltaggio.
The experience: At the start of the event, greet guests with a cocktail topped with fragrant garnish, and introduce unexpected details, such as a passed amuse-bouche atop a slate serving platter.
The essentials: Every touchpoint should exude the same level of luxury, from the linens to the culinary tools used. For Voltaggio, this is especially true of kitchen faucets. The Artesso SmartTouch Pull-Down Prep Faucet by Brizo offers visual intrigue and touch technology.
Lavish pairings: Pair candlesticks of various heights with bone china; carefully select wine pairings for dishes.
Finishing touches: Ornament an autumnal risotto with shaved truffle to bring rich depth of flavor or infuse a wintry dessert with liquid nitrogen for an unexpected dining experience.
[Headline: A non-DIYer's guide to entertaining]
Here are some ways for you to make it look like a pro-DIYer was behind your entertaining.
Semi-homemade hors d'oeuvres. Combine pre-made phyllo cups with deli items like tuna or chicken salad, chicken curry, barbecued beef or pork or anything else that strikes your palate.
Know when to outsource. Outsourcing dessert is one easy option and a big time-saver.
Hire a cleaning service. Merry Maids offers a variety of cleaning services and customizable plans.
Give homemade gifts. (Just not made in your home.) You can find handcrafted and unique items online.
[Headline: How insurance protects valuables]
This holiday season, investing in things like pet insurance, device insurance and valuable personal property insurance is the thing to do, so that the “little” things in life do not turn into big problems.
For example, many homeowner’s coverage policies have a certain limit for valuable items categories. A typical homeowner’s policy may have a limit of $1,500 in coverage for jewelry. A valuable personal property policy provides coverage for higher-ticket items such as jewelry, silverware, fine art, stamps and coins, instruments, etc. that may not be adequately accounted for in other property policies. This type of policy also provides coverage for damage or loss, which is a major distinction from a homeowner’s or renter’s policy.
Protect your purchases for loved ones this holiday season, especially when it comes to meaningful and valuable gifts. To learn more about the varieties of insurance, visit: USAA.com.
Overhauling your shower doesn't require hiring a professional with modern all-in-one kits that provide a custom look without the extra work. Visit your local home improvement store to learn about options.
For example, the American Standard Passage Custom Shower Solution is ideal for the DIYer, with stylish patterns, a sleek glass shower door and modern shower bases. The kit includes adhesive, color-matched sealant and pre-measured walls that easily adhere over existing wall materials, making it a time-saving project. With designs that mimic granite, stone or timber, it has an upscale look at an economical price.