5 tips to turn your home into a retreat

Garrett Mersberger, director of Kohler Waters Spas, offers the following tips for making self-care and pampering a priority in your own home.

1. Include the five senses. Light a candle, plug in the indoor water fountain and snuggle into a plush robe and slippers.

2. Prepare your body with hydrotherapy. Experiment in your shower with hot and cool blasts of water, which are good for the skin and blood flow. Finish at a neutral temperature (about 92-97 degrees Fahrenheit).

3. Release blocked energy. Try a simple yoga move called the seated cat/cow position.

4. Hone your breathing technique. Sit quietly for a few moments, taking full-body, deep breaths.

5. Relieve stress by going outside. Skip the treadmill and go jogging in the park or take a walk.


DIY tips to get your home ready for winter

The best way to keep your family warm and toasty while the wind, snow and sleet rage outside is to ensure your home and its building envelope — the thermal barrier between the interior of a home and the exterior environment — is properly sealed.

To maintain a well-sealed building envelope check for air leaks around these areas, according to http://www.dap.com/:

* The interior windows and doors

* Cracks and gaps where walls meet floors and ceilings

* Exterior windows and doors

* Around pipes and vents

Most cracks and gaps less than a half inch in width and depth can be filled with a sealant. Before you apply, make sure to remove any old sealant that remains to ensure the new sealant can adhere properly and form a tight thermal barrier for your home.


Five-point outdoor winterization checklist

As temperatures drop, you’re reminded that Old Man Winter will soon rear his ugly head. This checklist from the experts at Real Cedar.com will help safeguard your home against winter’s woes.

Inspect windows: Apply caulk to any gaps or cracks to prevent cold air from seeping in.

Prep the deck: Clean your deck with a warm, soapy solution and a soft-bristle brush.

Protect planter boxes: Remove soil and clean the boxes as you did the deck. Then, store emptied planters in a garage, shed or under the porch.

Trim trees: Trim dead branches and cut down weak trees to eliminate risks of them coming down due to the weight of snow.

Clean the roof: Remove debris from gutters to ensure free flow for water. Next, walk around your roof and inspect it for any damage.


Boost your home IQ with smart appliances

Here is how smart home technology can help you get the most out of your appliances, according to http://www.lgsidekick.com/.

Help with housework

If you have a load of laundry in certain washers, your phone can provide cycle status updates and alert you when the cycle is complete, helping to avoid forgotten laundry in your washer. Plus, you can even start or stop the cycle remotely when you’re out of the house.

Speed clean your home

By using your smartphone you can easily start your oven’s EasyClean cycle from the palm of your hand, ensuring one of cleanup’s most difficult jobs is done while you’re off enjoying life’s other adventures.

You can also use the app to start your robotic vacuum on your way home from work for a quick refresh or when you forget the in-laws are coming over for dinner.