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#tipTuesday - Technology in the Home

It's less than 30 days from Christmas, and this year Hanukkah is the same week. So, for today's #tipTuesday, I'm going to talk about the technology around my house, what we love about it. Not only can it help you in day to day activities, you might find a gift or two in this list as well.

These are in no particular order but the top five technology items that we currently use on a daily basis are:

1. Echo Show 5 (Alexa)

2. Gosung Smart Plug

3. MyQ

4. Upright Go 2

5. Nest x Yale Door Lock

1. I'm sure by now you've heard of Amazon's Alexa. Earlier this year we upgraded to the Echo Show 5. This compact, 5.5" smart display is Alexa ready to help. While I'm sure we don't use all the features it offers (we should learn more about them), I like the display that it has where our original Alexa didn't. I continue to make to-do lists with this gadget. It has advertised that you can watch movies, news, and TV shows, but we've never done that. We listen to songs and audiobooks on it. The device is voice controlled. You can personalize the screen by choosing a favorite clock face or photo album from Amazon Photos. (It works as a great a picture frame for your counters!) Honestly, I don't know how we lived before Alexa. We love this and use it daily!

2. When TravelMan first got the Gosung Smart Plug, it kind of made me crazy. It seems he comes home with every "toy." But now I've learned to love it. It is voice activated. We have one in our son's room connected to his plug-in fan. We have one on our Christmas tree plug and one on the garland. It has a timer, so we can program from our phone when we want the fan or tree or garland to come on and when we want it to go off. But we can also talk to it. "Alexa turn on garland" or "Alexa turn off fan." I have always had a timer on my Christmas tree, but when I wanted to turn it on before the timer was set to come on...then I had to reach behind the tree and flip a switch on the timer. No more! I just say the magic words! You can also turn the plugs on and off from anywhere with your SmartPhone. Traveling? Plug a lamp in and then you control when it is on or off. Read more about it in the description {HERE}. This was easy to fall in love with, and it's simple to use.

3. With the MyQ you can open and close your garage door from anywhere with your SmartPhone through the myQ app. You will receive alerts when your garage door opens or closes in real time by setting up customized notifications. I like receiving these notifications to know when my children have come home. This is great for busy families who come and go from the house through the garage. Do you ever leave the house and think, "Did I close the garage?" Well, no more! You can check it on your phone. We have given this gift to several people as a housewarming gift. It's inexpensive and practical.

4. In a world where Invisalign is advertised everywhere to straighten your teeth, I decided why not work on straighten something else...our posture. The Upright Go 2 does just that. It is advertised to be the simplest, fastest, and most natural way to improve your posture in just 2 weeks. Healthy upright posture strengthens back and core muscles, stimulates better blood flow, and promotes overall well-being. I downloaded an app and synced my device with my SmartPhone to start daily training sessions and tracking my progress. I have no idea what the end result will be as after entering all of my information, my plan came out to 26 days...which I am not finished with. Currently, I do get "buzzed" when I am slouching. I'm looking forward to discovering what good posture feels like. I've seen this advertised for months, so I took the plunge. So far, so good. (Oh, and I should mention that we own more than one. Others in our house are working on their posture too.)

5. We got rid of keys to our house with the Nest x Yale Door Lock. This keyless deadbolt is secure and tamper-proof. We can lock and unlock the door with the Nest app from anywhere. We get alerts when someone locks and unlocks the door. This works with the Nest Secure alarm system (although we don't have this). Here is my favorite thing about this door locking system: Let's say I am having someone over to work on the house, but I know I won't be home in time to let them in. I can set a code for them to use to let themselves in. The code is only good for the date and timeframe I set. Or when our housekeeper comes, she has her own code that only works on her days during her timeframe. It's great! We can also be notified when our kids come home from school each day. We each have our own code, so we know exactly who is unlocking the door. Even my mom and brother have their own code for when they need to access our home. We have really learned to depend on this!

We really do depend on these items. They make our life simpler and would make great gifts! What are your favorite technology pieces in your house?

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