My Favorite Household Gadgets From The Last Six Months

Over the last half of a year I’ve gone on quite a bit of a spree. Normally I’m opposed to buying into the latest crazes when it comes to home technology. They come and they go so fast that it just doesn’t seem worth it. I came to the realization though that I was worried about falling behind the times. It all came about when I was at my friend’s house and she asked me to put a show on TV. It had been so long since I’d used cable television that I had no idea how to navigate the endless sea of buttons on the remote. When my friend finally got around to seeing me struggle, noticing I hadn’t manage to make it passed the TV guide page, she thought I could use a little help. I gave her the remote and she spoke into it, asking the remote to play the show she had requested. To my surprise, it worked.

Apparently this is a rather common technologies these days, but it totally blew my mind. I wasn’t aware that technology had come quite that far, let alone in a useful way. So I decided to give it a shot. To get back on the horse with household technology so to speak. I took a trip to the internet, dabbled amongst some forums, and decided on a number of home devices that I decided to give a try. I figured it was an experiment, the worst that could happen was that all of them would be disappointing and I could return to my luddite lifestyle. So I set a price tag in mind and went shopping over the course of a few weeks until I hit my budget. Then I had the chance to try out the different products and get a feel for them. Here are my thoughts on the best of the lot.

Simpli Safe Home Security System

This is the item that tops my list. It just makes me feel safe and secure at home. It’s not small price tag, but for the mid-hundreds of dollar range, this system has brought so much peace of mind to my daily life (and evenings for that matter). With the two included cameras I can keep an eye on my home while I’m away. Not only does this help with keeping tabs on intruders, but I can also check to make sure there are no hazards such as fire, flooding, etc. To be honest, I don’t use most of it’s features. They offer a monitoring subscription which I haven’t yet activated. I may some day, I just don’t have a need for it now. I get the most benefit from using the alarm in “home” mode when I’m sleeping. It helps me rest and know for sure that there’s no one lurking around in my condo.

Eufy Robovac

Have you ever wondered what it was like to come home and have your home nice and clean? Well, you can get at least some of that with today’s robot vacuums. They sound like a gimmick, and admittedly they do have some flaws, but still the sheer convenience of this device is incredible. Make sure to clean up and power chords or cables, as they’re sure to be the demise of your vacuum robot. Also, don’t get upset when the robot gets stuck. It’s going to happen. Just try again tomorrow and if there’s anything you can do to prevent the sticking situation from happening again, go ahead and implement it. All in all, once you get used to using the Robovac it’s a no brainer. I may even expand my fleet sometime soon so that I can get my home cleaned up in record time.

Echo Dot

The echo dot is somewhat controversial. People don’t like to have artificial intelligence eavesdropping on their every word, and with good reason. This thing totally know what your saying behind it’s back or in front of it’s face. I can see how that would be a problem, but for me the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. It’s so easy to cue up any song you want (of course you need to subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited, or a similar service that the Echo Dot supports). You can control the volume with a simple command. You can even ask what song is playing, or ask questions about just about anything. Alexa has your back. Sure, she might be listening too much. I just hope that they only use that information to help improve the user experience. For now, I approve.

So of course all of this begs the question, have I reverted to a full blown tech gadget nerd? Well, of course not. I do however see the value that these items can bring to our everyday lives and I fully appreciate that. There’s no reason you should keep convenience out of your life, especially when convenience saves time and/or headaches. I’m still probably not going to run out and buy every new gadget that hits the shelves, but I do think it’s important to stay aware of the technologies out there and embrace those that seem like their going to stick. Anyway, I hope you found something useful in this post. What are your favorite gadgets? I’d love to hear, please share!

How To Encourage Children To Learn Music From An Early Age

Learning music at an early age can be beneficial to a child’s development. The popular “Mozart effect” postulates that listening to classical music can improve a child’s intelligence. Music can help to improve a child’s motor skills, social development, and help them to become more self-aware. Of course, listening to music will most likely not make them a genius, but having exposure to sophisticated music will strengthen various connections in their brains. As time goes on, they may start to experience rapid improvement in other areas of their lives. 

The best way to encourage a child to learn music is to listen to music yourself. Children are highly impressionable and are more likely to mirror the behavior of those around them. Exposing the child to a musical environment is the most natural way for your child to develop an interest in music. There’s also no such thing as starting too early when it comes to encouraging your child to learn music. Many parents will play classical music for their newborns. Children are information sponges, and this is especially true for newborns. Their brain is collecting and synthesizing information at an explosive rate. Children are more likely to listen to the same type of music that they grew up hearing later in life. Parents even play music for their child before the child is born. This may seem silly, but this can work. Before the child is born, they can hear what is going on in the outside world. This is useful for recognizing their mother’s voice when they are first born. This is also useful to priming the brain to learn other things, such as music. 

Enrolling in your child in a music program is another good way to get them interested in music. Many programs make it fun and simple to understand the basics of music for children. Music programs are also a great way for them to socialize with others. A fond experience of learning music is necessary if the child is going to stick with it. Memories of making friends while learning music will give the child something pleasant to connect the music too. 

Depending on their age, buying musical toys, or letting them play musical apps is good for letting them explore their interest with fun activities before they start with more complex instruments. There are plenty of apps that let you play almost any kind of instrument from the piano, guitar, and more. Some are even based on actual practices used to play the instruments, so your child will be getting practical experience with instruments as well. 

Your voice is an instrument too. Children generally like to have attention, and may even shout at the top of their lungs to get it. This is the perfect opportunity for them to channel that limitless energy into beautiful music. Many of us sing all the time. We sing along to songs. We sing when we’re in the shower. We sing when we’re bored. Singing is one of the easiest ways for a child to become interested in music. Turn on one of their favorite songs, and encourage them to sing more. 

Many artists, musical talents, and genuine attribute their talents to their early childhood years. A simple musical piece or a chance to perform in front of others was all it took for them to realize their passion. The benefits of learning music at an early age extend far beyond musical applications. Children will learn to be more focused, confident in themselves, and more prepared to take on challenging problems.