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August 2014
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tag: house

- our smart thermostat -

last fall we upgraded our thermostat to a nest, the super smart thermostat from the guy who created the iPod! to say the least, we are quite impressed and love our nest, which sounds weird to say about a thermostat.

the thermostat was super easy to install. it probably took 30 minutes or less. all i had to do was kill the power to the old thermostat, take off the face to see what wires were plugged in (label the wires if not colored), unscrew the wires, remove the old wall plate, install the new wall plate, connect the wires to the nest, put on the new face and turn the power back on.

the longest part of my installation was touching up the paint around the old thermostat since the new one was much smaller. once the nest was powered up, it was a few steps to get the thermostat connected to our wifi and up and running. from there it was a breeze to program, unlike most thermostats. the first week nest built a schedule based on how we used the thermostat. from there we were able to easily tweak all seven days settings on the thermostat, laptop or on our cell phones!

remote access to the thermostat is pretty cool. if you are traveling home from a vacation or a hot day outside, you can easily set your house to be nice and cold right from your phone! plus it actually gets to the requested temperature at the time you set, most thermostats just turn on at the set time.

there are also motion sensors to avoid wasting energy when no one is around. nest will auto-adjust to an efficient temperature when sensing you are gone. during the summer months the thermostat also keeps your fan running after the air turns off to keep air blowing across the cold coils. this helps keep the house cool even without the AC on. it’s little things like this that make this a very energy efficient device.

another cool aspect about a wifi enabled thermostat is the ability to receive firmware updates. that way your device won’t be outdated when new features come along. plus the firmware updates happen automatically in the background so you don’t have to worry about it. the nest also keeps track of your energy history to see how and why you saved energy. you receive a monthly newsletter letting you know how efficient your thermostat usage has been and compares it to other nest users locally and nationally. what a nice treat!

nest claims you can lower your energy bills by 20% using their thermostat and make your money back in energy savings within the first year. we are about to reach our one year anniversary having the thermostat, so we will update you on how our quest for energy efficiency went and if their claims are accurate!

you can watch a nest demo video here!

- ryan

- tulip tree -

our tulip tree did surprisingly well this year. a few early warm days combined with late freezes caused some worry, however it powered through. i would say general beauregard lee made the right prediction with how cold it’s been.

the blooms were still quite beautiful even with the frigid temperatures. they always stand out against the dormant late winter landscape. be sure to check out more photos from previous blog posts: spring 2012, late winter 2012, spring 2011, late winter 2011 & spring 2010.

- ryan

- orla kiely + method -

method recently teamed up with orla kiely to add a little style to their home cleaning products. these orla kiely designed products are sold exclusively at target and include hand & dish soap, foaming wash and cleaning spray. the scents are quite nice as well, especially tomato vine!

be sure to check our previous posts on our oral kiely goodies & bedding!

- ryan & gub

- nursery transformation: updated -

with the addition of a modern dollhouse, an easel, and lots of christmas goodies; we did some rearranging in clementine’s room. we added a bookshelf in her closet and moved her crib to make more space. it definitely opened the room up.

clementine loves her modern dollhouse! we saw it in a magazine ages ago, but it was quite pricey. we ended up finding it at our local consignment shop, jack and jill’s, and couldn’t resist. it’s now become a home for many of our old toys as well, ie. r2d2 and the homestar crew.

- ryan & gub

to see how clementine’s room came together, check out our previous coverage: week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, week 5, week 6, week 7, week 8, week 9, week 10, week 11, week 12, week 13 and completion!

- porch fire -

fall is finally upon us! it’s actually cooled down enough so we can pull out our firepit again.

- ryan & gub

- drawing table -

clementine recently got a new desk to draw on in our kitchen! it’s the perfect size for her and she loves it. the table was in gub’s family and her mom repainted it to fit in our bright house!

- ryan & gub

- any day now -

gub’s due date is quickly approaching. to celebrate, here are some cute recent photos of gub & clementine!

- ryan

- my favorite chair -

clementine has claimed her new favorite spot in our family room. she loves to climb up and relax in her chair with some milk and ponyo! and if you happen to be in her chair, she will still try and squeeze in next to you.

- ryan & gub

- oreo delight -

clementine has been on a sweets kick. she recently tried her first oreo and loved it!

- ryan & gub

- happy fathers day -

i enjoyed a relaxing father’s day hanging out with gub and clementine! we relaxed by the kiddie pool and made some ice cream with this awesome wooden ice cream maker gub got me! it’s crazy what a difference a year makes.

- ryan