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Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

Top Home Entertainment Tech Gifts For The Entire Family

December 16th, 2014 by Tech Staff

Tech Gifts

Tech gifts are hot this holiday season, and with all the latest gadgets and upgraded electronic devices, it shouldn’t be a surprise that many wish lists include the best in smart devices. As you get your holiday shopping started, check out these great tech gift ideas that will have your friends and family members shouting for joy when they open presents from you.

tech gifts

* For your viewing pleasure – When it comes to switching from broadcast television to streaming services or having a big screen for the big game, new “smart TV” platforms from LG take the cake (and start as low as $700). With their intuitive interface, these smart TVs can quickly transition from menu to menu and between TV and streaming content from Netflix and hundreds of apps via their wireless Internet connection.

[MUST READ: Upgrade A Home Theatre For The Holidays With Best Buy]

 

* A smart home – There are hundreds of different services and devices that allow a homeowner to digitally control their home while they’re away. For example, you could gift your loved one with the ability to lock the doors, turn off the lights, check the thermometer or even visually see who’s ringing his doorbell – all while he’s sitting at the office, on vacation or running errands.

blu ray disc player

* Endless entertainment – From watching videos to streaming services, affordable new Blu-ray Disc players are a great gift to provide your loved ones with the ability to watch all their favorite movies and TV shows. Some players are 3D capable and come with smart TV and built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, giving viewers access to limitless content for the ultimate TV-watching experience. You may want to get one for yourself as well since you’ll also want to be up to date on all the latest shows and movies.

* Wireless wonderland – Smart TVs and Blu-ray players, not to mention laptops, tablets and smartphones, all work with Wi-Fi these days, and the tech enthusiast on your list will appreciate a new wireless modem/router at home. New Energy Star-certified models save energy but don’t sacrifice performance, so streaming video to your smart TV while surfing the Internet on your laptop are a breeze.

LG theater system

* Surreal surround sound – Soundbars, speakers systems, receivers and amplifiers – there are many elements that go into creating the best surround sound experience. Hot this holiday season are all-in-one home theater systems, that offers powerful supplementary sound and streaming content like Netflix, in a slim package under the TV. If your gift recipient has a partial surround sound system already established, it’s easy to gift them with the missing elements so they can really enjoy their favorite songs and movies.

When your loved ones discover these technology goodies under the tree, you know your gift will be a hit – and used for a long time to come. So get your shopping done early and sit back and enjoy the rest of the season.  What family gifts are you looking forward to gifting this season?  Share your thoughts below!

How To Prepare For A Holiday Girls Night Out With Coca-Cola [Video]

December 15th, 2014 by Christen Rochon

girls night out header

 

The holidays is all about celebrating life, reconnecting with friends and making the most out of this glorious time of year.  There’s no better time to create special moments with family and friends and I make it a point to get together with my special girlfriends as much as possible during this festive time of year.  Preparing for a holiday girls night out is as easy as 1-2-3!  Check out a few of my favorite ways I prepare for a holiday girls night out with Coca-Cola in the video below (… Huge pin curls? CHECK! Eyebrows on FLEEK? CHECK! iPad? CHECK!… I’m about that Girls Night Out life!)

 

Girls Night Out

 

 

 

How do you prepare for a glam night out with your girls?  Share your favorite girls night out tips and tricks below…
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COSIGN – The App That Pays, Is Giving Away Tons Of Prizes This Season #COSIGNholiday

December 14th, 2014 by Christen Rochon

Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a gift card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

 

 

Cosign 12 Days of Christmas

 

By now, you’ve heard about the newest mobile app that turns social media content into a shopping experience – COSIGN.  Have you ever shared your favorite shopping find online, and the next thing you know, it’s become your friends newest purchase? If you love shopping and sharing your favorite brands on social media, why not get paid for it! With the new mobile app, COSIGN you can share and tag your stylish picks, when someone buys it from your share – you’ll get paid!

 

[Must Read: Shop, Share And Earn Cash With The COSIGN App]

 

In celebration of the new app that turns your social content into currency.  COSIGN is rewarding consumers in more ways than one! Wouldn’t it be nice to be rewarded for your everyday social activity, simply by sharing the brands that you love. Because, you’re more than a consumer, you’re an influencer. This season, COSIGN is rewarding influencers with ’12 Days of Christmas’ giveaways all-month long!

 

For the first time ever, COSIGN is giving influencers like you a chance to win tons of amazing prizes!  From now until December 24th COSIGN will be revealing the 12 Days of Christmas “Gift of The Day” – Today’s gift reveal is an amazing $100 Giftcard to the must have style subscription box – MODABOX! With MODABOX, you can grow the bottomless closet you’ve always wanted with speciality curated fashion items picked by a stylist to suit your unique style-personality.  From jet-setter to socialite and even moms-on-the-go, MODABOX has you covered! 

 

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Enter to win a $100 MODABOX Gift Card plus the rest of COSIGN’S 12 Days of Christmas giveaways by signing up to become the first to know when the app hits iOS and Google Play stores below! 

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

 

 

Stay tuned all week long as COSIGN (along with some pretty fabulous bloggers) reveal the remaining ‘COSIGN 12 Days of Christmas’ giveaway items (over $1,000 in prizes).  For more information visit COSIGN.CO to see and shop the latest trends and turn your social media content into commerce. Sign up at cosign.co to be the first to know when the app is available for download for your smartphone today and don’t forget to get social with the new app that pays and connect with COSIGN on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

How To Get Away With Stress Free (Last-Minute) Holiday Shopping

December 11th, 2014 by Lifestyle Staff

Stress Free Holiday Shopping

The holidays are stressful. Add in the time and money demands of holiday shopping, and you may be tempted to keep a therapist on speed dial. Traveling, surviving holiday office parties, and managing relatives can make the holidays stressful. But last minute shopping doesn’t have to be.  Discover how to accomplish stress free holiday shopping below!

You have no idea where to start or what to buy: Whether it is toys, apparel or electronics, major retailers and brand-specific websites are publishing “hot holiday lists” and top picks for almost anything.  There are plenty of top picks by Amazon, Toys R Us, and PC Magazine for electronics, plus there are even top pick lists for cosmetics and best buys for kitchen ware.  Boutiques offer great gift-giving options as well!  Since people really respond to unique gifts, think outside the box, anything from personalized yoga mats to craft jewelry could be just the gift to wow them this season.  Check out your local small business boutique for last-minute novelty gifts that your friends and family would love.

Stress Free Holiday Shopping

Looking to save time and money: If you’re constantly on the go and prefer to rely on some preliminary shopping via your cellphone or mobile tablet, many apps can make shopping a bit more organized and convenient.  There are apps for apparel such as Wanelo and Wish, and major retailers or brands also have their own apps such as Pink Nation for Victoria’s Secret.  Need to keep track of all your online purchases? There’s an app for that! The larger shipping services like UPS and FedEx have their own apps, but you can also try the Slice app or the Posted app depending on your needs. Online and app shopping will save you the hassle and time, but you need to plan for shipping delays, some of your items could easily be coming from China and take a whole month to arrive.

Complete your shopping in one place or in one day: Pick and choose where you think you may spend the majority of your holiday budget, and join the loyalty programs for coupons and reductions. Be choosy and make sure you register with the loyalty programs that will really deliver savings and unique purchases as opposed to spam mail.  The key to holiday shopping is to avoid impulse buying. Make a list, and start early. Go online or ask your loved ones and friends about their hobbies. Stress relief and savings are the result of doing the homework. If you don’t, the worst will happen – you’ll force yourself to buy out of desperation.

 

 How do you avoid stress while getting your last minute shopping completed this holiday season?  Share your tips below!

Keeping My Holiday Style Chic Without Breaking The Bank With Dryel

December 10th, 2014 by Christen Rochon

Let’s face it!  Holiday season is great time of the year!  It’s actually one of my favorite times of the year simply because everyone is so hopeful, cheerful and the bounty of holiday parties are endless.  Keeping up with the holiday invites and chic attire can be a challenge during the holiday season.  You have to make strategic style choices that keep you looking fabulous while avoid overspending on new holiday-inspired fashion and mountainous dry cleaning bills at all costs.  That’s why I’m so happy to share my secret to looking amazing during the holiday season, as an official brand ambassador for Dryel I’ve been able to save, while keeping stylish all season long!

Dryel

With brand new red packaging and a new, improved bag Dryel is the go-to for every stylish girl on the go this season!

 

Dryel is the at-home dry cleaner that uses the power of steam to clean and deodorize clothing – all in your own dryer.  The patented Dryel cleaning system truly fits my on-the-go lifestyle!  From last minute travel, to dressing for a special occasion Dryel quickly refreshes and renews clothing in as little as fifteen minutes.  Dryel safely and thoroughly cleans clothes, protects colors and preserve shape without using any harsh chemicals.

 

Dryel

Dryel can be used on most dry clean only items, but its also great for cleaning other items like stuffed animals, table linens and more.

 

I love mixing and matching patterns, textures and colors – all in the name of holiday fashion and with Dryel quick cleaning, it makes remixing looks easier than ever.  Dryel is definitely my secret for keeping my looks fabulous all season long. The starter kit (MSRP: $6.99) cleans up to 10 garments while the refill (MSRP $8.99) cleans up to 30 garments – cleaning my favorite sequin and satin frocks for a fraction of the cost of a typical dry cleaner.

Not only do I use Dryel to clean and freshen up hard to clean frocks, but it works wonders on eliminating wrinkles in hard to iron pleated skirts/dresses and livening compacted clothes fresh out my suitcase too!  Can you believe my favorite sequin dress went from suitcase-to-camera ready in minutes?

 

Christen Rochon Dryel Ambassador

From holiday parties to filming on set – Dryel keeps my favorite clothes looking camera ready, no matter what!

 

Dryel is easy to use, cost effective and it extends the life of your closet – what more could you ask for?  Clothes look newer, longer, with no fading, shrinking or stretching.  You’ve seen how I keep my holiday style chic without breaking the bank with Dryel, now how about you?  You can find Dryel At-Home Dry Cleaner at retailers like Walmart and Target or get social and connect with Dryel on Facebook and Pinterest today.

 

 

Gaming Guide for Kids Of All Ages (GIVEAWAY) #BigGiftGuide

December 9th, 2014 by Christen Rochon

The holidays is a huge time for reconnecting over games of all kinds.  From video gaming online with friends across the world to playing your favorite board games with family in the comfort of your own home, gaming brings family and friends together like nothing else can.

This season, you can easily find games of all kinds that’s perfect for your family – discover some of my favorite games plus a cool giveaway just in time for the holidays below!

 

 

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS ($39.99)

 

If you’ve ever loved Super Mario Bros, then this is a nostalgic gaming option for you.  Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is the first portable entry in the renowned series, in which game worlds collide. Up to four players battle each other locally or online using some of Nintendo’s most well-known and iconic characters across beautifully designed stages inspired by classic portable Nintendo games. It’s a genuine, massive Super Sma sh Bros. experience that’s available to play on the go, anytime, anywhere.

Gaming

Disney INFINITY Marvel Super Heroes 2.0 Edition Starter Pack: ($54.99)

Love super actions heroes?  In Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, players use real-world interactive Marvel figures to activate original storylines (Play Sets) in the virtual game worlds of some of Marvel’s most popular franchises, including The Avengers. In the Play Sets, players will be able to take on the role of more than 20 Marvel characters including Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Hulk and Hawkeye to battle enemies, complete challenging missions, solve puzzles and ultimately save the world from destruction.

 

Gaming

Grand Theft Auto V for PlayStation 4 ($59.99)

For all the adult speed demons (on and off the road) the Grand Theft Auto gaming series is for you!  Grand Theft Auto V comes with Grand Theft Auto Online, the dynamic and ever-evolving Grand Theft Auto universe with online play now for up to 30 players on PlayStation®4. All existing gameplay upgrades and Rockstar-created content released since the launch of Grand Theft Auto Online will also be available for the PlayStation®4 with much more to come.

 

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PlayStation TV System Bundle ($99.99)

 

PlayStation®TV, a sleek and compact console with a universe of PlayStation games available for stream, download and play. Packed with a DUALSHOCK®3 controller, an 8GB memory card and a digital voucher of the blockbuster hit The LEGO® Movie Videogame, the PlayStation TV bundle has all you need to join the exciting world of PlayStation. PlayStation TV is an easy way for gamers of all ages and skill levels to enjoy playing games together.  

[Must Read: Sneak Peek: The Hottest Sony PlayStation Games For The Holidays]

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WWE 2K15 for Xbox 360, Xbox One and PlayStation 4

Find all the WWE action you know and love on your favorite gaming console this season!  Listen to Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole call the action with the best commentary featured in a WWE game to date, with more than five times the lines recorded than any other year. WWE 2K15 will also feature a custom soundtrack featuring today’s hottest artists, curated by John Cena.  Relive the groundbreaking rivalries of John Cena vs. CM Punk and Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels in a new single player campaign told through your gameplay and historic WWE footage. 

wwe-box-john-cena

Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Bundle ($449.99)

For the serious adult gamers this year, the Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Bundle is the only gift at the top of lists everywhere.  Featuring a massive 1TB hard drive and in-game sound effects, the console is emblazoned with Sentinel Task Force iconography. The wireless controller looks like an artifact from the powerful battlegrounds of the future. You get the Digital Edition Personalization Pack, Limited Edition exoskeleton and the Advanced Arsenal, which includes a bullet brass exoskeleton and the EM1 Quantum custom weapon. The bundle also includes the full-game download of the Call of Duty®: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, plus two custom weapons: the AK-12G Assault Rifle and Crossbow-B2.

GameStop Call Of Duty

Looking for more holiday gaming gift ideas?  Check out GameStop’s Holiday Hub! It’s the perfect place to find the hottest dealsnewest releasesgreatest gift ideas and so much more! Whether you’re shopping for others or shopping for yourself, GameStop has everything you need to wrap up your holidays in style.  Want to win Game Stop gift cards to make your holiday shopping easier this year?  Enter below for your chance to win one of two $50 Game Stop gift cards today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In addition to making great gaming gifts for others, these gifts would make great personal gifts for yourself too!  Are you looking for more smartphone gift ideas this season?  Check back daily as we’ll be sprinkling in some unbelievable holiday prizes for you to keep (or giveaway) this season (Hint:  Remember Diva Days Of Christmas prizes of yesteryear?  We’re upping the ante and will be bringing you bigger and better prizes unlike anything we’ve ever done before!  You won’t want to miss out!)  All December long, make sure you check back daily for your chance to win!

Who’s been naughty or nice on your Christmas list?  Need help finding the perfect gift this season?  Tweet us “Hey @DivasandDorks I need your help finding the perfect gift! #BigGiftGuide”  for personalized help finding the right gift this year! 

Go Traditional (Not Tech) For Holiday Gifts They’ll Love Next Year And Beyond

December 9th, 2014 by Lifestyle Staff

DID YOU KNOW:  14% of consumers that receive tech gifts for the holidays return them after the holidays? Popular wisdom would have you believe that the best holiday gift must have a battery, a touch screen and wireless capability. Technology gifts, however, rarely stand the test of time. Give your loved one a smartphone or tablet in December and it may already be obsolete by spring.  Traditional holiday gifts are making a comeback this season!  Since more tech-inspired gifts seem to be returned after the holidays, discover the top traditional holiday gifts to share this season that friends and family will love this season below!

traditional holiday gifts

There’s a reason why certain types of gifts and accessories become thought of as ‘traditional,’ their appeal and usefulness endure long after the holiday season ends. They speak to the recipient’s heart. They may create a warm sense of nostalgia and comfort by reminding the gift-receiver of a simpler time in their lives.  Just in case you need another reason to go traditional, rather than tech? A Stanford University study of gift-givers and recipients found that the price of a gift had no influence on the recipient’s level of appreciation. How much the gift cost actually meant more to the giver than it did the receiver. For far less than you might spend on the latest technology gift, you could give a wide range of no-tech, traditional and nostalgic gifts that friends and family would love!

* Delightful holiday decorations – Giving holiday decorations is a great way to make the season even more festive for everyone on your gift list – and give something that will be used for years to come. Personalized ornaments or ones that celebrate a hobby, occupation or favorite sports team gently remind recipients that you know – and love – who they are. Unique holiday decor items such as items made from all-natural materials, a beautiful wreath for the front door, or hand-crafted lanterns with a winter theme make memorable, affordable and useful gifts.

traditional holiday gifts

Home decor – Many people agonize over how to personalize a gift, yet if you’ve ever visited someone’s home, you probably already have an idea of their home decorating style. Look for home decor pieces that mesh with items already in their home. For example, if your sister-in-law has decorated her home in a rustic style, she might welcome some rooster tableware or a beautifully crafted quilt.

Bed and bath – Everyone sleeps and everyone bathes, but does everyone on your holiday list already do both in style? Gift items that make for a more luxurious bathing experience – or even just put a touch of lux into everyday hand washing – can deliver a sense of caring, comfort and relaxation. Companies like J.R. Watkins, which has been around for more than 100 years, offer products that are practical and pampering, such as Lemon Mint Cream moisturizer. In the bedroom, accent pillows and quilts can remind the recipient of your care all year long.

* Timeless toys – Shopping for kids can be a challenge, especially if the child on your list has everything from a tablet to a battery-powered scooter. While last year’s tech toy may already be collecting dust on the shelf or broken beyond repair, traditional toys like old-fashioned musical instruments and simple dolls are timeless. This year, why not give a classic doll like Raggedy Ann or Andy, or a stuffed lovely like Sock Monkey? Or, try games that are as challenging now as they were decades ago, such as Simon, or those that travel well like mini Foosball or air hockey.

traditional holiday gifts

* Food favorites – Food can be a deeply personal gift, especially if you opt for something that not only tickles the recipients’ taste buds but his or her sense of nostalgia as well. Childhood favorites like Necco Wafers, salt water taffy, peppermints or traditional root beer are flavorful reminders of a simpler time. Pantry staples such as gourmet pancake mix and syrup or premium vanilla extracts feed the recipients’ body as well as their sense of creativity. Or, save someone a step on her holiday meal prep by providing dessert; a homemade pie or other baked goodies will be a welcome addition to any host’s holiday table.

Some gifts will fade in favor just as winter fades into spring.  Everyone wants to give a gift that will be loved, used and remembered – and nothing accomplishes that better than a gift that appeals to our sense of nostalgia and tradition.  What are some traditional gifts do you plan on gifting this season?  Share some of your favorite traditional gifts to give and receive below!

3 Budget-Friendly Ways To Get Your Home Holiday Ready At The Last Minute

December 8th, 2014 by Christen Rochon

holiday ready

The fun chaos of the holidays is in full throttle! Family gatherings to plan, delicious meals to prepare, gifts to find and purchase, and a house to decorate … the list goes on!  With entertaining season approaching at warp speed, it’s time to get your home spruced up and looking like new. Your time is precious around the holiday season, so to help make the most of your days – and budget – try these easy solutions to make your home holiday ready while keeping your sanity below.

* A simple way to decorate for the holidays year after year is with an artificial tree. Lowe’s offers four trees pre-lit with color-changing LED lights, meaning you can change the look – and color – of the tree with just a push of the pedal making your decorating process much easier. For a formal dinner event, glowing white light sets a perfect ambiance. Switch to the multi-color option to delight the kids.

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* Use holiday decorations in unexpected ways to add festive cheer in every room of your home with minimal effort. Try hanging ornaments to decorate live plants, light fixtures, doorway overhangs, stairwells, mirrors and even the mantel. For this project, don’t use expensive or family heirloom ornaments – just purchase coordinating ones that work with the color pattern you already have in the room.

* Potted evergreen plants decorated with lights bring plenty of festive feelings into a room. The best news is that when spring arrives, you can plant them outside in your backyard, or donate them to a community project that needs evergreen trees. Using live plants infuses the room with light and good, clean oxygen, and it’s the subtle touches your guests will appreciate and remember.

(BONUS:  One of my favorite learned tips this season is discovering the power of a table charger!  Adding a charger plate to your holiday table adds sophistication and glam without additional decorating required!)

With these timely tips, you – and your home – will be last-minute ready for a holiday season of celebrations.  How do you get your home holiday ready for the season?  Share your last minute tips (and tricks) below!

Best Buy Holiday Gift Ideas For The Whole Family #HintingSeason

December 4th, 2014 by Christen Rochon

Best Buy Holiday

 

Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday is out the way, let’s talk unbiased holiday shopping shall we?  For the last few weeks, my family and I have been obsessed with holiday shopping at Best Buy this season!  My brother recently purchased an iPhone 6 for himself and my mother bought herself a LG3 smartphone (after consulting with me of course!) As one of my favorite places for holiday shopping and finding the best deals, its on wonder that Best Buy has the best holiday gift ideas for the whole family.

From gaming to navigation, with expert service and unbeatable prices these top gifts are on my list this holiday and here’s why they should be on yours:

 

 

For The Gamer:  Xbox One

Best Buy Holiday Xbox

 

Xbox One was built by gamers, for gamers. With the best exclusive titles (Halo, Sunset Overdrive), the biggest blockbusters (Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty) the hottest sports franchises (Madden 15, FIFA 15, NBA 2K15) and top family titles (Fantasia: Music Evolved, Just Dance 15, Skylanders) Xbox One takes gaming to a whole new level.

In addition to being a great gaming console, Xbox one connects consumers unlike any other device.  Xbox One enables access to the latest TV shows and movies through your favorite apps.  With Xbox One all of your media is at your fingertips when you want it.

 

 

For the Sound and Tech Enthusiast:  JBL

 

Best Buy JBL

 

 

JBL Charge 2- Between the twin passive radiators for deep bass, the massive 6000mAh battery and the hands-free conference speakerphone the key benefit is the Bluetooth Social Mode which allows up to three different users to take their turns to play their own playlists on a single speaker.

JBL Flip 2- Aside from the dual performance-tuned JBL drivers and a built-in bass port, the key benefit of the JBL Flip 2 is the SoundClear echo and noise cancellation combined with the state-of the art microphone system to pick up calls on the speaker.

JBL Reflect Earbud headphones-  Sweat proof ergonomic design.  With a 5 hour rechargeable battery and a reach of about 40 feet, the JBL Reflect BT’s key benefit is the design of the ergonomic eartips along with the built-in magnets which keep your buds on standby without loose cables.

 

 

 

For The Avid Road Traveler:  Garmin and TomTom

 

Best Buy TomTom

 

Featuring bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling, traffic and weather updates.  Lane assist, Lifetime traffic and map updates.   Voice Recognition Technology.

 

Garmin 52LM

o   5.0” display

o   Maps of 49 U.S. states, plus lifetime map updates1

o   Lane assist with junction view

o   Displays speed limit and accurate arrival time

o   Easily find addresses and millions of points of interest

o   Spoken turn-by-turn directions

 

 

Garmin 2597LMT

o   5.0” display

o   Maps of 49 U.S. states, plus lifetime map updates1

o   Lane assist with junction view

o   Displays speed limit and accurate arrival time

o   Easily find addresses and millions of points of interest

o   Spoken turn-by-turn directions

 

 

TomTom Go 50s

  • Lifetime TomTom Traffic: Drive with TomTom Traffic for the lifetime of your device
  • Lifetime Maps (US, Canada, Mexico): Always drive with the latest map
  • 3D Maps. See buildings and landmarks in stunning 3D
  • 5″ touchscreen with advanced lane guidance

 

 

Check out Best Buy online and in store today for holiday gifts that anyone on your list would love! Have you begun shopping for the favorite people on your list this year?  What are some of your favorite gifts spotted this year? Share your favorites below!

 

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Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Top Three Trends In Smart Home Technology For 2015 And Beyond

December 1st, 2014 by Christen Rochon

home technology

Home is where the heart is, and now thanks to home automation, it’s also where technology thrives. While in the process of moving into my new dream home, I’m all about finding the best in smart home automation products to ensure control of energy efficiency and cutting waste. Clearly, I’m not the only one with the bright idea, in fact, the smart home market is forecasted to hit $12.8 billion by 2017 in North America and Europe alone.

The rapid growth of smart home technology is closely connected to the large number of people who own mobile devices. Today 90 percent of American adults have a cellphone, 58 percent have a smartphone and 42 percent of own a tablet computer, according to the Pew Research Internet Project.  Home connectivity is no longer a novelty – it’s quickly becoming commonplace, allowing you to stay connected to your home from near or far. Here are the top trends in smart home technology today:

Heating and cooling control
Heating and cooling accounts for more than half of the energy used in a typical American home, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. It’s no wonder homeowners want tech-savvy solutions to cut bills. Programmable thermostats are affordable and readily available, and when used correctly, they can save homeowners up to $180 per year in energy costs. Some smart thermostats even allow temperature adjustments to be made remotely from smartphones while providing energy statistics to help you control costs. Zoned heating and cooling systems are also gaining traction, meaning that you can heat or cool certain parts of the home based on where you spend the most time.

[Must Read: Meet Honeywell’s Lyric Thermostat – Home Comfort That’s In Tune With Your Schedule]

Wise water usage
More people are aware of their water footprint and are taking steps to control H2O usage in their homes. Low-flow toilets and shower heads are a start, but technology is taking water usage and conservation to new levels. EcoWater Systems HydroLink Plus is an example of a water treatment system enhanced by Wi-Fi technology. The system softens and treats your water while monitoring water usage, letting you know when softener salt is needed and sends you alerts if potential issues are detected, such as a continuous water flow over a period of time or excess water usage above normal usage. This allows you to make adjustments to save money on utility bills, plus provides peace of mind that problems can be corrected before expensive repairs are required. This is on top of the inherent savings water softeners provide in hard water areas, reducing the amount of soap and cleaning agents needed and saving on energy bills. Also, if you choose, HydroLink Plus enabled systems can be programmed to send alerts and diagnostics to a local EcoWater dealer who can monitor the system and provide maintenance as needed. For more information, visit www.ecowater.com.

[Must Read:  Keep A Watchful Eye On What’s Important With The Belkin NetCam HD]

Smart security systems
For years, home security alarms consisted of sensors that detected break-ins and responded with loud sirens. Today, security systems literally put a home’s safety and efficiency in the palm of your hand. Video cameras and alerts let you know when children arrive home from school or when packages are delivered. Fire alarms integrated into the system alert you of smoke, fires and the presence of carbon monoxide and other poisonous fumes.

[Must Read: 5 Ways To Stay Connected In The Bedroom For Under $100]

We live in a digital age and homeowners are embracing smart home technology for everything from water treatment to home safety.  The result? Homes are more efficient and secure, and homeowners are conserving natural resources while saving money on utility bills. Perhaps it’s time to hop on the bandwagon and consider intelligent home improvements? There are definitely benefits – and you’ll have the smartest home on the block.

Are you looking forward to creating a smart home space for you and your family soon?  From lightbulbs, motion activated cameras and more, there’s plenty of cost-effective options to get you started, the question is – which items to buy first? Share your home automation wish list items in the comment section below!

 

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