My Experience With the Ring Video Doorbell

Recently I came back from a vacation only to discover that while I was away somebody had attempted to break into my home. Luckily the burglar had trouble getting past my deadbolt and didn’t make their way fully inside my house. However, the whole experience naturally left me shaken up and wondering if my home is at risk. I decided the only way to put myself at ease was to install a security system. That’s when I decided to look into a new gadget called the Ring Video Doorbell.

Ring Video Doorbell Installation and Setup

The Ring Video Doorbell has a built in camera and motion detector. It works in collaboration with the Ring app and your home’s wi-fi. Using the app, you setup a perimeter around the doorbell that you will receive alerts for. When somebody comes within that perimeter you get a push notification. When you open an alert notice you are able to see a live video stream of exactly who is at your door. If you want, you can even talk to them in real time! So let’s say you get a package delivered when you are away and somebody walks up to your house and tries to take it. You will not only be notified, but you can actually talk to them and tell them to drop your package and scram. If you wire the Ring to your old doorbell’s wiring, it can function off the power from your house. However if you don’t do this the Ring can be battery powered. I have not had the device long enough to say exactly how long the battery lasts once fully charged, but I have read that it can last for up to 1 year before needing a charge. This also depends on your settings though. For example, they have a setting that allows the device to be extra sensitive sending you more frequent notifications. Also, if you set it to have too long of a perimeter range, and it is constantly setting off the app then you will go through your battery more quickly.

So far I have been very pleased with the Ring. In my opinion it is a very well designed device. I only had one issue with the setup. It requires two small screws on the bottom that help keep it in place. The screws are not very good quality and one of them became stripped. When we went to remove the device from the wall again it was a total nightmare to get the screw off. My advice is to be careful when you are installing it and take your time with those screws. Other than that debacle the installation process was easy and pretty painless. I started receiving notifications to my phone right away. When you first install it you’ll want to play around with the settings. At times the device was too sensitive, because it picked up the cars that drive by my house or when somebody parked by my house. However, when I lower the range of my perimeter I don’t get as many notices. I have tested the device with friends and found that the notices are indeed real time without much of a lag at all. I am very impressed and pleased by this.

Data Storage

As far as data storage goes, I opted not to buy a package to keep my footage stored in their cloud. However, if you do want a storage package, Ring charges $3 a month which is very reasonable compared to the cost of having a traditional security system. Ring doesn’t offer anything as far as notifying the police in the event of an emergency. If you want something along those lines, or if you want a loud alarm to sound when somebody tries to break in, then I probably wouldn’t choose the Ring. It is a fit for me, because I simply wanted a camera and motion detector that offered real time notifications. I figure this way I don’t need to worry about setting or disarming an alarm system, and I can always decide to call the police myself if necessary. When you purchase the Ring Video Doorbell you do get the cloud subscription free for 30 days if that is something you are interested in trying out.

Conclusion

All in all I would say that I definitely recommend the Ring Video Doorbell system. There are a few different models, but I purchased the Ring Wi- Fi Smart Video Doorbell in the satin nickel from Best Buy for $199.99. This model’s camera shoots in 720p, so sometimes the footage is slightly blurred and not 100% crystal clear, but I find it to be plenty sufficient for my needs, and I am definitely able to see what the person at my door is doing. If you are concerned about the quality of the camera though the newer Ring Video Doorbell Pro has a 1080p camera. That upgraded version is $249.99 at Best Buy. It is was definitely an investment to purchase it, but for me it was well worth it because it gave me back my peace of mind and sense of safety.

*Photo courtesy of the iTunes App Store

5 Workouts You Will Actually Enjoy

Exercise is something that most of us dread doing, but we all know how important it is for our health. The good news is there are now more ways to work out than ever before and some of them are actually pretty enjoyable. The best place to start is to think about what types of physical activities you genuinely enjoy. Then find creative ways to incorporate that into a workout routine. If you hate running, don’t force yourself to run. If you think the treadmill is mundane, give yourself permission to avoid it. Instead focus on what you love. If you do that, you’ll be ten times more likely to stick with a workout routine. Who knows, then working out might turn into one of your favorite hobbies! Here is our list of the top 5 workouts you will actually enjoy doing.

1. Barre Classes
Combine basic ballet techniques along with pilates, cardio, and strength training and you’ve got Barre, the latest fitness craze. You may have seen Barre studios cropping up in your city or town, because this new workout is all the rage. Devotees say that results happen quickly with this challenging but fun exercise technique. Some say the first class can be a little bit intimidating, because it requires learning new movements and some classes move between exercises quickly. For this reason it may take a few classes to master the key moves, but stick with it. Most classes last 60 minutes and typically start with upper body workouts like planks and push ups. Then you will move to the ballet barre where you will do small isolated movements where precise technique is key. If you have injuries or are pregnant this can be an ideal workout, because it is low impact but still very effective. Also, if you love yoga or pilates, Barre will likely be an easier transition for you as some of the moves are inspired by those disciplines.

2. Zumba Fitness
If you like the energy of a club and you love to dance Zumba is the perfect workout for you. Zumba classes are fun, high energy workouts that are really great for cardio and reportedly burn up to 500 calories in an hour long class. The fun music is a key element to any Zumba class, and it will certainly be turned up loud. The dance routines are mostly latin dance or hip hop based, however there also routines inspired by Indian Bollywood or African dance. It can be tricky to pick up the moves, but after a few classes you will likely catch on. There also some basic Zumba dance moves that will pop up in class frequently, which will help you catch on faster. Teachers do aim to mix up the routines and music to keep things interesting and fresh. The workouts begin with a very simple, basic dance that will get you warmed up. After the warm up, the dances do get more high energy, and they may include jumping or squats to increase the intensity and caloric burn. The end of a typical Zumba class involves a slow song where you will stretch and wind down. The 1 hour tends to go by surprisingly quickly, because it is so fast paced and you get wrapped up in the dancing.

3. Hula Hooping
Turn your childhood pastime into a genuine ab workout. You can use a regular old-school hula hoop or you can purchase a weighted version to increase the intensity. If you work for 30 minutes you could expect to burn around 150 to 250 calories. The company Hoopnotica, is working to create a hula hoop fitness revolution. They supply enthusiasts with weighted hula hoops that can be taken apart and carried easily in a bag for travel or storage purposes. They also sell workout dvds that you can follow at home. Their website touts the many benefits of this exercise including toned abs, legs, and arms, but they also say it helps calm the mind and reduce stress. It also helps to improve coordination and flexibility. Who knew the hula hoop could do so much!

4. Doga
This is a workout trend becoming popular in the UK, and is poised to become a hit all across the globe. Doga is yoga classes with your dog. It sounds wacky, but Doga enthusiasts claim that it actually has a lot of benefits for both them and their pups. Yoga is wonderful for the mind and body allowing you to de-stress and be present in the moment while simultaneously getting a good low impact workout. Apparently the same benefits can be had for your dog. You would think that your dog would be running around the room creating mischief while you try to do get into the perfect yoga position creating a chaotic scenario that is anything but relaxing. However, Doga studio owners say that while things may be chaotic at the start of the class, your dog will feed off your energy. If you stay calm and centered your dog will react in kind. You will be surprised that your dog will actually stay by your side and work with you on the exercises. By the end you both will be very relaxed. Doga is mainly for the benefit of the human participant, but the dogs do really seem to enjoy it and get a lot out of it. If nothing else Doga is great for strengthening the bond between dogs and their owners.

5. Aerial Fitness
If you have ever wished that you could fly, Aerial Fitness might be the workout for you. Aerial fitness is considered a form of dance and it involves hanging from different apparatuses that hang from the ceiling such as hoops, aerial ribbons, or trapeze. Experts are skilled at holding beautiful and graceful postures with the apparatuses. They are also skilled at doing rolls and controlled falls with the ribbons. Instructors will guide you through holding different positions and doing a variety of maneuvers. This is excellent for developing upper body and core strength as well as flexibility. Some Aerial Fitness classes focus specifically on the practice of yoga creating a really cool and exciting spin on the traditional yoga class. As you can imagine, aerial fitness can be a little difficult to master and could potentially be dangerous if done incorrectly. You want to make sure that you don’t try this at home! Find a reputable studio to learn at in your area.

Well that concludes our list of the top 5 workouts you will acutally enjoy doing. Let us know if we missed any new and fresh workout ideas.

5 Workouts You Will Actually Enjoy

Exercise is something that most of us dread doing, but we all know how important it is for our health. The good news is there are now more ways to work out than ever before and some of them are actually pretty enjoyable. The best place to start is to think about what types of physical activities you genuinely enjoy. Then find creative ways to incorporate that into a workout routine. If you hate running, don’t force yourself to run. If you think the treadmill is mundane, give yourself permission to avoid it. Instead focus on what you love. If you do that, you’ll be ten times more likely to stick with a workout routine. Who knows, then working out might turn into one of your favorite hobbies! Here is our list of the top 5 workouts you will actually enjoy doing.

1. Barre Classes
Combine basic ballet techniques along with pilates, cardio, and strength training and you’ve got Barre, the latest fitness craze. You may have seen Barre studios cropping up in your city or town, because this new workout is all the rage. Devotees say that results happen quickly with this challenging but fun exercise technique. Some say the first class can be a little bit intimidating, because it requires learning new movements and some classes move between exercises quickly. For this reason it may take a few classes to master the key moves, but stick with it. Most classes last 60 minutes and typically start with upper body workouts like planks and push ups. Then you will move to the ballet barre where you will do small isolated movements where precise technique is key. If you have injuries or are pregnant this can be an ideal workout, because it is low impact but still very effective. Also, if you love yoga or pilates, Barre will likely be an easier transition for you as some of the moves are inspired by those disciplines.

2. Zumba Fitness
If you like the energy of a club and you love to dance Zumba is the perfect workout for you. Zumba classes are fun, high energy workouts that are really great for cardio and reportedly burn up to 500 calories in an hour long class. The fun music is a key element to any Zumba class, and it will certainly be turned up loud. The dance routines are mostly latin dance or hip hop based, however there also routines inspired by Indian Bollywood or African dance. It can be tricky to pick up the moves, but after a few classes you will likely catch on. There also some basic Zumba dance moves that will pop up in class frequently, which will help you catch on faster. Teachers do aim to mix up the routines and music to keep things interesting and fresh. The workouts begin with a very simple, basic dance that will get you warmed up. After the warm up, the dances do get more high energy, and they may include jumping or squats to increase the intensity and caloric burn. The end of a typical Zumba class involves a slow song where you will stretch and wind down. The 1 hour tends to go by surprisingly quickly, because it is so fast paced and you get wrapped up in the dancing.

3. Hula Hooping
Turn your childhood pastime into a genuine ab workout. You can use a regular old-school hula hoop or you can purchase a weighted version to increase the intensity. If you work for 30 minutes you could expect to burn around 150 to 250 calories. The company Hoopnotica, is working to create a hula hoop fitness revolution. They supply enthusiasts with weighted hula hoops that can be taken apart and carried easily in a bag for travel or storage purposes. They also sell workout dvds that you can follow at home. Their website touts the many benefits of this exercise including toned abs, legs, and arms, but they also say it helps calm the mind and reduce stress. It also helps to improve coordination and flexibility. Who knew the hula hoop could do so much!

4. Doga
This is a workout trend becoming popular in the UK, and is poised to become a hit all across the globe. Doga is yoga classes with your dog. It sounds wacky, but Doga enthusiasts claim that it actually has a lot of benefits for both them and their pups. Yoga is wonderful for the mind and body allowing you to de-stress and be present in the moment while simultaneously getting a good low impact workout. Apparently the same benefits can be had for your dog. You would think that your dog would be running around the room creating mischief while you try to do get into the perfect yoga position creating a chaotic scenario that is anything but relaxing. However, Doga studio owners say that while things may be chaotic at the start of the class, your dog will feed off your energy. If you stay calm and centered your dog will react in kind. You will be surprised that your dog will actually stay by your side and work with you on the exercises. By the end you both will be very relaxed. Doga is mainly for the benefit of the human participant, but the dogs do really seem to enjoy it and get a lot out of it. If nothing else Doga is great for strengthening the bond between dogs and their owners.

5. Aerial Fitness
If you have ever wished that you could fly, Aerial Fitness might be the workout for you. Aerial fitness is considered a form of dance and it involves hanging from different apparatuses that hang from the ceiling such as hoops, aerial ribbons, or trapeze. Experts are skilled at holding beautiful and graceful postures with the apparatuses. They are also skilled at doing rolls and controlled falls with the ribbons. Instructors will guide you through holding different positions and doing a variety of maneuvers. This is excellent for developing upper body and core strength as well as flexibility. Some Aerial Fitness classes focus specifically on the practice of yoga creating a really cool and exciting spin on the traditional yoga class. As you can imagine, aerial fitness can be a little difficult to master and could potentially be dangerous if done incorrectly. You want to make sure that you don’t try this at home! Find a reputable studio to learn at in your area.

Well that concludes our list of the top 5 workouts you will acutally enjoy doing. Let us know if we missed any new and fresh workout ideas.

Summer Gardening Tips – Watering While You Are Away

Rather than going hi-tech, with some expensive add on, or rigging something up off your sprinklers designer Casey Schneider has come up with a simple solution to watering your plants while you are away – Water from a Stone.

Here is a quick description from the Vendor’s website:
Keep your plants perfectly watered! Water From A Stone slowly lets water out into your planter over the course of 3-4 days. A useful addition to any gardener’s home. Made from hand-blown glass. Holds 7oz (207ml) of water.

https://neatpr.com/2014/02/21/water-from-a-stone/

This is an ideal set up for small planter, window boxes, and other self contained areas that are often not in range of your sprinklers. Although they are some what small at only 7oz given a price point under $20 employing a couple of these is perfectly viable. That combined with a thorough drenching of your planters before you leave should carry things through a week in all but the hottest and driest climates.

Photo credits:
Neatpr
Kikkerland