Valentine’s Day has dramatically changed for us over the years. From the days of booking the hottest restaurant in downtown Chicago to wiping the baby spit up off of my clothes before eating dinner (that’s parenthood?!). As we’ve gotten older and a little bit more domestic, nothing made me realize this transition more than taking a look at our Valentine’s Day plans!
Our quiet dinner at home may seem like the easy way to celebrate Valentine’s Day; yet, cooking a nice meal can be a little hectic for families with kids.
You all know I love finding those simple little tricks & tips to make life easier. Whether it’s apps on my phone or cutting down on my laundry routine, I find a ridiculous amount of joy in making daily tasks simpler.
So over the summer, we incorporated smart home technology in to our house with Hive. When we first started, I was pretty eager to find ways to utilize this technology to make to make life a little easier after the birth of our son, Declan. Yet, I wasn’t exactly sure how we would incorporate it all in to everyday life. But by this past fall, we were hooked. Between preparing our home for fall and even helping with the daily light savings transition, the Hive smart home technology was a smart solution for us (pun intended 😊).
Are you too celebrating Valentine’s Day at home with the kids? Here’s some of the fun ways that we’re utilizing our smart home technology for a simple, yet festive family evening:
Let’s be real, cooking a nice meal while watching a very active 9-month-old isn’t an easy task. It’s even more challenging when you’re trying a new fancy recipe. My rule for any nice dinner is to incorporate ONE fancy recipe and keep the rest of the meal simple. Whether that means a new side, a fancy dessert or an expensive piece of meat. In the past I would try to throw down all the stops making a killer 4 course meal and would end up with each course slightly underwhelming.
Chasing a toddler around the house means never really giving my FULL attention to cooking. Well that’s the excuse I’m giving for my less than stealer meals anyway!
Joking aside, being able to control our appliances remotely allows me get dinner completed while Declan insists on climbing the stairs.
Using the Hive Active Plug, I’m able to check-in and control kitchen appliances from every room in our home from my phone. #thekidneversitsstill
The slow cooker gets turned off in time (what’s worse than a burnt slow cooker meal???) and the cappuccino maker is turned on while I’m following Declan up the stairs.
For special occasions I whip out our electronic fondue maker. I plug it in earlier in the day and heat it up right before Joe comes up form work via my Hive app, making the perfect fondue while playing with Declan in the family room!
All those fun decorations that I used to put up (err… here, here and here) are permanently stored in our closet until Declan learns to not be so destructive. (So when he’s 18?) Instead, we had a bunch of fun ‘decorating’ the house with Valentine’s Day colored lighting. Declan got a kick out of the changing colored lights. (We used the Hive Active Color-Changing Lights) It’s actually a really easy and fun idea for all the holidays. (Looking at you Saint Patrick’s Day).
Color-changing Hive Active Lights let you choose from 16 million colors to find the exact hue you’re looking for. (Yep, 16 million)
Side note: we also use Hive Active Lights to adjust the brightness on a daily basis. In attempt to get Declan in to ‘sleeping mode’, we dim all the lights an hour before it’s time to go to bed.
Typically, when Joe comes home from work, he enters the house as Reagan (our rambunctious Doberman puppy) is running around, Declan is getting in to his fussy evening phase and I’m struggling to balance both while attempting not be burn dinner. Needless to say, it’s not exactly the most relaxing atmosphere to come home to.
A fun surprise that Declan and I did for Joe was to use our Hive Door Sensor to set the music on our Alexa and adjust our entry way lights to turn on as the front door opens. Nothing says ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ like pink lighting and Whitney Houston’s ‘I will always love you’ playing as you walk through the front door 😊.
Earlier this year, we also installed the Hive Active Thermostat on our main floor. This means I’m in complete control of the temperature in our house (much to Joe’s dismay) with a touch of a button and will keep it at a toasty 75 degrees! Perfect for a cold winter February night!
While we may not be rocking the late night hot spots this Valentine’s Day, I’m excited for a relatively easy festive night in with the family!
If you’ve been considering home automation, now is a great time. Use the code HIVEVALENTINE to receive $40 off the Hive Starter Pack!