Ring Doorbell – Peace of Mind at Home

I am really excited to bring to you all my review and experience with Ring Video Doorbell. I had first seen this cool product on my friend’s cell phone. They had received it as a gift from someone and I instantly became obsessed. I immediately thought of all my military family and how having this type of product would not only make them possibly feel better, but their spouses who travel often. Its a doorbell and basic security system {while not technically so} all roll into one. I can tell you right now that I absolutely love this product and wish I could buy one for everyone in my life. The combinations and possibilities to combine your Ring experience to your customized needs is part of what makes this a really neat product.

Meet the Ring, Video Doorbell

It comes in four different finish options, included the nickel you see above, antique brass, polished brass and venetian bronze, which looks very black. There is an HD camera that presents an extremely clear image, microphones that are very clear and very loud {I’ve yelled at my kids across the lawn before!}, motion detection and night vision {you can clearly see out your Ring video even when your porch light is off – seriously cool}. Mobile access is through your android or iPhone devices {check out the app here} and you have several options for installation. For us, we chose to set it up with its rechargeable battery. Our current doorbell is ancient and would require major repair, so we chose this way. The battery lasts for FOREVER even with regular use, which we were pleasantly surprised as it isn’t easy to dislodge the Ring from the plate that is screwed your house. While this is extremely good for security (no one is stealing your Ring) we weren’t looking forward to having to remove it often for recharge. Thankfully that is not the case. You are looking at over a month of constant use (depending on how you have your area of coverage set up) before you have to recharge it. If however, someone does manage to rip you off, Ring comes with a lifetime protection coverage. If someone steals it, Ring will replace it for free. {$200}

Customization Options

So, I know I previously mentioned customization. And other than your faceplate colors, the options to customize your experience with the Ring are pretty neat. 
Snag yourself The Chime, which is a really cool plug-in extension of your phone app. If you are away from your phone, if you have a large house the chime is a perfect option. And don’t worry, you can put it in sleep mode if you have little ones sleeping or just want some peace and quiet. {$29.95}
{via Ring}
You can also add secondary cameras around your home, with the easy-to-install Stick Up Cam! {$199.00}
{via Ring}
Cloud Video Recording comes with your Ring for 30 days, after that a small yearly fee keeps your videos available anytime you need them to look back on them. 

Overall we’ve been really pleased with the device. The app set-up was very easy, and once we got the right screws, installation was easy. We have a brick house, and the we did have to go out and buy a bit for our drill that could cut through the bring better. But once we did that it was a breeze. Setting up the perimeters took a little bit of adjustment. We wanted maximum protection but didn’t want the car going off with every car driving buy. I was very impressed with the fish-eye type camera that detected movement all the way to my driveway and to the opposite side of the house. I had briefly thought about purchasing one for the side door, but when I discovered that the reach was so good I realized I didn’t have to. The cloud recording is a necessary feature in my book. We haven’t yet purchased it, but I plan to. Unless you catch the video right when you are altered by your app you can’t even go back and view the alert, which is kind of a bummer. So if you don’t have the cloud viewing, make sure you are checking every alert. But at about $30 a year, it seems like a tiny fee in comparison to other options out there on the market. I think that for military families, families with spouses who work long hours or travel a lot, this is a remarkable product that could greatly improve peace of mind. It is incredible affordable when you compare it to other types of more complex security services, and I love that it serves many purposes. The two-way talk option is probably my favorite.
One down side is that occasionally we have this problem. And the loading can take forever. But it doesn’t happen often enough for me be frustrated enough to say forget it. 
Check out a Ring Video and visit them on their website or facebook and twitter! Also please feel free to ask me any questions and I’ll be happy to answer as best as I can! Thank you so much and spread the word about Ring!
do you have a home security system? what do you love about it?
Do you own a ring?! share your stories with us!

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DC/NoVA Adventures: Madame Tssauds, DC

Last week we have the fun opportunity to visit Madame Tssauds’ Wax Museum, right here in our own backyard.  Having been to the one in Las Vegas I had some expectation of what to expect but I was curious about how the kids would react.  I decided to go in with no expectations, however if I was completely honest with you I was a little worried that the figures might freak out the littlest little.

It ended up being a super fun experience, some hands on portions for the kids, buttons to push, things to touch and dress up.  You get to make a wax impression of your hand that you pick up at the end of your tour (it cost extra but is affordable to do as a special treat). Surprisingly none of the kids were leery of the figures.  I was actually more creeped out by them.  I mean, its creepy right?  Their eyes follow you around when you move.  You get so close to them.  So weird.  I know…I’m crazy right?

One of my favorite portions of Madame Tussauds’ was the Hall of Presidents.  To stand amongst such great history is pretty neat.  Living here I often find myself picturing that walking on these streets are the footsteps of such importantly political figures.  Brian thought it was absolutely the coolest to see all these Presidents up close and personal.  Of course the pop stars section is pretty hilarious.  People were mimicking and posing in hilarious ways with some of the stars like Rhianna and Justin Bieber.  I mean, how could you not?

Visiting the wax museum is super easy.  You can purchase tickets online (which are cheaper btw) and it is located maybe a block or so from the metro station.  You are looking at paying just under $20 for adults and under $15 for children 4-12.  I absolutely love that their “free” price is for such a large age range.  Many places are under 2 only, so I found that really wonderful and would help me in deciding whether or not to pay the admission price.  Another wonderful thing is that they offer mid-week savings; so Tuesday – Thursday you can get reduced ticket prices.  When you attend make sure to download the interactive Iphone App for free, which will make your visit a little more fun.  If you are involved in the Scouts program (Boy or Girl) they also have some great programs for merit badges, so check that out.

**this review was made possible by my involvement with USFamilyGude.com Bloggers program.  I was compensated with free tickets to attend in exchange for my honest opinion and review on USFamilyGuide.com.  I was not compensated in any other way or in exchange for a positive review.  As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own….take ’em or leave ’em.

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Unique Valentine’s Day Gift Idea – Diamond Candle *Review*

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and while I know the trend of not acknowledging the day as anything other than a normal day is becoming popular, there are still some of us that think its fun.  The hubbs and I haven’t done anything specifically special for Valentine’s Day in long while…..although come to think of it we haven’t really done anything particularly special for our anniversary in awhile either.  But such is the life of a milspouse or any other spouse that that has someone that travels a lot.  Sometimes those specials days are the only days you might have together; But whether its February 17th, or 28th, it doesn’t matter as long as you set aside special time together as a couple.  I’m not sure about you all but I’ve noticed that those special days had more meaning and importance once kids come into the picture.  It’s not like a need some grand gesture every time, or a huge expensive gift.  Sometimes the fun and unique ones are the best. 

That’s when I discovered Diamond Candles.  If you’ve been on Facebook for longer than half a second you have probably seen pictures of people discovering what is in their candle.  I have one friend that is like totally obsessed, and believe me I’ve realized just how awesome it can be.  The hubby was skeptical of it, he was expecting something pretty lame.  I wasn’t that cynical, but I wasn’t really sure that the ring I got (at any value) would actually be something anyone would want to wear.

I chose the It’s a Boy Candle.  What is cool about Diamond Candles is that they have ones that fit within a theme – It’s a Boy/Girl and Love (perfect for weddings or anniversaries).  There’s lots of different decor-matching candles, and scents to match any preference.  Some of my favorite ones include

 Carnival Candy Ring CandleSweety Pea Ring Candle

 Honeysuckle Ring Candle

 Currently there are eleven candles to choose from that are classified as “Ring Candles”.  Diamond Candles also offer classic candles, if you really love the smell of your candle but want a cheaper option at only $19.95 (with ten choices).  Regular Diamond Candles cost $24.95.

I was obsessed waiting for my ring!  It was the most exciting thing waiting for it.  Luckily they aren’t that far down, so now I can non-obsessively burn my candle and simply enjoy the smell.  The ring I received was a beautiful purple color (my favorite) with small diamond accents.  I received the $10.00 ring, and if you aren’t careful the silver looking finish will come off, as with all costume-type jewelry.  None the less, its beautiful and I love it.

Isn’t it pretty?!
Right now they have all sorts of Valentine’s Day coupons going on, like $10 off, and all sorts of good stuff.  So hurry on over.
*I was given a free item in exchange for my honest opinion of the product.  I was not compensated in any other way.  As always my views and opinions are my own.*

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Goodreads Book Challenge, Books 20-38

It was only maybe two years ago that my reading really started picking up.  I have always been a huge reader, from childhood and on.  There have definitely been seasons of reading in my life, where I have read more or less then other times.  College was a time of less for fun reading.  Who has time for that when you’re studying and attending classes.  I will say that I loved college, and I loved most of my classes, so a lot of that reading was semi-for fun.  Probably close to three years ago I started using Goodreads to keep track of my books, what I’ve read and what I wanted to read.  Goodreads also does a book challenge and every year I’ve totally failed.  Getting really sick with Phillip, having him, surgery, moving, adjusting, deployment….yeah, the last two years were just terrible in the reading department.  This year I’m well ahead of schedule and I shouldn’t have low-balled my challenge number but I did.  So right now I just finished book number 38 of 50, and I don’t see myself slowing down anytime soon.  Make sure you check out my previous post for the first 19 books on my list.

Navy Baby (Navy #5)  Truth Be Told  Navy Woman (Navy #4)  The Winnowing Season (Amish Vines and Orchards, #2)  Grace's Pictures  Jimmy (Red, Hot & Blue, #3)
16 Lighthouse Road (Cedar Cove, #1)  Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails: How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War  Murder in the Smithsonian (Capital Crimes, #4)  Navy Husband (Navy #6) (Silhouette Special Edition #1693)  The Christian Mama's Guide to the Grade School Years: Everything You Need to Know to Survive (and Love) Sending Your Kid Off Into the Big, Wide World  Take a Chance on Me (Christiansen Family, #1)

The Soldier's Newfound Family (Texas Twins, #5)  Jimmy (Red, Hot & Blue, #3) Jack (Red, Hot & Blue, #2)  A Man For The Summer  Mission: Motherhood Hidden Under Her Heart (Chance For Love #2)

A Season for Tending (Amish Vines and Orchids #1)Hugo The Happy Starfish: The Last Bully

There have been some good books in this group here and most of them I have reviewed here on the blog.  You can find the review for one of my top five of this grouping, The Soldier’s Newfound Family, on group blog and online community, Fancy Little Things.  You can also find some of the books from this year’s challenge on my summer reading list picks over at The Homefront United.  Make sure to check those out if you’re looking  for some good books to read or add to your ever growing list.  If you don’t use Goodreads I’m telling you that you are missing out.  It changed my life…well, as far as my reading life goes.  But seriously, it changed my life.  And, as always, you can check out my bookshelf  tab up top or find me on facebook and ask me anything!!

What are you reading right now?  Do you have a reading challenge you participate in?  Do you have a favorite summer reading book, or books?

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Puccini Ties from Bows and Ties *review*

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Bows 'N Ties

It isn’t very often that I get to review items for the hubby; so when I received the chance to review something for him I jumped at it.  Puccini Ties, courtesy of Bows and Ties are beautiful ties.  Mr. Air Force approved of the quality and feel of the tie; but was kind of worrid about the color.

Rich Peacock and White Striped Tie 
When you look at it in the picture it really is an interesting color, and quite bright.  His initial reaction was not good.  He said that he would wear it for a picture (which needless to say I never took and then he left to do some traveling) and that was that.  But one day he came home with it on, paired with a white shirt and grey pants.

The picture I took makes it look slightly darker then it appears in the website photo.  I would say in real life its somewhere inbetween.  It really is a beautiful tie and they are very affordable, setting you back only $9.90.  While Mr. Air Force happens to be a grade-A tie snob I might have gotten away with these ties.  He probably won’t make a habit of stocking up on these ties, because I think breaking a tie snob of his ways might prove difficult. However if I wanted to get some ties for the boys to match Bows and Ties would be my first stop.  They have an extensive collection of boys ties, you can definitely accomplish the whole Daddy/son matching thing.   These are some of my favorites:
Light Green and White Kids TieStriped Silk Kids Tie Silver and WhiteLight Blue Silk Kids Tie 
They also have environmentally friendly and organic ties, for those that appreciate the green lifestyle.
Check out Bows and Ties.  I’m sure you can find what you’re looking for.  Thanks for stopping by!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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