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How to Keep Your Kids Learning Over the Summer

Students across the country are counting down the days until school’s out for summer. I totally remember being in their shoes, ready to swap classrooms and cafeterias for camp and community swimming pools – and to think about anything but book reports, science projects, and math homework.

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How Technology is Making Package Delivery Easier

Isn’t it funny to think that people aren’t sending as many letters anymore, yet package delivery is exploding? We don’t just want our packages to travel across the country in a couple weeks, we now want them in two days! (I’m totally guilty of this. Thank you, Amazon Prime.)

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Stay Online While Out-of-Doors

Usually, a trip to the great outdoors is the perfect opportunity to unplug and get away from it all. But, for some serious Internet addicts, it is very important to stay wired while out camping.  Luckily, there are plenty of gadgets to help you stay connected.

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Summer Solstice

One of my favorite things about our home automation system is the light controls. We’ve seriously gotten used to the convenience of being able to turn lights on and off from our iPhones and iPads. We no longer have to fight it out via rock, paper and scissors over who is going to get out of bed to turn off the last lamp in the house.

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Easy Chair Command Center

When I was a kid, I read about homes that could be controlled from your bedroom and dreamed of a future when I could actually do all that stuff. As I use my phone to do a quick check on the status of my house while I’m sitting (and writing this article) from an RV in the redwood forest, I realize that I’m living that future today.

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Plan a Perfect Picnic at Home

When the weather warms up and summer starts getting into full swing, one of my favorite things to do is have a meal outside! And there’s no need to look any further than your own backyard

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Why Every Dad Needs Vivint

Speaking as a Dad, I can tell you first hand that once you’ve had a Vivint system, you’ll never go back. There’s just too much great stuff that I’ve already started taking for granted.

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Wave The Flag

Flag Day is here, and that means lots of celebrating the stars and stripes! I love the season of honoring and celebrating the American flag – there’s such a rich history to it, and the symbolism of what it means to our country is fascinating. If you’re getting ready for Flag Day or Independence Day and want to hang up Old Glory on your home, we’ve got some tips for installing and properly flying your own flag!

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Epic RV Adventure

I am in the process of packing my family of six for a 16-day motorhome vacation. We’ve rented the RV and will be traveling through six different states and doing tons of amazing things

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More Trees Please

If your power bills are too high, consider adding more trees to your yard. 

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Preparing for Outdoor Sporting Events

Whether you are a die-hard Seattle Mariners baseball fan, or the mother of a little league athlete, the chances are you will be spending lots of hours at outdoor sporting events this summer. It is also likely that you want to survive that scorching summer and make it to fall! For all you fans looking forward to a fun and toasty season of outdoor sports, here are a few tips on how to prepare:

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Never Miss a Visitor

Anyone getting excited about summer? I know I am! For me, summer can often be as busy as it can be relaxing. Between vacations, parties and work, summer can be a little hectic. If your home is like mine, that means lots of friends will be stopping by throughout the season. Between backyard barbecues, doggie playdates and neighbor visits, our home—and more particularly, our front porch— will be seeing a lot of visitors this season.

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Camping Essentials

June is National Camping Month! Which means it is the perfect excuse to sleep outside and pray that wildlife doesn’t eat you in your sleep. Okay I am being dramatic, I know. As a person who thoroughly enjoys the outdoors during daylight hours, I am strangely less warm to the idea of sleeping where bears may also be sleeping. It’s statistically illogical, as my nature-loving husband points out, to worry about such silly things. But when it comes to the outdoors and camping, I like to come prepared. That way I can feel more at ease when we sleep under the stars.

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Neighbor Day – Smart Door Locks

There’s something to be said about having great neighbors. They are people you can count on, grow with, and do life together with. They keep an eye on your home when you’re away, they water your garden, walk your dog, and bring over homemade sweets. Why not celebrate them today and let them know how much you appreciate neighboring with them! Bake them a batch of homemade cookies or even post a kind note to their door.

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11 Tips for Living in an HOA

Do you live in a place with a Homeowners Association? Just those two little words are enough to send some folks running for the hills. After all, many HOAs have gotten a bad rap for being notoriously tough to deal with. But conversely, HOAs are a reality and a necessity to keep things running smoothly. If you’re living in an HOA, read on for our top tips on creating a healthy, happy environment for everyone.

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Garden Safety Tips

If you’ve spent an entire day gardening, you know it’s not for the weak. Gardening is hard work! In order to design a garden that’s safe for your family, it’s important to take precautions. Here are some tips…

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Lawn Care with Pets

If you have a pet that spends time outside, you know that lawn care can be tricky business. Growing grass becomes a bit more complicated with a dog spending time in your yard. Dog urine contains high amounts of nitrogen, as a result of breaking down protein in their food. This can act as a fertilizer but also have consequences on a lawn when exposed in frequent and larger volumes. Female dogs’ urine, in general, is more acidic since it is usually eliminated in larger quantities at one time. This can create burn spots on lawns. Male dogs’ urine is also high in nitrogen, but may have less consequences as males tend to mark their urine in smaller amounts instead of releasing it in large quantities. Whether your dog is male or female, there are preventative steps to keep both your pet and lawn safe and healthy all season long.

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Neighborhood Etiquette

Okay let’s talk neighbors. Some of my absolute favorite people on earth have been my neighbors, and some of my absolute least favorite people on earth have been neighbors. Living in close proximity to others, as a neighborhood facilitates, can mean that personal living spaces overlap. Sidewalks we walk, bike paths we ride, and playgrounds we play in are all shared spaces. Also family noises and smells and that awful hideous lime-green door can all affect our neighbors. After living near the best and the worst of neighbors here is my two cents about what makes a good neighbor, and how to have good neighborhood etiquette.

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Vivint’s Military Policy

If you don’t have any connections to the military — if you don’t have a relative, friend, or neighbor in uniform — you may not know that May 16, 2015 is Armed Forces Day. Of course, that’s one of the reasons why the first Armed Forces Day was held more than 60 years ago: To increase awareness of America’s armed forces and the types of job performed by the our  servicemen and women.

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Color and Create Your Own Story

It’s Reading Is Fun Week and what better way to get your kids reading than having them also become authors! Download our free printable coloring scenes and encourage your children to add their own characters! Each page has a space at the bottom for your child to write a caption for each scene. They can create their own narrative and explore their own creativity! The coloring pages can be cut in half and rearranged in any way they wish. When it’s time to bind the book together, simply place the cover page on the outside and the story pages on the inside and staple the binding together for your child.

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Protecting and Connecting Military Families with Vivint

Did you know that Military Spouse Appreciation Day was on May 8th? Many civilians don’t, but the day holds special meaning to me because I was a military spouse for six years before my husband separated from the Air Force. It was nice to be recognized once a year for the sacrifices I was making in order for my husband to serve our country.

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Being A Vivint Mom

I’m a mom and I LOVE Vivint!

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A Man’s Guide To An #EPIC Mother’s Day

Guys, we often hear phrases like “I don’t need”, “I don’t want”, or “There is nothing wrong” from the women in our lives.

For centuries men have been trying to figure out the real meanings behind such statements. Some have even tried developing technology that would translate a woman’s remarks into an understandable language.

“I don’t need anything for Mother’s Day.”

Have you heard this from your wife this year? From what men already understand about women, husbands know this statement has an underlying complexity to it. Sorry guys, when translated, this statement actually means much more.

What does it mean? Find out what she really needs and deserves in our step-by-step guide to make her Mother’s Day #EPIC. 

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World Red Cross Day

Today is World Red Cross Day, a day to celebrate the aid that the Red Cross provides and the perfect opportunity to lend a hand. The Red Cross organization offers dozens of services to those who are in need; be it natural disaster relief, blood supply, or medical assistance. I’m sure you may have heard of opportunities to donate money to the Red Cross and to volunteer with the Red Cross, but there are plenty of other ways to get involved!

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Why Moms love Space Monkey

I’m a photo addict. I snap pictures on my smartphone and my DSLR constantly. At this moment, I have about 30,000 photos saved on my external hard drives. But since our first baby came along about five months ago, I’ve been even more of a photo hound, if that’s possible. I mean, how can you not want to document every sweet little smile or milestone? And with a video camera oh-so-conveniently in my phone, I’ve been taking lots of video as well and the data is just stacking up. So what’s a mom to do with all of that data? My hard drives are bursting at the seams, not to mention the fact that it’s hard to access those photos and videos from my smartphone, tablet, or other computers.

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Parts of a Vivint System that make mom’s life easier

I asked my wife what about our Vivint system makes her life easier. She said, “Peace of mind.” I said, “Can you elaborate? I have a whole blog post to fill.” So she did. I turns out that my wife and I pretty much love the same features of our system, only for different reasons. All of these features revolve around the ability to control the system from our mobile devices.

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Email Organizations Strategies

I have a love-hate relationship with my email. On one hand, it is completely awesome. It allows me to quickly and easily share information and files, stay connected, have conversations and schedule meetings. But on the flip side it never ends and is impossible to turn off. No matter how hard I work to empty my inbox, within minutes it’s filling back up again.

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Meal Planning Tips

I will be the first to admit that I am far from having all of my ducks in a row. As a business owner, a wife, a mother, and an artist I’m basically just “winging it” for the most part. But there are a few rare tasks in my life that I have buttoned-down pretty tight. And one of those things is meal planning. I should probably begin by stating the honest truth: I don’t really enjoy cooking (gasp!). It’s not really my creative medium and I don’t like the mess and unpredictability of it. I mean, if a craft goes wrong it can be a happy mistake, but if your chicken dish goes wrong it is ruined or can even make you sick. This uncertainty and my aversion to cooking is probably why I am so good at meal planning! If you are feeling like you want a little more organization and strategy when it comes to meal planning, I’m here to spill the beans.

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Remodeling your home with Vivint

Are you thinking of embarking on a home remodeling project?  My husband and I recently purchased a 1960’s rambler in need of major improvements.   We quickly learned that remodeling a home forces you to make a lot of decisions, many of which have lasting consequences.  We made our fair share of both good and bad decisions.  One of our best decisions was to install a Vivint system.

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How to Teach Children to be Earth Friendly

April 22nd marked the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, which began as a grassroots protest and has evolved into a worldwide movement. As kids, we were taught the mantra “Earth Day Every Day,” although, at the time, the message was more about conservation than environmentalism.

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