A few years ago I installed a Ring video doorbell. I was going to write a long post about it, but I’ll save you the log list of grievances and tell you that it didn’t work for us (one major issue – we had a package stolen from our porch and the video quality was so awful you couldn’t see who it was). After some research and knowing what I didn’t like about the Ring system, I decided on replacing it with the Nest system. After a few weeks of use, I can happily say, I’m in love.
So what we bought and love….
We put a Nest Cam Outdoor (not the IQ one) at the back of our house where we have a laneway and we park our car occasionally. This camera is super easy to install, it’s plug in and is made for outdoor use. We had electricity going to our shed, so it was an easy install – we placed the camera facing our parking spot at the back. Plug and go….
The camera detects both movement and, people. It will alert you by saying it see’s either, but it’s helpful that it differentiates between the two for when you’re scrolling through the history of activity. The racoons are our biggest offender back there. We know their whole evening routine.
The front of the house was a little more tricky as the Nest Hello doorbells need to be hardwired. We didn’t have an existing doorbell at the front of our house (The Ring was a battery system, which was a whole other set of issues) so we ended up hiring an electrician to come to our house to install it for us. (Side note, I found an electrician through the Jiffy app and I was REALLY happy with the service. I’d recommend hiring someone to do this, but it is something you could technically do.
I bought these at Lowes and Amazon separately, based on what pricing worked out to be the best. Lowes had a coupon if you spent over a certain amount. These things aren’t inexpensive, but they are worth it based on me using it the last few weeks. The video quality is AMAZING and I 100% recommend this line.
Learn More via Nest (Shop Online)
Ps., Although I would say this upfront at the beginning of the post (also, not in some clever creative writing way to hide it), this post is not sponsored. I’m not a #Partner and this is not an #ad. xo
We have a mid century wood burning fireplace in our garden, a Craigslist score from a few years ago. It has added so much fun to our garden and is the centre of countless memories with friends and family. We’ve used it every season, each season bringing it’s own unique experience. (eg. Winter is especially memorable!) Our garden has definite “zones” and this wood burning fireplace is at the back of our property, closest to our studio. We find that the adults sit around the fireplace as the kids play in the lane, or, board games in the studio and pop over to join us and of course they come by to roast marshmallows. It really works as our cottage in the city and it’s perfect because it’s not too close to our house.
We get so many questions about this fireplace, my recommendation is to check out eBay and other second hand sites and search things like “Retro Fireplace“, Cone Fireplace, or Mid Century Freestanding Fireplace. I had been searching for years, with no great idea of where one would go, and a random evening of searching (I tend to obsess over hunting for certain things) led me to a Toronto store selling one off in a moving sale.
Now, with our new deck off our house (I’ve yet to fully reveal but you can see it in most photos), and it being our first full Summer having use of it, we’ve been playing around with furniture placement and, how we’ll utilize the deck. As the weather warmed up, we started to think about adding a propane fireplace on our upper deck, so that we could get some less-work-fire going to enjoy, and, with less woodsy smell that the wood burning fire generates. I also didn’t want a wood burning fireplace on our deck for obvious reasons, but also because of the smoke that would be so close to our neighbours. A propane / gas hookup firepit is a great solution. I had fallen for this one shown at Surfrider Malibu, which I had posted before…
I searched and searched, and with Spring comes great sales. I spotted a sale at Rona for some fire pits and one in particular that (I liked was on sale. I did a reverse image search of the fire pit and discovered it was sold at a TON of different retailers and is called the Real Flame Baltic Square Propane Table Glacier Grey. Costco came in at the least expensive. Apart from the cost being less at Costco, their return policy is amazing. The staff are amazing, and I knew that with such a big purchase, should something go wrong, I wanted to deal with a company that I knew I could get a hold of, and, stood behind their products. Costco checks those boxes. Plus free delivery, so yeah. There’s that!
Now, the reviews of the table were awful on Costco’s website, but searching the same product on other sites, the reviews were more favourable. The main problem seems to be the finish coming off over seasons. I’m hoping that with that knowledge we can maintain this piece for as long as possible with the right care. It comes with a cover, which stays on the table when it is not in use…
I apparently like to take pictures of my feet.
Anyhow, so far, so good. The propane tank for us sits tucked away between chairs on the deck and we purchased a propane cover from Lowes as it was by far the least expensive of all as it’s metal and not a concrete look like the table.