Keep Pets Cool and Save Money with a Smart Air Conditioner

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Having a fully connected smart home is near the top of my list for #lifegoals and last week, during Prime Day, we got one step closer by snagging an amazing deal on our second Amazon Echo device. “Alexa, manage my life!”

Now that we’ve got Voice and WiFi Control of our music, calendars, weather reports, shopping lists, audiobooks plus a darn-fine kitchen assistant, it’s time to start researching and learning about other smart home devices to save us money and make our lives easier.

Here in South Florida, we pretty much run our air conditioner year-round. It’s probably one of our biggest expenses, so I’m super excited about the new line of Smart Room Air Conditioners from the Kenmore brand. They’re fully programmable, can they be managed remotely using a smartphone app, AND they are Amazon Alexa compatible!

With Kenmore smart technology you can monitor and control the temperature inside your home from the palm of your hand, making it a breeze to keep your family and pets cool this summer while saving money and energy. Peek in on real-time temperature data, adjust your home’s temp from the office or while out running errands. The easy-to-use app provides remote access to turn units on and off and even set schedules for up to seven days, so you can run the AC only when you need it….convenient AND smart!

Watch this quick video to see a very CUTE dog and learn about how it works:

Highlights include:

  • Control on-the-Go: The ability to remotely turn the unit on and off, set a schedule or adjust the temperature provides flexibility to control home climates from anywhere. Use the 24 hour timer to set a schedule to run the units only when needed, or turn the air conditioner on before arriving home to ensure a comfortable temperature upon arrival.
  • Energy Savings: The Kenmore Elite Smart Room Air Conditioners are ENERGY STAR® certified and feature smart technology that allows for easy access and scheduling to run the unit only when needed, helping to save energy and money on utility bills.
  • Power to Match Your Room Size: Available in a variety of sizes from 8,000 BTUs to 25,000 BTUs, these Kenmore Elite Smart Room Air Conditioners help cool medium to large rooms, from 340 to 1,560 square feet in size.
  • Simple Setup: Scan the QR code located on the unit using a mobile device, follow the directions during a brief tutorial and the air conditioner will be up and running.
  • Amazon Alexa-Enabled: Allows users to control the air conditioner’s temperature and power settings using voice-controlled technology on an Amazon Alexa device.
  • MSRP: $269.99 – $519.99, depending on the model.

The Kenmore Elite Smart Room Air Conditioners feature technology from Afero, a leader in connecting smart devices and providing secure “Internet of Things” product solutions. For more information about current Kenmore brand smart products, visit Kenmore.com.

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Samsung SmartCam HD Pro Review #SmartCamWoof #Giveaway

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Pet parents know that the fur kids are part of the family, so when you’re at work or away and they’re home alone, you naturally want to check up on them. We’ve been testing out the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro, which allows pets and their people to stay connected.

It’s got super easy setup and a free app for Android or iOS, that lets you monitor your home and pets from any location. Advanced features for keeping an eye on your furry friends include 128 degree ultra-wide angle security coverage, 1080p full HD live video streaming, advanced motion detection, night vision and more.

With all these features, Samsung has really covered what most people need in a home WiFi camera. The price is nice, at $159, with lots of customer reviews and ratings at both BestBuy.com and Amazon. We love the two-way talk feature, although Daisy hasn’t figured out how to talk back yet! You can also use it to check-in with your human kiddos after school.

Everything you need is in the box, and I was able to get the camera up and running in about 10 minutes (it did a software security update once I connected it to WiFi). If you want, you can also get a 64GB Micro SD Memory Card which will allow you to record your video locally for long-term storage. You do need to have an existing home WiFi network set up already, which I’m guessing most of you do.

The SmartCam HD Pro also works with Samsung SmartThings and with other devices including the Amazon Echo. We got ourselves an Echo for Christmas and are loving it, but haven’t utilized it’s full capabilities yet. Anyway, here’s what’s in the box…totally not scary, and super easy to run the wireless setup using the app and your smartphone!

Samsung SmartCam HD Pro Giveaway

Because we want you to stay connected to your fur kids too, we’re giving our readers the chance to WIN a Samsung SmartCam HD Pro WiFi Camera. The giveaway is open to US residents , age 18+ and ends at 11:59pm ET on 2/28/17. Enter using the Rafflecopter contest widget below to record your entries. There are plenty of ways to enter, so do them all or just choose the ones you like. All entries will be verified. Good luck everybody!

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Watch Your Pets When You’re Not Home w/ Samsung PetCam

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samsung petcam
As pet parents, we all hate having to leave our fur kids home when we go to work or other places where pets aren’t allowed. If you’ve ever worried or wondered what they are up to when you’re away, “there’s an app for that!” Actually it’s a WiFi enabled video camera from Samsung and it lets you remotely monitor your pet using free apps for Smartphone, Tablet, PC or Mac.

Since receiving the Samsung PetCam WiFi Video Pet Monitor for review, we’ve tested it out in several situations and I’m super impressed with how well it works. I’ll tell you right up front that I think this fun & useful little system makes a great gift for yourself or any pet parent on your list. While it retails for $199, you’ll find it on sale this time of year and can snag one for as low as $79 here. Amazon prices change frequently so be sure to hurry if you want a deal!

The Samsung Wi-Fi PetCam offers real-time video and audio monitoring, making it the perfect solution for anyone who is away from their home, but still wants to keep an eye on their pets. It allows for easy set up and placement anywhere in the house, video feeds are accessible through a website or smartphone app on iOS or Android and owners can even set it up to receive notifications from sound/motion that is detected in the area. With a one touch pairing button, monitoring a pet is super easy and FUN!

I found it really easy to add the camera to our home WiFi network and got it installed, set up and working in about 15 minutes. I found it a little confusing at first to get the settings right so that it would upload video clips that I could watch later, but figured out I had to first link my YouTube profile to my Google+ profile and set my Uploads to Private. Currently, the PetCam can only record and watch 30 second video clips of “events” via YouTube. I would prefer to be able to have them sent to my smartphone or private cloud storage like DropBox or iCloud but once you get the privacy settings sorted, you can log in to YouTube and see the little lock icon next to each new video and rest assured that no one else is viewing what goes on at your place unless you choose to share it with them! It can also save snapshots to your Picasa account if you want, too.

The video is great on both WiFi and wireless and I’ve used both my Samsung Galaxy S3 Android phone and my iPad to watch Daisy remotely when I’m away. Since I work from home, she’s really gotten used to having me around almost all the time, so she does have a bit of separation anxiety when left alone. I’ve always worried about this but am happy to have seen, thanks to the PetCam, that after giving several really big hound dog howls and pacing for a few minutes, she does calmly settle herself up on the arm of hubby’s chair and take a nap.

The camera doesn’t have the option to record continuously or for longer than 30 second bits, so you get little snippets of what happens, but they’re time-stamped so you can watch them in order. I spliced together two of the 30 second recordings so you could check it out:

As you can see, the camera doesn’t move, so your pet may sometimes walk out of view. If you have a big place or want several angles, the system is expandable up to 10 cameras which is great if you have multiple pets or let your fur kids have full run of the place. Our apartment isn’t that big so we just leave her in the living room and shut the other doors when we go out.

In addition to really good quality video during daylight hours, the camera also has Night Vision capabilities up to 20 feet so that you can keep an eye on your pets even in the dark. And another cool feature is that it has Two-Way Talk so that you can hear what’s going on and talk back to them. Super handy if your pet is naughty or gets lonely and you just want to say Hi. This function only works over WiFi and not when you are on 3G or 4G wireless connections.

All in all, I’m happy to recommend the Samsung PetCam and think it’s a really fun and useful tech gadget for pet parents and anyone else who wants to monitor their home or business while they are away.  Visit Amazon here for deals on one, and visit Samsung’s website for more info about features and setup.

Super Low Rate Plan from Republic Wireless: $19/Month Unlimited Data, Talk & Text!

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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Republic Wireless. All opinions are 100% mine.

$19 per month cell phone

Have you heard the recent buzz about a super new way to save on your smartphone bill? It's a $19 per month rate plan from Republic Wireless with unlimited data, talk and text per line. That can cut the cost of smartphone ownership from over $100 per month (what most people pay now) down to about 60 cents a day!

As if that's not enough, you also get the Motorola Defy XT Smartphone with the offer:

  • Android operating system
  • 3.7-inch Corning® Gorilla® Glass display
  • Front-facing VGA webcam, plus 5MP rear-facing camera with auto-focus, LED flash, and 4x digital zoom
  • Wi-Fi and Sprint 3G coverage with dual-band reception
  • Over 450,000 Android Apps available thru Google Play
  • Dust-proof, water and scratch resistant

Great phone, right??? How are they able to offer all this for so little? Republic Wireless uses something called Hybrid Calling which harnesses the power of WiFi while still giving you access to regular Sprint 3G cellular capabilities when you need it. It's super cool and there are no contracts, no overages and no limits. This video explains even more:  

Not only is this a great way to save on your phone cost, but it's also perfect as an inexpensive starter phone for the kiddos, grandparents, or anyone just looking to enter the smartphone world without a big commitment or expense. You know Daisy & I are ALL about saving $$$ and we think this looks like something to consider!

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