By Drew Bennett

Husband, Dad, Blogger, Photographer, Transformers Fan and Wired Kayaker

  • Snowblowing
    Photo-A-Day #4624

    A nice thing about working overnights when it snows is that in the early morning the roads have been cleared up. Then there is the snow on the trees and the ground. It was a very light snow and it mostly melted on the driveway and roads. The clouds overhead were thick but the sky beyond was nice and blue. When I arrived at my parents’ house I noticed that the driveway wasn’t cleared so I parked on the street. I was a bit sleepy and closed my eyes for a bit. I noticed that my dad was out snowblowing the driveway. I moved my car into the driveway. When I got out I saw the arc of the snow flying through the air while the sun came down through the clouds and lit it up really nice. I didn’t get the exact photo that I wanted but I was able to capture some light flare and the snow flying through the air. Mornings like that have great light.

    After Church we visited with my parents and then went to pick out our Christmas tree at Attleboro Farms. The tree selection was pretty small. We got a fairly small one and Eva was not happy about it. I kinda feel like Linus and want to tell her that is isn’t a bad little tree. Dad and I set the tree up and then I slept for the day.

    We had one of Allison’s friends over for dinner. Andrew had fun with a new audience and he was charming and cute but a bit over excited. Then it was off to work.

  • Time for Snow
    Photo-A-Day #4623

    The first snow of this winter is upon us. I came home from work today and got the snowblower out of Joanie’s shed. It is her snowblower but I take care of the two houses. It had been back in her shed for the year and it was time to take it back out. I filled up the air in the tires and then filled it with gas and started it right up. I was ready in case the snow was too terrible when I woke up.

    It turns out that the snow was only about an inch or two high when I woke up so I just went into work. However, because there was snow I ended up getting to work at a different building. It is much closer to home and way nicer. I wish I worked out of here all the time.

  • Smooshy Mushy
    Photo-A-Day #4622

    We received a special Smooshy Mushy Series 1 Influencer Pack for free to review and unbox. Opinions are our own.

    Smooshy Mushy are a bit of a rage right now. I see on YouTube dozens of people who are doing unboxings and hundreds of thousands of views on their videos. Not so much with us, I just posted the video below, but maybe, who knows. We received the package late at night on Tuesday or Wednesday. I opened it and was really impressed by the whole thing and how it was presented. I was actually asked if I would review series two of the toys and then told that to get familiar with the series I was also getting a box for Series 1. Series 1 is the box that we got first and I showed it to Eva and she flipped. she couldn’t wait to open it up. These are adorable toys and they are scented, too. I don’t much care for the scent myself but the kids seemed to really enjoy it. You can see what they thought in the video below.

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  • Samsung  ADT Smart Home Security

    The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

    I recently set up the Samsung SmartThings + ADT Smart Home Security Starter Kit in our home. This was the first time I had done any setup of a security system before and it was very easy to do. Everything is laid out in the kit and installing this into our home was a snap. The Samsung + ADT Smart Home Security Starter Kit comes with The ADT Security Hub, two ADT Door and Window Detectors and one ADT Motion Detector. The system can be expanded with many more devices, too. There is an Expansion Pack that includes an ADT Smoke Alarm, ADT Carbon Monoxide Detector and ADT Water Leak Detector.

    I started off by downloading the Samsung SmartThings app onto my phone. This is where I was going to be able to remotely arm and disarm my security system, add new SmartThings to the system and even test out the system. Each of the detectors has a QR code on it. When you are ready to set up a new detector you scan it and then name it. You can also define where in the house the detector will be placed. Once the detector is installed in place then you can assign a specific sound and also set the volume level of that sound. At first I picked a sound that I did not want and it was set really loud. I did not want it o be that loud especially for a door that we opened and closed all the time. That would have been intolerable. So, I was able to choose from a bunch more sounds and volume levels until I found the correct one for us.

    When you install each detector you can name the location for the device. So for example if you use one of the ADT Door and Window Detectors on the front door you can name it Front, and maybe that door is located in a kitchen then you can also give it the location of Front Kitchen Door and the Security Hub will not only play a chime it will say the location for the door that was opened. that way you know immediately which sensor was triggered.

    Home Security in a snap

    The ADT Security Hub is where you can arm and disarm your system. You can set how quickly the system arms once you choose to arm it. You can also input your security pin into this device to disarm your alarm. There are a couple modes for arming your system, ARM (Stay) for when you are going to bed and ARM (Away) when you are leaving. The ADT Security Hub will also tell you at a glance if the system cannot be armed because a door or window is still open. It even shows the current time and weather in case you want to check either of those things.

    While you can arm and disarm the system from the ADT Security Hub you can also do it through the SmartThings app. You can also set up several Automation routines to have your SmartThings work together. There are some pre-defined routines but you can add your own as well as customize those that are existing. That way you can come home to a house all lit up with by by Wi-Fi enabled lights from various manufacturers or you can have your thermostat automatically set to your desired temperature. You can even have the television or speakers automatically turn on to your favorite channel. There are so many things that the Samsung SmartThings app can do. I see that it even works with some wireless cameras that I own and have not installed yet. I will be installing them soon and will write about that experience in a future post.

    I am impressed with how quick and easy it was to set up everything, how I can expand my system to my own needs and how many other things I can connect to the system. It was also easy for me to set up ADT Monitoring services. As someone who works overnights outside the home I have peace of mind that trusted help is seconds away.

  • Fitzy Having Fun
    Photo-A-Day #4621

    Another Christmas season is upon us and Fitzy has returned. Fitzy is our Elf on the Shelf. He is finding all sorts of crazy things to do each night and is delighting the kids each morning with his antics.


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