{diy with style} Our Home Just Keeps Getting Smarter

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Who says you can't teach an old home new tricks?! A few months ago, I told you all about our new Hive Home System, and how it allowed us to bring our decade old house into the smart home generation without any overly complicated updates or high upfront device costs. 

After living with our Hive smart home ecosystem throughout the summer and into the fall, we've continued to discover new ways that it can make our home a smarter, safer, and an even more fun place to live. I told you I'd keep you updated as I came up with additional solutions to make our home work harder for us, rather than the other way around, so today I'm back to chat about four more reasons that I've fallen in love with our Hive Home System this fall! Thank you to Hive for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.


Let me back up and give you a quick reminder of what Hive is all about. Back in June, the UK's most popular smart home brand launched in the US and Canada with their Hive Welcome Home Plan that allowed us an easy way to make our home tech savvy - including the ability to adjust heating and air conditioning, lighting, and appliances from anywhere, and to have each of these components work together to create one cohesive smart home ecosystem, all for one affordable monthly subscription rate! 

In the early summer, we installed:
  • Hive Active Thermostats to control the temperature from anywhere and cut our energy bill
  • a Hive Door Sensor and Hive Motion Sensor, which integrate to automatically turn on the lights when we enter our detached garage, and to alert us of any uninvited guests in the garage
  • Hive Active Light™ bulbs to set schedules and control lights throughout our home
  • Hive Active Plugs to control additional lights in our house that don't use standard size light bulbs
  • the Hive Hub, which is the brains of the operation that allows us to control all the other devices through our smart phones, tablets and laptops.
I was initially intimated by the idea of setting this system up on my own while Scott was out of town, but I was shocked by how simple and intuitive it was. You can learn more about the setup process, and details on how we integrated each component in my Smart Home 101 post.

Since each family and each home has unique needs, Hive has recently introduced three additional subscription plans, including the Hive Starter Plan {$9.99/month}, the Hive Heating & Cooling Plan {$12.99/month}, and the Hive Home Check Plan {$19.99/month}, each of which includes a smart thermostat and a mix of other products, all of which are controlled by the Hive mobile app. You can read more about these plans on the Hive website.

Ok, now let's talk about the new ways that we are using Hive to make the school year run a little smoother, to free up time for the things we love, and even to make our home more fun! 


With school back in session, things get pretty hectic. Between driving carpool in the mornings, heading to client meetings, soccer practice, PTA meetings, and a million other commitments, I'm always on my way out the door to somewhere. 

Getting ready to go usually looks something like this... start to get dressed, run down the stairs to help the kids locate a missing shirt or sock, run back up the stairs to brush teeth, run down the stairs to put breakfast on the table, run back up the stairs to do my hair and throw on makeup, run down the stairs to pack school lunches and run out the door.

Then, as I'm driving away, I too often have a moment of panic where I can't remember if I unplugged the curling iron. 

What to do?! If I pull back up to the house, I'm going to have to unstrap two kids from their car seats and drag them back inside because I can't leave them in the car alone while I run up two flights of stairs to the master bathroom. Ugh! Mama ain't got time for that!

After going through this same routine one too many times in recent weeks, Scott pointed out to me the most obvious of solutions that I'd somehow been overlooking. 

Hive to the rescue! I plugged a Hive Active Plug into the outlet by my bathroom sink that I now use for my curling iron. 

Now if I leave the house and question whether I remembered to turn off or unplug the curling iron, all I have to do is open the Hive app and tap on the orange circle to switch the Hive Active Plug off. 

If I leave the curling iron plugged in, I can even use the Hive app to turn the Hive Active Plug on in the morning when I'm ready to heat up my curling iron, even if I'm busy downstairs getting the kids prepped for the day. Sometimes just saving those few minutes makes a huge difference on a busy morning. 


Once we're back home for the evening, the juggling act continues. I'm sure any parent can relate to the feeling that you need to clone yourself so you can be in two place as once {or three, or four...}. There's always dinner to be cooked and laundry to put away when I'd rather be playing with the kids, reading library books with them, or enjoying a family dance party.

The boys are old enough now that they will play pretty independently when I have chores around the house that have to be done, but as the days get shorter and the sun continues to set earlier each evening, they boys don't want to go up or downstairs alone if the lights aren't on. 

When we first set up our Hive Home System, we added a Hive Active Light bulb in the boys' bedroom, and set a schedule for it to come on at the time they normally start getting into their pajamas. We then have the light automatically set to dim to a softer night-light setting as bedtime approaches.

This automatic schedule is perfect for our nightly bedtime routine, but if the boys want to go upstairs to play or read earlier in the evening, I can easily use the Hive app to turn on their bedroom lamp right from my phone rather than having to run up the stairs.

Better yet, we recently purchased an Amazon Echo, which integrates with our Hive eco-system. So now, if I'm in the middle of cooking dinner and my hands are wet or messy, I simply ask Alexa to turn on the light in the boys' room.

Hive is that extra pair of hands that I need to make life easier during the day-to-day routine of the school year. It makes my mom-heart so full to be able to encourage their independence and love of books rather than always having to say "I'll be there in a minute"! 


The Colorado weather is always pretty unpredictable, and especially in the fall, the temperatures tend to swing from one extreme to the other, often within days. The volatile temperatures used to make it hard to know what temperature to set the thermostat to when we go out of town. 

But now, thanks to our Hive Active Thermostat, we are always in control, even when we're away from home. Last weekend, we were up the mountains enjoy a little mini-vacation. I checked the weather back in Denver and saw that it was going to get a lot colder than I expected, so I was able use the Hive app to adjust the temperature back home. 

It gave me such peace of mind to not have to worry about the house getting too cold and the pipes freezing. And then when the weather warmed right back up the next day, I was able to adjust the thermostat again to not pay to heat the house more than necessary.


My boys absolutely love helping me decorate for each holiday, and this year, they asked if we could add some Halloween decoration to the front porch.

They were so excited to see all of our cute Jack o'Lanterns on the porch, but when the sun went down, I had a big surprise for them!

Hive recently introduced some exciting new products that you can "add on" to your Hive home smart plan, including color-changing Hive Active Lights that can be set to 16 million colors on a spectrum!

I swapped out the regular bulbs in the light fixture on our covered porch for two Hive Active Light Color-Changing bulbs. I took the boys out to the porch to capture their reaction:


When they saw the colored light, they were so excited... when the saw they could use the Hive app to pick any color they wanted, they were in heaven!

Hive color-changing rainbow light bulbs

These are just four of the new ways that we've been using our Hive Home System to make our lives a little easier this fall, not to mention a heck of a lot more fun! If you missed my original post about Hive, be sure to head over there now to get more background info and to read about some of the additional ways that Hive has made our home not only smarter, but also safer.

Are you ready to turn your house into a smart home ecosystem with Hive? Then you're in luck, because you can save 10% of your Hive plan when you use this link and enter discount code HIVEANGELA10 at checkout.

I'm happy to answer any questions you might have, so don't hesitate to leave a comment below!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hive. The opinions and text are all mine.

{five minute friday} Dresser Drawer Organizer

Friday, October 13, 2017

If I asked for a raise of hands from all of you with messy dresser drawers, I can just imagine hands shooting up from all corners of the internet! And mine would be raised right there with you... or at least it would have been until last week.

{entertaining with style} Easy Farm Animal Cupcakes

Thursday, October 12, 2017

This week, I got to chaperone my first school field trip and join Beckett's kindergarten class on a trip to a farm for tractor rides and harvesting vegetables. We had such a great time, but little brother Cooper was very disappointed that he didn't get to join us. After all, he is the one who wants to be a farmer when he grows up. {Well, a farmer, a superhero, a construction guy, a fireman, married, and a dad, if you really want the full list of his future plans.}

With all the talk about farms this week, I was reminded that I've been wanting to show you the adorable cupcakes that I made for Cooper's third birthday last year when we had his party at a little farm in town!

{seasonal style} Front Porch Halloween Decorations

Monday, October 9, 2017

The boys are four and five now, and if I could freeze time, I would. These are such fun ages, and I love how excited they get about everything - especially each holiday! For weeks, they've been begging me to decorate for Halloween. We always have quite a bit of holiday decor inside, but this year they also requested front porch Halloween decorations as well. 

{seasonal style} 90+ Fall Decorating Ideas

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Do you enjoy decorating for the seasons? Whether you go all out, or prefer to just add a few touches of a new color or texture - today's post is full of beautiful ideas to inspire your fall decorations!

{organizing with style} Small Coat Closet Storage Solutions

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Fall is officially here, which means winter is right around the corner. As the temperature cools down, now is a great time to tackle coat closet organization to save time and stress when you're trying to find a matching pair of gloves on your way out the door. 

Last year, I whipped my coat closet into shape and shared lots of coat closet organization ideas that can be applied to both large and small spaces. But since I'm lucky enough to have a larger than average closet, I realize that the photos of my closet might not have seemed practical to those dealing with a more cramped quarters. So today, I want to show you an example of a small space I recently redesigned using some simple small coat closet organization ideas!

{decorating with style} Designing a Comfortable, Modern Guest Room

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Remember a couple of months ago when I showed you the very colorful design plans I was working on for a client's hip rooftop deck? Well that same client also had two extra bedrooms that he wanted to transform into stylish and comfortable spaces for welcoming guests. Today, I want to show you what we're working on in the larger of the two guest rooms, where we're even managing to squeeze in a little work space as well.

{diy with style} IKEA Hack: Bookshelf Makeover Without Paint

Friday, September 8, 2017

I think it's safe to say that I have no fear of color. Especially when it comes to decorating kids' rooms, I say, the more color the better! 

BUT I also have my practical side, and I'm passionate about creating kids' spaces that can grow with them {I even wrote a post with tips for designing a boy's room that grows with him}. So when I wanted to add some vibrant color to the bookshelf in my sons' new shared bedroom, I didn't want to do anything too permanent. Rather than painting the doors of their bookshelf, I found a way to get the look I wanted with a quick and easy, temporary update.  

{seasonal style} Fall in Love with these Fall Leaf Projects

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The school supplies are purchased, the days are slowly getting shorter, and a few leaves are already starting to fall from our trees. There may still be a few more weeks of summer, but there's no denying that autumn is on the way. And that makes this the perfect time to get a start on some simple and stylish fall decor projects. 

Each month, I team up with the All Things Creative team to round up some of our favorite creative ideas, and this month I think you're going to fall in love with this collection of fall leaf craft projects.

{diy with style} How to Clean a Dishwasher

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How often do you clean your dishwasher? I'll confess that I don't clean mine nearly often enough! I wash dishes in it daily, so surely it's getting clean at the same time, right? One look at my dishwasher filter proved that theory wrong. Ewww!

This week, I gave my stainless steel dishwasher a thorough cleaning, and now it's no longer the dirtiest clean spot in my house. It turns out that it's actually pretty easy to get it sparkling with minimal effort. And a clean dishwasher certainly means cleaner, more sanitary dishes as well!

Here's a quick step by step guide for how to clean a dishwasher...