Category Archives: technology

Big Week of Bloggy Fun Ahead

bob the builder or Hitler youth tattoo?

I thought a Bob the Builder tat would be a fun way to mark my blogaversary, but it looks more like Bob the Hitler Youth Guard. Crud.

Like my friend Tracey, I missed my blogaversary. I started Reluctant Renovator just over a year ago, a few nervous weeks before we closed on our house. What a year it’s been! But honestly, I don’t have time for a starry-eyed link-filled year in review post. I’m coming off of nearly two straight weeks of end of year performances, parties and events at night, work deadlines, not to mention a week-long biz trip for the hubs and a couple of local trade shows for me. The next couple of weeks bring a certain child’s 8th grade graduation(!), end of school for two kids, a synagogue retreat, a TV appearance for me(!), more work projects and a chance to be a fly on the wall citizen journalist at the upcoming Clinton Global Initiative meeting.

And let’s not forget a garage sale I very much hope will  take place on June 9– just in time to keep the growing pile of cast-offs from taking over our basement.

{deep, cleansing breath}

Anyway, about that blogaversary. It’s time to par-tay.

Virtually, of course. Hop on the happy train by taking a moment to de-lurk and reassure me that someone (something?) other than spambots frequent this blog.

The fun will continue this week with photos of me in a bathing suit (rawr) and chance for you to win a fab suit for your fine self. I’ll also be hosting other giveaways through the end of the month, so stay tuned!

 

KBIS 2012, Kitchen and Bath Industry Show Top Picks and Trends

Fun, functional, aspirational*–there was so much to see and report on from the 2012 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. I’ll be back with interesting tidbits and kitchen and bath trend reports (not to mention my own reno progress on the two original bathrooms in this house), but for now, I’m going to share a video of my top picks from the show.

 

 

And here’s a bit from Kohler introducing the HydroRail, which is definitely a key find. It lets consumers have the luxury of a rainshower head without the mess of tearing up the wall and installing new pipes.

 

 

Which of these new products would you like to have? As for me,  I already have a U-Socket on order from ThinkGeek.

*The industry term for cool stuff you can’t afford.

Moen MotionSense Touchless Faucet Earns a Golden Hammer Award

Golden Hammer from Reluctant RenovatorWe’re awarding our first Golden Hammer! It’s an honor we give to recognize excellence in product design, innovation or customer service. The new Moen MotionSense Faucet earned this award due its innovative functionality–it’s touchless! (And pretty.)

MotionSense is great for families and foodies.

It’s perfect for the home cook who finds herself elbow deep in ground turkey as she’s mixing up meatballs or burgers and doesn’t want to touch the faucet with her germy hands.

It’s also great for young children who can’t reach the faucet handle and want to wash hands or get a drink of water.

And it’s pretty useful when washing dishes by hand. Water on. Water off.

Watch the video to learn more about the MotionSense and see it in action. (Seriously, peeps. It’s less than 2 minutes long. If you can’t find the time, you need to read this.)

The MotionSense is EPA WaterSense certified.  It will be available in the fall of 2012 at finer kitchen design outlets later this year. Look for a less expensive version with the same technology at your favorite Big Box in 2013. Chrome, oil rubbed bronze, and “spot resist” stainless finishes will be available with a price of around $650 depending on the finish.

moen motionsense faucet

Stayed tuned for more eye-catching favorites from my time at KBIS, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. MotionSense is the only Golden Hammer recipient from the show, but there will be more Golden Hammers awarded in the coming months, as well as a few Rusty Nail awards, the GH’s evil twin.

No compensation was received for this post. The MotionSense was my top family-friendly pick from the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show.

Bathroom Demo and 2012 Bath Trends at KBIS, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show

I’m excited to be heading to the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, #KBIS, this week. With two bathrooms in demo mode, I’m going to be like a kid in a candy store. A very fancy candy store. I like to spot trends and I’m always on the lookout for new and different products to share with you. For my own needs, I’m looking for practical, family-, eco- and budget-friendly items.

 

 

I’ll spend one full day at KBIS and maybe head back for a second day if I want to see more.

Among the items I’m excited to see:

The Kohler Stereostik sounds cool (as with many items on this list, detailed information may not appear on the website until after KBIS).

Hello kid friendly! I’m eager to check out Moen’s Spot Resist fingerprint resistant materials.

I’m totally geeked out over this Light Integrated Trim (LIT) from Belwith-Keeler.

You need a big kitchen to accommodate this, but how handy would this Galley Sink be?

I can’t figure out why we didn’t get these U-sockets installed all over the house. Except for the expense. Still, why didn’t we put them in a few keys spots?

They’ll be lots of eye candy at KBIS, like these beautiful artisan sinks.

I’ll be back with pics, video and/or links soon!

The Master Bedroom

bedroom wall before renovationSo Hubs walks into the bedroom on Valentine’s Day to find our tripod, camera perched atop aimed directly at our bed. He was curious. Very curious.

“I’m making a video,” I said batting my eyelashes.

He smiled.

“For my blog.”

Such is the lot for the husband of a social media mom.

Let’s hope this sneak peek into my bedroom does not disappoint you as much as it did my dear husband. But before we get to the video, I want to remind you how it looked before our renovation. Take a look at the photo on the right.

And here’s a sense of how it how it looked once we raised the roof and bumped the room out a few feet.

bedroom during renovation

Now you’re ready to appreciate the new look and our fab new bedroom and our cool new mattress, er, sleep system. It can take a week or two to adjust to a new mattress. Had I not known this, I might have freaked out about our fancypants hi-tech bed, wondering if it was a mistake. But by night 7 or so, I adapted to my new bed (and my new bedroom) and now I sleep well.

Check it out!

 

And just for fun, this is what the wall behind my bed looked like just a few months ago. It’s a pretty amazing transformation, isn’t it? I’m grateful for it every day.

 

roof line before renovation

 

What’s that? You want to know more about my oh-so-pink vintage nightie? That will be a post of its own one day. Let’s just say I might not be where I am today without it.

 

Disclosure: The Serta iComfort System was provided by Serta.

Droid Bionic Giveaway

Win a motorola droid bionic smart phone

See, I even saved the packaging for you!

I’m finishing up my time with the Verizon Wireless Midwest Moms Program with a flourish- a big giveaway with one of the devices I tested. I knew from the beginning that I’d be keeping one device and passing along the other and early on it was clear to me that the Motorola Xoom tablet was my top pick. Therefore, one of YOU gets to keep my Motorola Droid Bionic smart phone.

Not that I’m passing along sloppy seconds. Indeed, because I was worried about damaging, misplacing or outright losing the Bionic and its associated cables and charges, I didn’t actually use it that often. As noted in this post by Amy Oztan, knowing an item isn’t mine to keep affects how I use it. In the end, I don’t think think that served me or the brand well, but it’s a bonus for the person who wins it!

In addition to learning a valuable blogging lesson, I can tell you that the Bionic’s photo quality is good on still shots.

You can capture some pretty sweet video with the Bionic.

And the Verizon data service worked well.

It didn’t play so nice with Hootsuite, though. Especially when I tried to post pictures.

But it’s still a pretty nice phone. The key features of the Bionic, as told by Motorola, include:

And did I mention it is so very gently used?

Not only that, the winner will also receive a sleek silicone phone cover.

Win it!

You want this phone, eh? Ideally, you have( or plan to have) Verizon data service so you can take full advantage of theBionic. 🙂

1. (Required) Comment once on this blog by 11:50 PM CST on December 28, 2011 for a basic entry. US addresses only. No purchase necessary to win, but the winner must be 18 years of age. The prize has a retail value of approximately $580. Winner will be randomly chosen by the WordPress plug-in, “And the Winner is.”

You can also have up to five optional extra entries; I need a separate comment for each of these items, so I can count each one as an extra entry:

2. Tweet about the entry and come back to let me know you did.

3. “Like” Reluctant Renovator on Facebook and come back to let me know.

4. Subscribe to our newsletter, Progress Notes. We send one update a month featuring our progress and advising you on our fabulous home product finds and giveaways. Come back to let me know.

5. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel so you can keep up with Reluctant Renovator video blogs.

6. Follow @RenovatorKim on Twitter.

Winner will be chosen and notified by December 30, 2011 and will have two days to respond to me. If no response is received, a new winner will be chosen.

 Disclaimer: I was not paid for my involvement in the Midwest Moms program, but I did receive the two mobile devices mentioned above as well as a Verizon data plan.  All opinions are my own. I will be shipping the phone to the winner in early 2012.