Nesting with my nest

my nest

As you are probably aware if you read my blog – I am a bit of a tech geek –  kinda comes with the territory – designers generally can’t help themselves….

I just got my latest gadget installed and I am so happy with it it is sickening. I had been watching Nest with interest waiting for it’s impending release for a while – then a friend got on the list and offered to get one for me – how could I refuse?? (Enabler – you know who you are!)


I was so excited when it arrived I refused to let anybody touch it till I could document the unboxing  (I did mention the tech geek part, right? Don’t judge me!)

the box

However life got busy and it languished for a week – I could claim I was testing my will power but that would be a lie – Finally this past weekend we installed it and my family got to laugh at me for being so excited about a thermostat…

As expected from an ex Apple person the packaging and overall experience was lovely – Simple box with a bright blue interior on the sleeve and a nice recycled box.




tiny screwdriver how I love thee....

The documentation was clean and not intimidating and best of all it came with a tiny cute screwdriver with different types of heads in the handle – Yum!

Installation was not completely without a hitch however, as it turned out I couldn’t identify one of the wires and for one awful moment I thought it was not compatible with our system! One phone call and and a photo I emailed support from my phone cleared that right up and we were able to proceed – kudos to the support team at nest.


Once connected and the power switched back on, the set up was smart and simple – it connects to your home network and monitors local weather, learns your preferences and saves you money by showing you the leaf when you are being smart about your energy consumption.

I can adjust it from my phone or laptop and it knows when I am not home so automatically sets the temp accordingly. Glows blue when cooling and red when heating and although it is a little odd to think that my thermostat is watching me like HAL, smart technology that is easy to use just makes me happy inside 🙂

If it saves me a ton of cash to spend on Grey Goose Slushies that would just be a bonus!

No New York Fairytale this time….

New York in her frigid finery - you can't see the cold but believe me it was arctic.

I have spent the last few days working in NYC which normally I love to do – but this time I have been away from home for a week (two work conferences back to back) and my patience is wearing thin…. Long days, lots of clients, lots of meetings, crowded show floors that you need a machete to cut through the crowds  (believe me I considered it quite seriously) many strangers came exceptionally close to death this past few days –  LOL

To add insult to injury the weather was bitter when I arrived –  16 degrees as the high!!!!! WTF??? After living in sunny Florida for the last year and a half that just about stopped my heart as soon as I walked out of La Guardia….

There have been some high points of this trip however – I was fortunate enough to see former President Bill Clinton speak – which was completely awesome and probably the only reason I choose not to bring a machete to the show – I imagine security may have frowned upon that course of action – Mind you I might have gotten seats a little closer to the front….

I also got to flag down many NYC cabs which makes me feel strong and independent as you know if you have read my earlier post on the subject This time I even got to yell at some scam artists outside the convention who I imagine were doing great business convincing all the out of towers and international attendees that they needed town cars to get where they were going…. They tried multiple forms of chicanery & trickery to get me in a town car charging 3 times the price of the taxi price to my hotel and also claimed that they were the only ones that could get a cab for me – fortunately I am no fool and told them to get lost in no uncertain terms  (BTW that is code for profanity) I promptly walked off two steps hailed my own cab, who took me to my hotel for $6 Yay me!!!!

AproPoko - I love you.....

The high point of the show for me (National Retail Federation’s Big Show) was a crazy little robot called ApriPoko from Toshiba – while there I was completely unsure of what its real use was – I just knew I really wanted to take him home –  he talked to me and waved his little flappy wings – I was deeply in love….

On further investigation –  by that I mean a quick search on google –  I discovered this description

“ApriPoko will detect any remote connections via InfraRed (IR) and ask you, what should he (ApriPoko) do. If you have a robot like this, your hands should not feel sore anymore because most of the punch buttons to change channels on TV when the advertisement”

Now I really want him – who needs to deal with sore hands from your remote???? that is so 2011….. ApriPoko will save me from this daily ordeal >8)

coolest gloves evah!

Another great find were these gloves – completely necessary since I had a walking tour of innovative retail in NYC in 16 degrees – if I had have fallen over I would have shattered like the T1000 in Terminator…. But gloves  normally cramp my techy style right? These ones rock because they have some sort of conductive quality that mean I can use my iPhone, iPad, any touchscreen without removing said gloves and getting frostbite – a complete must in pretty much any place other than Florida – so once I go home they will reside in a special container till the next time I have to travel to a stupidly cold place….

I got mine in fire engine red at Macys – love you Macy’s  – you saved my digits and my tech obsession on this trip >8)

Ice Cube Art

My Ice will go on.....

To go along with my skull fascination I also seem to have quite the collection of ice cube trays. Apparently I can’t resist clever ice. I have several of the ones pictured here and here and have given many of them as gifts. They never fail to raise a smile – well almost never…

I am still trying to get the fantastic Han Solo ones in Carbonite – but they keep selling out….

I may have to indulge in these little skull ones soon – to add to my collection

But my all time favorite are my Gin & Titonic  – I think they are fantastic – little Icebergs and a listing ship in your cocktail.

This, however, was the exception that proves the rule – my mother was horrified when she saw them – no smiling whatsoever

100 years later –  still too soon?

Skull happiness…

Delicately Gruesome...

Not sure what it is about skulls lately – but I am noticing a pattern here. Months ago I backed a project on Kickstarter that turned out to be one of their most successful projects – it was #1 most funded Sculpture project ever & #3 in Arts overall – which must mean I have fantastically good taste 🙂 If you want to learn more check it out here – the artist Joshua Harker did a great job keeping everyone up to date on status and shipping  BTW – talented and reliable too!


I just couldn’t resist the tiny filigree skull – so beautiful and a little bit odd… Delicately gruesome! It arrived shortly before Christmas and I was so excited – It just makes me inexplicably happy. Today I got to add it to my office shelves next to my Crystal Head Vodka set. Not great vodka to be truthful (sorry Dan Ackroyd)  but I had to have the bottle and the teeny tiny skull shot glasses.

Crystal Head Vodka

I missed out last christmas when all the liquor stores sold out of the sets so I had to wait a full year for it to show up again and I was not to be denied this time so whipped out my money pronto and ran from the store cradling my prize.

Thankfully I have not been tempted to add any real skulls to my collection  –  just clean sparkly designer versions so the dogs are safe for the time being – at least till the next time one of them barfs on the rug

Fruitcake – It’s better than a rock…

Stupid Party Hats for everyone!

There are many holiday traditions I love and encourage – growing up in the UK I have a few that are not US centric that my very American family indulges me in. I tend to pick and choose the ones that are meaningful to me and adopt others that I wish had been my tradition growing up. As a family we have made new traditions together that suit us and our personalities.

We are not exactly the traditional types so our holiday movies are Christmas Vacation, Die Hard and Scrooged as opposed to Miracle on 34th St. Our Christmas cookies tend to be GingerDead Men or zombie sumo wrestlers –  metaphysical discussions as to whether a particular misshapen cookie looks more like the Baby Jesus or a manatee (the manatee was the final decision on that one).  Eric singing off key to the dogs to encourage them to join in and our 14 year old asking if he needs “mental and or physical help”

Christmas crackers are a UK tradition that I have always hung on to and although my immediate family are used to it, we had a lot of people over for dinner this Christmas that haven’t spent the day with us in the past so it was highly amusing to have to explain what this was. Even though more than one person present thought I had lost my mind, everyone dutifully pulled their crackers. Of course I made everyone wear the stupid party hat, read the truly dreadful joke and trade the little gifts inside for the one they really wanted – as is tradition…

However one UK tradition that I “dropped like it was hot” a long time ago is the fruitcake. For those of you not in the know this may sound like a delicious dessert, but it is of the devil! We used to joke that there is only one fruitcake in the world and it just gets re-gifted every year. No one actually wants to eat it – these things are denser than a black star!

Through some sort of primordial process, raisins fruit peel and other unidentifiable ingredients are compacted into an almost completley black brick that should not be consumed by humans. In a failed attempt to make it more palatable, a thin layer of marzipan and then rock hard icing goes on top. This abomination is then considered dessert!

Only the British would have the nerve to create anything this bad and label it food. Don’t believe me? Supporting evidence –  Shepherd’s Pie, Toad in the Hole, Salad Cream, Jaffa Cakes and who can forget Spotted Dick – these are all considered food items, I swear! Look it up. All just as bad as they sound – avoid like the plague if you are visiting the UK.

Not only is fruitcake inflicted on people at Christmas but is also the traditional wedding cake. What a terrible way to celebrate the beginning of your life together? Not this girl –  we had a delicious tiramisu flavored cake when we got married – the Italians really know how to live life, love and cook!

This year my father in law brought a small fruitcake over – I am not entirely sure if he was making a joke or had been taken in by the jaunty holly leaf icing on top but for the first time in decades I had a fruitcake in the house (in addition to the usual inmates) Apparently Eric hadn’t learned his lesson from years ago when I told him not to order the Shepherds Pie in an London pub (he ate it anyway and regretted it for several days) – it is now known as the “Shepherd’s Pie Incident” and is the stuff of legend…

Despite the fact that the offending fruitcake was only six inches long but inexplicably weighed 50lbs, Eric could not believe that it could be that bad – for some reason he thought I was exaggerating for effect. So using tried and true tactics of all wives everywhere, I said “Fine – if you don’t believe me then you will just have to try it for yourself – but don’t say I didn’t warn you” He was understandably unable to ignore this challenge.

I wish I could adequately describe the full gamut of expressions that flickered across his face in quick succession – Disbelief, Horror, Anger, Betrayal – finally ending in a small grimace of Pain – the sort of expression that says I have just smelled something bad and believe I may have walked in an unexpected dog barf on the rug….

Suffice to say Eric is now a believer and he promptly dropped the rest of the fruitcake in the trash while my 14 year old and I clung to each other tears of laughter rolling down our faces.

I had warned Eric that that stuff would sit in his belly like a rock and after some discussion we decided that the packaging should have a health warning “Fruitcake – it’s better than a rock….”