The wave of the future, or a whole lot of work for little payoff? It's hard to say. But either way, I'm kind of impressed by this guy who programmed his door to lock and unlock with a text message.
Hattip to @laurenonizzle
Turns out, vodka's a powerful substance. And while I have been known to indulge in a sip or two of this potent beverage, I'm actually referring to its many uses around the house, or, to quote a recent release from Iceberg Vodka, vodka is "the Swiss Army Knife of liquids."
A few ways you can put vodka to use around the house, outside of that after-work cocktail:
1) Get the ink out. Dab a splash of vodka on that ink-splattered shirt as soon as possible to prevent the stain from setting.
2) Make it sparkle. Vodka, when diluted by roughly 25 to 50 per cent with water, makes a great glass cleaner. Mix it in a spray bottle for shining surfaces in no time.
3. Sweep it under the rug. Vodka can help life unexpected and messy stains out of your carpet after a wild party. Clean up what you can, then spray the area with vodka and scrub.
4. Clear the air. Vodka diluted with water, in addition to cleaning glass, can also be used to eliminate odours. Just spray it on fabrics that are smelling less than fresh (it never hurts to do a test area first just to make sure you won't leave any discolouration) and let it dry.
In January, I often find myself thinking about sprucing up my space and entertaining, likely as an antidote to the dreary weather and the letdown of the end of the holiday season. After a month or two of parties, returning to your normal routine is, of course, a bit of a drag.
Duffy London’s Swing Table certainly offers a chance to add a little more offbeat fun to your next dinner party.
The four poster table supports eight hanging, swaying chairs and a central lampshade. Made of walnut and powder-coated steel, and available in custom colours and sizes, it retails for £2,995.00, or about $4,700 CDN.
It's basically the grown-up version of a swing set!
Or, as the website says more formally, "This design creates an exceptionally divergent dining experience and aesthetic, creating a room within a room, with chairs that hover around the table, it also makes vacuuming a breeze."
I suspect easy vacuuming would be necessary with this - can you imagine the amount of fallen crumbs, dropped plates and spilled wine from overzealously swinging guests?
Spotted on Design Milk.
There's nothing like waking up in the pitch black, only to realize that while it may look like 3 a.m., it's actually 7:00 a.m. and you're going to be late for work. Turns out your trusty cellphone alarm not only didn't survive a dunk in the bathtub, but it also is way less effective when the battery dies overnight.
So, when Philips offered me a chance to test out the Wake-up Light Plus ($119.99 - $179.99), with the promise of a better start to those gloomy winter mornings, I had to give it a shot.
As one of those who'd never given it a go, I was interested to see if it really did make for an easier start to the day and, more importantly, whether the gradually brightening light would actually be enough to wake up this sleepyhead.
In theory, the light works by naturally simulating sunrise, thus increasing the level of energy hormones in the body and preparing it to wake up. It also includes options for natural sounds and radio alarms.
As for the alarm functionality, the first night I hit the wrong setting and woke up in a panic to an almost-too-bright room with birds chirping away, followed by the incessant buzzing of my back-up alarm, my cellphone, just in case I'd programmed it wrong. Effective, yes. Soothing, not so much.
The next week of testing went just fine - I even found I was waking up with less of a jolt than my usual blaring alarm method. I did need to spend some time monkeying with the lighting levels to get them just right -- too bright, and I was awake before my alarm was set to go off, too low and I was still half asleep come go time.
Also, because I work two night shifts a week, it wasn't the ideal solution to rely on for those days when my alarm was set for noon. When it's already light out and you're stubbornly avoiding the outside world with a nightshade, light therapy just won't do. For those days, I had to rely on the radio setting.
As for the decor angle, the alarm is a little plastic looking, but largely not intrusive. Basically, it's not as cool as a retro bell ringer, but no worse than the standard dock. And while it was a little bit on the large side for my wee little bedside table, I was able to make it work because it doubled as a lamp - thus actually leaving me with a little bit more wiggle room for glasses of water, mugs of tea and books come bedtime.
The new year offers a fresh start for so many of us - whether we're committing to live healthier, pursue a dream or simplify our lives, it's a time to make promises, and, hopefully, follow them through.
And, when you're revamping your health and beauty routines, career and lifestyle choices, why not also tackle your home?
It's not too late to resolve to do better in 2011 - so I've rounded up some of our top tips to help you make your space even more beautiful and functional this year:
Clearing clutter top of mind these days? Start by tackling these common clutter zones then learn how to organize your closet in 10 minutes. And don't miss our top 9 ways to banish common clutter problems.
Resolving that this is the year you'll finally get into a perfect cleaning routine? Revisit our spring cleaning guide for our top tips.
Dreaming of a space that looks magazine ready? Check out our top five swoon-worthy styling tips.
Plan to redecorate in 2011? Learn how to keep the peace while decorating with your mate.
Wishing for peace, prosperity and relaxation in the new year? Try one - or all - of these 10-minute feng shui fixes.
Personally, 2011 is going to be about editing my possessions. With "curation" a big buzzword these days, it's about cutting back on the amount of stuff in my space, and selectively choosing which pieces to showcase, stow or ship out.
By cutting back on what I own, I'll be able to max out my storage space for the things I really need and use, simplify my cleaning routines and give myself lots of space to breathe and relax at the Jen-nasium - because really, shouldn't we all be focusing on enjoying our homes in the new year?