Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New D-Link Water Sensor Review

A few weeks ago I was approached by D-Link Canada to review their new DCH-S160 Wi-Fi water sensor. I have been using their security camera system for years, so D-Link is no stranger to me. I like the idea of being able to monitor and detect water leaks and alert me whether or not I am home. 

The D-Link Wi-Fi DCH-S160 water sensor comes in a compact package with three main components: the main unit, the RJ-11 cable and the 50cm sensor cable. You can use a longer RJ-11 or power extension cord if you don't have any power outlet near where you want to check for water. 

Setting up the unit was a breeze - it was truly as easy as 1-2-3. Anybody can install it by simply following the prompts. 

First you would want to download the mydlink Home apps. 

Plug in the device per instruction. 

Upon plugged in, the device will blink red light for a few seconds.

Wait for the LED to blink orange. 

My Wi-Fi router automatically detected the water sensor device so I didn't really need to do anything for this step.  

Press the WPS button on the sensor and when it turned solid green then you can hit Next to search the device. 

Give your water sensor a nickname and you are all set! 

I tested it by placing the sensor cable under tap water. 

Upon contact with water, the device sounded an alarm (loud enough that I could hear it anywhere in the house). The alarm however didn't stay on - perhaps it's because I only dabbed the tip of the sensor cable with water, and it was for a very short period of time. Had it been a larger amount of water or the cable been submerged, the alarm probably would stay on. You also have the option to have it send a notification straight to your phone when you are not home. 

I plan to leave it in our utility room next to the sewer drain. You can also place multiple ones throughout the house around water heaters, washing machines, sinks and sump pumps. 

In summary, I like this new D-Link Wi-Fi Water Sensor. It's practical, very easy to install, and gives you peace of mind. 

Check out this video for a step-by-step installation guide. For more information about this sensor, please go to this link

Disclosure: The unit was provided by D-Link, but all the opinions are my own. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Life, Lately

Between work, travel and trying to catch the tail end of summer, life has been busy lately. Busy fun, fortunately. 

Home decor wise, I've spent a fair amount of time entertaining over the past few weeks, so I've been burning quite a few scented candles. My favourite is the handmade Lilac wood wick candle by Gabys Inspirations. 

Wood wick burns brighter and hotter. The occasional crackling sound makes it ideal for colder months ahead. The lilac scent is delicate and elegant - all my guests loved it. 

I recently found the best Modena balsamic vinegar by Giuseppe Giusti from a local fine food store. It's perfectly balanced with a sweet aftertaste. I used it on Caprese with fresh soft Buffalo mozzarella, and drizzled on fresh figs with goat cheese.  

Gladiolus is in season, and I am obsessed about them. Two bouquets per week is the rate I am going at these days, one for the kitchen, and the other for the living room. They come in so many colours, look fabulous and they are inexpensive. They don't last more than one week though as the tips tend to get droopy over time and dry out. White Glads are my favourite. 

Pink comes second. I think I am going to try blue this weekend if I can find them. 

Have you been seeing fall decor everywhere? Fall is not exactly my favourite season, so I've been trying to put off doing anything about it as much as I can. I don't know how to work all the earthy colours into my house. But I did pick up this set of acorn canisters from HomeSense. Aren't they cute? Just a touch of the harvest season is all I need. 

Our blue satin Rose of Sharon shrub is unstoppable this year. We are well into September, and it's still blooming like there's no tomorrow. We are adding a retaining wall to our flower bed as well as expanding the patio in our backyard next week. I can't wait to share some pictures with you afterwards. 

That's it for now. Have a great weekend everyone! 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Discover Ontario Summer 2015 - Part III

When Anthony showed me pictures of Elora he found on Internet, I was like "no way, this place is in Ontario?" It surely is. Elora is a short 90-minute drive from Toronto in the Town of Centre Wellington, 20 km northwest to Guelph. 

This is the Elora Mill Inn which is currently undergoing a massive revival project. 

I took this picture from the Metcalfe Street Bridge. It was sunny and the air was still, perfect for capturing this reflection shot. 

This shot was taken from a lookout point near the Drimmie Dam. So were the first two pictures at the beginning of this post. 

The following two pictures were taken from the south bank of the Drimmie Dam. 

Metcalfe is the main street in the historic Elora, which intersects with Mill Street. Most of the shops and restaurants are in the area. 

Try a slice of carrot cake with cream cheese icing and a gingerbread muffin at Ashanti Cafe. They were delicious! Their carrot cake is always the first to be sold out for the day so be sure to go there early. I liked the candied lemon zest (or was it orange peel) in it which added a nice crunchiness to the cake. 

Mermaid Antiques on Church & Metcalfe is a must visit. 

There are so many whimsical things and curiosities in there.

I remember seeing a pair of similar doorknockers in Barlenoa along Rambla de Catalunya. 

Here they are...found the picture to prove it. :)

I would be perfectly happy living in a house like this. Too bad the house was in the shade at the time, and my iPhone camera couldn't capture the vibrant shade of yellow it's in. 

I wish I had hiked up to capture an aerial picture of the stunning Elora Gorge swimming hole, but you get the idea. 

It's not creepy at all for me to use a telephoto lens for this picture below. I was trying to capture the different textures from the old quarry escarpment. Wouldn't be surprised if those girls gave me (my camera) a dirty look. :)

Have you been to Elora?

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Joy of Custom Made Furniture

Just before we left for our vacation in June, I came across this Swedish settee on Eloquence. I had seen similar style settees before, and always assumed it was French. It's actually Swedish Gustavian style which is a simplified version over the more embellished design of the Baroque. It strikes a perfect balance between the French flamboyance and the Nordic sense of practicality. It can be as formal as a settee, or as casual as a daybed for those weekend afternoon naps. I immediately fell in love with it, and needed to have it in my house. To have a massive piece of furniture like this delivered all the way from U.S. isn't realistic, not to say some companies don't offer international shipping to start with. It didn't take long before I realized I needed to go custom again. And there's no better place I would like to work with than Anne Quinn Furniture

Within days, Christine the proud owner of Anne Quinn Furniture, emailed me these design templates from her manufacturer. I was completely blown away. The drawings even captured all the different carving patterns throughout the settee. 

 Different finial details throughout the frame. 

By the time I came back from my vacation, the frame was already constructed. I couldn't believe how amazingly intricate all the wood carvings are. There was but one problem. Did you notice anything that didn't seem to belong with the rest of the frame? The bases of the fluted legs were so round and chunky that it looked like I was going for bun feet! 

Her manufacturer took my feedback, and immediately tried to trim them down. Better here in the next two pictures, but not quite there yet. For me, the legs make or break a piece of furniture. 

Christine was very patient and determined to get them right for me. So after another round of trimming and sanding, the legs are finally perfect. 

I like legs of any chairs slender because they look more elegant to me that way. I picked a stain-resistant fabric in grey but the lighting in the pictures below almost made the upholstery appear taupe. I will be anxiously waiting for it to arrive in October to see it for myself. 

I am so happy that this is yet another custom furniture which turns out to be exactly the same as better than expected. Do you do custom furniture?

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