Hello friends. Miniwheatmama is allowing another voice to share this corner of the web (i.e. she told me “you’re going to start writing posts for the blog”). Allow me to formally introduce myself – I have made semi-frequent appearances on this blog under the catchy title of “the hubs”. Now that I am more than just an accessory it seems appropriate to have my own nifty call sign so I’ll be writing under the handle ‘misterwheats’


I’m the one on the right 😉

And away we go…

We bought a house (finally)! I’m excited to have the buying process behind us but now the real “fun” begins because this house is what people affectionately refer to as a fixer upper. As someone who believes that you shouldn’t buy a house that was built before the world wide web was invented it took some convincing from miniwheatmama to get me on board with a major reno project. But now that I am, there is one part of this adventure that I am super excited about – smart home gadgets!

One of my greatest frustrations of renting for the past 6 years has been the fact that I live in a “dumb” house. But since the house is being stripped to the studs and is a blank canvas that is all about to change!

Here are the gadgets that we are installing (for now):


Hub: Wink 2 (when it launches)

Voice Control: Amazon Echo Dot*

Thermostat: 3rd Gen Nest (Narrowly picked this over the Ecobee3)

Deadbolt: Yale Real Living Touch Screen

Fire/Carbon Monoxide Alarm: Nest Protect

Light Switches: WeMo Light Switch

Audio: Polk Omni series (after being talked out of Sonos)

Garage Door: GoControl

You may be wondering how miniwheatmama feels about all of this…? In one sentence her attitude could be summed up as: “I don’t care about any of this but it better just work – or else”. Yikes! Stay tuned for the inevitable post where something has gone wrong – I can almost guarantee it will be at the worst possible time and only one of us will see the humor in the situation. 😉


I’m always looking for cool new gadgets so if I missed anything that you think we “need” let me know below in the comments.

*One word of caution if you have small kids and an Echo – (if they are anything like the miniwheats) they will be fascinated by it and proceed to scream commands at it  such as “Alexa, play Fireman Sam” or “Alexa, play Let it Go”. This is adorable for about 30 seconds and then extremely annoying because apparently the Echo is not calibrated to respond to the octave range of little people, but said little people believe (wrongly) that they can overcome this through sheer persistence paired with increasing the volume and urgency of their requests. You’ve been warned.


Many thanks to my good friend Mike Martinez for his wisdom and advice in selecting the right products for our needs.

Also published on Medium.

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