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7 Amazon Alexa Compatible Devices | Nixplay

7 Amazon Alexa Compatible Devices

Building out your smart home? With an Alexa at the center of everything, it’s easy to control your smart home devices and turn your house into a smart hub. If you want to make more use of Alexa, we’ve got a selection of some of the best smart home devices to that can be controlled with only the sound of your own voice.

Smart home devices that work with Alexa

There are so many smart home devices that work with Alexa, so it can be difficult to get your head around the ones that will benefit you the most. The hundreds, if not thousands, of Amazon Alexa compatible devices all have their advantages and disadvantages. So we’ve pulled together a list of some of the must-have smart home devices to help you get started.

1. Alexa, turn up the lights

Tired of tripping over your feet or walking into furniture when heading to bed after turning the lights off? A smart bulb is the best solution. Simply hop into bed with the light on, and command Alexa to turn it off once you’re all set for sleep. There are a lot of smart bulbs that work with Alexa, so make sure you do your research to find the right one for you. Some let you dim the lights, change the color and turn them on or off.

2. Alexa, open up Netflix

Lost the controller? We’ve all been there. Whether it’s stuck down the back of the sofa or the batteries have died, with a smart TV and Alexa device, you won’t need one. One of the best Alexa compatible devices will have the software built in, and some smart TVs do. Turn it on and off, switch the channel, increase the volume or adjust the brightness, using nothing but your own voice. 

3. Alexa, lock the doors

Gone are the days of dragging yourself back out of bed to bolt the front door. Make your home is secure with Alexa and a smart lock – so you don’t have to wonder if you locked the door when you’re cozy in bed. There are many smart locks to choose from, to suit all budgets. So if you’re tired of losing track of all your keys or don’t want to leave a spare under the mat, a smart lock will give you more control.

4. Alexa, turn up the heating

These smart home devices can make you more comfortable at home, but have a great impact on your bills. Some smart thermostats also come with Alexa built in – meaning you can manage the temperature of your home with ease. Which means no more fussing about with buttons that you can’t quite figure out, because it’s all done with your voice!

5. Alexa, vacuum the floor

The best way to keep your floors clean without lifting a finger? Smart vacuums. These home staples have come a long way, and many now have the capability to work using voice activation – making your life just that little bit easier. With these Alexa compatible devices, you can ask your vacuum to clean, stop and return to its dock. You will still need the app to schedule the cleaning and check the status of your vacuum, but there’s every chance that these actions will be voice activated in the future.

6. Alexa, feed the dog

Running late because your pet needs feeding? Cutting your day short to make sure you’re home on time for dinner? A smart, automatic pet feeder will do the job. Set regular mealtimes, adjust portion sizes and set voice alerts to let your pooch know that it’s time for dinner. Better yet, some of these smart home devices can be used in conjunction with Alexa to dispense food manually, for those days when your furry friend needs an extra feed!

7. Alexa, show me my favorite photos

Experience the latest Alexa software on a Nixplay smart photo frame – letting you share your treasured memories with your family and friends, all with the sound of your own voice. Just ask Alexa to manage your frame and you can display any of your photo playlists and assign a specific playlist to any Nixplay frame (wherever that frame is). So if you’re looking for a gift that keeps you present, or an Amazon Alexa compatible device that displays your favorite memories, a Nixplay digital photo frame is the must-have smart home device for you. Browse the collection online today and order yours to start sharing your best moments with your loved ones.

Role As A Photo Organizer

The Life of a Photo Organizer: Jodi Bondy

Nixplay has partnered with The Photo Managers for the Save Your Photos initiative, a public service outreach campaign that teaches individuals how they can preserve life’s irreplaceable photos, videos, and documents in case of an unforeseen accident or disaster. 

As a Certified Professional Photo Organizer, I get to see some pretty cool things. Family memories on print or film, long lost memories buried in a box or trunk, and huge smiles when a project all comes together. I love mystery and, often, that’s exactly what I face when working with a client. This crazy pandemic that we’ve been dealing with for 6 months has caused many folks to start digging through those old boxes and storage bins they have harbored for years. 

So just what’s in there?

Certified Professional Photo Organizer

Many people are finding photos of their immediate family — fun 70’s bell bottoms, 80’s hairstyles, and the like. Others are uncovering the vintage photos they inherited from their parents or grandparents. They were always going to do something with those when they got them.

Role As A Photo Organizer

As a Photo Organizer, I’m able to coach or facilitate the process. Dealing with your own clutter can be overwhelming, so bringing in a neutral party will allow you some clarity to make decisions on what you can do with these newly discovered treasures. 

I met with a client once who probably had 6 big plastic storage totes, several cardboard bank boxes, a scattered mix of flash drives and even some old floppy disks! As I started to empty the boxes, I found there was no rhyme or reason as to what’s in the box. There were loose photos, framed photos, VHS tapes, partial scrapbooks and photo albums. You name it. First thing I assured my client was that whatever I found, I would protect her privacy and would not share with the world any items I may find that might be considered “sketchy”. Think HIPAA that you sign at your doctor’s office.

We started making piles of “like stuff”. If we knew which side of the family or which person was the main focus, we even separated out to that level. I had piles all over the floor and chairs! We emptied the boxes and took those out of the room, at least temporarily. 

Organizing loose photos, framed photos, VHS tapes, partial scrapbooks and photo albums

The ABC’s of Photo Organizing

Once the tubs and boxes were empty, we started with one pile and proceeded to follow the ABC’s method that most professionals use — “A” stands for photos that would be ALBUM worthy. These are the ones you would want to showcase. “B” stands for BOX. These items may have a very cool story attached to them and there may be no other evidence of the event (remember we basically took photos blindly back in the day and hoped we got some good shots). These will be stored in archival safe boxes in case there is ever a need for these in the future. “C” are the photos that can be put in the CAN. The trash can, that is.  Duplicates, blurry, no heads, etc. We all have them.  Even some landscape photos – if there are no people in these. I can tell you Google has a much better photo than the one you took! Then finally, we have the “S” which stands for the STORY. You need to have people write down the story that expands on why the photo is so important. Videos and other media take a little more time because you need to figure out what is on them, get them converted to digital and store them on a device that will be usable in the next several years. 

The ABC's of Photo Organizing

In fact, all of this takes time and effort. But the coolest thing is being able to watch a family gather around the table with the photos and memories and start sharing stories. This is a great time to have a paper and pencil handy, so you can write down the memories from everyone’s perspective. It also makes a great holiday activity when the family is all together, whether in person or via video conference. Share the photos and have a game of Guess Who. Look for family resemblances, check Uncle Harry’s cool car and his crazy plaid pants! 

Enjoy the stories with a Nixplay Frame

One of the options I typically give my clients is to buy a Nixplay (or two). They can send many of the photos to the frame and give it as a gift for another family member. How fun it can be to have a recent memory pop up followed by someone generations earlier who have the same nose. 

Littles watch nixplay

I love what I do and I take great pride in my work. So if you have that unopened box hidden away, let a professional photo organizer help you sift through the items and, perhaps, you will find hidden treasure.

Jodi is a certified professional photo manager in Indiana.  She is also an educator and volunteer emergency medical technician.  She understands the importance of human connection and the telling of stories through image and print.  When she is not working on client projects, you can find her playing with grandkids and helping others to document their memories.

7 Minimalist Home Ideas To Revamp Your Space

Minimalist Home Ideas To Revamp Your Space

Thinking of pairing down your home interior décor? From monochromatic simplicity, to a laid-back luxury style, minimalist house décor is a great way to revamp your home and get rid of some of that clutter. In theory, it should be pretty easy to pull off. Think of neutral colors, minimal art and a few staple ornaments. But when you’re trying to achieve the “effortless” look, you might need to put in a bit more work than you think.

Looking for some minimalist home ideas to get you on your way? With our interior home décor ideas, your space will feel minimal, warm and inviting – rather than cold and clinical. Find out how to revamp your living room, bedroom or even your office space below.

How to achieve the perfect minimalist house interior

Modern Minimalist Home Interior Décor

Let’s get down to the basics of minimalist home ideas. There are a few easy steps you can take to achieve modern minimalist home interior décor and, if you stick to them, you’re sure to achieve the look you’re going for.

1. Stick to neutrals.

Start off your quest to a minimalist house interior with a neutral color palette. Impartial colors are calming, fresh and classic. You can even incorporate some earthy tones, blues and greens to continue on with the natural theme. 

2. Use the natural light.

Warm the space up by letting in as much natural light as possible. Pull back all your curtains, use sheer fabrics and strategically place mirrors to let the light bounce off the walls. Mirrors are also the easiest way to open a space up, making a room appear bigger than it is. Utilizing the sunlight is a great way to keep the space from feeling stark and clinical. You can also keep the space feeling cozy, without the added clutter.

3. Try out new textures.

Neutrals don’t have to be boring. Revamp your home with multiple textures and some neutral patterns to spice things up a little. That way, the feel of the room will start to warm up. From knitted throws and tasseled cushions to sheepskin rugs and velvet touches, you can add an extra element of interest with plenty of texture within the same color palette.

4. Quality over quantity.

When you’re focusing on minimalist house décor, less is always more. So if you’re working with a smaller catalogue of staple pieces, it’s important to make sure that they’re high quality. Because with minimalist house interiors, there’s less to distract the eye, meaning that every piece you buy plays an important part in the overall feel of the room. Ultimately, you want to create a space that you want to spend time in. So why you might be tempted to go with the grain and pick up the latest trending items, this isn’t the key to minimalist home décor. Instead, focus on the classics that will stand the test of time.

5. Add a touch of nature.

Upgrade your home décor with some florals and greenery—an added touch of color and style. House plants are ideal for adding lush hues, extra texture and a point of interest in even the darkest corner of a room (just make sure they’re happy with reduced sunlight first!). Create a miniature indoor garden with a variety of greenery, from succulents to cheese plants and palms.

6. Embrace the white space.

You might see a blank wall or empty shelf and think it needs a little extra cover – but minimalist home décor proves that blank spaces can have just as good an impact. So don’t worry about filling every inch of your home in paintings and ornaments, let your designs stand out by embracing the white space.

7. Clear all clutter.

Possibly one of the most important minimalist home ideas. If your surfaces are covered in clutter—like piles of mail, your keys and random decorative objects that just seem to take up space—then you’re in for a bit of a surprise. The key to minimalist house décor is a clean look and feel, so the first step you need to take is clearing it all out. And going forwards, you should continue with this attitude. That means, for every item that you buy for your home interior décor, you should let something else go in return.

One quick way to clear out the clutter is to cut down on the number of photo frames and canvasses you have dotted around. Because while some paintings are suited to minimalist house décor, a plethora of family photos is sure to interrupt the neutral color palette. The downside is, of course, losing all of your favorite memories.

Looking for a way to display your family photos, in a minimalist way? Enter the Nixplay photo frame—one, sleek device that can contain all of your snaps in one single place. That way, you can keep your home free of clutter, while still holding on to those precious family memories. And because every Nixplay customer has 10GB of free cloud storage for their photos and media, you can display so many more of your favorite photos.

And there we have it—a selection of minimalist home ideas designed to make your space feel clean, fresh and organic. Complete your space with a smart photo frame from Nixplay and you’re sure to have everything you need to revamp your home and make it feel cozy. So go ahead and put our minimalist design ideas to the test—we’d love to see the results!

The Gift That Keeps On Giving | Nixplay

The gift that keeps on giving

More and more of us are becoming independent and moving away from where we grew up, often not just to the next town, but to the other side of the world. We know how this feels – as we moved from Like from Switzerland to Australia with two toddlers in tow! 

So, how does one stay in touch with loved ones left behind? There are many ways of course, and thanks to modern technology, it’s a lot easier than it used to be a few decades ago. 

For us, photos play a central role in staying connected with family and friends, especially with my mum, who is also the only grandparent left for our kids. There are countless ways to share photos, and it can actually be quite overwhelming to choose just one. However, we stumbled over our absolute favorite way to share pictures with my mum when we decided to give her a wireless Nixplay frame for her birthday a few years ago. It has become a gift that simply keeps on giving – in expected and unexpected ways.

It lets others participate in our life

Sharing photos with others opens a window to our life and gives them the opportunity to become part of it. It gives them a little taste – not only of our exciting adventures – but sometimes simply of everyday moments and snapshots. 

Mum enjoys looking at photos on her Nixplay frame every day! It is standing at a prominent place in her living room where she can easily see it. I love how I can simply email a photo to her frame, knowing it will pop up in her living room and brighten her day. It makes it so much easier to stay connected and to forget the huge geographical distance between us.

And I’m not the only one who sends photos. Other family members do, too. Furthermore, mum loves to travel but she only takes very few photos with her. Sometimes, she travels in a small group and people then send her a few photos directly to the frame. So, when she comes home, she already has the best of her holiday memories showing up – how cool is this!?

It can serve as a trigger to share stories and memories

Only just recently, mum had her sister-in-law staying with her for a few days. Later, she told me that they were looking at the photos on the frame, almost like you’d leaf trough a photo album. The result was that they both exchanged stories, reminisced and had great conversations. 

Again, it’s all about the power of photos to connect people. With the digital frame, it was so easy to do. Think about other options: looking at photos together on a tiny mobile phone – not a great experience. Or sitting in front of a computer and clicking through tons of photos? Not great either. Looking at photobooks would be good but that requires somebody to actually make a book and have it printed. Maybe streaming the photos to a TV or creating slideshows? This requires a certain knowledge about technology and whereas it is not that hard, it feels like too much fuss and effort. For mum, this frame does all of this one fell swoop, and the ease of use makes it a perfect solution.

It lets us enjoy the temporary result of a digitizing project

A few years ago, I travelled home to help mum sort our entire physical family photo collection and to scan what we wanted to keep. Working together was a wonderful experience and our connection became even deeper and added a different layer to our relationship. Fascinating, funny and sad stories came to light that I’d never  heard of before (she is now in the process of writing them all down). I treasure this special time together so much and I recommend to all my clients who call me about physical photos to go through them with a loved one. If you’re interested to read more about how we approached this project, check out this post here.

Sorting our physical photo collection

Of course, the project wasn’t done once the photos were scanned and the prints were stored and archived. The risk with these projects is that the scanned photos will simply be added to the other thousands of digital photos we have and never look at.

I am still finalising the work on the scanned photos. We changed the dates, we added stories and meta data such as names of people etc. At the same time, we’ve been working on our family tree – and the research is far from done.

After a while, it really bugged me that mum couldn’t see the result of all our hard work. I’m not ready to upload these family scans to a cloud service before they’re finalized. This will happen eventually – very soon in fact – so we can share it with the wider family and give them the opportunity to download copies. Until then, Nixplay was – and is – the answer. As I keep ploughing through the digital processing, I keep sending the best ones to her frame so she, can enjoy the result of our work too. 

Mum as a baby with her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother

It’s not about living in the past though. It’s about making the connection to our past more visible and more present in our life. After all, without the people that were there before us, we wouldn’t be here. Sharing photos through a digital frame truly brings memories back into our lives in the easiest way possible, at least for our family. It was one of the very best gifts to mum and ourselves ever, and brings joy to our lives every day.

Chantal Imbach from Photos In Order is an Australian based professional photo manager and also the co-host of the popular podcast DIY Photo Organising. She is passionate about safeguarding photos and teaching people how to manage their photos so they can enjoy them and bring them back into their lives.

4 Ideas For A Fun Family Night In | Nixplay

Can’t Go Out? Here are 4 Ideas for a Fun Family Night In!

Who says you can’t have tons of fun from the comfort of your own home? Sure, going out can be exciting and provide you with a much-needed change of scenery, but given the current climate and safety precautions people are taking, staying in is becoming more and more common- especially among families. With all the adjustments taking place, such as students adapting to remote learning and parents getting used to working from home, it’s nice to have a night in to look forward to at the end of the week. With a little creativity, there are plenty of ways to make a family night in feel like a family night out. Keep reading to gather some ideas on how to make your next family fun night a success.

1. Camp Out, Living Room Style

Camping in the great outdoors is an old family tradition for many, but why not create a new one by bringing the campsite to your living room? Pull out those sleeping bags, pitch a tent and get your favorite scary stories ready to tell around the fireplace or a faux campfire. Speaking of campfires, is there even a point if you don’t have s’mores? With all the prep work you’ve been doing to make this family night in perfect, grabbing the ingredients to make these tasty treats may have slipped your mind. Have no fear, with an app like goPuff, you can order all the fixings needed to make the perfect s’more, and maybe even an adult beverage or two. You can even  have them delivered to your living room so you don’t have to miss out on any of the fun! Not only is camping out living room-style a great way to spend quality time with your family, but it also guarantees you’ll avoid any stormy or rainy weather – as well as hungry bears ransacking your tent after you’ve fallen asleep! 

2. Get Creative in the Kitchen

Going out to eat, especially if you have a larger family, can be quite costly. It may also be tough for everyone to agree on where they want to go based on different tastes. A family night is the perfect time to gather around your favorite cookbook and get creative in the kitchen with your crew. Whether it’s making an old family recipe like Grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookies, or trying something completely new like sushi from scratch, the kitchen is a place where memories are made. Assigning each family member a task ensures everyone is included, as this makes the final product that much better. It’s likely you’ll have many laughs and may even make something totally inedible, which is why it’s important to keep a frozen pizza or two handy just in case! But however your culinary creation ends up, it’s still a bonding moment you’ll remember for years to come.  

3. Take Game Night to the Next Level

Sure, board games and card games are fun and will keep your family entertained, but why not take things to the next level by creating a scavenger hunt?? This will take a little extra prep work but it’s sure to make a lasting impression on your family. It’s totally up to you when it comes to how creative you want to get, but the more thought you put into it, the more exciting it will be. Begin by creating clues based on areas in or around your home. Be sure these clues are tailored to the ages of your family members. For example, if you have little ones, you’ll want to make things more basic, but if you’ve got teens or adults participating, you’ll want your clues to be a bit trickier. You can break up into teams or make it every person for themselves. Either way, whatever prize you choose should provide the winner with bragging rights for a while, or at least until the next hunt! If you’re looking for inspiration on how to plan your family scavenger hunt, check out this article.  

4. Have a Dance Party

When in doubt, dance it out! This idea may sound crazy, but you’d be surprised at how much fun you can have while dancing. Cutting a rug has many benefits that stem beyond breaking a sweat. Not only are you getting some cardio in, but you’re supporting your mental health as well. Dancing helps to boost your mood and is one of the most inclusive activities you can partake in. A dance party at home provides you with an opportunity to learn about other cultures as well. For example, you may want to explore the world of salsa dancing or learn the Viennese waltz. There’s also nothing wrong with getting down to a little hokey-pokey every now and then. Whatever your interest, moving your body to music is a great release for everyone in your family. If you want to invite a couple of friends over to include them in the fun, check out these social-distance approved dances on YouTube. 

These ideas are just a few of the ways in which you can take advantage of this time together – and with a little creativity and some help from the internet, the possibilities are endless!

Want to make sure it’s a night to remember?

Regardless of the current climate and safety precautions, we’re taking to protect our families, staying home doesn’t have to mean being stuck at home. There are so many fun activities you can plan for family members of all ages and priceless memories to be made. Want to make sure these precious moments can be looked back on for years to come.? Don’t forget to get snap-happy with your camera when spending time with those who matter most. A few pictures and videos can make the world of difference when creating memories, and a Nixplay digital photo frame is the best way to savor them forever.

Organize and digitize your photos with Nixplay

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