Technology

Marketplace: Rowenta Humidifier Review

Unfortunately, winter is still here. Some mornings, I wake up hopeful that spring has arrived. But I should know better. Winter will likely last for the remainder of this month. Ugh.

And with winter weather comes dry air. Dry skin. Stuffy noses. For me, at least. How do I combat the dry air in my home?

With a humidifier, of course!

I have used a humidifier during winter months for just about 10 years now, and I have always noticed an improvement in how my skin feels. My old humidifier stopped working a couple of months, and the replacement that I bought was useless. Returned it a day after I used it – or tried to use it – it didn’t work. I had spent just under $100 for the humidifier, so it certainly wasn’t top of the line, but it wasn’t one of those $20 versions either.

And here’s where the story takes a happy turn – in comes Rowenta to save the day! I reached out to Rowenta to inquire about their humidifiers. I have always heard great things about their irons (that’s on my wish list, too, by the way…do you know how many white shirts I wear each week!?), so I thought they might know a thing or two about steam!

Rowenta sent over the HU5120HO Aqua Control humidifier. My first impression was that it was a super sleek machine. Clean lines, compact design, and less bulky than my last humidifier.

But looks are only part of the story, right? (p.s. I would have preferred the water tank to be clear instead of blue.) How has it been working for me? Let me do a bit of a play-by-play for you.

Night 1

I had gotten home so late on the day that the humidifier arrived, so I didn’t give it much more than a quick look. I poured Brita water into it (because I was aiming for the best possible water quality – that only lasted for night 1, by the way), waited 10 minutes for the water to settle/regulate (I didn’t know I was supposed to do this, but there was a quick set-up guide that I scanned), plugged it in, pressed the power button, an auto button, and went to bed.

The blue display light was on, and since I was zombie-like, I didn’t even notice that there was a light-off button. Instead, I stuck a black bag in front of the light so I wouldn’t notice it while I slept. Ha ha. Such a zombie! I need more sleep!

I don’t even know what setting I had it on the first night, but when I woke up in the morning, I definitely noticed that the air in my bedroom was “fresh.” I wasn’t as stuffed up.  My skin was okay. Not perfect, but definitely an improvement.

Night 2

Once again, I had little time to read about the features of the humidifier, so I pressed a couple of buttons and hoped for the best. I’m making it sound like this humidifier is complicated to use, but it’s not. I have just been working like crazy that by the time I’m ready for bed, I just really go to sleep. And deeply, too!

On night 2, I did learn that the light button controls the display light as well as the blue light from the water tank. Awesome! No more blue light reflecting on my white walls!

I used the medium steam setting, and it worked well. I slept soundly, and my skin felt less dry when I woke up in the morning. Again, the air felt fresh.

Night 3

Okay. On night 3, I had about 5 minutes to look at the buttons more closely before I fell asleep (are you noticing a pattern?). I was thrilled to discover the different automated settings – auto, baby, and night. I opted for night which meant that no lights were on. And the system would shut-off once ideal humidity was reached. Genius! I set the humidifier to night mode and fell asleep. Good to go.

Night 4 and Beyond

So that’s just a quick recap of my first three nights with the Rowenta humidifier. I’ve been using it nightly, and I absolutely notice the difference in air quality, my sleeping, and how I feel in the morning. I’ve tried a few of the settings, but I most often use the night mode. It’s easy.

I honestly didn’t expect to see such a difference in the quality between my previous humidifiers and the Rowenta, but there is a difference. I thought the higher price point (about $230CAD) was for the name brand, but it isn’t. This humidifier is sleek, well-designed, and has multiple features and settings. It is a major improvement over my previous humidifiers and I’m very happy with it.

Beyond what I’ve shared, here are some additional features of the humidifier:

  • cool-mist
  • 3 steam settings
  • automatic humidity regulation
  • 3 modes – auto, baby, and night
  • timer
  • up to 18 hours of run time
  • covers 500sq feet
  • humidity control setting

Finally, a couple of people asked me some questions on this Instagram post, so I thought I’d include my answers here:

  1. Is it suitable for work? Yes, if you have your own office. The different modes, timer, and steam settings allow for good control of the steam. The cool mist is office-friendly, I’d say. If you work in an open space, then the humidifier’s mist will spread, so be sure to ask your office mates if they’re okay with it.
  2. How does your skin feel? Definitely, definitely, definitely better. I was pretty annoyed with waking up with dry skin. After a few nights, I noticed an improvement. It’s been working well for a couple of weeks now.
  3. Do you notice a difference in the moisture level when I enter the room? I keep the humidifier in my bedroom, and I only run it during the night. When I wake up in the morning, I certainly notice a difference in the moisture level. The best way I seem to be able to describe it as is “fresh.” I really should have it on during the day, too. Maybe this weekend!
  4. What are the settings and is it a cool mist? There are several settings. My old humidifier had two – high and low. This one has three modes, a timer, programmable humidity levels, three steam power options. The highest steam setting emits the most noise, but I don’t find this bothersome. It’s soothing, actually.

And before I leave you for today, I should just note that the recommended humidity level is between 50% and 60%. The screen on my humidifier reads 25% when I first plug it in.

Learn more about the Rowenta HU5120 humidifier if you’d like.

Thanks to Rowenta for sponsoring this post. All photos, thoughts, and opinions are my own.

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Two for Tuesday: Dyson Design Duo

My parents recently gifted me a Dyson vacuum cleaner, and, oh my goodness, I ADORE it! I didn’t think I could actually like vacuuming. The Dyson is incredible. It sucks everything up, it’s easy to maneuver, and it’s lightweight to carry up and down the stairs. Beyond this, it is so smartly constructed. The extension hose hides away in the handle area/back spine of the vacuum, and the container empties with a simple push of the button. How have I never owned one of these? Living in a house that has wall-to-wall carpet – gosh, it is changing the way I feel about my most disliked chore!

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Dyson DC66 vacuum

Dyson has recently launched its first hair dryer. I want it. I don’t know much about it, but I want it. I just feel that it would make my hair look so darn good!

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Dyson Supersonic hair dryer

Technology: Back in Action with the MacBook Air

My apologies for the surprise inconsistent posting on the blog last week. I experienced a bit of a blogging hiccup.

You see, my MacBook decided to quit on me last weekend after an unfortunate run-in with a few drops of coffee. Grr…

I researched the pros/cons of the various MacBook laptops for a week and finally opted for the Air. It’s been just a few days, but I’m already pleased with my purchase. The keyboard is very nice for typing, the screen is clear, and it’s so darn light. Yes, I know that this is one of its highly desirable features, but I didn’t really realize how great it was until now.

Here’s a snapshot of the unboxing:

White-Cabana-Macbook AirThe neatly organized package has my heart!

Technology: My Life with TomTom

TomTom has entered my life…and has become my new BFF. Before I left for Florida, TomTom generously sent over two items for my trip: the Runner Cardio watch and the GO 500. I have previously written about my experience with the Runner Cardio watch, but I haven’t yet reviewed the GO 500. Well, folks, today is the day.

White-Cabana-TomTom-GO500-1the TomTom Go500 unboxed

I am generally good with directions, and I have been loyal to paper maps ever since I started driving at age 16. Heading into this recent vacation, however, I knew I wanted to explore a bit more of Florida than just the beach, and I had a feeling that the TomTom would allow me to do so easily.

In the 3 weeks that I was in Florida, I felt so free with the TomTom. I felt like I could drive without stress because I knew I would never get lost. My friend and I put the TomTom to very good use to explore Tampa and Orlando, and it was amazing. It chose the fastest routes, quickly recalibrated if we hit construction, and spoke to use clearly and at ideal times (e.g., before upcoming turns).

Features that I am really enjoying in the GO500 include:
– list of voice selection (mine is currently set to American Richard)
– large clear screen with good contrast levels between image and background (worked great for both daytime and nighttime driving)
– alternate route options with time estimations (I used this quite a bit if I hit traffic or I wanted a break from highway driving)
– speed of search
– easy to use touch screen and keyboard
– zoom options for maps (I generally liked the close up version of the streets, but I also used the overview quite a bit to help me get a sense of the area)
– volume control (driving during rainstorms was loud, so increasing the volume was useful and easy to do)
– safety camera alert
– lane guidance images (to visually show what lane you’re supposed to be in)

White-Cabana-TomTom-GO500-4TomTom’s screen and menu screen

The TomTom took my friend and I to Tampa, Orlando, and around St. Petersburg, and it never let us down. It was ridiculously convenient to throw it (gently) into the car and head out to discover new places in unknown (to us) parts of Florida.

White-Cabana-TomTom-GO500-3heading into Orlando with the TomTom guiding every turn

White-Cabana-TomTom-GO500-2the TomTom can be recharged even when it is in its windshield holder (I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t discover this for quite some time…oops)

I don’t know how many times I said “I love my TomTom” and “Why did I wait so long to get one?” over the course of the past couple of months. Honestly. For a traveler like me, it’s sort of unbelieveable that I only got one now. The TomTom makes me feel safe, and it’s going to come in very handy in the months ahead as well as I continue to take road trips near and far.

Many thanks to Meaghan B. and TomTom for providing me with these items. All opinions are my own.

Technology: The TomTom Runner Cardio Watch

Fitness. I don’t know about you, but every time I hear the word fitness, this song comes to mind (and the lyrics…I be up in the gym just working on my fitness). These days, I get my fitness routine in through my walks to/from work, to/from the grocery store, to/from Uptown Waterloo…well, you get the idea…I walk quite a bit here in Waterloo!

I have run quite a bit in the past, but in recent years, I’ve gotten out of the running circuit (for no particular reason besides the usual excuse of lack of time).

And I’ve never been a fan of the gym.

Now that I’m in Florida for a couple of weeks, I’m finding it really easy to work on my fitness. The beach just calls my name, and going for walks along the shore is really a major highlight of my time here (and year, actually). The beach goes on forever, and as long as my legs will take me places, I’ll keep on walking!

This summer, TomTom kindly sent over its RunnerCardio watch for me to test out, and the timing could not have been more perfect.

Here it is in white:

tomtom-watch-runner-cardio-2tomtom-watch-runner-cardio-3 tomtom-watch-runner-cardio-1I’ve been wearing the watch for a few weeks now to track my walks. It’s a sleek little thing that is very comfortable to wear, and it tracks my distance, progress, calories burned, pace, and heart beat rate. Yes, even heart beat! I love that feature.

White-Cabana-TomTom-RunnerCardio-1 White-Cabana-TomTom-RunnerCardio-4 White-Cabana-TomTom-RunnerCardio-3 White-Cabana-TomTom-RunnerCardio-2unboxing my TomTom Runner Cardio (not yet charged)

White-Cabana-TomTom-RunnerCardio-7walking and tracking

White-Cabana-TomTom-RunnerCardio-10paused for a jump

White-Cabana-TomTom-RunnerCardio-9blooper jump

I’m still learning about all its features. It seems like every day I learn something new about this little sleek watch. If you have any advice, please let me know!

Pop Up! The Waterlogue App

Have you heard about the Waterlogue app? It turns any photograph into a watercolour-like image. I first learned about Waterlogue from one of my mom’s favourite blogs, The Enchanted Home. Before I spent the $2.99 on the app, I sent it to Corie and she downloaded it and tested it out for the both of us. Today she’s sharing some of the photos she took and Waterlogued this past weekend.

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Here’s the Plaza hotel.

Painted in Waterlogue

The dresses are from Anthropologie’s new bridal collection.

Painted in WaterloguePainted in WaterloguePainted in Waterlogue

Here’s Giselle – the boys put a pink duckie in her crib – they’re so excited to have a baby sister in the house!

Painted in Waterlogue

And here’s YOUR living room.

Painted in Waterlogue

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Are you sold? I am!

Photos & Waterlogue transformations by Corie.

*Corie stops by the blog every so often in her Pop Up! series. She hasn’t been on the blog for a while, but we forgive her because she’s been busy with her four sweet kids. The littlest arrived this summer! Corie, thanks for testing the Waterlogue app and sending these images my way! I always love seeing photos from NYC!

20 Below: Tablet Case

How hooked up to tech are you? I’m fairly attached to my MacBook and my iPhone, but that’s about it. I don’t have a tablet, Kindle, Kobo, or iPad. Am I missing out on something amazing?

I guess if I do end up getting some other techy gadget, it would give me an excuse to get a cool case for it. It’s all about the accessories, right?

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Tech-Ray vision tablet case, $5.99 (on sale), ModCloth

3D sound

Happy new year everyone!

Just as I was thinking over the holidays, Yes, 3D printers would be great for creating vinyl records, TA-DA!

3D printed record by Amanda Ghassaei

Amanda Ghassaei has been tinkering with a 3D printer and created a method for converting digital audio files into printable 3D vinyl records. You can read more about her research and process via the link above.

Although the sound quality is not quite right yet, Amanda’s work is really good news for us audiophiles who have gone back to vinyl after a few detoured decades via cassette tapes and CDs. It’s about time I hear of a use for 3D printers that doesn’t feel bizarre!

What’s your take on 3D printing?

No more tears

My surprise at seeing the new washable Logitech keyboard advertisements is probably as what you’re thinking right now:

All clean after a thorough soaking

This photo of the Logitech washable keyboard freaks me out

Years of spill fears have kept my keyboards generally safe but for two spillcidents: the first with water, the second with tea, and in both cases the laptop survived and the keys (and data) were fine. When it’s a laptop, the worst part of the exercise its abrupt suspended use over two days of stressful upside down drying, hoping that everything will be okay and strategizing on what to do if all is lost.

This one’s an external keyboard, so it won’t prevent anyone from ruining a laptop.

The Logitech keyboard not only resists the occasional spill but it welcomes a full-on soaking to clean out all the dirt and whatnot that might have lodged itself within. I think it’s a great idea for a keyboard that is visited by many hands during the day – especially post-bake sale sticky fingers.

Does anyone take lunch breaks anymore? This keyboard seems like a great idea to keep the keys from telling the story of donuts with sprinkles.

Available at Amazon.