Smart Locks that Work with Google Home: 3 Options

Smart home systems are more than a trend. They are part of life. The next level smart gadget is smart locks. The best part is that you can access them from around the world to let pet sitters in and ensure unwanted people stay out.

What is a smart lock?

Smart locks replace things like bolt locks and less-than-secure key locking mechanism. They are keyless and can connect to WiFi.  Because of its network capability, Google Assistant is accessible in new and exciting ways.

Benefits of a Smart Lock

A smart lock is not only useful to lock and unlock as you come and go, but it also levels up security home security systems.

  • Security at the touch of a button
  • Voice-activated
  • Compatible with other home automation (Google Home, Amazon Alexa)
  • Avoiding lost keys or a stolen stashed spare key
  • Lessens chance of home invasion
  • The ability to change access control to remove permission from unwanted people
  • Access restriction timeliness

Potential Pros and Cons to Consider

Convenience

One of the obvious perks of smart locks is that you can access door locks from vacation and let someone who is checking on your home or pets inside without them having to have a key. But, you can also change the code if you need to withdraw access or suspect someone has the access code.

It is super convenient to touch a button when you want to go in and out of your home. The no key-fumble moments make smart locks worth the investment.

A smart lock’s network connections add a level of must-haveness because it connects to Goggle Assistant and locks the doors. It is as easy as saying it out loud and “making it so.”

Aesthetic

Deadbolt locks and sliding plates not the most attractive accessory on doors. However, with smart locks, entryways gain a sense of modern and visual appeal.

The tech-savvy gadgets come in a variety of colors and finishes:

  • Gold
  • Black Matte
  • Silver
  • Chrome
  • A rainbow of color schemes

A Thing or Two to Think About

You have to be comfortable with technology to benefit from smart locks. No one wants to invest in a home security product without knowing how to use it correctly.

Also, smart locks are tamper-resistant, but they are not tamperproof. Hackers learn every day how to gain access to wirelessly connected devices. A smart lock is not “invisible.”

WiFi goes down. It is part of life. Sometimes because of flickering electricity, sometimes just because of Internet connection drops. It will cause issues when trying to gain entry, and in these instances, physical keys do not rely on technology.

3 Options — Smart Locks That Work With Google Home

The options for smart locks sometimes seem overwhelming. New brands and types come onto the market every day. Let us breakdown the top three, so you can decide which works best for you.

  1. CANDY HOUSE Sesame Smart Lock with Google Home 

The Sesame Smart Lock from Candy House sits atop an existing single turn deadbolt. It means there is no need to remove the traditional mechanisms to install this one — no tools!

Features include:

  • Shared access to remotely lock and unlock doors — It means no keys under the mat while giving family and friends permission.
  • History log — You know who is coming and going. For example, when the kids get home from school and if they go outside before doing their homework, you will know.

Auto-locking and unlocking — You will never have to worry if you remembered to turn the lock, again.

 2. Nest x Yale Lock with Nest Connect Smart Lock 

Nest x Yale’s Smart Lock is not only compatible with Google Home, but it also works with Nest products, too. Everyone’s home automation is different or changes depending on needs. Either way, it is an awesome added layer to any security system.

Features include:

  • Tamperproof and Secure — It replaces a deadbolt lock, and it sets off an alert if someone attempts to disengage it.
  • Backup Battery — If the power goes off, it has a backup 9-volt battery.
  • Shared access to remotely lock and unlock doors — Give family and friends their own unique codes and log their comings and goings.
  • Touchscreen Keypad — A smart device is not the only way to gain an entryway. The Next x Yale has a keypad for passcodes

3. August Home Smart Lock — Silver

August Home’s Smart Lock works in homes that are cross-platforms. Its Google Home ability is top of the line, and the newest home security device is stylish.

Features include:

  • Access from Anywhere — Lock and unlock your door, control keyless access, and keep a log of who comes and goes from just your phone.
  • Works with Traditional Locks — The smart lock attaches to an already existing tumbler.
  • Easy installation — All you need is a screwdriver, and in ten minutes, it is ready set go.

Smart locks are an excellent option if you’re looking to try something new with your home security. They’re secure, customizable, convenient, and sleek. Enticing as they may be, smart locks aren’t perfect. Though smart locks are an effective tool, they aren’t necessarily safer than the classic lock-and-key combo. To best protect your home, use smart locks in conjunction with other security features.

Everyone is different, every home’s needs vary, and the market is full of choices that are hard to narrow down. But, the top three options are at least a start when finding the smart locks that work with Google Home.

Brining Green Olives at Home

There’s a reason why the ancient Greeks served olives with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This delicious little fruit complements countless dishes and makes a great snack all on its own. But eat olives straight off the vine and you’re in for a bitter surprise. The curing process drains uncured olives of their overwhelming taste.  

Brine-curing your own olives is an easy, cost-effective way to restock your pantry. Furthermore, harvesting your own olives is better for your body. Most olives on supermarket shelves are filled with excess sodium. Just a few servings can contain up to 1300 milligrams of salt, or more than half the daily amount recommended by the American Heart Association. Like any healthy snack, it’s easy to overdo it with olives—and all the salt is hard on your kidneys and puts you at risk for high blood pressure. (Plus, no one wants to look bloated after trying to eat clean!)  

The Benefits of Eating Olives  

The olive makes the Mediterranean diet one of the best eating plans for a long, healthy life.  According to nutrition expert Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, olives should be a staple on your shopping list because their compounds

increase nitric oxide production, improving vascular function by promoting blood flow to your tissues. That’s beneficial for both short-term and long-term health, since better circulation enhances everything from sprints at the gym to overall risk of chronic disease. Some types of olives can also provide up to 25% of your iron needs, an important mineral that helps deliver oxygen to your organs.

The fats that make olives and olive oil so good for you also fill you up. Eating a small handful of olives every day makes it easier to avoid unhealthy snacking.  

Which Olive Curing Method is Best?

You can make olives at home using a few different techniques. The ideal curing method depends on the type of olives you pick. Common ways to cure olives include:  

  • Dry-curing involves rubbing olives in coarse sea salt for 3-4 weeks. The salt soaks up excess bitterness. This method works best for black olives. After the curing process, the black olives can be immediately eaten as-is or preserved with an olive oil bath.
  • Oil-curing takes dry-curing a step further. This method works best for black olives. After the olives are dried out, they are transported into an airtight container filled with olive oil and spices like rosemary, thyme, and garlic. Oil-curing for 1-2 months gives olives a meaty, soft texture. Black Moroccan olives are typically cured in oil.
  • Brine-curing is the easiest method for beginners and a good choice for all varieties of olives. All you need is a little coarse sea salt, water, and apple cider vinegar to turn your olives into seasonings or delicious snacks. It’s not the fastest way to transfer olives from the vine to your plate, but the wait is well worth it. The fermentation process packs your olives with impeccable flavor. This method makes green olives perfectly salty and a little tangy.

Brine-Curing Green Olives at Home in 7 Steps

Traditionally, olives were brine-cured by being left in large bags on seaside docks. But no matter where you live, you can brine-cure green olives using your choice of salt, spices, and vinegar. It takes around 8 months to completely break down the oleuropein, a bitter compound that makes uncured olives too overwhelming to eat.   

Supplies to concoct your brine   

  • Green, uncured olives  
  • Purified water  
  • Kosher salt
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Garlic, chili peppers, rosemary, and thyme (optional)
  • 1 plastic tub, 5-gallon bucket, a curing crock, or narrow-neck jars

 How to brine-cure your olives

  1. Begin by removing bruised or shriveled olives from your batch. Transfer the olives into a BPA-free container or a curing crock.
  2. For every four cups of water, add 1/4 cup of kosher salt and ACV. Keep adding your water-salt-vinegar mixture until your olives are fully submerged.
  3. To keep the olive from bobbing to the top, place a mesh cloth. Alternatively, line a 5-gallon bucket with a brining bag and tie the bag closed. If you don’t have access to a large container, narrow-neck jars will weigh down your olives.  
  4. Place your containers in a cool place away from sunlight, then cover them with a cloth. Prevent flies from ruining your olives by placing cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil around the containers.
  5. Periodically check on the olives. Every few weeks, remove debris off the surface of the brine.
  6. In 12 to 14 weeks, your olives should be ready to transfer into a new brine. Refer to steps two and three.
  7. Repeat the brine transfer every few months until the green olives are sufficiently sweet. Transfer the olives into jars filled with a weaker brine: for every 4 cups of water, add 1/8 cup of kosher salt and ACV. Add your favorite spices and pop them into the fridge.

Brine-cured olives typically expire after 6 to 8 months. The process takes patience and persistence. But the pay-off is in the flavor. Just one bite of a homemade olive will convince you to never go for store-bought again!

How Secure is a Garage Door? 3 Tips to Secure your Garage

If you are a homeowner, and you have a garage attached to your structure, you may have wondered,  “How secure is a garage door?” Can someone get into the home from this location? Will someone try? The garage is usually located in a spot away from bedrooms, making it an easy vantage point for someone who does want to try to gain access. Read on to learn how you can secure your garage, helping to minimize the potential for theft as a result.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  — Benjamin Franklin

Avoid Making It Easy For Entry

One way to help make it harder for a break-in to occur via your garage door area is to keep automatic door openers out of the access of potential thieves. Many people have their garage door openers installed above the visor in their vehicle, so they can simply press a button and get into the garage. What if you decide to park your vehicle outdoors though? What if someone decides to snatch that remote from your vehicle when it is in a parking lot? Your home is at risk. Instead of taking the chance, don’t keep your remote in your vehicle at all. Place it in your purse, briefcase, or a locked glovebox when you are not using it. Bring it into the home or office after you park your vehicle as well. 

Use A Few Deterrents 

If a burglar thinks someone is at home, they will be less likely to try to rob from a structure as there is a greater risk of being caught. Use a radio in your garage to play music when you are not going to be at home. If this is heard from the outside, a thief will not be as apt to try to gain entry to the area. Motion sensor lighting around the garage can be extremely beneficial at thwarting potential theft during the nighttime hours. Make sure to trim bushes and trees near to the garage so there is no readily available hiding spot for thieves to use. 

Use Tools To Keep The Door Shut

There are a few items you can use to keep your garage door shut from the outside. These will slow down a thief as they will not be able to get into the garage from this entry point easily. One is simply using zip ties through the emergency latch loop. A thief can use a coat hanger to release the emergency handle, but when a zip tie is in place, the door cannot be disabled. You also have the option of removing the emergency pull. If you do this, and an emergency does occur, it will take you longer to get out of the garage as you will need to put the pull back in place before you can exit.

If you have a security system installed.  Look to see if you can add a garage door sensor to your system.  These are simple tilt sensors that alert you when the angle of the sensor goes from vertical (closed) to horizontal (open).

Garage doors are also getting smarter. Products like the myQ Smart Garage door opener hooks into your garage to give you real time notifications and convenience from wherever you are.  It also helps answer that nagging question of, “Did I leave the garage door open?” you seem to have on your way to work.

Check Your Garage For Possible Breach Areas

It is important to perform routine maintenance to make repairs to any area of the home where a burglar could possibly gain entry to the inside. Check door locks to ensure they work properly. Consider swapping out locks, knobs, and latches with newer models if it has been a while since you had an upgrade. Metal or solid wooden doors fare better than other materials when it comes to garage door stability. If your garage door is less than ideal, contact a contractor to price and upgrade. If your garage door has windows, it is best to frost the panes or use tint to make it harder for people to see inside. In addition: