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Smart House- The Reboot

staying healthy during a move_ (2)

If you have known me for any length of time, you know the following to be true:

  1. Major sweet tooth

  2. Very short

  3. Loud and (usually) in a great mood


I’m sure you can imagine my dismay the first time my husband brought a tiny little robot into our home, promising to make our lives easier and save a bit of money. I’m sure you can imagine my heightened, panicky dismay when he would say “Google, time to chill” and the lights would dim, and Google would quietly reply “Enjoy your evening, Mark. I am always here if you need me”……………….

Flash forward, in this small way, I have gotten over my distrust of their species. I have allowed a Google hub and 3 minis into my home. I have taught it to read me recipes, we laugh over jokes it tells me, she wakes me up every morning and even tells me how long it will take to get to work. I have totally, willfully unplugged from the creepy factor and leaned into the convenience. However, I ALWAYS, always say thank you. Because one day, they will run our lives and I want lady Google to remember me fondly.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the ways that pesky robot has wormed its way into my life:


I will start with fun because I want Google to read this and know that I love her for more than mundane tasks. For fun, you can ask Google:

  1. To tell you a joke (they might not be everyone’s cup of tea… but y’all should know my sense of humor by now and Google always KILLS)

  2. To tell you a bedtime story (almost funnier than the jokes)

  3. To read you JUST good news, and avoid the tragic depressing current events

  4. To play a game with you (“Ok Google, let’s play a game!”)

  5. To speak a handful of languages

  6. Filed under fun and functional, you can “broadcast” a message to your whole house and allow it to function like an intercom. I use “happy hour!” and “dinner” often, and the message plays in each room where we have a mini. (“Ok Google, broadcast xyz to the house”)

Functional (for most of these, each person needs to have the app on your own phone. When I downloaded it, I got a female Google and my husband’s is still male. Per our discussion, we are ignoring the creepy stuff, RIGHT?)

  1. Add to your grocery list and access it later on your phone (this is great because if we run out of toothpaste, I don’t have to trust SOMEONE’S brain to put it on the list downstairs)

  2. Tell you what time it is (this one is weirdly personal. I removed all the clocks in our room and got a Google in the master so I could have it help me wake up without my phone. I ask it the time, to set reminders for me throughout my morning routine, etc.)

  3. Set alarms and timers (I have my morning alarm set to music every weekday morning. You can snooze it or set additional timers as well).

  4. Find your phone (this was a GAME CHANGER. Just ask Google to find your phone and tell it which to find, and it will call it for you).

  5. Read you the news

  6. Read you a recipe or help with common kitchen measurement conversions (Buried at Thanksgiving? You can even call the Butterball Turkey Hotline, hands free!)

  7. Call people

  8. Tell you how long your commute will be (just save “work” or other important places in your Google maps)

  9. Read you your daily schedule

  10. Provide recommendations for anything from restaurants to plumbers (supposedly vetted first by Google, Porch and other reputable companies)

  11. Control your thermostat

  12. Play podcasts for you (we do this with our favorite sleep podcast) , white noise or even rain sounds!

  13. Create “routines” (The options are endless for this one! We have these smart lightbulbs plugged in around our home. Google knows, for instance, if we say “goodnight”, that the lights go off downstairs and on in the master. “Done for the day” turns off my husband’s office lights and reads him the news. Good morning turns on our bedroom lights, and I am still trying to get that step going in tandem with my alarm!).

The functional options extend to the Nest thermostat if you have one, and even the Google Chrome for your TV. It can even control tons (think dishwashers, coffee makers and fridges!) of non-Google appliances, listed here.

So, there you have it! The lure of convenience has turned me into a robot fan tolerator after all. Are you on team smart home?


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