The Logitech Circle 2 Video Camera was provided to Digital Mom Blog for review.
Last year, our friends sent us over the Logi Circle home security camera for review. It has been a total game changer in our house in enabling us to watch our kids from a distance when they stay at home alone and give us peace of mind when we are away. Logitech’s Circle cameras allow you to keep an eye on your kids and home from anywhere with the Circle app.
This year, Logitech introduced two new Logitech Circle 2 home security cameras. Both a wired and wire-free versions of the camera. In addition to the new edition, Logitech has made several updates to the camera.
Logitech Circle 2 Review
We received the new wired version of the Circle 2 video camera for review. Here’s what you need to know about the wired Logitech Circle 2. The camera can be used inside or outside. We use our’s in our living room.
The Logitech Circle 2 wired offers the same Logitech Circle app that the original Circle camera used, but the actual camera has received a complete makeover.
Logi Circle vs Logitech Circle 2
The Circle 2 offers a complete cosmetic change. No longer is there a charging ring design. The body is now a new sleeker shape and offers an IP65 weatherization rating. (And IP65 weatherization rating means it can withstand waters and temperatures from -4 degrees to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
In addition to cosmetic upgrades, Logitech has built in significant upgrades to the core technology. The camera now offers a 180-degree field of view, versus a 135-degree angle. The original Circle camera offered a 720p resolution, where the new Logitech Circle 2 offers up to full HD 1080p resolution. Another feature is the new integrations with Google, Apple and Alexa – read more below.
Both the original Circle camera and new Circle 2 camera offer motion detection, up to 15 feet of night vision and two-way audio.
Here you can view a photo taken with the original Circle in December 2016:
This photo was taken with the new Logitech Circle 2:
As you can see, the new camera is in a different location. The house is a mess, but you get the idea. (I like to keep it real, actually – I just don’t have the energy to tell the kids to clean.) You can see the clarity that the new Circle 2 surveillance camera provides. Also, check out the view – you can definitely see the 180-degree wide view and the clarity of the photo. Again, both of these were taken with the camera via the Circle app.
Setting Up the Camera
Setting up the camera required minimal effort. Here are the steps to set up the wired Logitech Circle 2 camera:
Unbox your Circle 2 Camera.
Line up the indicators on your camera and mount.
Attach your camera to the mount.
Rotate the camera on the mount to the preferred orientation.
Plug the USB cable into the USB adapter
Plug the USB adapter into an outlet
Install the Logitech Circle app
Add a camera
From unboxing to using the camera was maybe 10 minutes total.
Logitech Circle App
The Logitech circle app is your link to the camera. Within the app, you can view live what is happening, click day brief to view a time-lapse compilation of the day’s videos, and more.
Out of the box, Circle comes with 24 hours of free storage for your surveillance video clips. You can upgrade to a Circle Safe or Circle Safe Premium subscription for more storage and advanced features.
Circle 2 Integrations
Circle 2 integrates seamlessly with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.
Tell Alexa to turn on Circle 2 before you leave home, use Apple HomeKit™ to control your place while you’re away, or ask Google Assistant to pull up your camera’s live stream on your phone or Chromecast™ device. No matter how you manage your smart home, Circle 2’s integrations have you covered.
We haven’t yet set up on integrations, but looking forward to all of the possibilities that this offers!
Keeping an Eye on the House and Kids
As a parent, I can’t stress the usefulness and peace of mind that this home surveillance camera provides. As mentioned, the above photo was snapped with the camera while I was out shopping. My husband has been sick and was asleep in the room. Our third kid wakes up early every morning. I was able to log in from the Logitech Circle app, see what he was up to. Since the camera has a mic, I was able to hear what he was watching. With the two-way audio, I was able to tell him good morning and check-in to make sure he was okay and knew that dad was asleep.
There is SYRUP on the coffee table! Mom is obviously not home.
Another reason we love the camera is being able to know what is going on when the family isn’t home. We go out of town as a family several times a year. We have 2 dogs that require a dog sitter while we are out-of-town. The camera lets us know when the dog sitter arrives, also helps keep an eye on the house to make sure that we know what is going on.
All-in-all we love the ease-of-use, convenience, and peace of mind that the Logitech Circle 2 home security camera provides our home and family. If you are in the market for a home security camera, the Logitech Circle 2 offers both wired and wire-free options for whatever your DIY home security needs are.
This post is brought to you by Energizer®. All opinions are my own.
I know as a mom, I tend to always dwell on the bad of a ton of screen time – especially video games. Everything in moderation, right? But there’s some good news. Maybe those video games your kids play for hours on end, actually aren’t all that bad. We did some research and found several benefits and things kids can learn from playing video games.
What Kids Can Learn From Playing Video Games
Parents, video games aren’t entirely bad! Rather than dwelling on the negative, let’s look at the positive. Here are 5 things your kids can learn from playing video games.
Problem-Solving Skills and Creativity
Each of our 4 kids loves playing Minecraft. Minecraft helps build problem-solving skills and creativity. As they build worlds, creativity is a must. As they overcome various obstacles thru-out the game, their developing brains are learning how to problem solve.
Video games and socialization can be a tricky subject so want to start this out with that it is always important to know who your child is playing video games online with. That said, our older kids regularly play video games online with friends from school. When the kids have sleepovers, most of the time the kids are spending time socializing around the television.
The Portal video game is a family favorite. It encourages critical thinking as game players are required to put objects in the right place and get through multiple portals in a short amount of time.
Videos games encourage reading and reading comprehension. We have seen this first hand with our 6-year-old. He is a hard-core Zelda fan and I credit the game for his interest in learning to read. Initially, we could not get him interested in learning to read. He started playing Zelda and suddenly he needed to know how to read in order to play certain parts of the game. While we helped him, over the last year – he has taken on trying to read and understand the words himself.
With our 7-year-old, we use Minecraft books for his 20-minutes of nightly reading, required by his school. Not directly a video game, but definitely inspired by one!
Sports and Music
I credit the Nintendo WII for teaching my kids about sports. My husband and I aren’t sports people, but several years ago when we purchased a WII – you would think we had a family of athletes. It was WII Tennis every single night.
Rock Band introduced our kids to various instruments. It also taught us that not all of our kids should sing. Hey, just being honest. Our third child discovered a love for the drums while playing Rock Band. He has taken that passion offline and now plays real drums.
Best Gaming Batteries – Energizer® Ultimate Lithium™
When getting your game on, make sure your controllers are loaded with Energizer® Ultimate Lithium™ batteries. Here is why these are the ultimate gaming batteries.
As the #1 longest-lasting AA batteries, Energizer® Ultimate Lithium™ batteries extend your video game playing time.
Lighter Gaming Controller
The Energizer® Ultimate Lithium™ batteries are 33% lighter than alkaline batteries. Lighter batteries mean a lighter gaming controller!
Have you ever grabbed batteries from the battery box to only find them dead or nearly dead? No worries with the Energizer® Ultimate Lithium. They hold power in storage for up to 20 years (AA/AAA).
The Energizer® Ultimate Lithium™ batteries are constructed to be leak-resistant, which means prevents your gaming devices from leak damage.
It’s always important to know what your kids are playing. Make sure that the games are age appropriate. I strongly recommend playing the game before your child does to make sure the content is appropriate for your child. Thankfully my husband is a gamer (never thought I would say that!) He reviews all games before the kids are given the okay to play.
Additional Video Game Benefit – Stress Relief
An additional benefit that we found for kids playing video games is stress-relief. We have experienced this first hand with our 7th grader. It’s been a very stressful year. Middle school is hard. New processes, lots of homework and pressure to do good has our kid stressed. Video games help take his mind off of having to perform in athletics and academically. Again, all things in moderation – but stress relief is definitely a benefit for our kid.
Don’t Forget The Batteries!
Don’t forget your Energizer batteries this holiday season!
Do you use Energizer® Ultimate Lithium™ batteries? Let us know! Follow Energizer and use #StillGoing
Looking for cold weather food? Try one of these Instant Pot Chili Recipes!
Instant Pot Chili Recipes
As soon as the temperature starts dipping down below 70 degrees, I get chili on my mind! I love a good bowl of chili, but now that I make just about everything with my electric pressure cooker – you know I am making it in my IP!
Chili is one of those things that certain people like certain ways. I am including my favorite chili recipe – but have also including what we think are the best Instant Pot chili recipes, to make sure that you get that bowl of chili that you are looking for!
Beef Chili Instant Pot Recipe
I’ve made this beef chili for years. Previously I would cook in the slow cooker, but in recent years, we’ve adapted this for the Instant Pot. This is a quick chili recipe, but the beauty of the IP, you can gain more flavor by changing the Instant Pot mode to slow cooker. When you let the chili sit in slow cooker mode, it will bring out more and more flavor.
This is our family chili recipe and the beautiful thing is it’s very forgiving. You can add and subtract ingredients to make this the way you like it. If you need to make more, just increase the ingredients – though you may need an 8 qt Instant Pot if you make much more. I use a 6 qt Instant Pot and it suits my family just fine. Not sure which Instant Pot to get? Compare Instant Pots
Our beef chili instant pot recipe can be made in less than 30 minutes. We LOVE quick recipes, but this also tastes amazing when left in slow cook mode. This dish also tastes better each and every time you reheat it. Let’s stop yapping about how this is the best chili instant pot recipe ever, and let you just try it for yourself. From our kitchen to yours, bon appetit!
Best Beef Chili Instant Pot Recipe
The best beef chili Instant Pot recipe - make this for the masses, perfect for a cold night or for eating while watching football! This recipe is hardy!
1/2bagfrozen chopped onionsuse as much or as little as you like
1lbground beefI use 90% - I know, not traditional for chili, but I try to reduce fat where I can
1cankidney beanseither light kidney beans or dark kidney beans
1canchili beans or pinto beans work too!
2cansrotel tomatoescan use regular canned diced tomatoes for less spice
1cantomato sauce16 oz
1clovecrushed garlicor 1 tsp garlic powder
cayenne pepperoptional - 1/2 - 1 tsp
Set Instant Pot to saute
Cook beef, onions and garlic together
Brown the ground beef until no longer pink
Add in all spices
Saute for 2 minutes with spices
Add in beans, tomatoes, and water - jump dump into the Instant Pot
Push the manual button on your Instant Pot
Let Instant Pot natural release
The best beef chili is complete!
Not quite ready to eat? NO problem. Let it cook a bit longer for a more developed flavor. Stir and set Instant Pot to slow cook. With the slow cook function, the Instant Pot should stay on for 4 hours. Perfect for cooking ahead or if your family wants to eat chili thru-out the day.
If the chili it too thick, or if you are leaving on slow cook function, I add more water. This is a VERY forgiving chili recipe and you can make it your own. If you don't like garlic, don't add it! If you like more garlic, add it! Making chili in the Instant Pot is super easy and hope you find this recipe delicious!
To garnish, our family eats our beef chili with sour cream and cheese. Half of the family adds saltine crackers. The other half of the family adds Frito corn chips. If we have it in the fridge, I will add a little cilantro to give the dish a more Mexican food flavor. If I want it spicier, I usually add red pepper flakes.
Occasionally we will make cornbread to accompany the meal, but truth be told 9 times out of 10, I forget to buy cornbread.
Growing up, my parents always served chili over rice. My family had mixed reactions to this, but this is just another alternative to serving this dish. The rice does make it even MORE filling. So if you need this dish to go a LONG way - add in rice.
How you eat it is up to you! This meal is versatile, very filling and gets better each time you reheat it! We typically throw leftovers into a pot and then put in the refrigerator. This lets us reheat the chili easily in just a few minutes on the stove top.
Chili Leftover Recipes
As a mom, my favorite thing about chili is we make several meals out of it. In addition to chili, we also make chili-cheese burritos or chilitos, as our family calls them. Other chili leftover favorites include chili hot dogs and Frito chili pie. Needless to say, I make a lot when I am cooking it, it lasts about 5 days in the refrigerator or you can freeze for later.
While I am partial to our family’s recipe, chili is one of those dishes that can be made a thousand ways! We’ve rounded up a wide variety of Chili Instant Pot recipes from all over the internet for you to try. From vegetarian to no bean to chicken or turkey – we have a wide variety of chili recipes for the Instant Pot that you and your family will surely love!
Instant Pot Chili Recipes Round-Up
The best Instant Pot Chili recipes from across the internet! From chicken chili to vegetarian chili, here are the best recipes for making chili in the Instant Pot!
Make your Thanksgiving sides in no time with these thanksgiving menu Instant Pot recipes.
Our Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish Instant Pot Recipes
It’s that time of year. In just a few weeks, a plethora of family and friends will gather to eat, drink and be merry and grateful. The only problem is that you have to do the cooking. We don’t want that to be a problem – we’ve got you covered with Instant Pot recipes for your side dishes for Thanksgiving.
This past year, our family has become a family of IP users. That said, I know several of these Instant Pot Thanksgiving recipes will be used for our family feast!
Whether you are looking for easy Thanksgiving sides or traditional Thanksgiving sides, the Instant Pot can not only make your food in a jiffy – it will make it delicious. We have gathered the best Thanksgiving sides to cook in your Instant Pot. They are organized below and we hope that you find just the recipes you need to complete your Thanksgiving meal.
Thanksgiving Vegetable Side Dishes
Looking for some veggies to add to your menu? We’ve rounded up several Thanksgiving vegetable side dish Instant Pot recipes.
Cheesy Asparagus Wrapped in Bacon
Kick up your asparagus game with this delicious Instant Pot asparagus recipe.
Okay, Macaroni and Cheese is not just for kids. Consider making a Macaroni and Cheese bar with bacon, chives, various cheese and you can appease the mac and cheese loving masses! Best part, in the Instant Pot this traditional Thanksgiving side dish takes no time.
Rice may not be a traditional Thanksgiving recipe in your home, but in ours it totally is. My dad is half-Japanese. We grew up eating rice with EVERY meal. Like seriously. I remember rice in the rice maker, with SPAGHETTI. We make rice a lot in our house, and in the Instant Pot it is the absolute best.
Here is a tip – splurge and buy the Japanese medium grain or short grain rice. It’s a game changer.
Do you have a lot of kids coming for dinner? Cinnamon applesauce in the Instant Pot is a great unique Thanksgiving side dish that both parents and kids will appreciate. Bonus, make extra – this stuff is amazing and you will want to eat after the holiday!
Do you have a ton of thank you notes to write? Well we have a thank you note hack that has saved us several hours, and just might do the same for you!
Thank You Note Hack
We are in the season of gratitude and a great way to show your appreciation is a thank you note. Perhaps you are writing thank you notes for wedding gifts, baby shower, a birthday party, bridal shower or maybe Christmas – whatever the reason, if you have several thank yous to write – we have a hack that you will love!
Thank You Letter Writing Campaign
So here is the deal. Our school has a Thank You letter-writing campaign that they put on each fall before Thanksgiving break. The idea is that parents write letters of thanks showing gratitude to any and all teachers and staff that they feel need recognition and praise.
We have 4 kids in 3 schools. Our kids require a LOT of support, and our school district is amazing at doing just that. So, of course, we are going to participate and write letters of gratitude, but there are so many to write. Last year, I started using this thank you hack and it was a time saver – plus it looked so much better than my terrible handwriting. Here is how I write thank you notes in bulk.
Writing Thank You Notes in Bulk
I made a YouTube video showing you exactly how I write all of these notes in a short period of time. This is a great hack to speed up the process and yet still show your gratitude and appreciation. Again, this thank you note hack works great for any situation in where you have to write a large number of thank you notes.
We use PicMonkey in the tutorial above – and for a majority of our graphics projects. It’s super easy to use, especially if you are in need of a simple but powerful graphics utility. Click here and get a 7-day free trial.