Five Ways to Enjoy Your Hot Tub This Winter

Most people put their hot tubs in hibernation mode during the summer when it’s just too hot to enjoy the spa. As the last leaves fall from the trees and the first fall chill hits the air, it’s a good time to uncover the hot tub and prepare it for a full season of winter fun. While hot tubs are a perfect après-ski gathering place to soothe sore muscles after a day on the slopes, there are so many other ways to make the most of it during the winter.

Here are five reasons to enjoy your hot tub throughout the winter months:

  1. De-stress from the holidays. As winter kicks in — so do the holidays! But there’s an added layer of stress for most of us — decorating, shopping, family dinners, and work parties all create more stress for our already-busy lives. Schedule a few minutes every couple of days to enjoy your hot tub and let some of the tension soak away. You’ll feel better, be more focused, and be in a better mindset to truly enjoy the holidays. 
  2. Connect with family. Hanging out in the hot tub with your family is a great opportunity to enjoy quality time and genuine conversations. Lots of people focus on dinner as the main time to chat about school, work, and life — but let’s be honest, with the demands of work, after-school activities, commutes, and everything else life throws at you, finding time to dine together as a family just doesn’t always happen. Jumping in the hot tub in the evening is a great way to wind down, have meaningful conversations and, as an added bonus, keep everyone away from screen time — a great way to get a good night’s sleep.
  3. Recover from workouts. It’s important to keep up a consistent workout routine, and in the cooler winter months, that often means shifting your exercise regimen indoors. Any time you change your workout, you may experience different sets of achy muscles. The warm water can help soothe muscles after your cool down, and you can experiment with jet settings for added massaging so you’re ready for the next day of exercise.
  4. Socialize with friends. It can be hard to find time with friends, especially during the holidays. Sometimes we think that a quick Facebook or Instagram check-in counts as a connection, but quality time in-person is more valuable. Inviting friends over for a cocktail or cocoa and a dip in the hot tub is a great way to inspire genuine conversations and face-to-face connections with friends. Keep a couple of extra comfy spa robes and some flip-flops around so that your guests are warm and comfy, and feel like they’re being pampered.
  5. Enjoy peace and quiet. Being bombarded by the news, social media buzz, traffic, and meal planning all add to the stress of a busy day at the office or helping your family get through the week. Spend a few minutes in the hot tub, listening to the calming sounds of bubbling water, gazing at the stars, and breathing in the crisp, fresh air. This quiet time  connecting with nature can make you feel calmer.

Make sure your hot tub is well-maintained throughout the winter season with a few simple tips:

  • Clear out any leaves or debris. Fall leaves are beautiful but they clog filters quickly.
  • Make sure the water level is full. If you haven’t changed your water recently, now is the time to drain your hot tub and fill it with fresh water.
  • Check and clean or replace your filters. It’s a good idea to have two sets of filters so you can clean one set while using the other set.
  • Check and adjust the chemical levels…pHin makes it incredibly easy to keep your chemical levels correct by alerting you on your mobile device when they need attention.
  • Make sure your cover is in good shape and sealed to keep the heat. No matter how cold it gets outside, it’s not recommended to have your hot tub set at more than 102°F, especially if you have children.

How do you benefit from your hot tub? Sound off with us on Facebook or Twitter.

For help keeping your hot tub in top-shape, learn how pHin can help.

7 Great Summer Gifts for Father`s Day by the Pool

Father’s Day is approaching; time to show Dad how much you love him with a great gift. (Hint: Not a tie) How did ties even become the go-to gift idea for dads? Regardless of the answer, let’s just put that notion to bed and get on to items that Dad is sure to love. The following are seven of the best Father’s Day gift ideas for dads that love to hang out in the yard and by the pool.

1. iDevices iGrill2 Bluetooth Thermometer

The iDevices iGrill2 Bluetooth Thermometer lets Dad monitor the temperature of whatever he’s grilling from a distance. As all grill masters know, maintaining an even temperature while you grill ensures meats cook properly. Opening and closing the grill lid to check the meat’s temperature throws off the whole game. Four prongs allow Dad to track more than one meat at a time, and Bluetooth technology lets him do it from a distance of up 150 feet. What could be better than not having to get out of the pool to check the grill grub? The device is compatible with iOS devices and Android devices running 4.3 or higher.

2. Cuisinart’s Deluxe Stainless Steel Grill Set

Show Dad you respect his talents as the family grill master with the Cuisinart deluxe stainless steel grill set. The set comes in its own handy aluminum carrying case for easy portability and storage. The 14-piece set includes a chef-style spatula (with built-in bottle opener and cutting edge), grill tongs, basting brush, cleaning brush with an extra brush head, and four pairs of corn-on-the-cob holders. The stainless steel construction is durable and easy to clean. Each tool features a perfectly weighted handle and a hanging ring for convenience.

3. AquaClimb Poolside Climbing Wall

Does Dad have a hidden (or not so hidden) extreme sports side? Is pool volleyball getting a little old? Check out these climbing walls by AquaClimb! For newbies, the poolside location offers a risk-free introduction to wall climbing. For more advanced climbers, AquaClimb offers models such as the KURVE, which is quite the challenge. No matter which model you choose, though, you get a unique poolside attraction the whole family can enjoy.

4. Sipping Stones

The next time Dad requests a Scotch on the rocks, give him exactly what he asked for with these Sipping Stones. Of course, no matter what Dad’s favorite drink is, these chilling stones, made of soapstone, keep his beverage subtly cool without diluting it. Dad just stores them in the freezer until he’s ready to use them. Afterward, just rinse them off and put them back in the freezer – no muss, no fuss!

5. GrillPro Cast Iron Smoker Box

There is nothing quite like the taste of smoked meat, but keeping woodchips smoldering without burning presents a challenge for even the most talented grill master. Enter the GrillPro cast iron smoker box. Dad can use this bad boy with any type of grill, and the cast iron construction offers easy care and a lifetime of use. Soak the chips; fill the box; and light the grill. Soon, Dad’s enjoying the tender, juicy, smoky flavor of his favorite meats. Whether he shares any of it is another matter altogether.

6. Intex Mega Chill II Float Cooler

There’s no need for Dad to get out of the pool for a cold drink with the Intex Mega Chill II floating cooler. This heavy-duty cooler includes a removable ice chest, six built-in cup holders, and four handles. The removable ice chest holds up to 72 cans with ice, and three air chambers keep it afloat even when it’s full. Dad can also use Mega Chill II as a floating base for his favorite cooler. Two attached cords also allow Dad to anchor the floating cooler to a raft or boat if he decides to take his new cooler out on the lake.

7. A pHin Membership

What is it they say about saving the best for last? The ideal gift for Dad this Father’s Day is a stress-free year of pool and hot tub care: a
 pHin membership. pHin monitors Dad’s pool and/or hot tub 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and then sends him a message on his smartphone when i’s time to add chemicals. Dad gets the premeasured pods automatically; all he has to do is drop them in the pool or hot tub. Voila! Dad swims with confidence all summer long, never having to worry that the pool or hot tub water is over- or under-chemicalized. What’s more, pHin offers its members expert help with the click of a button. You can’t beat the ease and convenience of pHin pool maintenance.

Top 7 Summertime Backyard Gifts for Mom

Mother’s Day is right around the corner. This year, you want to get her something a bit more original than flowers and chocolate, a gift that is more personal (and useful). Then you remember: All winter, she talked about wanting to spend more time in and around the pool this season, maybe entertain more often. What kind of gift gets her out of the house and enjoying her backyard? Read on to discover seven great gift ideas, none of which will break the bank.

7. Waterproof Floating Bluetooth Speaker

Music kicks any party up a notch, and it can even make solo swims more pleasant. Of course, everyone knows that water and electronics do not mix, so you are stuck placing speakers far from the action. If the folks in the pool want to hear your summertime jams, you have to turn the volume to 11. Enter the new generation of waterproof floating Bluetooth speakers. You can drop these babies right into the water without damaging them, or just set them on the deck. They look great, sound great, and boast an impressive battery life (some up to 40 hours). Of course, they are not limited to the pool; they are good for waterside playtime at the hot tub, lake, seaside, even in the bathtub.

6. Cooler Tables

A cooler full of beer, sodas, and bottled water is a given during a backyard party. Unfortunately, a giant red cooler does not go very well with your décor. Enter the cooler table, a rattan-style cocktail table. With the top down, it is just your everyday end table. Pull up the top and fill it with ice and your favorite beverages and it becomes the coolest cooler on the block, in more ways than one. The best part? It still works as a table!

5. Floating Beverage Caddy

The floating beverage caddy makes sure your drink stays cold, even in the water. The attractive canvas exterior resists stains, fading, and mold. Buoyant foam beads fill the interior and support four glasses, plus a pitcher, of your favorite drink. No more tracking pool water into the house for refills (although, if you want a designated pool boy, we won’t judge).

4. FitFlops

Wet surfaces such as tile and concrete (even grass) can lead to slip and fall accidents. Your standard Dollar Store flip-flops do not do much to help, either. Enter FitFlops. The heavy rubber sole grips the ground to guard against slipping, and the upper sole construction keeps Mom’s foot from sliding around in the shoe. They also look great and are available in a wide variety of styles and colors. Mom will love them, whether she spends her day walking around the pool deck handing out drinks or playing with her grandkids in the backyard sprinklers.

3. Fire Pit

When the sun goes down, it is time to break out the marshmallows and light the fire pit. Pits come in such a wide variety of styles that there is something to match any décor: round, cube, chiminea, tabletop, and in-ground, the choices are endless. In early and late summer, when nights are cooler, they keep the party going. Any time of year, though, a fire pit adds ambiance and atmosphere to your gathering. Is the heat too much? Fill it with tea lights instead.

2.Greenes Cedar Grow Box

To help add a touch of green to Mom’s backyard, consider gifting the Greenes Cedar Grow Box. Available in a variety of size configurations, this raised planting bed fits just about any space. The cedar frame resists both insects and rot, and it is a cinch to assemble. It does not come with soil, seeds, or plants, however. If you want Mom to have the whole package, you will need to supply those items separately.

1. pHin

Of course, the number one gift to ensure Mom enjoys the backyard and pool all summer long is a pHin subscription. Let her swim with confidence, knowing the pool’s water is perfectly balanced and safe for everyone. pHin monitors the water 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When she needs to add chemicals, it will notify her via Smartphone and ship a premeasured dose in color-coded pods. When the pods arrive, she can just drop them into the water. What’s more, if she is the type of Mom who prefers to leave things in the hands of professionals, a pool expert is available at the touch of a button. Pool maintenance has never been so simple. Actually, this is the ideal gift for anyone, even you!


Well, there you have it, seven great Mother’s Day gift ideas, guaranteed to get Mom out of the house. Choose one, choose two, or share the list with Dad and your siblings to make sure Mom gets them all! Of course, you could just keep these great ideas to yourself for Christmas or Mom’s birthday so no one steals your gift-giving thunder. Happy Mother’s Day!