This post is sponsored by Amazon. All opinions are my own.

Amazon Echo Plus Accessories

If there is one thing I love about owning my own home it’s finding any excuse to host a get together. Whether it’s the holidays or someone’s birthday party, my wife Sarah and I love to have people over. I think it stems from the fact that we both grew up in families that had the home that everyone seemed to gravitate towards. For Sarah, it was the holidays; for me, it was the house all my friends would hang out at after school.

The one thing that has remained the same over the years is the ongoing theme of wanting to wow our guests. This is usually done through our food and cocktail pairings. However, now that we are new home owners it’s through our love of technology.

The Amazon Echo Plus

Creating a smart home has never been easier and more fun with the help of Amazon devices and their Amazon Alexa partners. We’ve had an Amazon Echo since day one and have never stopped loving it. Our latest purchase is the Amazon Echo Plus, a major upgrade from the original Amazon Echo device we’ve had over the years.

Amazon Alexa Commands

The Echo Plus not only has a brand new look, it also features a built-in smart home hub making it easy to setup and control compatible smart home devices. And trust me when I say, there are a whole bunch of them you’re going to want. More on that later.

Here are 3 ways we are using our Amazon devices to wow guests:

Philips Hue Smart Lights

“Alexa, dim the lights to 30%” or “Alexa, change the lights to blue.”

Philips Hue Smart Lights

Philips Hue Smart Lights are easy to setup and super fun. By simply screwing them into your light source and saying “Alexa, discover my devices,” you will be up and running in seconds. From there you can control your light’s color and dim settings using Alexa voice commands or by using the Alexa app. What I love about them is being able to setup special routines depending on the mood I’m in. For example, the routine I have for going to bed is “Alexa, time to sleep” – which turns my lights off.

Music with Amazon Alexa

“Alexa, play my Christmas playlist.”

Turning on the Amazon Echo Plus

Now that it’s November, of course I have my Christmas playlists ready to go. My all-time favorite thing about the Amazon Echo Plus is being able to play music from it. I can be across the room and tell it what I want it to start playing using my voice and a quick Alexa Skill. Ever better, the Echo Plus features a premium speaker with 360° sound, so you can be sure whatever you hear coming out of it is going to be crisp, clear and loud, from anywhere in the room.

Escape the Room (Alexa Skill)

Great for dinner parties or really whenever you have guests over. It’s fun to play and you never have to leave the comfort of your home.

With the Escape the Room Alexa Skill, you and your guests are trapped in a room, which you must find a way to escape from. Teams will navigate through a room, solving puzzles and finding items and objects you can interact with. Choose from four different rooms, each varying levels of difficulty. This unexpected game will really wow your guests.

There are hundreds of other things Amazon devices can be used for to wow your guests, but these are just a few of my favorites. They make for great gifts for any occasion, especially now that I’m sure most reading this are in the market for gift ideas this holiday season. Grab your Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Gen) here.