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Renting vs. buying | Real estate | Investor Education Fund

Renting vs. buying | Real estate | Investor Education Fund.

Carpenter? Designer? DIY? Look No Further Than Your iPhone!

The iPhone has changed how we look at our everyday world. There was once a time where you needed to go to the home improvement store to buy a level when hanging pictures or shelves in your home, or consult an expert in the paint department to devise what colour you think would match your favourite pillow. Now, you can look no further than your iPhone!
With the vast amount of apps available, you can be sure that whether you’re a carpenter, designer, or just a person who loves a little DIY, you’ll be able to find the right app to help you get the job done.
These apps can help you choose paint colours based on a flower that you love in your backyard, develop a floor plan for re-designing a room, and even calculate the amount of drywall you will need for a job. There’s even an app to help schedule and remind you when things need regular maintenance around the house, such as maintenance on your lawn mower and changing your furnace filter! Here are 11 great apps to get you started.

Color Capture by Benjamin Moore & Co (FREE – 2 star rating) lets people snap a picture of a colour inspiration and instantly find its match from Benjamin Moore’s more than 3,300 paint colours. You can save your pictures and their coordinating colours to your Favorites, browse through Benjamin Moore’s inspirational color cards, and even locate your nearest Benjamin Moore retailer.

Dream Home & Dream Home HD by Apalon ($0.99 – 3 star rating) are irreplaceable apps if you’re craving for changes in your house, don’t mind adding new colors into your interior design and you are not afraid of experiments with your living space. Both iPhone and iPad versions showcase various styles in the interior design through high-resolution photos. If you are looking for a traditional or unusual design for your bedroom or want to add some modern decor elements into your living room or any other room in your house, then Dream Home is here to inspire you and push your creativity beyond limits.

Drywall Calculator by Jeremy Breaux ($0.99 – 3 star rating) is a handy app that assists you in easily figuring out square footage of a room. Whether you want to calculate just the walls, ceiling or a slope (triangle,) or any combination of the above. After you input your dimensions, total square footage is figured and displayed, along with the number of 4′ x 8′  (8′ is the default, you can change to any length) drywall sheets you will need.

Eden Garden Designer by Herbaceous Software Inc. ($1.99 – 3 1/2 star rating)  lets you create and share beautiful virtual gardens. Start with one of the included gardens, ready for planting, or create your own through your iPhone’s camera or photo library with a picture of your own garden if you want to ‘design before you dig.’ Then choose a plant from the color, height, planting zone and climate categories in the Plant Library.  Once you have chosen your plant, simply tap on the garden where you want it to grow and watch your plant come to life in vivid, photorealistic colours. If you are just beginning or are a real green thumb, Eden Garden Designer lets you design beautiful gardens without having to learn expensive and complicated garden design software.  Eden is designed to be a delightful and useful tool for gardeners of all abilities and interests.

Handy Man DIY by Wowzer Software ($1.99 – 3 1/2 star rating) is a feature packed home improvement planner disigned to assist you in renovating your home by providing the information you need to complete a new project. Need to find out how much paint, flooring or trim you need? Enter in your room measurements and let Handy Man DIY to the math. Handy Man DIY also takes the guesswork out of shopping with prebuilt material lists for common household projects, or you can build your own. It also allows you to enter price information to estimate project cost.

Home Improvement Calcs by Double Dog Studios ($1.99 – 4 star rating) has over 115 do-it-yourself and home improvement calculations and unit conversions. Not just calculators but the ability save and open saved calculations and add calculators to a favorites list.  You can also email calculator inputs and results so you can easily share your calculations.  Search functionality enables you to quickly find the calculator you want. Current calculators include: Concrete & Bricks, Electrical, Framing, Heating & A/C, Interiors, Lumber & Materials, Miscellaneous, Yard, Area, Volume & Angle, Conversions, & Linear Measurement.

Home Maintenance by POJO Software Inc. ($4.99 – not yet rated) is an application that tracks the upkeep of your biggest investment—your home.   Home Maintenance alerts you to items in your home that need repair or inspection according to a schedule set by you.  Choose from the application’s predefined list of suggested items and how to care for them or create your own.  Maintain a service history for all items along with details of the repairman, cost and date last serviced.  Home Maintenance will automatically update your next service schedule and visually warn you when items are due for servicing.  You will never need to wonder when it was that you last replaced the shingles on the roof and you will know exactly how to prolong the life of your water heater so it doesn’t end up leaking all over your basement floor. This app is your one-stop shop for all your home’s maintenance needs.

iHandy Carpenter by iHandy Inc. ($1.99 – 4 star rating) is an app that is like having a ruler, protractor, bubble leveler, plumb bob, and surface leveler all in the palm of your hand. Whether you are hanging a picture and need the leveler, or you are mitering the corners of crown molding, this app is for you!

inchCALC by River Studio ($1.99 – 3 star rating) is an entry level construction calculator for people who work with the FEET – INCH – FRACTION dimensions used on common rulers and tape measures. inchCALC takes inputs directly in the same FEET – INCH – FRACTION units as tape measures & rulers, does the calculations, and displays the answers in the same units. Also available is inchCALC+ ($4.99 – 4 star rating) which is the PRO level version, and contains more features than inchCALC.

MagicPlan by Sensopia (FREE – 4 star rating) measures your rooms and draws your floor plan just by taking pictures. You can then get your floor plan in PDF, JPG and DXF format or publish an interactive floor plan on the web. With MagicPlan, everyone can create a floor plan in only a few minues.

Mark on Call – Home Design Interior Space Planning Tool by M.O.C. Interior Designer, LLC. ($1.99 – 3 1/2 star rating) is an easy-to-use app that makes designing and space planning your room easy. It’s like having a personal product showroom with an on-call interior designer right at your fingertips. You can plan, preview and carry out your design visions while staying organized and within budget.

The 12 Days of Christmas Kitchen Gadgets – Day 12

Welcome to our 12 days of Christmas kitchen gadgets blog! Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from November 21st until December 16th, we will be featuring a company with some clever and handy kitchen gadgets.

On the 12th day of Christmas, we bring to thee

Van Vacter is a brand of kitchen tools line made by Hanz. Hanz was founded by world-renowned innovation thought leader Nicholas J Webb. Nicholas had a vision of creating extremely cool products that improve the experience both in the kitchen and the workshop. Their vision is to provide products that deliver layered value. Their products provide both improved functionality and appearance. Another important part of Nicholas’s vision was to bring in the latest science to create technologies that are both cutting-edge and are made with extreme precision and quality.

The first product I would like to show you from Hanz’s Van Vacter line is their Pizza Knife. Unlike other pizza cutters, this unique product provides both fast and easy pizza cutting. Here is how it works; the first wheel cuts the pizza with their patent pending ‘Slicing-Slots™.’ This helps to separate the hot molten cheese, then their patent pending ‘Finishing-Wheel’ cuts any cheese or crust not cut by the first wheel. This unique design makes cutting pizza a breeze.

The second product I would like to bring to you from Van Vacter is the Ice Cream Knife. The Ice Cream Knife makes scooping ice cream fun and easy. Unlike other ice cream scoops, this knife uses their patent pending ‘Topping Trough™’ edge to make sawing through hard ice cream a breeze. More importantly, their ‘Topping Trough™’ provides the perfect groove on the top of your icevream to keep your tasty toppings in place.

The last product I would like to show you today from Van Vacter is their Pumpkin Melon Knife. Cutting pumpkins, watermelon or cantaloupes with a sharp knife is extremely dangerous. Carving knifes work well but the blades are short and flimsy, the handles don’t give you a good grip when cutting or carving wet slippery melons or pumpkins. Their Pumpkin Melon Knife provides their Power Handle™ and Smart Blade™ that is simply stated the world’s best pumpkin and melon knife.

To view more products from Van Vacter by Hanz you can visit their website:

Most Van Vacter products can also be found on

This concludes our 12 Days of Christmas: Kitchen Gadgets blog! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, and have perhaps gotten some great Christmas gift ideas. Have safe a Merry Christmas!

The 12 Days of Christmas Kitchen Gadgets – DAY 11

Welcome to our 12 days of Christmas kitchen gadgets blog! Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from November 21st until December 16th, we will be featuring a company with some clever and handy kitchen gadgets.

On the 11th day of Christmas, we bring to thee

Progressive International has been in the kitchenware business for over 35 years. Their products are sold in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America and other international markets. Geared to individual tastes and all levels of cooking know-how, their products are sold regionally, nationally and internationally in small gourmet kitchen shops, large department stores, boutique coffee venues, large discount stores and more. Their entire collection is also available through specialized mail order catalogs and online retailers.
Progressive is your source for the widest range of functional, inventive and fun kitchen gadgets and tools. They know that their consumer demands a balance between the practical need to get food on the table and creative expression. More than a workspace, the contemporary kitchen is the heart of the home where we connect with family and friends. Progressive’s kitchen gadgets, kitchen accessories, microwave cookware and pepper, salt and spice mills are the modern essentials of the kitchen. They are your partner in the kitchen and their products are designed to make the time you spend in your kitchen fun and successful. Their durable and reliable product line empowers cooks and builds confidence in your ability to consistently create quick and healthy meals.

The first product from Progressive that I would like to show you today is their Lettuce Keeper. Make your garden fresh vegetables last longer and help stretch your grocery budget further with the Lettuce Keeper.  This innovative produce saver features an adjustable air vent and water reservoir to create the ideal environment for fresh fruits and vegetables, keeping them fresh longer. Wash and store in one container. Remove the bottom lid and the Lettuce Keeper doubles as a colander. Snap the included divider into place to store different types of fruits and vegetables in the same container. Produce storage guide printed on front of Lettuce Keeper for quick and easy reference. This item is also dishwasher safe.

The second item I would like to show you today is the Fruit and Vegetable Chopper. Chop, dice and slice in one swift motion with the Progressive Fruit and Vegetable Chopper. Clear base container catches cut fruits and vegetables to reduce countertop messes. Built-in side blade minimizes the need to pre-cut fruits and vegetables to fit. Base container features printed measurements up to 3 cups or 800 ml. Evenly slice strawberries, mushrooms and onions. Perfectly dice onions, peppers, celery and carrots. Easily chop tomatoes, zucchini and potatoes. This product is also dishwasher safe.

The last item I would like to bring to you today from Progressive International is their Baker’s Cookie Cutter and Stencil Set. Cut and decorate with one amazing cookie cutter and stencil set. Make delicious and fun seasonal shaped sugar and Linzer cookies with the Baker’s Seasonal Cookie Cutter and Stencil Set. The 24 piece set includes 12 cookie cutters and 12 matching stencils for easy decorating. Cut out cookie then stamp with stencil, creating traceable indents for decorating, or punch out holes for Linzer cookies.  Leave stencil on cookie for mess free sprinkle application. No-mess rim catches stray sprinkles making cookie decorating easy and fun. Cookie stencils can be used to decorate cakes and cupcakes too. Decorating Stencils snap onto cookie cutters for convenient storage. These cookie cutters and stencils are dishwasher safe.

To view more products from Progressive International you can visit their website:

Progressive International products can also be found on

Don’t forget to check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from November 21st until December 16th, 2011 for more handy kitchen gadgets!

The 12 Days of Christmas Kitchen Gadgets – DAY 10

Welcome to our 12 days of Christmas kitchen gadgets blog! Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from November 21st until December 16th, we will be featuring a company with some clever and handy kitchen gadgets.

On the 10th day of Christmas, we bring to thee

Over the past 30 years Jokari has developed a proven line of products for the home. Since 1974 Jokari has taken great pride in being a leader in the design of innovative products to consumers around the world, and they have always had one goal in mind . . . providing practical and simple household solutions that ultimately make life easier! They are constantly experimenting with new and different products to meet the changing needs of the marketplace. This year alone they have introduced several exciting products that you may find useful, from organizing your kitchen and bath to making food prep easier. Jokari products are sold in over 20 countries around the world and though you may not be familiar with the Jokari name, you are most likely familiar with the product.

The first item I would like to show you from Jokari is their Cookie Pro. This useful tool performs multiple tasks for making cookies. It measures one serving of cookie dough, the flex spoon releases cookie dough easily, and the spatula end is for scraping and releasing cookies from the cookie sheet. The Cookie Pro speeds up prep time, cuts down on clean-up and creates perfectly portioned and uniform cookies. Now you can have your cookies and eat them too!  This item is BPA-Free and dishwasher safe.

The second item I would like to bring to you from Jokari is their Juicer Pro. This juicer’s soft pliable rubber hugs small citrus fruits while a serrated port pierces the fruit for excellent juice extraction. Simply insert fruit and squeeze to release juice through the spout! The handy twist lock closure spout allows you to store fruit without any spills. This item is also top rack dishwasher safe.

The third item I would like to show you today is Jokari’s Snap-On Can Strainer. The Snap-On Can Strainer is the ideal kitchen gadget for straining vegetables and more! Fits on most standard sized cans and is great for draining canned tuna, fruit cans, vegetables, and more. So easy to use, quickly snap on opened can and invert in sink or bowl until it’s drained. Can be used as a mini sifter too.

To view more products from Jokari you can visit their website:

Jokari products can also be found on

Don’t forget to check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from November 21st until December 16th, 2011 for more handy kitchen gadgets!

The 12 Days of Christmas Kitchen Gadgets – DAY 9

Welcome to our 12 days of Christmas kitchen gadgets blog! Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from November 21st until December 16th, we will be featuring a company with some clever and handy kitchen gadgets.

On the 9th day of Christmas, we bring to thee

Joie‘s products are fun, colourful, convenient and affordable. With their vast selection of kitchen gadgets, you will have an opportunity to get exactly what you need to make your cooking experiences unforgettable. Their stylish accessories are made to simplify your kitchen desires and to make you feel more comfortable and excited about the delights of entertainment dining. If you are looking for kitchen gadgets for yourself or a friend, their diverse selection of products will never bore your imagination. Joie’s kitchen gadgets are fun, cheerful, and helpful so you can enjoy using them as much as looking at them. Their gadgets can be used by everyone. Their home kitchen gadgets will motivate you to cook everyday because they were created to make your life easier. Bring out your fun side with their big list of gadget supplies . . . you won’t be disappointed. Joie means joy . . . let them help you make your kitchen a joyful place.

The first product I would like to show you from Joie is their Microwave Omelet Porcelain Pot . . . or Omelet-in-a-Pot! This handy little pot is very simple and easy to use, plus it keeps the mess of making an omelet to a minimum! Just add ingredients, mix, and microwave; Eat and enjoy directly from the pot. It’s a great tool to have around for a quick meal at home or in the office. Its compact size allows for easy storage.

The second product I would like to show you today is rather a set of 3 different products from Joie! It is their Simply Strawberries 3 piece set. What’s better than fresh strawberries over cereal or fresh strawberries over vanilla ice cream. Fresh strawberries take some time to prepare; removing the stem, slicing and rinsing. This combination of products from Joie allows you to strain, hull, and slice your way to strawberry delight. Prepare fresh berries with ease and minimum cleanup using this 3-piece set. The set includes: – 1 Strainer – 1 Slicer – 1 Huller

The last product I would like to show you today is the Tomato Slicer and Knife. Perfect chef-sliced tomatoes are now a reality for the home cook thanks to this 2-piece slicer set. Simply fit the slicer over the tomato, place on a sturdy flat surface, and make smooth guided cuts with the matching knife. The slicer doubles as a finger guard to allow for safe and easy cutting every time .
This product also works great with potatoes, onions, and more.

To view more amazing products from Joie you can visit their website:

Joie products can also be found on

Don’t forget to check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from November 21st until December 16th, 2011 for more handy kitchen gadgets!