Cool grilling tools could make you a backyard hero

(NC)-A number of nifty new grilling accessories are sure to attract the attention of outdoor chefs of every experience level. Why not impress the grill master in your life by giving them one or all of the following cool grilling tools as a gift for any occasion?


Weber suggests:


Tongs remain an indispensabletool and the one item cited as being both owned (86%) and most used (70%) by Canadian grillers. Outdoor chefs also own a basting brush (79%), a grill fork (73%), a wire grill brush (71%), and a turner/spatula (64%).


The Ebelskiver: This European-inspired grilling tool creates traditional Danish pancakes in a perfect sphere shape. Also idea for making individual pizza puffs or turkey/chicken/beef pot pies.

With hamburgers remaining the food item most often grilled, Weber has developed three new accessories for this devoted audience:


Weber Burger Press: Designed to create the perfectly formed burger patty, this press makes a dimple in the middle of the burger for even cooking from centre to edge.


Weber Slider Press: Form two perfectly shaped sliders at the same time with this press that makes a dimple in the middle of the burger for even cooking throughout.


Weber Meatball/Slider Rack: This stainless steel two-sided rack holds up to 15 meatballs or eight sliders. It allows for even cooking and a one-flip approach to grilling several small burgers or meatballs at once.


Cast iron Griddle: When you need a flat surface, you need a cast iron griddle. It’s the perfect accessory for grilling food, from pancakes to scallops, without mess or fuss.


Potato Nails: A sure hit for baked potato lovers, these stainless steel nails allow for quick, even cooking of potatoes.


Portable Table: The perfect gift for tailgaters and campers, this portable table goes up quickly and stores flat.


Grilling tips and recipes can be found online at

How much would it really cost to replace your home?

(NC) Ask any Canadian homeowner to name their biggest investment – their real pride and joy – and most likely they’ll say it’s their home. It’s their sanctuary with the pristine lawn, beautiful garden, finished basement, and renovated kitchen. When such a paradise exists, why would anyone want to risk losing it? But what if disaster struck and your place was severely damaged by fire or some other catastrophe. Are you certain that your insurance policy would cover the rebuilding of your house and the replacement of all the contents? Unfortunately, this answer often comes too late that the homeowner isn’t adequately covered. The property insurance experts from Desjardins Insurance have some answers and suggestions to help you.

  • First, be prepared. The first three days after an emergency are the most critical. So consider creating a 72-hour emergency kit. Typically it will include 3 days’ worth of water for each person in your family, imperishable food stuffs, candles, flashlight and batteries, and a first-aid kit. Next, take an inventory of your belongings. Be thorough because it’s easy to underestimate the total value of your possessions. Include furniture, jewellery, electronics such as computer equipment, game systems and television, along with clothes, shoes, boots, pots, pans, other personal and household items. Take particular note of expensive items such as antique furniture or other valuables.
  • Read your policy carefully. It’s important to remember that your home insurance will not cover every type of major loss. The typical home insurance policy will cover a fire loss, as well as damage caused by lightning, windstorms, hailstorms and even tornadoes. Standard homeowners’ policies in Canada exclude flood damage. However, policies generally cover other kinds of water damage, for example from a sewer backup or a burst pipe in your house. Desjardins Insurance is one of the few companies that also cover damage caused by water seepage through basement walls or floors.

Your policy may be worth more than your home. Many people believe that if their home is burnt to the ground, they would automatically receive full market value for their house. This isn’t true. The value of a home insurance policy is based on the cost to rebuild the house, not to sell it on the market. The actual replacement cost could end up being either greater or less than the market value. Replacement costs will include the material (lumber, roofing shingles, siding material, carpet, drywall, etc.), and the labor and architectural services. There are also additional costs associated with the demolition and clean-up of the site before construction, which can be expensive in a crowded city neighbourhood. The location of your home could be a factor too. For example if you’re located in a remote or rural area, travelling expenses and supply transportation need to be taken into consideration.

For more information about your insurance policy and the replacement value of your home, speak to your insurance provider. Or for immediate answers, call or visit Desjardins Insurance at

Bring your house up to date

It’s amazing how quickly our homes can start to look dated. Even if they were once the height of fashion, they can easily start to feel stuck in the past, and for many people it is enough to make them consider moving, unaware that it is simply the fact that things feel stale that is giving them such wanderlust.

There is plenty that can be done, easily and cheaply, to make a house feel more modern though. A change of paint is always a great way to start. Finding out the colors that are currently in vogue is a great way to instantly transform a room. On top that, interesting and modern artwork and contemporary knick knacks will also instantly bring a room up to date.

Home lighting is also a surprisingly date-specific kind of thing. Older light fittings will instantly date any room, and changing glaring halogens to more subtle accent lighting can instantly change the feel of a room without anything else being needed. Altering home lighting is also easy to research and cheap to achieve, making one of the perfect places to start if a house is starting to feel jaded. The more you can spend on lighting, the better.

Wooden floors are also a great way to stay modern. On top of this, utilizing a wooden floor gives you great scope to include under-floor heating, an investment that will almost certainly pay for itself in terms of how much money can be saved on energy bills. Under-floor heating also helps you remove what are usually unsightly radiators and give rooms more space – another way to make any room feel more modern.

If you can, make as much space as possible, knocking down walls to create more space if it is appropriate. Space and lighting combined will make even the dullest room feel fresh and new.

By: Allision Kraft

How to write a professional real estate property description that sells

There are do’s and don’ts when it comes to writing a professional property description that sells. An effective property description can determine whether or not you sell the property.


To begin, your headline must jump out from the page and catch the attention of the buyer. Make the headline appealing with captivating and positive words.


Always begin your description with the selling points of the property. List the best features first to keep the attention of the buyer. Use adjectives to spice up the description. For example, instead of stating dining room, try spacious dining room for your family to gather and share a meal. Let the buyer know why they will want the selling points of the house.

It’s important to sell the area to potential buyer as well. Are you selling to someone looking for a single family home or a multi-million dollar estate? Highlight points in the area that appeal to your buyer like schools, shopping, public transportation, etc.


Include the geographical area in your description. Many buyers are looking to buy in a specific area.


Including the price of the property is especially important for the sale by owners. Price inclusion is also a way to screen potential buyers.

Call to Action:

End your description with encouraging words for buyers to call you. Give them a reason for a call to action. “This beautiful property will go fast, call now for more details.”


Choose your words wisely and keep them positive. Certain words sound better and are more appealing to potential buyers. For instance try cozy instead of small.

Now that you know what should go into an effective property description, you need to know what shouldn’t. Avoid the following:

* Spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes

* Uncommon abbreviations

* Clichés

* Jargon

* Passive voice

* Over the top vocabulary

Write in the present tense and make sure to include words like you and your in your description. This way potential buyers will feel as though you are speaking directly to them.

by: Rose Manning

Article Source:

Operate your motorized window coverings by mobile app

(NC) – According to the experts, motorized shades are hotter than ever – and no wonder.

Energy management, convenience, glare control, privacy, and security, UV protection for furniture and carpeting, plus an increasing number of skylights and hard-to-reach windows are cited as the leading reasons why.

With or without power, Hunter Douglas window treatments excel as window dressing solutions. Now the company has announced its new Platinum App to give you more precise than ever before of its battery-powered products from your mobile device.

This is the first ‘shade-control’ app available as a free download with no service fees. The Platinum App is controlled directly from an Apple mobile device – and the setup is easy and requires minimal hardware. After a few short, preliminary steps, the app lets you operate all the Hunter Douglas window coverings in your home (or in your rooms) at the same time, or one shade at a time – in real time. Or, you can use the timer feature to schedule your shade movement for later. Operate the window coverings by scene (activity), by room or by time.

The Platinum App puts you in control without complicated wiring or the added expense of an electrician. Other benefits at your fingertips will be:

• Enhanced energy efficiency: You can set your shades to lower when the sun is the hottest or raise them in the winter to let in the solar heat to help manage heating and cooling costs. You can also adjust window covering vanes and slats to harvest light deep into the room to reduce the need for artificial lighting.

• Convenience: With the app, any media room takes on a “Hollywoodian” air. Prefer your window dressings positioned a particular way when you’re reading? No problem. Create a personalized “scene” with the app and it will move the window treatments to the exact position you wish, whenever you wish. It’s simple to program and easy to use. In fact, a single swipe of the app’s slider bars can tilt and raise or lower the product.

• Glare control: Having trouble with the glare on your computer screen while finishing that proposal for the office or emails to friends and family? The app gives you total control.

• Privacy and security: Many homes these days are built cheek-to-jowl, requiring something special to guard one’s privacy and security…and comfort level. The app lets you adjust your window fashions for when you are not at home. Set scenes and raise them during the day, lower them at night, or raise some and lower others to avoid suspicion and help protect your home.

• UV protection: We all know the havoc the sun’s ultraviolet rays play on our skin. The same holds true with artwork and furnishings. If exposed to too much sunlight they can fade, discolour or become otherwise damaged. Obtain the happy medium – sun protection with light and a view – with products such as Silhouette and Pirouette window shadings. The sheer facings protect against UV rays even when the vanes are open. With the app, you can adjust the vanes as the sun becomes brighter and more control is needed.

• Difficult-to-reach windows: We all love the look of skylights and oversized windows, but most of us don’t like having to get out the ladders to reach them. Hunter Douglas points to its SkyLift, a new system that covers skylight window openings of up to 80 square feet. The Platinum App works on products with this option as well, for control above and beyond expectations.

• Child safety: Motorized treatments are free of operating cords, making them ideal for homes with tots underfoot.

Motorization has gone mobile and it’s not going back.
More information is available online at