Friday, October 10: HopeLine RECAP

Join Monica Vila and special guests John Johnson and Ken Muche as they explore how Verizon’s HopeLine program connects survivors of domestic violence to vital resources, funds important support organizations, and protects the environment!
Interested in a Mobile Makeover? Fill out the #VZWBuzz Makeover Application and you could win a brand new smartphone or tablet and be invited to appear on a VZWBuzz Video RECAP!

Handy Smartphone Apps for Home Improvement

By Tracey Dowdy

My husband is a marriage and family therapist, so I definitely have an advantage when it comes to managing marital conflict. The one area of exception is when we decide are forced to work together on a home improvement project. Don’t get me wrong, my husband is a good man, but when two first born children come together, and by come together I mean collide, to do a DIY project, sparks are gonna fly, whether or not power tools are involved.

Fortunately for me, all his years of training eventually kick in and we get the job done together – unless  it’s something from IKEA, who I’m convinced could open a side business as divorce attorneys.

Since my husband doesn’t make house calls and IKEA hasn’t responded to my suggestion, here are some DIY apps that will make those projects much less stressful.

Handy Man DIY comes with videos and demos detailing common DIY projects and even includes shopping lists for those projects to eliminate the guess work or frustration of realizing you needed a flathead, not a Philips head screwdriver. You can create customized shopping lists, get an estimate of how much a project will cost, store dimensions of room sizes, windows and doors for future projects, and even calculate how much paint you’ll need.

Platform:  iOS
Cost: $1.99

iHandy Carpenter puts 5 carpenters’ tools in the palm of your hand: a plumb bob, a surface level, a bubble level, a protractor, and a ruler. Once the app has been calibrated, the plumb bob, surface level and level bar can also be used as an inclinometer/clinometer simply by reading the angles on the screen.

Platform:  iOS, Android
Cost: $1.99

Most major paint companies have apps that can help you avoid the dreaded “That’s not what it’s supposed to look like” panic of choosing the wrong paint color. Depending on your brand preference, Behr ColorSmart, Benjamin Moore Color Capture, Glidden on the go (iOS only), Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap Studio, Valspar ConnectLive (iOS only) all help you digitally color match, and many offer the option to virtually “paint” the room.

Platform:  iOS, Android
Cost: Free

The Home Depot app lets you browse over 300,000 products, check store inventory, purchase from your phone and arrange in-store pick up or delivery. You can scan UPC or QR codes and save them for future reference. Home Depot also offers the option to purchase gift cards and have them sent directly to someone’s inbox or import into Passbook.

Platform:  iOS, Android
Cost: Free

Similarly, Loew’s lets you browse their in-store as well as online inventory, watch step by step videos, and create a Quick List shopping list by adding items via the app or scanning them.

Platform:  iOS, Android
Cost: Free

Home Design DIY Interior Room Layout Space Planning & Decorating Tool – Mark On Call for iPhone – easily the longest name I’ve ever seen for an app – is a great tool for seeing what a particular pattern or finish would look with your current color palette, or determining whether that great sofa you just saw will fit through the door by using the “crosshairs” measuring tool. Users can design for your space by taking photos of pieces then “skinning” them onto items or surfaces in your room using your camera. The images can then be saved and shared between Apple devices.

Platform:  iOS
Cost: $2.99

Once you’ve got everything primed and painted and you’re ready to add furniture, SnapShop Showroom helps you visualize what a particular piece of furniture would look like in your house. Simply go into the room, launch the app and choose a category of furniture. Once you’ve selected a favorite, tap it, and the app brings up your iPhone camera with an overlay of the furniture. You can scroll through colors to see what matches, position or rotate the piece to get an idea of whether it will fit, and save the photo to get opinions or come back to see if you still like it a day later. The app also lets you tap the shopping cart icon to visit the retailer’s website without leaving the app.

Platform:  iOS
Cost: Free

My work here is done. Good luck with your project, and if it all goes south, I know a good therapist.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Toronto, ON. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances and researches on subjects from family and education to pop culture and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

Friday, November 14: Getting More From Your Smartphone



When: TODAY, Friday, November 14, 2014
12:00-1:00 pm PT
3:00-4:00 pm ET

‘Getting More From Your Smartphone’

Join @TheOnlineMom @RobynsWorld @geekbabe and @thetechdad TODAY at 12 noon PT (3 pm ET) as we chat about Getting More From Your Smartphone!
Whether you want to watch a movie, get turn-by-turn directions or pay for a cup of coffee, your smartphone can help. We look at how mobile devices are evolving, and explore the apps and features that will continue to enable our on-the-go lifestyles!
RSVP and attend the party for a chance to a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone or a Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player!
And join @TheOnlineMom on the Video Recap live from the NFL headquarters in New York City at 4 pm ET for another chance to win a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone!

(Click here to learn more about our Twitter chats. You must RSVP and attend the party to be eligible for a prize.)

  1. Email (subject line: VZWBuzz) and include your Twitter ID.
  2. Spread the word and RT this link on your Twitter feed:    
  3. Join us on TweetDeck or HootSuite (#VZWBuzz) today between12 – 1 pm PT
  4. Tell your Twitter followers!
PRIZE WINNERS will be announced during the Party!

(The Online Mom LLC receives a fee for participating in certain promotional programs for Verizon Wireless.)

A Special Microsoft Event!


See why the Surface Pro 3 is being described as the most productive tablet on the planet!

TODAY, Monday, October 6, 2014
11:00 am – 1:30 pm ET
Time Warner Center
The Shops at Columbus Circle
10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019
Join @TheOnlineMom and friends TODAY at the Microsoft Specialty Store at Time Warner Center in New York City!
Join Monica Vila, aka The Online Mom, for a meet and greet followed by a walk-through of Microsoft’s state-of-the-art Specialty Store, showcasing PCs, laptops, the Xbox One gaming console and the all-new Surface Pro 3!
Take part in a raffle drawing for a chance to have lunch with Monica and the Microsoft team at A Voce restaurant at Time Warner Center!