Organise your loyalty cards with Stocard

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Last winter while purchasing some yummy pieces from Country Road, I got my purse out to show my Country Road loyalty card to the shop assistant and she noticed my bulging, unable-to-be-closed purse and said "Oh dear, I think you need to get yourself the Stocard app".   

The what-the?  She explained it to me and I was sold immediately - "Oh, that sounds awesome - I'm going home right now to scan all my cards".  And did I?  You betcha I didn't.  I did think about it though - like a billion times but just kept forgetting to do it. Anyway, yesterday, after telling Bianca at A Little Delightful that she really must get this really cool app to store all her cards (she was complaining about her purse too), I thought I really need to practise what I preach and finally get that little app myself ... so I did.

So, the Stocard app.  What is it?  It's an app that stores all your plastic loyalty cards on your i-phone/i-pod/Android, which means you get them out of your purse and onto your phone - so it's goodbye bulging, heavy, silly-looking purse and hello slim-line, light and sexy purse.  You just present your phone and the cashier scans the barcode directly from there.  To get started, all you have to do is download the app - it's free - and then choose a card from the extensive list i.e. Country Road (or add one if your particular card is not on the list), point your phone at the barcode on the back of your card and it automatically scans it. Very cool, very quick and very easy.  I did all my cards in less than 15 minutes.  Here's a tutorial which will explain it much better than I can.

I used a hand model, aka my husband, for this shot.  I try to keep this blog cute & pretty so my hands will not feature here ... ever!

I only did my cards yesterday so I haven't had a chance to put it all into practice but the reviews I've read have been good.  I did read, though, that if your phone is dirty or scratched, the scanner may not be able to read it .. so keep your phone clean, ladies.  And for the time being I am keeping my cards close by in a little pouch so that if I do run into trouble, I'll still be able to whip out my card and earn those precious points.  Please, please let it work and be deserving of its title "Featured as one of the best apps of the year by Apple" - my shoulder could really do with a break!!
I will let you know how I go and if you decide to download it, let me know how you go too. x

Quick-Fix Washi Tape Noticeboard

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sometimes projects just don't go the way you planned or they end up being too fiddly, too hard and well, just not very much fun. Sometimes you just have to admit defeat, realise it's not working and do something else, change angles or give up altogether walk away and leave it for another day.  This was definitely one of those projects.

I bought this pinboard from Target quite a few months ago specifically for the purpose of taking the load off our fridge and to house the million and one notices, invitations, reminders and school info that comes into our home and ends up on the fridge.  Once I got it home I realised uber-quickly that I was plain crazy - what was I thinking?  It was in no way, shape or form big enough.  I then thought it could go in the kids' playroom for some of their artwork ... ummm, nup.  It was nowhere near big enough for the mountains of art that we keep on display.  I also envisaged it all pretty and white so set about priming and painting it.  There was my mistake right there.  The paint didn't cover as I would have liked, even though the guy at the paint shop promised me it would.  Grrrr.  It would have needed to be sanded between coats and it probably would've taken 3 coats to make it look decent.  I wasn't liking it, it wasn't working, it was a silly idea and I didn't want to do it anymore.  Sulky, sulk, sulk.  I gave up, put it in the shed and thought I'd get back to it at some point.  Basically, what happened is I never got back to it and every time I looked at it sitting there all half finished and ugly I got annoyed with myself.  So, today, I just had to do something.  Today was the day of the "quick fix". 

I grabbed some washi tape (remember those adorable little spools I ordered from Etsy an age ago?) and put a different colour strip down each side of the frame - covering up my ugly paintwork and finishing it off in a flash.  I know it won't last a particularly long time but it's not something that really gets touched or played with so I'm happy with that.  We decided to hang it in our son's room for his own special things - achievement awards, favourite artwork etc - and because our photos are at the bottom he can look up and see us at any time, especially just before going off to sleep. Ahhhhh, cutesy-matootsey.
So, not altogether what I had planned for this little Target pinboard but a happy enough solution none-the-less.  A quick fix is not always perfect but it's often perfectly good enough.

Home-made Cleaning Products for Earth Day

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Did you know it's Earth Day next Monday 22nd April?  Yes, it is.  It's a day when zillions of people from around the world sit up and pay attention to what's happening on this planet and do their best to protect it.  It's a big day.  It's an important day. It's a day created for us and our home, and I think each of us should do one thing, no matter how itty-bitty, to honour, appreciate and respect this day - now in its 43rd year (like someone else I know) - and help continue the fight for a clean environment.
I have decided to make up a batch of home-made cleaning products.  I've always been pretty careful about what I use around our home, particularly since having kids, and I've never been a fan of highly toxic cleaning products (although bleach has become a bit of a family tradition and although I loathe the stuff, I'm yet to find anything else that removes mould like it does ... I know, shoot me now) but this month rather than buying products, I decided to make them myself using supplies I had on hand.  I made up a General Household cleaner - for all surfaces and areas, a potion to clean the Fridge and one for cleaning Stainless Steel.  I repurposed two empty "Method" bottles (another personal fave but my local Woollies doesn't stock it so it's hard for me to get) and an empty Linen Spray bottle from "Adairs".  I couldn't resist adding some fun vinyl labels using my Silhouette machine.

Here's what I did:

General Household
(I got this recipe from a Home Beautiful magazine years ago and have been using it ever since.  It is one of my favourite all-purpose cleaners).
1 litre water
200ml vinegar
40ml detergent
40ml eucalyptus oil
2 dessertspoons of washing soda
Instructions:  mix it all together and pop it in a spray bottle
Mix 1 tablespoon vinegar in 500ml of water and pop in a spray bottle.  Add in some vanilla essence/extract/essential oil for a lovely fresh, sweet smell.  Use it on the inside and outside of your fridge.

Stainless Steel
Same as for "Fridge", minus the vanilla.
There are so many recipes for home-made cleaning products online and in blog-land so whatever it is you want to clean you will be able to find an eco-friendly, non-toxic alternative.  I actually cleaned my oven (oh lord, what a horrible job that is) last weekend with a paste of bi-carbonate soda and water and it not only worked, it wasn't toxic, I didn't have to wear a mask, I wasn't worried about the kids inhaling the fumes and I had bi-carb in my pantry so it cost me nothing.  And just so that you are under no illusions, my oven was beyond dirty, it was filthy and embarrassing and totally worthy of a full toxic job but to my absolute amazement (and my husbands), the bi-carb worked.  Happy, happy, happy dance.
So, that's one of my itty-bitty Earth Day contributions.  If you get a moment, check out the Earth Day page - it's full of great information and resources and don't forget, if you get up to anything special I'd love to hear about it! 
*** Happy Earth Day ***
PS: If you don't follow along with me on Facebook, here's a couple of pics of my kids getting in on some Earth Day activities - choosing some herbs & plants and then planting them.  Love these pics.! x