The Great Impact of Gratitude

I read a great article on Quit the Cubicle last week about gratitude. It reminded me how powerful a gratitude journal can be in managing stress, acknowledging achievements/what’s going well and appreciating the small things in life!

In my world, even gratitude is a shopportunity* so I got to hunting for an appropriate medium to recommence my gratitude journaling! And I found some sublime finds! Which of course, must be shared with you, my lovely sublime seekers!

Back it up – what’s this gratitude journal business? 

A gratitude journal is a place to record the things for which you’re grateful, every day. It only needs to be a few short sentences!

What’s the point?

I’m so glad you asked! Studies have shown that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and increase our happiness and well being in doing so! Even better, grateful thinking (especially the expression of it to others) is associated with increased levels of energy, optimism, and empathy!

Thankful people are happy

Sounds like all the benefits of exercise without exercise! Show me the finds! 

Of course, you can write your gratitude down anywhere, you don’t need a specially designed book. But! If you LIKE those sorts of things, you’ll love these!

As you might expect, Kikki-K have some beautiful products:

Gratitude Journal - Kikki-K Gratitude Journal 2 - Kikki K Gratitude Journal 3 - Kikki K
Gratitude Journal (in kikki.K’s Inspire collection), $39.95. It’s got some lovely, thought provoking activities included too!

Thankful Journal - Kikki K Thankful Journal 2 - Kikki K Thankful Journal 3 - Kikki K
Thankful Journal (kikki.K’s Uppsala collection) $16.95. This ones a bit smaller than the first, but has these lovely cards in the back you can fill out and tear out to share your gratitude with others!

Gratitude Journal - Things I am Grateful Iloveitall
Iloveitall on Etsy has created a gorgeous handmade journal! She’s selling them for April-December 2014 for $35 USDs and has very awesome reviews! Ships quick, worldwide!

I decided to go for an app so I can take it everywhere and add to it when I’ve got some downtime! There’s lots of apps out there as you might expect, here’s the one I chose:

Gratitude 365 App 1 Gratitude 365 App 2 Gratitude 365 App 3

It’s the 356 Journal app for $1.99. I love it’s clean design and the way you can attach a picture which pops up in the list and calendar views! It’s super easy to use and you can add a passcode if you like.

Another option is creating a gratitude jar! The concept works exactly the same way, but instead of storing the things you’re thankful for in your journal or phone, you write them on a bit of paper and put them in the jar! A great way to share gratitude in your household is by creating a communal gratitude jar! Check out this one:

Gratitude Jar from getawaytodaydotcom

Jennifer from Get Away Today has shared her all the goss to DIY!

However you do it, there’s real benefit in taking time to give thanks. In the spirit of sharing, here’s my list for yesterday! I’m grateful for: 

  • the very lovely Archie Boo, who despite me coming home every day for nearly two years, still cries with excitement when I do
  • the kind lady at the dry cleaners, who made me feel good despite me abandoning my dry cleaning there for two months! “We’ve got some stuff we’ve had here for two years!”
  • technology that enables me to stay close to my friends, even when we can’t be together (I’m looking at you, Viber)
  • the park I got at Westfield this morning, which was so good that I was immediately excited for the person who would get it when I was leaving and be equally thrilled by it’s excellent proximity to both the entry to the shops and the exit to the carpark! (I saw the look on her face when I was reversing, it was everything I hoped for and more!)
  • this particularly sparkly pair of shoes, which brightened my day immensely (even if they did leave me with a blister on their maiden voyage!)

NineWest Sparkle Loafer - Sublime Finds

Get gratitudin’, sublime seekers! You’ll feel all the better for it!

♥AS

* this is a little joke! I’m being ironic. Kind of. Meanwhile, isn’t shopportunity a fun word!?

What are you grateful for? Share with us below! 

Insta-kikki-keepsake

Today’s find is an old-fashioned twist on a very modern trend. If you love to Instagram but are a bit nostalgic about being able to hold a photo in your hand, you (like me) might think this find is sublime! I present to you: kikki.K’s Instagram prints.

For those not familiar, kikki.K is a Swedish-inspired stationery brand. When Kristina Karlsson moved to Australia with her husband, she was surprised to be unable to find the selection of stationery and home office products she enjoyed in her homeland, Sweden. She launched her first line and not too long after opened a boutique in Melbourne. Fast-forward 12 years and you’ll find more than 70 kikki.K stores in three countries (with plans to expand ever further) plus an online marketplace that services the world. People love kikki.K. I am one of them.

Which is why I was delighted to discover their new range Instagram products, in particular, their polaroid-style Instagram prints! Totally easy to make; follow the link and click create, login to your Instagram account then drag and drop your pics until all the little cards are full. Click order! Done!

JS and I ordered a set after our honeymoon in beautiful Hawaii! Check it out:

asjspicsWe love them! Access to honey-happiness, even when the wifi is down.

The cons are that you can only print from your own Instagram account (so couldn’t for example have them printed from a friend’s adventures as a gift for them) and of course any pics you want to print must be pre-uploaded to your account.

The pros are that they’re pretty unique and more than a smidge lovely. The ordering system couldn’t be easier to use, printing and delivery is fast and your pics are printed on 270gsm card with a matt (cardboard) finish. It feels like receiving a set of postcards from your life!  They’d be perfect to include (one or two) with a thank you card, something a little unique that would surely take pride of place on the fridge.

You can create your own set for $24.95 (you get 32 prints) and pick up free from your local kikki.K store, ship in Aus for less than $3 or $9.95 for express. International shipping is $19.95 AUD.  If you’d rather create a page turning story, try their Instagram photo book instead!

*Snaps* kikki.K for a fun twist on photo keepsakes!

♥ AS

What do you like to do with your electronic photos? Tell us below! 

Your loyalty rewarded! Or is it?

Lovely readers, today we unpack the facts around Australian customer loyalty programs, and figure out where the real rewards lie. Some are sublime finds! And some (as JS would say) “are what we call the honey-pot”.

Obviously, retailers implement loyalty programs for a reason. The data is solid; customers in loyalty programs shop more. A 2012 research report into Australian customer loyalty programs told us this:

  1. 80% of us will buy more from a company whose loyalty program we are a part of.
  2. 88% of us (93% of women!) belong to a loyalty program or programs.
  3. But less than half of us (45%) will feel loyal to the company because of it.
  4. And less than half of us (45% again) present our loyalty card or collect the benefits when making a purchase.
  5. On average, men are members of 3.3 programs and women 4.7. But men are more loyal than women!
  6. 11% of people are members of more than 10 loyalty programs. (100% of authors of this blog are members of more than 10 loyalty programs).

So who’s got the deals? There are plenty of stores who are verrrry happy to take your details and monitor your shopping habits but do not offer a clear rewards program in return (*ahem* Cue *ahem*). The best of the rest are below!

Straightforward Loyalty (easy to understand, sublime finds!): 

  • Saba gives their VIPs 10% off full-price purchases (10% reward) logo-main
  • Sportscraft offers VIPs 10% off every time you shop (10% reward)
  • No vouchers here, but those in the Ikea ‘family’ enjoy reduced prices on select products, free insurance to cover your journey home, super deals in the Ikea restaurant and the regular 90 day warranty extended to 12 months.
Sublime-ish honey-pots (easy to understand, rewards for returning):
  • Boost Juice gives Vibe Club members one point for each Boost purchased. When you’ve got 10 points you get a free Boost! + a freebie on your birthday
  • AdornemeCinebuzz offers a movie of the week for $10 and a points system that preeeettty much gives you a movie free after every ten you attend (10% reward).
  • Sussan rewards VIPs with a $50 voucher for every $500 spent in store (10% reward)
  • Adorne offers 1 point for each dollar spent, $10 voucher after you’ve racked up $100 (10% reward)
  • GuzmanYGomez offers GOMEX members 1 point for every $1 spent, 150 points earns you a $10 voucher (6.6% reward)GOMEX
  • David Lawrence offers 1 point for every $1 you spend, 1000 points gets you a $50 gift card (5% reward)
  • Kikki-K offers a 10% discount to students
  • The FlyBuys program offers 1 point for every $1 spent with the opportunity to cash in your points on a range of rewards

More spend = more rewards (honey-pot!):

Wittner Wittner
Wittner offers members of their VIP Soul Club one point for every $5 spent in store. If you rack up 45 points ($225) in a year you’ll earn 10% off all purchases. 200 points ($1000) gets you 15% off purchases and a $15 birthday voucher, 300 points ( $1500) attracts 20% off and a $20 gift voucher.

ReviewReview
Review’s loyalty program rewards customers for their purchases that month with a voucher valid for the following month. Spend between $29 and $149 attract a $15 voucher, Over $250 gets a $25 voucher, over $500 gets a $50 voucher and over $1000 gets a $100 voucher. As a Review loyal you’ll also get a $20 voucher for your birthday, 25% off Looksmart Alterations and invites to exclusive events (with cupcakes!).

MimcoMimco
The MIMCOLLECTIVE (snappy name, Mimco!) rewards in-one-transaction purchases of $200-$499 with a $20 voucher, purchase of $500-$699 with a $50 voucher and purchases over $700 with a $100 voucher. Should you become a Mimcollective you will also enjoy one complimentary leather care with a handbag purchase, an extra 5% off during the start of major sales and a $30 voucher on your birthday!

WitcheryWitchery
Witchery rewards it’s loyalty members with a $20 voucher on their birthday and shopping credits loaded to their witchery card according to the amount spent in store (in one transaction). Rewards are $15 for $150 (10% reward), $30 for $250 (12%) and $100 for $500 (20%, dang!). Rewards expire after 30 days and can’t be earned on lay-bys.

Priceline Priceline
Priceline’s Sister Club rewards “sisters” (bleugh and what about the bros?) with a $3 voucher for every $100 (3%) spent in the preceding quarter and a $8 voucher for every $200 spent (4%). Despite it’s babysitters-club-esque name, this rewards program feels worth it. You don’t have to break the budget to be rewarded, and even though the rewards are modest, it’s always enough to buy SOMETHING in Priceline. Source prescriptions and medicines at a Priceline pharmacy and the rewards can really stock up!

Myer MyerOne
Perhaps the most popular rewards program out, Myer One members are rewarded with 2 points for every $1 spent in Myer. 2000 points earns you a $20 gift card (2% reward), delivered each quarter. Members receive Myer’s Emporium magazine free with their purchase (just ask for your copy at the counter). Those with Silver or Gold Membership ($1500 and $6000 annual spend respectively) also receive a birthday voucher and invites to exclusive events (some with canapés! And champagne!).

The upshot: There is money to be saved with alllll of the above loyalty programs. But! Some are easier to access than others. Shop smart, sublime seekers and may your loyalty be rewarded!

♥AS

What loyalty programs do you get the most benefit out of? What stores do you wish would come to the party with a rewards program?