No mail, just junk

Is there anything worse than junk mail, whether we receive it digitally or it clogs up our mailbox at home, few care for it, if any. I’d hazard most would reserve a special place in hell for those who send/deliver it to us as it’s just unwanted.

In my own neighbourhood we receive a fairly large quantity of junk mail on a weekly basis, and in our case we never actually read it, it’s straight to the recycle bin as it’s just catalogues for shops, or real estate flyers, food flyers, or some other assortment of crud. What incenses me greatly about junk mail is coming home to find one of these sadists has pulled out prior (unwanted) deliveries, thrown these on the ground in order to make space for their own items.

Were it not raining today I’d be heading to our local Bunnings, a hardware megastore, for the necessary items to affix a ‘No Junk Mail’ sign to our mailbox. I only wish this was a global phenomenon, government-led of course, whereby junk mail were no longer permitted thereby saving so many trees each year. Instead, all these catalogues were deliverable digitally to those who *choose* to subscribe, are looking to the bargains etc each week.

Now, if I could also find a way to have bills declared ‘junk mail’ 🤔

Adapting overnight oats to suit

The other day a regular email newsletter arrived in my inbox from MyFitnessPal that included some interesting recipes, one in particular peaked my interest. I don’t know if it was just because it mentioned chocolate in the title, but chocolate banana overnight oats really appealed to me, though the photo the included certainly didn’t hurt any either.

The recipe from site Eating Bird Food was a relatively simple one having few ingredients:

  • 1 cup regular, non-quick oats
  • 1.25 cups almond milk
  • 1 banana – half mashed/half chopped
  • 4 tbsp chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tbsp black chia seeds

Combine half-cup milk and protein powder and set aside. Combine all other ingredients then add protein mixture and stir. Place into sealed container overnight in refrigerator.

Since first making the recipe I’ve adapted to suit as I wanted to tweak to my own tastes, especially as I’m not a fan of almond milk, substituting for low-fat lactose-free milk; yesterday I also replaced half the milk with plain chobani yoghurt which made for an extra creamy texture. I have also added melted peanut butter and blueberries. My next iteration I will swap the blueberries for peaches.

The eating bird food website has a number of interesting recipes worth your checking out.

Cha-Ching, Cha-Ching

As I’d spent most of my web development career working in the higher education setting, I’d never had occasion to do certain things my peers working within the commercial sector might do, like eCommerce sites. Overnight I finally got myself a small taste of this, connecting friends existing WordPress-based website up to Woocommerce for their first item they’re needing to sell online.

I’d love to say all was smooth sailing, however it wasn’t. It was not the install that let me down, but rather an old version of PHP that was causing me problems and leaving me with the WordPress ‘white screen of death’, that is, a plug-in is ‘Not. Happy, Jan!‘. I’m not sure why hosting services insist on installing bog old, and insecure v5 PHP, when they have available v7.x for you to use. Once my friend provided me the hosting creds, I logged in and swapped over to v7.3. This seemed to work for a bit, however the Avada theme was having issues and couldn’t save, so I was forced to downgrade to v7.2 which proved more stable.

Once all was looking hunky dory, I could finally get around to testing and finalising the two pages and associated form. I ended up having to create a password protected page with a form, as this event required personal details to be provided, after they submitted I then had the form redirect to the Woocommerce product page. All worked quite nicely once it was determined the product page must be a public not a private page or a 404 was generated; we were wanting it to not be visible but restricted.

Hopefully people’s orders go through okay, pity I can’t attract a commission per ticket though 🤔

Two weeks off

Well, today I turned 21 (again). Groundhog day is at play it would seem, got to love that. I awoke to an email from one of my favourite department stores, Myer, giving me a $10 gift voucher. Yay! I already had $40 in vouchers with them, so internet shopping was definitely order of the (birth)day given today was also the last day of Myer sales.

I found myself two pair of chinos that would look damned fine, with discount applied I was only out $32. I figured given today’s sales I might also spoil myself by heading in-store to check out what I might like for my birthday. As it would happen, there was 40% off Calvin Klein Jeans, plus an additional 10% off atop this, so I managed to get a great pair of jeans for $107. As I was heading out of store I saw an amazing orange shirt, that was the end of me, as I then headed around store and found two additional shirts, another $60 with all the discounts applied. Then down to mens fragrances, the Issey Miyake Wood & Wood somehow made it into my bag for $158. Well I always was good a rewarding myself for my birthday haha.

Tomorrow begins two weeks off work, I have been looking forward to this for months as I have been so exhausted. The past few weeks alone I have been waking earlier than normal (normal is 5am), some mornings at 3-3.30am, which absolutely throws me out for the rest of the day. I have sat at work like a zombie some days, even coffee unable to rescue me. It all came to a head yesterday, Saturday, when after seeing Maleficent 2 I came home, went to bed just after lunch and was up/down till 8pm before finally going to sleep.

I am hoping these next few weeks to both rest and set a trend for going to the gym. Despite my joining the gym some months ago I actually haven’t gone now for almost two months, mostly as result of getting sick each time I start going. Cross your fingers for me I do not again get sick as I attempt going once more, I will be so annoyed if my body crashes as result going on leave (hear that happens!).

A little blue, a little green

I have to admit, my experience working with WordPress themes leaves me looking a little green. I am used to developing and designing that which I work with, so when I have to start working within other environments and other’s code it’s suddenly a bit of an up-hill climb. Thankfully though, I do adjust quickly.

I recently assisted a friend who referred her coaching client to me for a small website development project. She needed help to redesign her website and enhance its functionality. Little did I know when taking on this project her website was in need of some viagra, it was suffering from performance anxiety, it just didn’t like staying up (sorry, couldn’t help that one haha). I would never approach a new client with immediate effect of trying to move them from their chosen hosting, in this case she was with Wix, but every time I was attempting to surf her current website it was down; I needed to convince her of the need to move.

After determining that her website had been suffering this problem regularly, I convinced her of the need to move, presenting her with three options for WordPress hosting. Whilst it would mean busting her original budget when factoring in my own development costs, which I was going to keep low to help out, she understood the importance moving would mean to her business in the end – visibility.

Bluehost was chosen as the preferred hosting platform in the end. After a few weeks of my developing part-time (nights and on the weekend), Karen signed-off on my efforts and was happy to launch. I swapped over the DNS entries at her domain registrar from Wix to Bluehost, and then the fun began.

The WordPress site had been developed using a temporary domain, thus all the images and sliders were using this address. Unfortunately updating the relevant URL and site address within settings didn’t update everything across the site, I then needed to update links throughout all the web pages and update sliders too. Then, once the SSL got fixed (OMG! painful), I had to fix once more. I was never more grateful that Karen’s site was a small one, had it have been a larger one I’d’ve been crying out for a better solution to update things.

A should out to the Avada theme, version 6 is just a dream to work with. As I said, I was a tad green working with WordPress and themes, and working with Avada I have learned so much. I still have so much yet to learn, they have a great site to reference. I totally recommend this theme, it made building this website so much easier, especially the responsive development.

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