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Mom Gear: The Ever Practical Speck iPhone Wallet & Card Case

Iphone, card, case, wallet, white, 4s, peacock, candyshell, protective, mom, mama, gear

I saw a link on twitter this morning where Mom Trends featured “some of the web’s most stylish mamas” about how they keep their iPhones and iPads “safe and looking chic.” Yes, their case choices were nice. But I admit thinking my iPhone case beat theirs by a long shot. I may not be a “stylish mama,” but I have a special fondness for things that both look good and are practical.

Enter the Speck Candyshell Card Case. I LOVE this case. Why do I think its better? Because I love the unique white & peacock blue color combo, I love that it is very kid tough, and best of all I love that it does double duty as a wallet. That’s right! There is a built in slot on the back that holds up to 3 cards. In my case I always carry my driver’s license, one credit card and one bank card, plus a bill or two. The case isn’t made to hold cash, but the trick is to wrap your bill around one of the cards before sliding it in. Then, voila – it fits!

speck candyshell iphone case peacock white wallet card

Naturally, I have other cards I like to keep handy (library card, gift cards, etc), but those I keep in the diaper bag (more on that later). But seriously, it is great knowing that whenever I grab my phone, I have with me all the absolute necessities. I would so often forget my card case, especially when I was just running out for something quick, without the kids. This solves that problem, leaving me a bit of brain space to worry about other things – as in, did I remember the keys?

I bought this Speck case case on Amazon about a year ago. They also have gray and black and some nice color options for the iPhone 5, too.

How about you? Do you have an iPhone case you love?


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Learn Something New – iPhone Edition

I learned two new things about my iPhone today.

The first is that you have to manually turn off apps. I guess I thought that simply shutting down the phone would do. Guess not. If you don’t turn them off yourself, then they will continually run in the background, draining the battery life. You can find the step-by-step instructions here (thanks Ohdeedoh!).

The second thing my husband showed me. If you turn on the Google Maps app, you probably know that the little pointer in the bottom left zooms into your exact location. What I didn’t know was that if you tap that pointer button twice the icon changes into a spot-light icon. Now, if you move the iphone around, the map moves around as well, acting like a compass to help you get where you’re going. Neat right?

And lastly, I thought I’d just mention the blog reader app that I use, called Slide Reader Broadsheet Edition. It has a nice visual layout where you can see an image along with the title of the post (see the photo above). It’s free to download on the iPhone, but $2.99 if you want the add-free add on, which I totally recommend. It helps that I recently cleaned up my feeds and switched from using Bloglines (which I loved and used for years) to using Google Reader, so it loaded right up. I tried other rss readers like MobileRSS and My Feeds, but I’m the kind of person where the visual experience counts for a lot.

Do you have a favorite app or iPhone tip? If so, please share!


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DIY iPhone 4 Bumper Idea + Template

I finally joined the ranks of the many iPhone carrying mamas this week. After constantly reaching for my husband’s iPhone, “borrowing” it during travels, and having him phone me while I’m out to tell me I received a work email that needs attention, I figured it was high time I got my own. Call me a brainwashed consumer, fine, but ask me what the weather is going to be, directions to the nearest coffee shop, or which apps are best for entertaining toddlers, and I’ll be able to show you with the touch of a button.

Brand spankin’ new out of the box, the new iPhone 4 is a pretty sight – shiny, hefty and fingerprint-free. But that doesn’t last – at least for me. Not only is the iPhone shared by my toddler, but just three days after I got it, I forgot and left it on my lap after a phone call in the car. When I got out of the car, it dropped off my lap and onto the pavement, chipping tragically in 3 places. Very sad indeed.

So, I got to thinking – how can I make an inexpensive, temporary bumper to protect my new investment while waiting the 4-6 weeks for the free case from Apple to arrive in the mail? A quick search pulled up this idea, but I don’t own one of those rubber “Live Strong” bracelets. Next I tried modifying this free template from case-mate, originally designed for the iPhone 3Gs. It didn’t fit. Then, I remembered a sheet of adhesive craft foam I picked up at the craft store (was it Michaels?) for about $1. Perfect!

How to make your own iPhone 4 bumper:

1. Cut a strip of adhesive or “sticky back” craft foam 12mm wide (.47 inch) using a ruler and an X-Acto knife. Although the iPhone 4 is only 9.3mm (0.37 inch) thick, this gives about a 1mm (0.04 inch) overhang on both the face and the back of the iPhone to act as a buffer during impact.

Ideally, you’d be able to cut just one strip about 345mm (13.58 inches) long to wrap completely around the perimeter, but since my foam sheet was letter-sized, I had to do it in two pieces.

2. Cut out holes within your strip: approx. 47mm x 5 mm (1.85″ x 0.196″) for the speakers and dock connector, 30mm x 5mm (1.18″ x 0.196″) for the volume and ring/vibrate controls, and 7mm x 5mm (0.275″ x 0.196″) for the headphone jack (7mm x 5mm). I left the on/off switch covered, which doesn’t affect it’s usage.

3. Carefully remove the backing and apply it to the sides of the iPhone, keeping about a 1mm overhang on each edge (centering the foam on the steel antenna band as neatly as possible) . If you need to, join two separate pieces to completely cover the perimeter, slightly pulling on the foam to stretch it only if you need to bridge the gap where the pieces join.

And there you have it, a cheap and easy DIY alternative to the more expensive bumpers for sale. Even better, craft foam sheets come in a rainbow of colors (I just happened to only have black and white on hand). While possibly not ideal, it is working great so far (with no dropped calls).

Not sure where to cut out all the appropriate holes? Try this free bumper template.

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