2.28.2014

A Hard Lesson

Yesterday I learned a hard lesson. 
 
Let me start with, I was (am) still extremely groggy and have been in a (prescription) drug induced fog for the past few days from this damn crud I have. It was my first full day back to work. I didn't remember to pack myself a lunch so I went out with a friend instead. It was nearing the end of lunch and I quickly grabbed my phone from my purse, saw it was time to go and tossed my phone onto the top of my purse. Now this was the last time I would see my precious phone and it's glorious JCrew sparkly case. We went to checkout at the counter, I frantically searched for my wallet (to no avail). I was tearing up my purse looking for it, at which point my phone never made an appearance. My buddy had to get lunch since my wallet was nowhere to be found (it was later discovered in a pocket where I usually keep it, duh). 
best non-related-not-even-my-phone-fuzzy photo ever?! Maybe
I got back to work, was going to check my phone for something and nada. I looked all around my desk, went to check my car, re-traced my steps. Still nada. Long story short, I called my phone repeatedly, searched every possible place for it, called the restaurant and it had gone missing. I tried the 'find my iPhone' feature online but it wasn't finding anything. I was pretty irate by this point. I didn't feel good, I couldn't find my phone and now I was worried about all that implied. What information could they get? What photos would they get? What purchases could they make? But what was bothering me the most was, I had priceless photos of Autumn on my phone. Our Valentines pictures, pictures from her first haircut, pictures I could not replace.

After work, I went to the restaurant in hopes someone had turned it in. Nothing. I searched the walkway in, where we parked, even went into some adjacent businesses. Nothing. My only conclusion is that someone must have picked it up, I dropped it, they picked it up, I misplaced it, they picked it up. Either way, someone found it and did not return it. At this point, I needed a phone no matter what. We don't have a house phone, Ernest had no clue what was going on, I just needed a phone. So I went to the phone store and made that happen. 

They told me there wasn't anything I could do about the lost phone if the iPhone finder wasn't working. Here is where my phone flaws started to become apparent:
  • I didn't have a passcode lock on my phone. If I had, the phone would be pretty useless to the thief. They would have had to erase everything and it would be more difficult to re-use it. 
  • I didn't have the iCloud setup. This would have backed up everything and I could have restored my phone. 
  • I didn't have all my usernames/passwords in one place. I later discovered I was using the wrong Apple ID for my phone. Had I been using the correct one, I could have seen where the phone was right after I lost it. Whoever stole it was now smart enough to turn off the internet so it can't be tracked.
  • I hadn't downloaded my photos in over a month. Tisk, tisk.
I know this probably sounds like I'm making a mountain out of an ant hill, but really, I had everything on that phone. My work email, personal email, personal info, banking info, photos, passwords, paypal, etsy. Literally everything. I use my phone more than I do anything else. In hindsight, it was pretty stupid and naive of me to put so much trust in one little device without being smarter about protecting my personal information, photos and everything else. I'm sure I'm not alone in this (please tell me I'm not the only one!). So here are the things I have done to better protect myself and my phone:
  • Put a passcode lock on! I know it's annoying to punch in a little code everytime you open your phone. But the protection it provides is invaluable. The new iPhone even allows you a password stronger than 4 numbers. Use it!
  • Setup iCloud. I have no clue why I was so reluctant to setting this up, mostly lazy. As part of this, you also have to setup an iCloud email account. With the iCloud you can backup your info, sync your contacts, etc. and find your phone. It also does a backup of the items you select, like photos to your Photo Stream. This ultimately saved me last night. I was able to backup to the last save from the night before. Total life saver!!!
  • Setup a photo backup. If you are like me, you use your phone to take 99% of your photos of that sweet babe. Another added backup is to download an app like Dropbox. You can get a decent amount of storage for free and even buy some extra. You can setup Dropbox to automatically download your pictures to their cloud. This allows you some added time to backup those pictures to a safe place until you can get to your home computer. 
  • Strong passwords. I am really bad at this. I have a million different things to sign in with and I really just go lazy and was using way too easy of passwords. You aren't doing anyone any favors. And if your phone goes missing, change ALL of your passwords stat!!! Better to stop a thief at your phone before they can get to anything else!
  • Better apps. There are about a million and one apps to get that help protect you. One of the best I saw is Secure Folder Pro which allows you to put personal information into hidden folders protected by a passcode.
I'm sure I've just hit on the tip of the iceberg when it comes to protecting your iPhone. Yesterday was a day of hard lessons for me. But I think I've come out stronger in the end because now I'm guarded with knowledge! I may never get my phone back (sob), but at least I have my photos and information back, the old phone is locked and they will hopefully have a hell of a time using that phone...AND maybe get some hardcore karmic retribution! Fingers crossed.

How do you safeguard your information? Apps? I truly hope this never happens to anyone else...except the bastard that stole my phone!!

2.27.2014

Last Day...

To enter to win this spring garland! Head on over to Hello Newlywed Life to enter!
Have a great Thursday, only one more day til the weekend!!

2.26.2014

It got me

It started about two weeks ago with a nagging sinus headache and overall congestion but I never fully got sick.
Saturday is when it really started. I took Autumn for her first haircut at her great Grammys salon. I knew she'd do great since she loves being there. And she did! 
What a big girl! Her hair turned out great!!
 Then we got home and tried playing 'read mama a bedtime story while I nap on your rug'. She totally bought it.
Then she gave me a back massage...
 My parents came to visit and I got a few coats of primer and paint on my vanity. 
Just with primer
Then, We had the rare opportunity (like the 2nd time since Autumn was born) to have a baby sitter (my parents) for the whole night and go out. Woohoo! All I could think of was sleep. Autumn is popping two giant sized teeth so she hadn't been sleeping well and we'd been up from 1-4 the past few nights. I decided to try my best to go out and have fun. Fun we did have watching our local basketball team beat a #6 seeded team (had to throw that in) with some friends. It was great seeing everyone and we were having a great time! But then I started coughing more and more and just generally didn't feel good but I pressed on. We went out, stayed up longer than I have in years (without a baby attached) and had some fun with friends. I was a bit of a Debbie downer despite my best efforts. Wompwomp. 

Sunday morning hit and I felt like I was run over by a freight train. No it wasn't a hangover, sadly. I was only able to down two drinks all night. A hangover that does not make. I had a sore throat, terrible sinus headache, body aches and a cough from hell. I got up around 8:30 and started doing all the grand things I had planned while we were still kid free. Marvelous things like cleaning the kitchen, playroom and living room. Some laundry, I wanted to finish painting the vanity I started, go buy hardware, enjoy some coffee. I got thru half of the kitchen and had to call it quits. Crawled back in bed where I remained until my parents rang the doorbell at 12:15. 

The rest of the day was miserable. I decided there was no way I could go to work. Woke up the same train wreck because it was hard to sleep with the pounding headache and cough. Ernest took Autumn to his moms so I could rest. Thank goodness. I finally mustered up enough energy to get myself to urgent care. The wait was forever!! I waited for an hour just to get taken to triage. I was tempted to flee but had already paid. What's worse, my phone died mid wait!!! Noooo!!! 

As I was having a tissue pity party, this youngish very stylish couple, about our age, walked in and I was thinking 'get in line sister, you don't look that sick'. Then I overheard her saying she'd been having chest pains on and off and broke down and started crying. Her husband was so sweet trying to console the unconsolabe. It must have been very serious because they took her in after just a few minutes. My heart broke for them. They both looked terrified. I couldn't even imagine going thru that type of fear so early in life. Dear lady, I pray that it was nothing serious and that whatever it is, they can treat it easily. :( 

Finally I was taken back. The doctor listened to my breathing and was a bit concerned. He did a few other tests and I was having a pretty hard time breathing. Luckily I was narrowly missing having pneumonia (thank God!) but I had really bad bronchitis that was basically giving me an asthma like attack and restricting my airways. That explained why I had zero color and was so lethargic. I don't usually go to urgent care cuz they rarely tell you anything of value. But something kept telling me to go and wait it out. So glad I did. They gave me a strong steroid to help open my airways and a breathing treatment too. I was there another hour an a half for the treatment and then they had to monitor my vitals. My blood pressure was high from the treatment which makes you feel like you're on Walter Whites blue stuff (what I imagine it'd be). So I had to keep waiting until I could be released. Finally I was able to go home with a bunch of prescriptions in hand. 

Finally after getting my meds, 6.5 hours later, I was able to rest. That stuff was still coursing through me making it impossible to sleep and all I kept doing was sweating like I just ran a marathon. Sexy huh?
From all the meds, they are keeping me wide awake but the cough isn't any better. I've only managed to get about 4 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours. Rough! I'm planning on going to work tomorrow since I have zero vacation left after staying home with Autumn a few weeks ago when she was sick. Man, this cold season has not been kind to us!

Here's hoping I get a good nights rest and feel well enough to go to work!! Sorry for the long winded post, I've had a lot of free time on the couch...

2.24.2014

Spring Time Giveaway

We've had beautiful weather lately and it's totally giving me spring fever! Today I'm linking up with my gal Megan at Hello Newlywed Life where she is hosting a giveaway for one of my garlands! 
This one is a bright, cheery heart garland perfect to start some spring or Easter decorating. It's never too early, right?! Right! Head on over to her blog for all the deets and how to enter. 

XOXO, 
Jessica

2.21.2014

Give me all the MINT!

I have been on this 'all things mint' kick since I re-painted our bathroom at the end of last year. I found these amazing geometric light mint, gray and white towels from Home Goods to match our charcoal grey walls. Since then, it's what my eye gravitates to.
It's just so soothing, adds a pop of color and just seems so happy to me. Naturally I had to make a Treasury List on Etsy with all things mint colored. Here's my roundup. 
I seriously want every.single.thing on this list! If I had to choose just 5 things though, it'd be:

//one//
this ombre pillow. I mean, it would match my new vanity amazingly. Plus, ombre? Need I say more?
//two//
I love how simple and modern this candle holder is. It is just my style!
//three//
I've had my trusty gliver (glitter+silver, get it?) iPhone case for way too long. I need to switch it up. 
//four//
ChalkPaint. Not to be confused with chalkboard paint, but it's similar to the Anne Sloane ChalkPaint that have an incredibly smooth-fabulous finish. The best thing about this shop is the array of colors they have. I really wish I would have found this before I bought my vanity paint yesterday! I may need to find something else to paint with these stat!
//five//
This bracelet. So cute!
Which item is your favorite? Happy Weekend and happy painting to me!

Linking up HERE

2.19.2014

Life Lately

Well Happy Hump Day! Here's some randomness that's been our last few days...
We have been enjoying our gorgeous weather and have been outdoors as much as possible, and in turn, away from the computer. 

Last week we had some early Valentines celebration and a kid-free date night of sushi. Then on Friday we celebrated after work and exchanged gifts. 
The quickest way to their heart is thru sweets
then enjoyed some Valentine's Day celebrations by going to...Monster Jam! Nothing says 'I love you' like monster trucks and racing fuel! Hahaha. 
E had been wanting to go for some time, it was in town over V-day weekend and we thought Autumn would enjoy it. Turns out, she did...sorta. It started after her bedtime so she was a little sleepy and mostly un-phased by it all. She did really well though with the ear protectors and sitting still, until the very end. She stayed up way past her bedtime but slept in until 8:15! So naturally I was wide awake at 7am.
This is the only family photo managed to take once we got home
Saturday we just hung out and went to the park. Autumn met some little friends, Jack played and Autumn swam in the sand. Girlfriend is obsessed with sand! This totally makes us want to take her to the beach because we just know she'll love the water and sand! Just like us :)
Sunday was breakfast and I finally handed out Valentines gifts to the fam. I love the way our popcorn jars turned out. 
It really was so easy to make. Pre-popped popcorn, candy melts, assorted sprinkles, M&M's and mason jars. Boom.
Let the chocolate harden. Try not to eat it all. 
Then package them up
I had planned on using my cup cozies for them but I bought the wrong size jars and just didn't have time to whip up some more in time. Fail. The popcorn was sooooo good! I even had to make some more for E because he was sad it was all gone.

After breakfast, I made a Target run with the cutest little Target date there ever was. She looked like such a little princess! And kept waving to everyone like one too, haha. And the poor checkout guy, Autumn said hi (with a wave) to him about a million and one times. He was a good sport and kept saying hi back, lol.
We went to eat dinner where Autumn ate like a little piggy! Macaroni and chocolate pudding anyone? 
I've been wanting to re-paint this old vanity I have but never got around to it. I was waiting for the right color and inspiration. Well I finally found it and it's name is Meadow Mist. The prettiest shade of minty goodness will be going on that old vanity of mine. Now if only I could have like 8 extra hours in everyday to actually paint it! I fell in love with these knobs from Anthro. Swoon. The impulse shopper in me wants to say hell ya $12 knobs but the realist says I need to shop around. Guess I'll have to go shopping!
The vanity haul is step #1 in operation 'Get our bedroom decorated like adults live here and not college students'. The next steps are finding a new bedspread, curtains, rugs, TV stand (yes, I like to lay in bed and watch trashy reality shows) and extra storage/closet. SO...pretty much an entire bedroom! I'll be doing a post on what I have in mind soon.

On another random note, you may have noticed the blog URL changed to match the title of the blog. It's a lot longer, annoying I know, but...makes sense they match. 
www.thejourneyofautumn.blogspot.com

Ok, I think that's enough Wednesday ramblings don't you think? Yes!


2.11.2014

Valentine Cards: Toddler Style

First off, immediate family: please stop reading this post for now :)
I have always been a fan of homemade gifts. Especially now with Autumn where everything she does is changing so much every day, week and month. With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, I knew I wanted to do something for our families. They help us out so much that this is just a very small gesture to give our thanks. It's the little things

Friday after work, I went and grabbed all the makings to create some canvas art for our family for Valentines. Then I started thinking of the nightmare is was going to be to ship all those things off, the cost, and time that would need to go into that. I quickly scratched that idea and picked up some kraft paper cards instead. Soooo glad that I did!

I decided to make our family some 'art' cards instead. This accomplished everything I wanted...Autumn got to have fun and participate, they were inexpensive, easy, mailing will be a breeze (now I just need to get my ass to the post office!) and I know our family will love some Autumn art. This was such an easy project and would be perfect for some last minute, but thoughtful gifts for those loved ones.

//Supplies//
Pack of kraft paper cards/envelopes, Valentine colored non-toxic/water based paint (light pink, pink and light purple), pack of paper hearts, tape, paper plate, lots of paper towels.
 I started off by attaching the paper hearts to the cards with a little piece of tape. You will be removing the heart so you don't want too much tape otherwise it'll rip off the card.

I put the three colors of paint on a paper plate. Easy right?
 Put the paint and a card in front of Autumn and let her go to town.

She didn't know what to do at first so I had to dip her finger in the paint. Then she stuck her finger in her mouth. Her mouth was purple.

After I flushed her mouth out, she started to get the hang of painting.
 She loved it! She was putting both her hands in the paint, clapping, then slapping her hand on the paper.
It was a good thing I had my mom's help because she was guiding Autumn to keep painting on the paper (instead of her high chair) while I was switching out the cards and placing the others to dry.
Painting is serious business!
Once we ran out of cards, she wanted to keep painting and got pissed when I took everything away! Then she kept reaching up for the paints the rest of the evening! Haha. I think we'll be doing some more painting very soon.

Cleanup was a breeze since it was all water soluble paint, win!

Once the paint dried completely, I gently peeled off the heart leaving a cute little art card. 
Some could have used a little more paint to make the heart more defined, but I love them as is! You can even see Autumn's whole hand prints on some of the cards, haha.
The cards were signed and sealed...
These were super easy to make and inexpensive. The total cost was about $10 and I still have half a pack of cards leftover (I used coupons from Hobby Lobby along with their sales). 

We had so much fun making these cards! I love being able to include Autumn in more and more things and let her get a little messy too. I love that you can put the card up for the season, or even frame it to save. I know I will be framing ours and putting it up on the gallery wall :) I know our family will just love these too!