I Left My Android Phone in a Cab, Now What?

How to Located & Lock an Android Phone Once It’s Lost

Halloween was one of those epic nights where I ended up in a cab with a new couple making out next to me and a (friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend) chick in the front seat telling me about how she’s her husband’s “beard”.

I’m sorry, what? What’s a “beard”?

Apparently, that’s the chick who a gay guy marries so he comes off to the world as straight. They’ve been married 10 years. Craziness!

Needless to say, my night was getting weird and by the time we arrived at our destination a half hour away , I just wanted to pay the cabbie and be on my way.

Hence, phone deserted in cab. (Total panic – had I just lost all my Halloween pictures before posting to social media???)

This isn’t the first time I’ve left something valuable in a cab. And I was hoping it wouldn’t be the first time I didn’t get my cherished property back.

I’m not all that technologically connected – I don’t back up my phone’s pics on a cloud or even have a password to unlock my phone.

Even so, turns out, there are a couple things you can do to lock up your phone until it’s found.

This was especially important to me considering all the private pics I keep stored on my phone!

First, call your phone to try to locate it can get the contact info of the person who has it in hand (hopefully before the battery dies!)

Then, log into your online account with your provider and look for a way to suspend service to your phone – this will allow anyone who accesses your phone to “Call the owner” but do nothing else. Yay!

Side note: not sure where “call the owner” calls go since they’re holding the owner’s phone – possibly to a landline or another number on the same contract?

I have AT&T, so for me, the process was to log into AT&T.com.

Under the MY AT&T tab, hover over WIRELESS and you’ll see a link for SUSPEND OR REACTIVATE A DEVICE. Click that.

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Locate your phone number (if there are multiple ones on your account) then choose a reason, such as “I can’t find it” or “It was stolen”. Then click the large SUSPEND button.

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Next, I decided to take extra precaution and see what features Google could offer. I followed the instructions here.

Turns out at this link you can Remote Lock Your Phone, as well as see where it is.

Once you log into your gmail account (the one that’s associated with your Android phone) you can lock your device, and even set off the ringtone at full volume for 5 minutes! All at this link: Android Device Manager

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I called my number repetitively until someone answered, got the phone number of my cab driver who answered my phone, then, locked the phone using the above 2 methods.

The next day, I was able to meet up with the driver and retrieve me phone – which I was happy to see was completely locked up (without my password). The only thing you could do was “Call the owner” if you didn’t have the correct pin to unlock the phone.

So cool!

P.S. I tipped the cabbie $20 for not only getting my precious phone back to me but also for going out of his way to meet me the following day. Great guy!

If you’ve lost your phone, try these easy steps to locate & lock your device until you can be reunited.

Or, if you have useful tips, add them below!

How to Get Amazon Items Cheaper [Sometimes]

I’m an Amazon Prime member and I just love the free 2-Day shipping. It’s easy to get caught up in the convenience of Amazon shopping and not even realize that sometimes I’m spending more for items I could get cheaper somewhere else.

Here is 1 simple step that can save you money when shopping on Amazon:

Be sure Amazon has the best price before you place an order.

Many Amazon sellers also have their own website where you can purchase the same item for less. Depending on what they charge for shipping, I’ve found that sometimes items can be cheaper if purchased directly from the seller, rather than through Amazon.

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Here’s an example of how I saved $15 on the skirt for my mermaid costume:

I simply looked at who was selling it on Amazon – TVStoreOnline. They had it listed at $39.95 + $7 for shipping = $47).

Next, I googled TVStoreOnline to find their website, searched “mermaid skirt” on their site, and there it was – listed for only $25.95 – a whole $15 less than Amazon!).

The next 2 steps will save you even more money!

  1. See if the website has an email newsletter you can sign up for – you can often get 10% off your first purchase when you sign up.
  2. Another tactic is to linger a little during the checkout process. (It’s worth a try!) On TVSToreOnline.com I didn’t check enter my credit card info immediately after typing in my address and a chat box popped up with an offer code for 10% off.

Total for skirt with shipping: $29.30.

Wahoo! By doing a little research, I saved myself nearly $20!

 

Flaming Circus Ring Costume Accessory

My family loves dressing up – St. Patrick’s Day, 4th of July, Oktoberfest, Santacon and Halloween are some of our favorite reasons to get into the costume closet.

Last year, we decided on a circus theme for Halloween. I dressed as a ringmaster lion tamer and my husband (and our pup) dressed as lions.

I always love costumes that incorporate props, so I just had to make a flaming circus ring.

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It was cheap and super easy to make.

Here’s how to make a fiery circus ring prop for a Halloween costume or circus themed birthday party using a hula hoop.

Since I don’t have kids, I didn’t have the hula hoop on hand, but I went and found a cheap one at the Dollar Tree – score! They also sell black duct tape, which I bought and used to cover the entire hoop.

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Then, I created a photo of flames that I could fold around the hoop and printed it on the largest paper my printer can print, which is 13″x19″.

Depending on the size of your hoop, you may want to print multiple flame pictures. I printed 2 large sheets.

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Then I cut out the flames:

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I made sure that when folded the edges lined up well.

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Next, I wrapped the flames around the hoop and used paper clips to hold them in place.

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Since the white back sides of the photo paper showed around the edges, I used a black marker to color in the back edges of each flame.

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Then, I used clear packing tape to attach the first set of flames to the hoop. It’s a little hard to see the tape in the picture, but I was sure to overlap onto the hoop so the flames would stay put.

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For the outside flames, I folded the tape over and put in inside – between the hoop and the inside of the printed flame – so that the tape wouldn’t show at all.

Finally, I glued the tips of the flames together with a glue stick (I re-attached the paperclips just to hold everything in place until it dried).

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And here we all are on Halloween night – I think the flaming circus ring accessory came out great!

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Easy DIY Canvas Mustache Art Craft

I love, love, love mustaches. Actually, I hate mustaches on people, but I love mustache silhouettes. I love them on mugs, I love them on the cool duck tape my husband found at Walmart, and I love it on this awesome t-shirt I got him for his birthday:

Golden Colorado

I may also have a tendency to bust out fake colored, stick-on mustaches every chance I get:

Stick on mustaches

So, when I got some blank canvases to create a collage wall going up my staircase, I knew one of them would turn out to be a mustache print. My original intention was to simply paint the mustache silhouette in the same manner in which I painted my frog and dog art – see my DIY Canvas Art post to see what I’m talking about. But after adding burlap to my Clothespin Picture Frame, I knew a burlap mustache would be way cooler than a painted one.

Easy DIY Burlap Canvas Art Craft

Here are the steps to creating your own awesome burlap mustache canvas art. Obviously, if you’re not quite as obsessed with mustaches as we are, you can tweak this craft to fit your personal tastes.

Step 1: Buy canvas, burlap, and paint.

I got this 8″x24″ canvas on sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics and found this roll of burlap at Hobby Lobby. The paint I used was leftover paint from my entry walls, so it’s just Behr Ultra wall paint from Home Depot in Cherry Cobbler (eggshell finish).

Blank Canvas & Burlap Roll

Step 2: Cut burlap to size.

Cover your canvas with burlap and cut it to the size you need. Since my roll of burlap was about the same height as my canvas, I simply rolled it out and cut it.

Roll out and cut burlap

Step 3: Draw mustache shape on burlap.

Next, fold your burlap in half and draw out half of the mustache. I practiced on paper, then copied my shape with a sharpie onto my burlap. Since I didn’t want the sharpie line to show later, I drew my line as lightly as possible – rather than pressing down hard on the burlap, I barely allowed the marker to touch the fabric.

Fold burlap in half

Draw mustache shape on burlap

Step 4: Cut out burlap mustache.

Use scissors to cut out mustache following your sharpie line and making sure burlap stays neatly folded in half while you’re cutting. This will ensure both sides are the same when you unfold.

Cut out mustache shape.

Step 5: Paint your canvas.

You may want to leave your canvas white – if so, skip to step 6. Otherwise, paint your canvas on the front and sides. I used a 3″ roller to quickly cover my canvas. Since red is a difficult color to work with, it took 3 coats before I reached the results I wanted, which was to match the walls in my entry.

Paint canvas

Step 6: Attach burlap to canvas.

Once canvas is dry, position the burlap on the canvas and use a hot glue gun to adhere the burlap to the canvas. Be very careful when positioning as the glue dries fast and the burlap will rip if you try to pull it back up (I know b/c I tried!). Start with one end and dab a few dots of glue onto the canvas, then lightly press down with your hands (careful not to burn your fingers – that glue’s hot!). Then, continue lifting the loose burlap up, adding glue underneath, and pressing the burlap down until the entire piece is attached.

Hot glue burlap to canvas

That’s it! Now your new custom burlap art piece is ready to hang.

Supplies:

canvas

burlap (enough to cover canvas or create shape in size you need)

sharpie

scissors

hot glue gun

If painting your canvas, you’ll also need:

paint

paintbrush or roller

cardboard, newspaper or tin foil to create a painting surface

paper towels

disposable gloves (if you don’t want paint on your hands!)

 

 

 

Easy Paper Mache Wall Art for Under $5

Easy DIY paper mache wall art craft ideaIf you’ve ever searched high and low for a specific piece of artwork to fill a blank void on your wall then you know how difficult it can sometimes be to find what you’re looking for.

For the longest time I searched for some large palm tree pieces to hang above the bed in my palm tree themed bedroom. I found many pieces that were the exact size but didn’t exactly match my color scheme. So frustrating! I finally just bought one of those wall decals that says “Always kiss me goodnight” and gave up the search.

Then, I decided to create a collage of pictures and artwork going up my staircase and a new search began. The color scheme was very specific – tan, brown and red. This was not easy. I finally decided I’d never find what I was looking for but I could create it on my own.

One of the pieces in my collection of DIY artwork is this paper mache heart covered with scrapbook paper. The best part is, it only cost $3.99 (because I already had the Mod Podge).

Simple Steps for Creating Your Own Paper Mache Wall Art

Scroll to bottom for complete list of supplies.

Paper mache art supplies

Step 1: Buy paper mache shape.

I was searching for something I could cover with scrapbook paper and came across this cheap paper mache heart-shaped box at Hobby Lobby. This box was only $2.99 and I decided to create my artwork from the lid of the box.

Paper Mache Heart Box Hobby Lobby

Step 2: Find scrapbook paper to cover your shape.

After finding this box, I wandered over to Hobby Lobby’s scrapbook paper section and found the perfect gold and beige animal print  paper. It was on sale for $1.

Animal Print Scrapbook Paper

Step 3: Cut scrapbook paper.

Flip your paper over and trace your paper mache cutout with a pencil. Then, cut just inside your line. Place your cutout paper onto the front of your heart and check that none of the paper overlaps the edges of the paper mache. If it needs trimming in any areas, trim it down.

Cut scapbook paper into shape

Step 4: Use Mod Podge to adhere scrapbook paper to paper mache.

Use your sponge brush to cover the paper mache and the back side of the scrapbook paper with Mod Podge. I used the matte finish but you can use gloss if you prefer a shinier look. Work quickly – once the paper mache and scrapbook paper are covered with a nice, even coat of Mod Podge, place the paper heart onto the paper mache, smooth it down with your hands, then cover the decorative side of your scrapbook paper with a nice, even coat of Mod Podge. I also cover the uncovered sides of the heart with Mod Podge so the overall finish matched.

Mod Podge scrapbook paper to paper mache

Step 5: Let it dry, then hang.

One it dried, I simply hung it up with a nail.

DIY Scrapbook Paper Mache Wall Art Craft

Supplies for DIY Mod Podge Wall Art:

Paper mache heart (or other shape)

Scrapbook paper

Pencil

Scissors

Mod Podge (I used Matte finish)

Sponge brush

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy my Silhouette Canvas Art Tutorial.

Custom Decorative Dog Door Frame

Dog Door Makeover

dog-door-before-after

old-dog-doorWhen we bought our home we didn’t have a dog but there was already a dog door installed near the back door.

It was really small and leaked cold air into our home during the winter. So when we got our puppy that we knew would outgrow this little dog door, we did some research on dog doors.

I wanted a quality door that didn’t leak air, that was lockable and looked nice. There was only 1 dog door that fulfilled all my requirements and it wasn’t cheap. But the Freedom Pet Pass Insulated Dog Door was well worth the cost.

The site we purchased the dog door from recommends that the dog door be installed higher on the wall than our original door, so we had a lot of work to do!

We (and by “we” I mean my husband and my dad) removed the old door, installed the new one and patched up the giant hole that remained underneath the door. This was a massive 2 day project that left our entire downstairs in a coat of dust.

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We now had an awesome dog door and a serious eye sore:

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I headed to a local store that sells crown moulding and purchased some pieces to create a miniature mantle that would frame our new dog door.

molding

Unfortunately, the moulding doesn’t come all nice and put together like this, so I needed to find someone who was capable of mitering my mantle. Luckily, my step-uncle is an expert woodworker so we sent the wood off to his house to be cut & assembled.

When we got it back, my husband painted it to match the trim we already had and glued it in place. We love it!

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DIY Canvas Art – How to Paint a Silhouette Portrait

How to Paint a Silhouette onto a Canvas – No painting experience necessary!

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I originally saw instructions for this project on The Space Between’s blog (via Pinterest). I loved how easy this looked because I’m not at all artistic and I’d never done a painting before. I’d been looking for some artwork for the empty wall space going up my staircase and I knew this would be perfect.

Here’s how I created a silhouette portrait of my dog:

Step 1: Take a side-view picture of your dog (or whatever/whoever you’d like to paint). Here is the picture of my dog Dakota that I used:

dakota-side-pic

Step 2: Buy a blank canvas. I chose a 10″ x 10″ canvas from Jo-Ann Fabric because it was the correct size for where I planned to hang the painting.

Step 3: Paint your canvas with the background color. I had leftover paint from when I painted the walls in our home so I used that. It was Behr Interior Paint & Primer in Eggshell finish. I also used the same type of roller I used to paint the walls – a regular 9″ paint roller with 3/8″ nap. I did one coat, let it dry and then painted a second coat.

While that’s drying, get your picture ready…

Step 4: Crop your picture to size. If you have Photoshop, crop your picture to the size of your canvas at a resolution of 300. I cropped my picture as 10″ by 10″ with a 300 pixels per inch resolution. (For more information on how to crop a picture, click Crop a Picture Using Paint or Crop a Picture Using Microsoft Word.)

crop-image

Step 5: Print your picture. Since my picture was wider than a standard piece of printer paper, I printed 2 different images that could be taped together (I also cut out the parts of the picture I didn’t need to save printer ink). Notice the first image has Dakota’s face, but not all of her body. The 2nd image has the remainder of her body, but cuts off her face.

print-pictures

Step 6: Using scissors, cut out the silhouettes and tape together.

Step 7: Position your picture on your canvas and lightly trace it with a pencil.

Step 8: Use a paint brush to paint the area inside your pencil line. Be sure your paint covers your pencil line so it doesn’t show. I did 1 coat, let it dry, then did a 2nd. It looked great! After that, I painted a 2nd piece – a silhouette of a frog – in the opposite color scheme.

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