June 11, 2023

A Cautionary Tale of Amazon Hacking

The Husband was looking over our bank statement last week and noticed a bunch of small-ish Amazon purchases.  Each line item mentioned Movie as the purchase.

He first went to Man-Child; which is understandable because back when MC was in college he would occasionally rent a movie.  But he hasn't done this in AGES; mainly because he has his own account now.  The Husband then came to me and showed me the charges.

I certainly hadn't rented any movies.

I searched my previous orders and did not see any movie rentals; which I figured would be the case because whenever I order anything, whether a physical item to be delivered or a video, I always get a confirmation email.  I had no confirmation emails for any of the dates on the bank statement.

First step was to change my password.  The next step was to hit the bank to cancel my debit card and dispute the charges.

Then I sgot a random email from Amazon asking me to update my payment information for such and such subscription service.  I assumed it was spam and ignored it.

In the meantime, we received notification from the bank denying the dispute; saying they found no evidence of fraud.  Irritating?  Yes.  But luckily, it wasn't that much that we were forced to eat.

And then another email came in for a different subscription service; and then another; and then another, etc.

I went back to my account and started looking around and discovered that Amazon DOES offer these various subscription services for Cinemax and other movie streaming sites.  Well, color me shocked.  I had NO idea that these services existed from Amazon.  When I clicked over to see what subscription services were linked to my account, I found that *I* had subscribed to all these channels.  Friends, I can assure you, I did NOT subscribe to anything other than Prime.  I immediately canceled all the subscriptions; except Prime.

I surmised that was the reason I hadn't received any confirmation emails and why there was no history in my previous purchases and why the bank refused to fund any of the money; because it LOOKED like I had subscribed to these services.

So, I figure someone, somehow, got a hold of my email address, did some basic online research and was able to guess the old password to get into my account.

Luckily, whoever got into the account never actually bought anything...but I feel sure that would have been the next step had we not noticed those initial charges fairly quickly.

I have set calendar reminders to change that password (and others) more frequently and will be checking on the subscription page often also.

Since I had never heard of this particular scam (nor of any of those subscription services) before now; I figured I'd sound the alarm so that you, hopefully, won't fall victim to the latest scam.

June 4, 2023

Three Game Changers for Me

Hair dryers, lighting and shower caddies - these are the game changers that are up for discussion today.

First up, hair dryers - for the longest time since I quit straightening my hair, I would simply let it air dry (mainly because I was lazy...why do you think I quit straightening my hair in the first place?).  This wasn't as uncomfortable as you would think since my hair is quite fine and generally dries pretty quickly.  But recently, somewhere along the way, I heard that using a hair dryer would give me more volume; particularly on top of my head.  Well, okay then.  So, I pulled out my old hair dryer and started experimenting.  And then the darn thing up and died.

I recalled seeing something on Instagram (I think?) about the Dyson Supersonic and people were raving about it. So I opened a new browser tab, ran a search, and promptly said "Nope!"

Friends, even if I had a gazillion dollars in the bank, there is NO way I will EVER spend nearly $600 dollars for a hair dryer!  I don't care how wonderful it is. There is no justification at all to spend that much.

So I looked at other options that offered the same type of "benefits" as the Dyson and ended up with this one; at a significantly better price point.  And for a brand that I've never heard of, the reviews were all pretty positive.  Although, I do recall seeing one review, which while still very positive, did note that hers caught fire.  If a review like that doesn't catch your attention, I don't know what will.

But since no one else mentioned their dryer catching fire, I figured she must have just gotten a defective one - so I crossed my fingers and hit the buy button.

Y'all.  I love this hair dryer as much as one can love a hair dryer.  I will say that the high speed/heat is extraordinarily HIGH heat.  So I don't use that setting.  But it does have a high speed, cool setting which is perfect for my needs.  It also has a medium heat/speed setting and a cool shot button.
I do have to admit, the more I played around with technique, heat settings, etc. it  really does seem to help with volume and because of the high speed it does seem to dry the hair much faster than my old one ever did.  And, overall, I'm pretty happy with the results...although, can anyone explain to me why my hair is consistently not at it's best when I'm at the office? Seriously, those days are usually my bad hair days for some reason.

At any rate, if you are in the market for a hair dryer, I would definitely recommend this one.

Have I ever told you just how bad the lighting is in our kitchen?  No?  Well, it is seriously the worst lighting situation I've ever seen.  Not long after we moved in, The Husband added under the cabinet lighting that used batteries and it helped.  A little.  But the batteries never lasted long and the light, while it helped to see what you were doing still wasn't as bright as I would have liked.

Then I saw a post on Instagram (I think it was @TheFoldingLady) about these rechargeable lights.  I clicked on that link so fast and I am really glad I did.  

Y'all - I love these things - but The Husband loves them even more since the kitchen is his domain.  These lights are bright, the charge holds for a long time, the time it takes to re-charge them is minimal.  They are magnetic, so easy to remove to recharge. 

They are excellent and worth every penny (which, honestly, they aren't that expensive).  

Although I may have never mentioned the awful lighting situation in the kitchen, I'm almost positive I have mentioned how much I despise our narrow, upright, coffin-like structure shower situation a time or two.

Immediately upon moving in, I added a shower caddy that is suspended from the shower head.  Y'all, this was not ideal for many reasons.  The top shelf was too high for me, so all my shower products were relegated to the bottom shelf...where they simply didn't fit.  Particularly, if it was a large bottle of conditioner or if there was a product with a pump.  Not to mention the fact that the hand held shower want wouldn't fit in its notch on the shower head so it was relegated to being shoved into the bottom shelf.  It was a mess.

A few weeks ago, I finally had enough and went in search of a better solution.  My initial thought was there might be a shower caddy out there that had more space in between the shelves.  This shower caddy does not seem to exist - or if it does, I never found it.

And then, I stumbled over these shelves.  Complete and total game changer for my showering experience, let me tell you.  According to The Husband, no caddy has a perfect spot in this particular shower - but let's keep in mind he is quite taller and broader than me.  So his experience does not count.  Although, he does agree this is way better than what we had.

My initial thought was to place them on the wall underneath the shower head - but then I decided they would work best on the back wall.  And not stacked but instead sit along side of each other.

They are perfect.  We haven't had them long - but that tiny, coffin-like structure seemed to have just a few more blissful inches when I showered this morning - and that is saying something.

If you are in need of a game changer in any of these three areas of your life; maybe these will help.  I know they've made my life a little better.

*as always, not a paid advertisement/sponsorship - these links are for your convenience only.