Hi, schmibbles. I don't have my shit together. Really, I don't. But I do a very few things that make my life easier in small ways, so I thought I'd share.
TANTE'S GROCERY LIFE HACK
Keep a bungee cord in the back of your car. Thread the handles of your grocery bags onto the bungee cord, and then strap it to either side of your cargo space. Now your groceries won't roll around and clunk into each other and the jar of pickles won't squash your bread.
TANTE'S BATHROOM LIFE HACK
Replace all the reasonable light bulbs above your vanity with the brightest daylight CFLs the fixture will tolerate without causing an electrical fire. You will be able to do surgery in your bathroom, and there is no possible way you will encounter lighting during your day that is less flattering. Voila, you grow increasingly good-looking as the day wears on!
TANTE'S ANEMIC-EYEBROW LIFE HACK
Draw on the tails of your eyebrows with a very faint blonde eyebrow marker before committing to a shape. It is easy to use a wet cotton swab to erase the less-pretty one if it's just a faint marker swish, and then you have something to trace over with your waterproof brow pencil. Set that shit with powder, and your eyebrows will survive 6+ sweaty dirty hours outdoor in the sun with children. Maybe. Keep your hands off your face.
TANTE'S SHOPPING LIFE HACK
To prevent accidental duplicate purchases, keep an alphabetical list of whatever product you tend to hoard in the notes section in your phone. When you are faced with a particularly good sale, you will be able to verify that yes, you already own that lipstick/eyeshadow/DVD (these are my weaknesses, what are yours?).
TANTE'S OTHER SHOPPING LIFE HACK
Keep a different list in your phone of other things that you really like, but don't tend to buy very often, so you can remember what you liked last time. My list includes my bra's make, size, and model number, the size and diameter of the circular barbells I wear in my ears almost constantly, and the types of cosmetic contact lenses I've purchased over the years.
TANTE'S OTHER OTHER SHOPPING LIFE HACK
You know I love me some lists. I also measured every possible thing in my home- tops of tables, length of curtains, dimensions of shelves, you name it. I have them listed by room in my notes on my phone. Find a tablecloth at a yard sale, but don't know if it'll fit your kitchen table? Now you know. Browsing IKEA? No, that drawer organizer won't fit in the cutlery drawer, it's too big.
TANTE'S OTHER OTHER OTHER SHOPPING LIFE HACK
Can you tell that Tante hates making returns? She can never remember where she put the receipt. This one is for you hardcore homebodies. Get yourself a Pantone wheel. I bought mine from Dharma Trading. Find out the colors of everything in your home. Couches, walls, artwork, whatever. Take that Pantone wheel to the hardware store paint counter. Find matching paint chips for all your stuff. Cut those paint chips into small squares and affix them to notecards by room. Make sure those notecards fit into your wallet. "Will this vase go with the rest of my bedroom?" Whip out the bedroom chip card. "Oh, wow, that is WAY too yellow." Don't do this with photos in your phone- cameras lie about color.
TANTE'S BEVERAGE LIFE HACK
Frozen fruit as an ice cube makes water seem fancy. Oooo, fancy tap water.
TANTE'S WEDDING GUEST LIFE HACK
Don't look at the registry. Give them a fireproof waterproof safe and a bunch of external memory storage devices. They didn't register for one, and when the wildfires rage and the water main bursts, they'll at least have their important documents and data somewhere in the wreckage.
TANTE'S FOOD LIFE HACK
Plain greek yogurt can go almost anywhere sour cream can go, and for way fewer calories. 16 ounces of plain greek yogurt mixed with one packet of French onion soup mix makes onion dip you won't feel guilty shoveling into your face. Use raw vegetables as a mode of conveyance for the dip. Or ruffled potato chips. I don't judge.
TANTE'S PURSE LIFE HACK
Like to have emergency supplies on hand? Go get a Slurpee and grab a few extra thick straws. Take a pair of needle nose pliers and clamp the end of the straw, leaving about 1/8 inch of the straw exposed beyond the jaws. Use a lighter to melt that bit together, and keep it clamped until the melted plastic cools. Stuff important things into the straw, cut it to size, clamp the other end, and seal it. Label the straw with a Sharpie. Now you've got a handy little waterproof tube that you can stash in an Altoids tin. Suggested things to seal in tubes: Baby aspirin. Salt. Water purification tablets. Waterproof matches and dryer lint. Neosporin. Sugar.
TANTE'S DOG MEDICATION LIFE HACK
Don't buy Pill Pockets. Hide dog pills inside miniature marshmallows. They don't chew them, they just swallow them whole.