Monday, September 15, 2014

Tante's Life Hacks

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.

16 comments:

  1. Wow thanks, that is super cool advice! I really like the idea of the fire proof safe with the external drives.

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    1. Nobody ever asks for one, but everyone could use one.

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  2. My fave: rather than separate laundry, I have different baskets and just do a load when one is full.

    Re shopping lists in phone: I do a similar thing with my sewing patterns. I use Google Docs spreadsheet, so it's accessible from my phone or laptop.

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    1. I need to do the laundry thing. I hate separating laundry.

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks! Wait till I do my Drop Cloth Master Post!

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  4. my dogs swallow pills sandwiched in cheap cheese slices whole. i'll have to try the greek yogurt onion dip idea. i love me some onion dips. i will say it doesn't work as a replacement for sour cream in artichoke-spinach dip. too watery. i am not a hacker. this makes me a little sad

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    1. Cheese makes Trix fart. You hack, you just don't realize you hack. I didn't know that everyone didn't do the bungee cord thing until recently when someone saw me do it and said "huh, that's brilliant."

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  5. I really like your wedding gift hack, even though we never go to any weddings.

    And I don't have my shit together either. No ma'am.

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    Replies
    1. Weddings, birthdays, graduations, housewarmings, bar mitzvahs… pretty much anything but funerals!

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  6. You are brave - I have banned CFL bulbs from any room in my house where I want to feel pretty (which is every room except the hallway and the stairwell). Once I run out of old-school bulbs, I'll be going 100% LED. Whichever LED bulbs are the most flattering. :D

    Love the Pantone idea!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. I look like hell in my bathroom, so walking out into the daylight or into the fluorescent-lit office is no big deal. Nobody sees me in the bathroom except the dog and the cat!

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  7. Thanks for the good advice. Well timed for me too.

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  8. Now I feel disorganized. Have you thought of getting your brows tinted? I had mine done about a month ago and liked the results. Am thinking of doing at home myself with "Just for Men." The interwebs told me it would be cheaper and garner the same results.

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    1. I do tint them- they always match whatever hair color I have at the time. They're blue right now. My problem is that they don't really exist past the arch, so I have to draw the tails on every day, or I look like an angry cartoon character.

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