5 Helpful Hacks (Using Common Household Items)

Hi, friends! This was a week of stumbling upon a slew of random, but super useful tips.

I tell ya, I felt like a life-hack ninja pulling these tricks out of my sleeve. And I already had everything on this list. Check it out and see if you can pull these off, too!

{ONE} Witch Hazel for Eye Relief

Let’s be clear, I’m not saying to put witch hazel IN your eyes. This trick uses a cotton pad doused with witch hazel and then applied UNDER your eyes to reduce those bummin’ bags.

I’ve been looking for a magical potion (that won’t break the bank) that actually works. So when I saw an article about the many uses for witch hazel, and it listed “de-puff eyes,” I was pumped.

I always keep some on hand to reduce the inflammation and swelling of mosquito bites. And that’s basically the situation under my eyes. They’re essentially swollen. Makes sense.

I gave it a try, and it’s not only soothing, but also seems to work! As a tip, I keep the witch hazel in the fridge. The extra coolness feels good and helps reduce the puffiness even more.

{TWO} Gum to Calm Nerves

Moment of truth…sometimes I have a ridiculously hard time controlling my nerves. It’s usually when I’m in a large group of people I don’t know very well. And if I’m asked to share anything off-the-cuff, like “so…tell us about yourself”, I freak out.

I recently joined a book group (which is fairly large and full of mostly new faces). I really want to feel comfortable and totally myself when I’m there, so I found this trick. Chew gum.

Here’s what some smart people said…

When we’re nervous or stressed, our caveman “fight or flight” mechanism gets triggered. When we eat or chew, it tricks our brain into feeling relaxed. We can’t possibly be in danger, because we wouldn’t be eating if we were. So chewing gum tricks our brain into thinking we’re safely eating a meal, and it starts producing chemicals that neutralize stress responses.

Fascinating. Now I just need to learn to talk properly with gum in my mouth – at least until I’m conditioned to feel more comfortable. #imaworkinprogress

{THREE} Straws to Keep Necklaces Untangled

One of my greatest victories this week was finally untangling my favorite necklace! It’s the small things. (But really, it felt big.) I’ve been carrying my tangled mess in my wallet since the day it all happened. Long story. All you need to know is I’ve been working on this thing for WEEKS.

Every now and then I’ll pull it out and work on it some more. I even tried the baby powder/cornstarch trick that was supposed to heal all jewelry knots. Apparently this particular case just required truckloads of patience and a pair of tweezers with pointy tips.

Once I pulled the last knot through the chain, I hollered with joy, clasped that beautiful thing around my neck, and promptly looked up tips to keep it untangled when in storage. Which is what leads us to the straw hack!

Just thread the hook down through the straw – using gravity as your friend. Then clasp the necklace and store. Or travel. This would be a smart trick for packing.

{FOUR} Olive Oil to Stop Crying Over Onions

I’ve been in a home-cooked meal phase lately, which has been great for our family’s diet and budget. Yay! It also means I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen doing things like chopping onions. Boo!

I love prepping food…except the dreaded onions. They smell and make me cry.

I’ve heard of all kinds of hacks, like freezing the onions, turning on your vent hood, wearing goggles (really?!), and even just slicing them in a different direction (julienne).

This might be the winner (not kidding) for the easiest way to hold back the onion tears: dip your knife in olive oil before cutting. It actually worked for me, so you’ll have to tell me how your experiment works if you give this a go!

{FIVE} Chap Stick to Heal Paper Cuts

Darn paper cuts. How is it that such a small thing can feel so big?! This week I’ve been pulling receipts and prepping for our taxes, and yep, you guessed it…got a paper cut.

Of course I googled remedies, like I do for everything else in my life, and found that chap stick helps soothe paper cuts!

You don’t need the fancy stuff. (I just happened to have a stick of Coconut & Pear Lip Balm on my desk.) As a tip, I probably wouldn’t go with anything that has peppermint oil in it – like the original Burt’s Bees lip balm. That might make matters worse.

That’s a wrap!

What’s your favorite household item hack (that’s not on this list)?! I’d love to know.

In the meantime, here’s to an awesome weekend. My twin girls are having their 11th birthday party tomorrow, so wish us luck. I’ll be back next week with some pics and deets of our “mermaid, unicorn, fairy, rainbow, pizza party.” Can you even believe I found these shirts?! I was dying.

Only Thug Life would have these awesome tees. For reals.

XoXoXo,

Kate

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