LHOTW (Life Hacks of the Week)

It’s one of those “other” days, y’all. As my sweet Southern friends and I would say, “I’m praisin’ the Lord it’s Friday.”

That and, “Where’s my margarita?”

Somehow I managed to squeak by this week…even with a sick kid, no voice from a nagging cough, a full work schedule, and Christmas inching closer. Eek!

Thanks to a few glorious hacks, I found my way to Friday with some sanity in tact. Or at least I think so?

Here are five life hacks I relied on this week:

{ONE} Sunglasses Holder > Cord Wrangler

On Monday, I got to work and realized I didn’t have my phone charger or earbuds…oh, my!

When I got home, I made a little cord wrangler using one of my sunglasses cases. I know, first-world problems, but this hack really came in handy.

Oh, and notice I used loom bands to hold the cords together…a hack inside of a hack. >

LOOK! It goes in my purse in a snap. >>

{TWO} Neck Pillow > Stomach Soother

My son came down with the stomach flu early in the week, which was no fun!! Between moments of getting sick, his stomach would cramp up. Poor thing. I didn’t want to leave a heating pad turned on in his room, so I warmed up my neck pillow in the microwave. It fit perfectly across his stomach!

And since it’s filled with lavender, it smelled good and probably helped him get some extra rest along the way.

This is the back side of the pillow, which is silky soft. >

{THREE} Baking Soda > Laundry Detergent

We went to Nebraska last week for Thanksgiving, so we had a decent pile of laundry to clean when we got home. I also wanted to wash my son’s sheets and blankets once he started feeling better to freshen up his room. Needless to say, it was a big laundry week, and I wasn’t quite prepared.

I ran out of detergent at one point and decided to DIY my way through the next load or two until I could get to the store.

Did you know baking soda makes a great detergent? One cup of baking soda did the trick for a full load. I bypassed the soap dispenser and just sprinkled it in with our clothes. They came out clean and smelling fresh.

{FOUR} Appointment Reminder > Library Notice

My girls needed books (ASAP) for their reading assignment at school, so we hauled it over to the library. At the checkout desk, we realized we had a book (or two) overdue. Oops! Why do I always forget about those darn things?

After I paid our fine, I decided to put the due dates for the newly checked items in my phone. I just made myself an appointment to “return books.”

Now our books will be returned on time. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?! >>

{FIVE} Paper Clip > Ornament Hangers

Is it just me, or are there never enough ornament hangers when it’s time to decorate the Christmas tree? As I found myself decorating this week, which was a miracle in and of itself, I realized I was short a few hooks (sounds like a euphemism – haha!) and I didn’t want to run to the store.*

*Do you see a theme with some of these hacks? “Ways to not to have go to the grocery store.”

Anyway, I decided to raid my office supplies. It turns out, paper clips are a gem for the job.

I gently pulled the middle of the clip up, to make it into an “s” shape, like below. Hook the smaller loop through the ornament and use the larger loop for the tree.

That’s a wrap. Enjoy your weekend, lovelies. I hope you get some decorating done, if you haven’t already.

And most importantly, kick those heels up for a spell.





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.