Welcome to this week's #TopTenThursday. This is a fun writing challenge, that is hosted by Tamara of Confessions of a part-time working mom. Her, myself, and other bloggers, come together and post weekly Top Ten lists, which we create based on a chosen topic. I hope you enjoy reading my list, as much as I loved creating it.
Last week, we made a list of our Top Ten Favorite Songs From the 1980's. This week, we are revealing our Top Ten Life Hacks. I don't know how you guys feel, but I am not an expert of life hacks. I do have a ton of them pinned on my Pinterest page, that I hope to one day use to make my life better. This was not an easy list for me to make, but I definitely have a few, I feel you should know about.
Without further ado, in random order, I present my top ten life hacks. Be sure to check out the other Blogger's favorite life hacks, using the links at the bottom.
1. The first one that came to mind, is very simple. A funny little back story... When I came up with the idea, I thought I was a genius, then I realized I was not the first to think of it. I was kinda sad that nobody had told me about it sooner, and yet kinda proud I thought of it on my own so quickly. The hack? Using a straw to eat/drink GoGurts. It cuts way back on the mess, and makes them truly an easy, on the go snack. Plus, if your kiddo is anything like Gigi, they LOVE using straws. So, if you don't already stick a straw in your kiddo's GoGurts... Do it.
2. My Happy Planner. So, I have a horrible memory. I have these annoying cysts in my head, and they like to really make my memory malfunction frequently. I was going crazy trying to remember everything, and it was becoming frustrating. Then I discovered the Happy Planner by Me and My Big Ideas. It was life changing. You can customize it completely, and it is totally versatile. They even have inserts for list making, fitness tracking, recipes, and tracking household finances. I can keep track of EVERYTHING in it. Plus, I can decorate it (using markers, pens, stickers, stamps, washi tape, etc), and that becomes my relaxation and happy time. Plus, I think writing everything down really helps to keep me on track. I can keep track of appointments, TV shows, parties, activities, exercise, hydration, my cycle, cleaning, menu, shopping lists, etc. It literally helps to organize and keep track of my entire life. It is one of the most affordable planners on the market, and the most customizable ones available. I even had a custom coffee themed cover made. Plus, they are always coming out with new items all the time. I am currently most excited about the new binder cover. I love love love my Happy Planner! I even have an awesome owl zipper pouch from Thirty-One Gifts, to keep it safe while it is in my purse. If you decide to scope it out and get one, please let me know. I would love to share ideas and layouts with you. Are you already a planner?! Let me know!
3. Sooooo.... Gigi enjoys watching her shows. She has some that are for fun, and others that are for learning. She also loves to play with her toys. Me, I like to listen to music. I just found it to be a pain to do so. When I play it on the TV, she tends to focus on it, and I would sometimes rather she focus on playing. Other times, maybe I want to listen to music, but she is having screen time. Well, playing on my phone wasn't convenient or loud enough. Enter Echo aka Alexa. My handy, dandy gadget from Amazon. She was my Christmas/Birthday/Valentine's/Mother's Day gift this year, and I do love her. She plays any song or playlist I tell her to. She is hands free. She can adjust the volume, just by me telling her to do so. So, I can listen to music, while Gigi watches TV or plays. She will set timers for me. She tells me the weather and news. She tells me jokes. I can play games with her. She is quite amazing. She actually has so many abilities, far beyond the simple things we use her for. She has been such an amazing addition to our household. I can have my hands covered in raw chicken juice, and set a timer for the food I just placed in the oven, never needing to touch anything. She plays music throughout the house, or quiet enough for just me to hear.
(Picture and product found here)
4. We live in a tiny house. It is plenty big for the three of us, but we lack storage space. We only have the closets in our bedrooms. We also don't have many kitchen cabinets or a pantry. In our bathroom, we have zero storage and no tub. I had to get crafty. Luckily, I found an awesome idea for tub/shower storage. It has been a big help, since we have no shelves in our shower. We just sit our items along the wall on the floor. Our shower is a walk in shower, and nice, but it has made storage tricky. The idea was originally to help with toy storage, but we actually use it to store our toiletries. I especially use it for my razor. That is something that had to be out of Gigi's reach. It has made life easier for us. If you have limited storage inside your shower/tub, or just have lots of toys, I do highly recommend this!! I used small baskets I found at the Dollar Tree, three baskets for a dollar, and used colorful zip ties. You can use any baskets that are waterproof and shower curtain hooks. Make the idea your own. Adjust it to your own needs. The awesome thing... It can easily me moved up/down or removed, if needed.
(Picture and idea found here)
5. (A Chad addition) One day, when Gigi was nine months old, and had started to try to walk, Chad came home with pool noodles. He then proceeded to attach the noodles to our TV stand, using some of his beloved zip ties. At first, it was just along the front, but soon after she began walking, he added more to the sides. I hated it, it looked horrible, but boy did it do a great job keeping her head safe during falls. I found out that he had seen a similar concept on Pinterest, and went with it. I am sure I had better pictures of it, but these were the only ones I could find quickly. Most of these were taken before he put noodles on the sides as well. I do give him two thumbs up for this one. We kept them up until this past June. Right after Gigi turned three, I bought a new TV stand, and gone were our pool noodle days.
6. (A Chad addition) Use a road flare to start your campfire. Obviously, this was not my idea. I do NOT camp. I never have, and I do not ever intend to. He says it is an easy, foolproof way to start a campfire. He also swears it is "super cool". I say try it at your own risk.
7. (A Chad addition) Chad swears by using super glue as a band aid. He is one of those "duct tape, zip ties, and super glue fixes literally EVERYTHING" guys. He says it works well, it is waterproof, it lasts forever, and it does not hurt (unlike liquid bandage). I prefer regular band aids, but I must say, the super glue works well. He has way more success with it, than I do with regular band aids. I just cannot wrap my head around putting super glue on cuts. He warns to make sure it dries completely before touching anything, and to avoid gluing your fingers together (it sounds like he was speaking from experience). He said it dries pretty quick, usually within a minute.
8. From the time she could walk, we let Gigi walk around stores. Without fail, if she saw a dog bed, she was on it. We joked for a while about getter her a dog bed, but never actually did it. Finally, for her birthday on June 27th, I got her one. A huge, comfortable dog bed. She LOVES it. It made her beyond happy, just don't call it a "dog" bed. It is much easier to manage than the HUGE bean bag chair I bought a few years ago. It is easy to clean. It is comfortable. She can rest on it, watch TV on it, take naps on it, play on it. If I had known it would be so well loved and such a great addition to our living room, I would have bought it ages ago. Gigi even occasionally lets Bit lay on it with her. Sometimes, I wonder if Bit thinks we are nuts for loving a dog bed so much.
(In case you are wondering... I bought it at Costco for like $26)
9. Remember how I mentioned our house is tiny, and has very little storage, especially in the kitchen?! Well, I am not sure if you have realized this about me, but I am a bit of a coffee addict. Well, not really an addict, I just really love it. I am basically in a committed relationship with it. So, I decided to add to our kitchen storage, and save us some counter space, by turning Gigi's changing table into a coffee nook. On the top shelf, I keep my Keurig and coffee supplies, and the other shelves are for additional food/supplies storage. It works perfect in our tiny space. It freed up a lot of counter space, and enabled us to keep all our "coffee stuff" in one place, rather than being spread out around the kitchen. I love it. I even bought coffee themed curtains for the window it sits under. It was a fun and easy project. You could easily do the same with any type of shelving unit, as long as it is big enough to house your coffee maker(s).
10. Our car is messy. I know what you are thinking... Duh! You have a three year old. No, I have a Chad. I HATE it. I like my car to be clean and organized. Chad likes to get unexplained stains everywhere. Everywhere. Even on the ceiling. Why are you touching my ceiling?! So, I hate it but I cannot do much about it. (I have tried to tell him I will forbid him to drive it, if he doesn't stop getting it so dirty, but then more stains appeared...) Luckily, there isn't trash everywhere. Why not? I saw an awesome post on Pinterest, and put it to good use. So, we have a place for our trash, and therefore, that is one thing I do not have to worry about with my car. Now, mystery stains on my ceiling? Total problem. Maybe one day, I will be able to have a car of my very own, and I will only need to worry about the messes Gigi and I make, and I am certain there will be no mystery ceiling stains.
(Picture and idea found here)
So, there you go. Ten "life hacks" that make my life better/easier/more organized. What is your favorite life hack(s)?! Do you like any of mine?! Do we have any in common?!
Don't forget to check out the favorite life hacks of my fellow bloggers: