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Five Favorite Life Hacks

Five Favorite Life Hacks

With the busyness of the end of the school year combined with this being our family birthday “high season”, I thought I’d throw together some of my own favorite time savers as well as tips from some savvy friends.

Polite AF Fave Life Hacks

1. “To/From Stickers” for kid presents.  When we’re running late for a birthday party, the last thing I want to do is stop and get everybody out of the car to pick up the birthday card I forgot to get.  My two favorite solutions for this are:

2. Grocery delivery timed with returning from vacation. When we’re on our way home from a trip, I order Instacart to be delivered around the same time we’re getting home.  That way we have milk, fruit and whatever other staples we need waiting for us on the front porch and no one has to run out in the middle of unloading five hungry people and all their belongings from the car.

3. Squeegee thingy at the gas station. It’s been raining a lot in Austin and every day I think I’ll go get my car washed and then almost every day it’s been thundering and lighting.  So when a bird the size of a Pterodactyl pooped on my drivers’ side window (and all that rain didn’t even touch it), I had an “a-ha!” when I pulled up to the gas station and saw a woman using the squeegee to clean her windows. 

Oh.  I forgot about that thing.  So I did the same and now I can see out my window and I don’t have spend $50 to get my car washed in the rain.

  • PS, ask your local car wash about a “rain check”.  Mine honors a re-wash if it rains and though I haven’t done that yet, it’s nice to know it’s an option. Less pressure, hehe.

4. Making your favorites more functional.

  •  Sometimes as I’m getting ready, I’ll get an outfit idea in my head and I don’t want to wear anything else, even if it’s not the right time of day, day of the week, or whatever else for the item of clothing I actually want to wear. So I’ll dress down my favorite comfy-yet-kinda-casual-+-dresses with some Converses and call it a Tuesday. Or if you’re going out and want to wear your ripped jeans and a t-shirt, add some cute heels and some lipstick and call it Saturday! Why not wear what you want and just make it fit the occasion?

  • Same goes for furniture. I’m known to move around my pillows and tchotchke’s to different rooms and locations until they work. Our swing beds didn’t look quite finished to me, so I added some outdoor rugs and pillows from Michael’s. Super cute, super cheap (I’ve learned over the years that when it comes to outdoor furniture and fabric, the expensive stuff doesn’t hold up any better than the cheap stuff!) The same is NOT true for (most) clothing, which is why I RTR.

5. Get the kids to help! You might remember that we did weekend trips for the kids’ birthdays last year, but now that we’re settled in in Austin and they’ve made friends, we wanted to let our summer boys have parties. But…there’s a ton to do because we have lots of friends coming the next few weeks (yay!), we’re planning two parties, wrapping up end of the year stuff, and taking on new projects. So when we need an extra hand, whether it’s “mommy’s helper” and making sure Shepherd doesn’t [insert literally anything here] while I’m making dinner, or even power washing, they’re totally incentivised by earning a few bucks or some time on the iPad or Switch. P.S. - check out my joke about this on Insta, here

Great tips from some of my favorite people::

  • “Take a photo of the tag of your kids’ lovey or favorite animal. The tag will fade, or the kid will ask you to cut it off at some point, and if it gets lost, you’ll need that photo of where it’s from. Also, buy a backup. No, buy, two!”

  • “I always make sure I have olives, nuts, a variety of crackers, cheese and wine on hand so I can always pull together a cheese trap [for guests].

  • “I pack school lunches the night before so that I can enjoy a hot cup of coffee and sit with my kids while we eat breakfast before school”

  • “Buy pre-chopped veggies for salad”

  • Simple Sunday meal prep: “I cook a protein, roast some veggies and sweet potato. It takes me a total of 15-20 minutes and then the leftovers are lunch for three days”.

  • “I stock cards for birthday, anniversary and sympathy”

  • “I save tags from things like underwear and bras so that I can easily reorder”.

  • My travel makeup kit is always all packed. I add mascara, but everything else just stays ready for my next trip”.

  • “I keep doubles of all of our necessities so that we don’t run out”. Think toothbrushes, deodorant, toothpaste and face scrub.

Tell me your life hacks at mandyis@popliteasfudge.com or in the comments below!

Hey there, hi there, here's a rap.

Hey there, hi there, here's a rap.

You know that thing you were nervous to ask your dermatologist about?  I asked her for you.

You know that thing you were nervous to ask your dermatologist about? I asked her for you.