Friday, November 28, 2014

Mrs. Smucker's 7 Amazing Life Hacks!!

"What are you reading, Mom?" one of the kids asked, walking by as I avidly read something online.

I decided to tell the truth.  "I am reading a list called, 'The 40 Greatest Love Stories Ever.'"

The kid laughed.

I said, "There's Antony and Cleopatra, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Romeo and Juliet..."

This didn't make it sound any more mature.

This is my great weakness: Lists.  With numbers.  And little testimonials.

If someone on Facebook links to an article called, "How Christian Wives Sometimes Discourage Their Husbands," I might or might not click on it.

But if the link says, "7 Things You Do That Make Your Husband Feel Like Marriage Isn't Worth It--I had no idea I was doing # 5--weeping and repenting right now!"

I cannot resist.  It pulls me in, my finger moves, click and scroll, read read read.

"25 AMAZING Recipes for Using Up Wrinkly Golden Delicious Apples!"

"You Won't BELIEVE These 8 Rules In A Mennonite School In Oregon!"

"5 Beautiful Houses That Used To Be Grass Seed Bins--MIND BLOWN!!"

I got to wondering--what is is about numbers?  Take a look.  BuzzFeed, blogs, articles and feeds of all kinds--it's all about lists and numbers and bullet points.

"17 Dads Who Totally Won 2014"

"35 Photos That Prove Your Entire Life Is A Lie"

Those two are actual links on BuzzFeed.

I also got to wondering: would I boost my numbers if I mixed some of these appealing attributes into one blog post?

"7 Amazing Cures For SAD From Everyday Ingredients In Your Purse--# 4 blew me away!!"

"The 5 Best Phrases To Calm An Upset Teenager--My shrieking daughter was smiling by #2 and hugging me by #4!!"

"12 Simple Ways to Get a Farmer to Share His Emotions!!--I tried #8 on my dad--you won't believe what happened!"

Emily thought I could do a post on Life Hacks, a term I'd never heard until a couple of years ago.  A life hack seems to be a cool new way to use a normal object around the house to solve a problem.

She said I have lots of clever solutions around the house that other people might never have thought of.

The next day, in preparation for Thanksgiving and pie, I cut two pumpkins in half and baked them in the oven.  Then I began the arduous task of scooping the good stuff out of that floppy shell.

Suddenly I had a great idea.

I flipped the pumpkin hemisphere over and peeled off the shell, just like that.


I said, "Hey, I should post this!  On a Life Hacks list!!"

Emily said, "Surely lots of people already know to do that."

Humph.  I'll bet they don't.

So that's #1 on my list, and if you've been doing that for years, I don't need to know.

2. Use clothespins to seal chip bags.  I thought everyone did this, but Emily said they don't.

3. Hang a hanger with clothespins on a hook above the bathtub.  Wash and dry and re-use plastic bags.

 This is the sort of thing that also shows up on lists like, "8 Things Every Minnesota Grandma Does--I'll bet yours does #4."

4. Make your own hanger with clothespins.
Directions here.

5. Cut the cuffs off old (clean) athletic socks to bandage awkward shapes.


6. Cool cookies on layers of old newspaper.  Then use the newspaper between cookie layers in your Tupperware.


7. Use cupboard doors and Scotch tape and Post-Its if you don't have a bulletin board in the kitchen.

If you tape pictures on the inside of glass doors, you can have fun with markers.

Feel free to add your own in the comments.

Quote of the Day:
"Sadly, despite her husband working three jobs, and her own success as an author, Dorcas still couldn't afford to replace the broken laundry baskets."

[Trust me, people who wash and re-use bags also use laundry baskets until they completely fall apart.]


  1. I love life hacks lists! I often already do a lot of them, but the promise of "there just might be one you haven't heard of that could CHANGE YOUR LIFE!" keeps me reading.

  2. There is definitely something about lists that pulls you in! :) And I assure you, I'd never thought of #1 (But then, I'd have to be honest and add that I've never baked a pumpkin either....)

    One of my mom's favorite life hacks (I never heard that term before!) was a tip to keep your trash can from overflowing so fast -- anytime you have a box, i.e. cereal, crackers, you name it, open the bottom end of it and fold it flat before sliding it into the trash!

  3. Several of these were new to me. My own? Keep an empty/clean shampoo bottle with bleach in it under the kitchen sink for the time you need it (and save a trip to the laundry room). Another thing to keep close to the sink is a small container with Q-Tips for those grungy thermos/water bottle lids that get nasty. Combine these two hacks and spare yourself embarrassment! -Sharon Mast

  4. I wash plastic bags too, and my laundry basket is also broken! I enjoy your blog.Fern

  5. #2 is one I've done for years, to cheap to buy those little clips to hold bags closed! I also cool my cookies on newspaper but never thought to use it between my cookies! And I also do #7 lots of post-it's and papers taped inside my cupboard doors! I can't think of many hacks of my own right now, although I know I have some. One my daughter did the other day was to spray the snow shovel with cooking spray so the snow wouldn't stick.

  6. I thought everybody washed and reused plastic bags, especially ziplok ones until I had some throw perfectly new ones away (well, ones that were new until I put something in them). I no longer use new ziplok bags to transport food items to an event knowing the ones in charge will trash them.

    Enjoyed the article.

  7. THANK YOU ! I am going for hand surgery this week and been thinking how I could cover that ugly looking bandage. I am glad for the tip of using a sock top. Just in time.

  8. The wax paper type bags from the inside of cereal boxes make good paper to cool cookies and line containers. They don't have any ink to transfer to the baked goods.
    I reuse plastic bags and use bread bags when I want a one time use for greasy meats and then throw them away instead of zip lock bags. joy eversole

  9. I love the picture on the other side of the glass door. especially since Emily wound up as a guy! Funny!
    My laundry baskets disappear into the kids' bedroom and I only see them if I ask and then not always. I have one I keep for me and it's not broken in anyway -although the ones I let disappear are! Thanks for the smiles and tips. I'd not heard them called life hacks before.

  10. Oh this is hilarious! I have two broken laundry baskets too, that made it through this past summer and they might even make it through the next..?? :)
    Tina Fehr