|Summers were made for this.|
Vacations, potlucks, BBQ’s, get-togethers with family and friends. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing as long as we’re talking, laughing, eating, and just generally catching up on life. These moments are the hallmarks of a great summer. And one of the bonuses of all this socializing is the sharing of knowledge, the exchanging of ideas, the pontificating of opinions. So, in that vein, Amy and I will now be revealing our proposals for the achievement of world peace and solutions for global hunger respectively...
You can keep reading because what we’re actually talking about today are those little tricks, habits, or tasks that you can incorporate into your daily life to make that busy schedule more bearable. You know, shortcuts, or life hacks, which make you smile inside knowing you’ve saved a bit of time, effort, or sanity.
Here are a few of our recently-discovered faves:
Corn on the Cob – Who doesn’t love farm-fresh corn on the cob? But when you live in the Northwest where air-conditioning isn’t a standard appliance, especially in a 100-year-old house like mine, you don’t want to turn on your oven or even boil a pot on the stove. Here’s the answer: Microwaving corn right in the husk! It takes about four minutes, and when you remove it, the corn is perfectly cooked, and the husk practically falls right off. Yes, even that annoying stringy silk. Thank you to my friend Anna J. Stewart for informing me about this fantastic method. (Yes, I will confess to eating corn on the cob for six days in a row upon returning home from RWA Nationals.)
|No de-husking required!|
Packing Cubes - I went on two big vacations this year, one you may recall from last month’s post to Arizona and to Florida for RWA. Both trips were about a weeklong which meant I had A LOT of clothes, shoes, and accessories to bring along with me. I went to Arizona and had a giant mess halfway through. I had to rummage through the case to find exactly what I needed. When I got home, I discovered packing cubes. Each soft-sided cube can hold a particular type of clothing - I had one for shirts, one for shorts, one for workout clothes, etc. No tossing clothes around to find the right shirt or the shoes I needed because everything had a place. At the end of the week, I think the pictures speak for themselves. One pic is of my suitcase, and the other is Carol’s. I think I know what Carol will be asking Santa for Christmas!
|Amy says: "Oh, how wonderful is my packing cube life?!"|
|Carol says: "Where in the world is my underwear?"|
Self-Tagging Option for Airline Bags – I’m guessing most of us have been printing out our boarding passes ahead of time for a while now. Love this option. But now some airlines are extending the convenience of do-ahead travel to those who need to check a bag. Alaska Airlines was the first airline I noticed to implement this efficient new time-saver and I first used it back in 2015. They have reusable plastic sleeves that you can order online (free) ahead of time or grab at the bag-check area after arriving at the airport. Just print out your tag right along with your boarding pass, slip it in the sleeve, drop it at the bag check area where an agent will do a quick scan, and you’re good to go. A quick google search revealed that about a third of airlines worldwide now offer the service. One travel site I visited predicted that all carriers would be offering this service as soon as the end of 2018. Now, if only they could figure out a way a faster way to get us through security?
|Anything to make this a bit more bearable!|
Whether it’s about travel, cooking, or simply staying cool, we’d love to hear about the best summer hacks you’ve discovered this year!
For more information about Amy Vastine or Carol Ross, including their complete book lists of sweet romance novels, please visit their websites!