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15 Life Hacks for the Beach or Pool

15 Life Hacks for the Beach or Pool

Have a small problem that’s getting in the way of your beach bunny dreams? Concerned that a lack of funds will get you down? No worries! If there’s a problem, there’s a hack. Find a solution to your summer woes with 15 of our favorite hacks for the beach and pool.

1. Fashion a Cheap Beach Locker

diaper DIY

    Forget about buying a beach locker or paying a mermaid half your life savings to watch your valuables at the beach. (Don’t pay a mermaid to do this; they’re very untrustworthy, not to mention fictional. You’ll get ripped off every time.) Instead, DIY your own protection with common and/or cheap household items.

    Finally finish off that jumbo sunscreen bottle from Costco? Clean it out and rig it into storage for your keys, cell phone and money clip. Unless they’re extremely fair skinned, thieves aren’t likely to try and steal sunscreen. For things thieves definitely won’t touch, try wrapping your valuables in a disposable diaper or putting them in a tampon box (guaranteed to make male thieves abandon your bag post haste!).

    2. Create Your Own Waterproof Bag

    beach bag DIY

      Unless you have an untreatable thirst for brand names, there’s no reason to pay top dollar for a waterproofed bag when an afternoon spent playing with melted wax will yield the same results.

      To make a DIY waxed bag, all you need is a double boiler (probably don’t want to use that shiny new one in your kitchen), wax, a paint brush, an old (but not sentimentally important) pillowcase (so, not the one you cried into the first time you watched Marley and Me), a dryer and the bag in question. Melt the wax in the double boiler, brush it over the entire bag, tie the bag up in a pillowcase and toss it in the dryer (on high) for 30 minutes. Voila!

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      3. Speed Up Sand Removal

      sandy feet-kath haboc lee

        Baby powder isn’t just for baby’s bums, no matter what the packaging tells you. True, it can help kill some of the funky foot smell from your favorite shoes, but it’s also a beach bag essential. Ready to head inside but feel like your hands are covered in sand-gloves? Shake out a little baby powder and use it to brush off sand. Not only will you be sand-free but you’ll also be baby-scented!

        4. Re-sealable Phone Protection

        phone at beach

          For those that aren’t still rocking the near-indestructible, we-laugh-in-the-face-of-danger flip phone, try putting your phone in a sealable plastic bag. You won’t have to worry as much about sand or water, plus you can still use the touch screen through the bag.

          5. Weigh Down Your Beach Towel

          sand-beach

            You don’t want to spend prime sun-bathing time trying to make yourself into the perfect starfish so your towel doesn’t flip up. Instead of keeping your hands and feet glued to the corners, try sewing pockets onto each corner. Tuck shoes, books, water bottles, sunscreen, etc. into the corners to weigh them down and keep your towel from flipping up and flicking you with sand. Now you can lay like a starfish because you want to, not because you have to.

            6. Cool the Burn

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            sunburn boy

              Aloe gels are perfect and soothing sun burn relief. To improve upon perfection, pop your bottle of aloe into the fridge before you go to the pool or beach. The cool temperature increases the relief.

              Whatever you do, make sure you’re using aloe gel, not some moisturizing lotion with aloe. Lotion will only trap the heat from a burn, prolonging your pain instead of relieving it.

              7. Iced Tea to the Rescue

              iced tea for burns

                Use your favorite beverage—well, if black tea or earl grey is your favorite beverage—to relieve sunburn. Just steep a few bags in water, soak a rag or shirt in the tea, and apply the rag to your poor, lobster-red skin.

                8. Pee Is Not for Pain Relief

                Jellyfish

                  That “Friends” episode was hilarious, but it shouldn’t be taken as a medical absolute. You’re actually NOT supposed to urinate on a jellyfish sting. (Hilarious as your friends’ reactions might be.) Instead, scrap off the tentacle (if it clings) with sand and sea water (not fresh water!), then use vinegar or a baking soda/sea water paste to deactivate stingers (depending on type of jellyfish).

                  9. Hack a Tattoo

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                  sunburn by nollij

                    Want a temporary tattoo that doesn’t require you to hold a wet piece of paper to your arm? Try using a sticker for a suntan tattoo. Pick up a store-bought sticker in a fun shape, or make your own with bandage tape. Then catch some rays and watch the skin around the sticker get a golden tan, while the skin underneath keeps its winter color.

                    10. Broken Flip Flop Remedy

                    flip flop

                      It’s a bummer when your flip flop strap pulls free from the sole. Luckily, there’s a quick fix to get you through the rest of the day (or to the nearest flip flop emporium): bread clips. Those colorful little clips can find purpose beyond keeping your bread fresh. Just clip them above the wide end of the thong; since it’s bigger than the hole, it’ll keep your flip flopping.

                      11. Make Your Own Giant Tote

                      DIY beach bag

                        Need an extra-large tote for your pool games, beach toys, inflatables or boogie boards? Don’t bother shopping for a big (expensive) bag to fit your needs. Instead, repurpose an old patio furniture cover. Furniture covers are strong, durable, water proof and easy to clean: perfect for an oversized beach bag. Just add a strap or handles to a cushion cover and you’re set to go.

                        12. Highlight with Citrus

                        lemon by tim hoggarth

                          Classics are classic for a reason. Lemon juice as a natural highlighter has been a summer staple for years because it works. Just comb some lemon juice through your hair and let the sun do the rest. (However, the acid can make your hair more susceptible to damage, so you may want to combine it with a little hair sunscreen.)

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                          13. Edible Lip Stain? Oh Yeah!

                          lip stain

                            Before you mix up that batch of Kool-Aid, use a little of the powder as a lip stain. Kool-Aid is the perfect summer lip stain: tasty and long lasting! It’s simple too, just lick your finger, dab it in your powder of choice, rub over lips, then go over your lips with damp cotton swab to even out the stain and get rid of clumps. A variety of flavors means a variety of colors.

                            14. Blow Away Ear Clogs

                            how to make your ears pop

                              Ears clogged from swimming? Inflate a balloon. No, really, it’s that simple. Keep a balloon handy and inflate it a few times after each dip. If you ears still feel like they need to pop, try plugging your nose while you blow up the balloon.

                              15. Summer Steering Wheel Trick

                              steering wheel

                                Tired of playing hot potato with your steering wheel? Turn your steering wheel “upside down” when you park at the beach or pool. The sun will beat down and super heat the bottom of the wheel, but the top will be protected from the brunt of its rays. Now when you go to leave all you have to do is straighten the wheel for a cooler grip.

                                Featured photo credit: Pierre-Olivier Bourgeois via 24.media.tumblr.com

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                                Last Updated on November 11, 2019

                                How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                                How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                                Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

                                To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

                                Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

                                1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

                                Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

                                Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

                                To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                                2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

                                Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

                                If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

                                Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

                                3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

                                Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

                                Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

                                4. Feed Your Brain

                                Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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                                This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

                                Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

                                Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

                                5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

                                According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

                                Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

                                Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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                                6. Write it Down

                                If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

                                It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

                                You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

                                7. Listen to Music

                                Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

                                8. Visual Concepts

                                In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

                                Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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                                Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

                                9. Teach Someone Else

                                Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

                                Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

                                10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

                                Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

                                So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

                                Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

                                More About Boosting Memory

                                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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