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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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                                12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

                                12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

                                Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                                But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                                I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                                Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

                                1. Nuts

                                The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                                Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                                Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                                Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                                2. Blueberries

                                Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                                When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                                3. Tomatoes

                                Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                                4. Broccoli

                                While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                                Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                                Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                                5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                                Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                                The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                                Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                                6. Soy

                                Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                                Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                                Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                                7. Dark chocolate

                                When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                                Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

                                15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                                8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                                Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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                                B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

                                Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                                Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                                To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                                9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                                Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                                Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                                Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                                10. Gingko biloba

                                This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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                                It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

                                However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                                11. Green and black tea

                                Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                                Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                                Find out more about green tea here:

                                11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                                12. Sage and Rosemary

                                Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                                Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                                When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                Reference

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