Tools That Make My Life Easier – Mid 30s Edition

Tools That Make My Life Easier – Mid 30s Edition

Though finding my body doesn’t work as well as it used to isn’t fun, there is a lot I love about approaching (are we allowed to say approaching at 36 or am I officially there?) my late 30s. Maybe my brain is finally fully cooked or maybe it’s sheer life experience, but does anyone else find basic problem solving just much easier these days?

Tim used to have this one liner he dropped when he was fixing something or doing a specific task. I’d be helping (let’s be real, mostly watching) and state how well something worked, and he’d put on a silly accent and reply, “I use tools!”

I hear that in my head every time I hit the internet to try and find a better mousetrap. Most of the time, this lands me at Amazon (I know, I know, there are evils here, you may judge me quietly) searching through reviews. Between friend recommendations, google, and the dutiful Amazon product reviewers of the world, here are some things that have made my mid (cough: late) 30s a lot easier.

“My Lawn” Phone App

Did I ever think I’d care so much about grass? Did I care this much about my grass even a few years ago? Absolutely not, but one of the pandemic stay-at-home side effects for me was trying to have the best lawn on the street. This app will use googlemaps satellite images to determine your yard size, combined with what kind of grass you have and weather data from your area. It gives reminders when to use fertilizer, what kind, and when you should water. It’s sponsored by Scotts, so of course the products are theirs, but if you have something else you like to use you can just follow the timing and recommendations.

The bare patch by the tree has since filled up. But we won’t talk about my backyard, which is certainly a work in progress…

Paula’s Choice Weightless Body Treatment

I’ve gotten little bumps on my upper arms for my entire life. I always thought it was acne, but no amount of acne body wash or other products affected it. Then I stumbled into a dermatologist on TikTok (I now find all of my life advice from TikTok. It’s a weird move for the late 30s, but whatever) who had a Q&A on keratosis pilaris, which is what I found out the little bumps actually are. His suggestion was exfoliate in shower, and apply a lotion with 2% BHA within 5 minutes after your shower. This was my pick, and bam. Bumps not totally gone, but 90% better.

Stella & Chewy’s Magical Dinner Dust

Lucie is a pretty picky eater. She’s one of those rescued dogs who’s never missed a meal in her life and is pretty sure all of her meals should have bacon grease dribbled on top. Typically I free feed her, but sometimes 24 hours will go by and she hasn’t been inspired to eat. On those days, I put some of this freeze-dried dust on top. It lasts me a long time because I don’t use it any day, has good ingredients, and gets the Lucie girl chowing down.

Roller Dog Hair Remover

Another Lucie product. My “beautiful golden retriever” sheds a lot. And I, being a type-A fairly neat freak, do not love black dog hair all over my house. I’ve tried several dog hair products that were a total bust, but this one is pretty good. I have a velour couch in my home office, and it’s Lucie’s favorite midday nap spot. It’s also a bright yellow color, and shows hair like crazy. This little brush gets all the hair off. Looks like a brand new couch every time. It works pretty well on other fabrics too, but the it’s magic for that couch.

Rug Gripper Triangles

I have a fake cowskin rug in my living room. It’s over hardwood in a high-traction area, and was constantly curling up around the edges despite being placed on a no-slip rug base. The roomba would get caught in the corners, and when Lucie did zoomies the entire rug would slip out of place. I got fed up, and wanted to glue it to the floor. These little triangles pretty much do that. Will they leave sticky on my floor? Reviews say no, but I’ll have to report back. However, the rug does not move now.

I can’t tell you how many photos I have of Lucie sleeping on this couch. It’s ridiculous, but they bring me joy.

Removeable and Washable Ceiling Fan Cover

This is going to sound dumb, because it’s not like this is a new or innovative product by any means. I used to clean my ceiling fans with a damp rag, balancing preciously on my tippy toes on a random chair or my bed. And um, yeah there’s a better way. Who knew?

So fresh and so clean clean.

Car Cleaning Gel

Y’all, this one is probably my favorite. It’s like the slime kids these days (or was it last year?) are so obsessed with, but it smells nice and it’s for cleaning your car. You throw it around crevices and smush it into places and it picks up all the dust and crumbs and dirt, or in my case — horse hair and shavings too. They’re pretty much single use, but every time I do a deep cleaning on my car I go through one and it makes me delightfully happy.

My main reason for writing this post is to actually comb through your favorite things that fix common problems. Do you have something you swear by that makes life easier?

17 thoughts on “Tools That Make My Life Easier – Mid 30s Edition

  1. Holy cow, that fan blade cleaner is neat! I mostly just make my husband dust the ceiling fans, since he’s tall enough to reach them without a stool (since our ceilings aren’t terribly high lol). I love the weird little things like that that make your life so much easier, and it simultaneously makes me giggle how much I care about things that younger Leah would have been appalled at…. like the fact that a menstrual cup and then the requisite sterilizer (Diva Cup/Pixie sterilizer, both from Amazon) made periods way less of a hassle. And that I have very strong feelings about the “mattress in a box” we bought off Amazon for our guest room and now three of my friends own them after my rave reviews (Zinus green tea infused memory foam). Or even something as silly as the electronic door locks so I never, ever have to carry house keys anymore (hallelujah – they’re Schlage with a lifetime warranty and I LOVE THEM). And it makes me feel marginally better to have an Amazon Prime addiction when I do it through Amazon Smile, so my favorite therapeutic riding center here in Mid-Mo gets donations from the things I buy 🙂

    Now I can’t wait to see what other cool recommendations you get in the comments!

    1. Ooo, I should have added Thinx period panties to this list above, because like you I also care about that kind of stuff now way more than days of yore.

      Gotta look into those electric locks. I am very intrigued!

      1. Nothing, they’re powered by batteries… lol. Also a regular key does still work in them even if the batteries die, so as long as you have a key somewhere accessible, it’s not a problem (or in my case, all my exterior doors have those locks and all the batteries won’t go out at the same time since they’re used vastly different amounts). We moved in more than 18 months ago and I haven’t seen my house keys since!

  2. Wow, those are some handy things! I’ve book marked the dog hair roller – I’ve given up at this point, but were going to buy a bigger house at some point and then I will combat the hair!

  3. No helpful suggestions, just dropping by to say – Damn, Lucie grew up into a fine looking dog! She was always cute, but with her mature soulful face and shiny black coat, she is truly a stunner.

  4. I usually crumble up a piece of a Stella and Chewy meal mixer for my picky eater. I am totally going to try the dust when I run out. That looks so much easier/less messy.

  5. These are great! My rechargeable handheld vacuum has been the best purchase. Easy for cleaning up after dogs, kids, in the car, and vacuuming the stairs.

  6. Damn I just learned a lot.

    Definitely wanna echo the menstrual cups and Thinx mentioned above in comments.

    Beyond that, I dunno. I started using eyebrow (mens dye for beard) and lash dye (1000 hours) before the pandemic and have loved eliminating makeup from my life even more. Having darker brows and lashes when they’re basically see-through otherwise is awesome for someone as fair as me.

  7. Dyson handheld rechargeable vacuum. That sucker SUCKS. And it’s SO EASY. No more cords, no more dragging the 30 pound vacuum out and around. I got rid of our Roomba and our regular vacuum when I got that thing. I vacuum daily or every other day now, it’s just so quick and easy to whip out and do a room or two. And PERFECT for cleaning the car. Seriously. They’re pricey but I’d pay twice what they cost, they’re that good. YOU NEED ONE.

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