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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?