Simple Summer Hacks
Soothing the Burn
Sometimes wearing sunscreen, sun hats or sunglasses aren’t enough to avoid getting burnt by powerful UV rays. If you find yourself with a nasty sunburn, alleviate it with homemade aloe vera ice cubes. Fill an ice cube tray with 3/4 aloe vera juice and freeze for an hour or overnight. Remove from tray, rub on or near your burn to soothe and cool the skin. Store remaining cubes in a freezer bag for later use.
Say Goodbye to Bug Bites!
Summer activities such as picnics, sporting events and bonfires can be hard to enjoy when pests appear. Many of us turn to store-bought sprays and repellants to keep the bugs away, but these often contain toxic chemicals that can have harmful effects on the body and the environment. Avoid bug bites and dangerous chemicals by creating an all-natural insect repellent. Fill a 10-ounce spray bottle with equal amounts of water and witch hazel. Add 15 drops of an essential oil such as peppermint, citronella, lavender, lemongrass, eucalyptus or tea tree. Spray this treatment on the body as well as the surrounding environment.
If you have an itchy or irritated bug bite, treat it with homemade itch cream. Melt 3 tablespoons coconut oil and 2 tablespoons beeswax in a saucepan, mix slightly, then add 10 drops each of lavender and peppermint essential oils. Let cool and apply directly to bitten area.
Perfect for a backyard barbeque, afternoon picnic or a trip to the beach, upcycle your leftover six-pack carton into a handy storage holder. Place utensils, napkins, ketchup, mustard and other picnic necessities in your creative caddy and jazz it up by resurfacing with fun decorative paper.
Creative Condiment Containers Bringing full bottles of condiments outside for a picnic or barbeque can be a pain, and letting them sit in the heat for too long can cause them to spoil. Save time, dishes and space by serving condiments in a muffin tin. Pour different sauces or toppings into individual muffin compartments and set a serving spoon in each vessel for guests to help themselves. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil between uses.
Keep bugs and other unwanted extras out of your summer refreshments by topping your glasses with an upside down cupcake liner. Poke a hole in the bottom of the liner, wrap it around the top of your glass and enjoy your drink through a straw. Foil cupcake liners may shape to your cup better and have a more secure hold than paper liners. Be cautious when using these covers for kid drinks, as these liners don’t substitute as lids.
Dual-Purpose Water Bottle Ice Packs
Instead of adding extra components to your already-packed cooler, freeze a few water bottles ahead of time and use them as ice packs to keep your food cold. Remove paper labels on bottles and be sure the lid is tightly secured before freezing. When the bottles melt back into water, enjoy an ice-cold beverage to cool off.
Seat Belt Spray
Seat belts can get scorching hot in the summer, occasionally resulting in painful burns and blisters. To cool searing seatbelts, keep a spray bottle filled with water in your car and spray the hot plastic strap and metal buckles. The heat may warm the water in the spray bottle, but evaporation will still quickly cool the seat belt, allowing you to fasten comfortably.