10+ Simple Hacks That Can Seriously Improve Your Life

We’ve all had those mundane, everyday problems that sometimes get referred to as “first world problems.” You know, things like not being able to get ice cubes into your favorite water bottle or someone stealing a nonfat yogurt you were saving as a treat from the break room. Monsters!

But what if there were a few easy things you can do to eliminate the unnecessary stress in your life? These simple life hacks could make everything so much easier…

1. Why didn’t I think of that in college?

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2. For the absolutely paranoid life-hackers.

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3. Say good-bye to that pesky stem!

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4. Never lose another chip to staleness!

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5. You’ll never smash another finger.

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6. The lunch stealer won’t even think about taking your sandwich again.

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7. A game changer for the tailgate party!

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8. There is a future for the CD holder. #Upcycle

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9. Hate throwing away toilet paper rolls? Keep them to start a garden.

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10.  A great way to keep the tooshie warm year round.

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11. Never have another watered-down glass of wine.

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12. Don’t trash your favorite jeans for a faulty zipper.

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13. Genius!

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14. Super smart way to keep your drink cool.

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15. Keep a bag of Doritos in your survival kit!

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Hope these help!

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A Man Smuggled His Dog into the Hospital to See His Dying Wife and Now We’re All Crying

There’s a reason this story has been going viral on Reddit and other social media sites: it’s absolutely heartbreaking, yet incredibly sweet at the same time. It also goes to show just how incredible the bond us mere humans can be lucky enough to have with our precious dogs.

The Reddit user shared his personal story about his wife and dog, Bella.

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Uggghhhh. The man’s dying wife wanted to see her dog one more time, so the husband decided to sneak the pooch into the hospital in a suitcase.

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Seems like Bella knew she had to be quiet so she wouldn’t alert the hospital staff.

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The dog made it into the hospital and got to say goodbye to his mama before she passed away a few days later.

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Where are the tissues? This story calls for at least a whole box.

As has been said over and over, we don’t deserve dogs.

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Behold the “Avozilla:” a Giant Avocado That’ll Make Millennials Go Berserk

The world’s recent obsession with avocados, possibly fueled by the millennial love for avocado toast, might have you thinking they’re a newcomer to the culinary scene, but they’ve actually been around for a long, long time. Avocados are heart-healthy, jam-packed with nutrients, and they pretty much go great with anything.

Basically, the only thing that could make an avocado better is if it were bigger, smoother, or more easily spreadable.

If only…

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But, hang on. Agriculture heard our wails and has acted benevolently. Giant avocados – called “avozillas” – actually do exist. According to The Guardian Australia, a farm in Queensland is cultivating enormous avocados “as big as your head.” They are, in fact, about four times larger than a normal avocado.

Photo Credit: Peaches Fresh Food

Holy guacamole.

A company in South Africa owns the rights to the variety, which was produced via cross-breeding. Anyone interested in growing their own avozillas must pay to obtain permission and then pay royalties. Currently one farmer in Australia has the lock on a few hundred trees, so the giant fruit (it’s a fruit) is available in a few cities there. They have also exported them to England.

What’s keeping the avozilla from taking over? Ian Groves, the first to have grown them on his Australian farm, believes they may be too niche.

He also told The Guardian, “There is a nursery we buy different trees off, and when we were planting a bunch of avocados 10 years ago, they gave us one as a trial. And after about four or five years, we tried a few of the fruit and thought we’d give them a go. So we planted a small block of about just under 400 trees. They’re coming up to about four years and this is their first production.”

Clearly it takes some forethought to get from idea to table.

Avozillas may not be available everywhere guac fans are, but that hasn’t stopped the internet from falling head over pit for them.

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The avozilla’s majesty is inspiring.

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And brunch is served.

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So, how about it, California and Mexico? Let’s have some avozillas!

We’ll wait.

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Study Finds Cancer Is Much More Likely to Kill Those Who Rely on ‘Natural’ Therapies

When it comes to natural medicines and therapies, I’ve always been a bit wary. While I’ve had a few instances where a natural remedy might have helped me feel better, I’m certainly not about to throw good ol’ science-based medicine out the window!

The news isn’t great for natural remedies these days. While mainstream medicine (and the health care system in the U.S.) has a LONG way to go, it’s still the best way to get treated – and that’s backed up by research. A study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute states that cancer patients are twice as likely to die from their cancer if they choose natural remedies over regular medicine. And if you have breast or colorectal cancer, you’re FIVE TIMES more likely to die if you choose alternative medicine.

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To be clear, these statistics do not reflect people who use alternative medicine along with traditional treatment.

The research shows that natural treatments do not address the actual problem when it comes to cancer. Your body likely won’t recognize the problem when cancer cells are growing because the cancer isn’t trying to kill, the cells are trying to multiply.

Bottom line: modern medicine isn’t perfect, but it is your best bet. Cancer treatments are harsh and invasive, but your chances of living longer are greatly improved if you take advantage of them. And more people are living with cancer today than ever before.

Cancer is a grim subject, but there is absolutely room for hope!

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There’s A Reason Some People Stay Skinny Despite Eating Like a Horse

Everybody always has that one friend – you know, the one who can take down a whole pizza and some beer all by themselves, then turn around and ask for dessert… all while maintaining their seemingly impossibly svelte physique. Oh, and they don’t work out either. Nope, they just go around eating whatever they like with no consequences at all. No pounds piling on, no ours of atonement at the gym. Must be nice.

Well, you’ll be interested in the results of this study, which claims to have the answers…though they’re probably not going to make you feel any better.

Basically, your body type depends on the genes you were born with far more than on any diet or exercise routine you employ as an adult.

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The new research aimed to pinpoint the genetic architecture of skinniness and severe obesity, and their findings, published in PLOS Genetics, could help explain why some people find staying thin easy while others have the opposite experience.

That is not to say that environmental factors like high-calorie diets or sedentary lifestyles don’t play any role, but obesity, as many people have realized, is more complex than eating too much fast food.

The study leader, Professor Sadaf Farooqi, issued this statement:

“This research shows for the first time that healthy thin people are generally thin because they have a lower burden of genes that increase a person’s chances of being overweight and not because they are morally superior, as some people like to suggest. It’s easy to rush to judgement and criticize people for their weight, but the science shows that things are far more complex. We have far less control over our weight than we might wish to think.”

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No one tell the billion-dollar diet industry that they’re bunk.

Or wait. Maybe we should.

This study included the DNA of around 14,000 people – 1622 thin people, 1985 obese people, and 10433 people with average body mass, and identified the genes linked to slimmer people. Adds researcher Dr. Ines Barroso,

“As anticipated, we found that obese people had a higher genetic risk score than normal weight people, which contributes to their risk of being overweight. The genetic dice are loaded against them.”

The research supports previous studies, which have suggested that though a number of variables dictate weight gain (or loss), your natural metabolism has a lot to do with how you look.

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With obesity posing a huge health risk, particularly in Western countries like the US and the UK, these researchers hope their findings will help doctors and laypeople alike gain a more attenuated understanding of what causes it – and how we can adjust our weight-loss strategies accordingly.

The study might also lead to different approaches in the future, as our science continues to advance. Professor Farooqi suggests,

“If we can find the genes that prevent them from putting on weight, we may be able to target those genes to find new weight loss strategies and help people who do not have this advantage.”

Which is to say, you might be able to find a diet and exercise routine that compliment your genetic makeup, therefore not applying unrealistic standards and goals in each specific case.

We can dream, anyway.

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Son Posts Mom’s Painting Online, Sets off a Chain Reaction of Creativity

Having your work critiqued is always difficult. It’s a very vulnerable position to put yourself in, because you never know how someone will react to your work.  Particularly for beginners, it can be a disheartening process.

A Reddit user wanted to encourage his mother, Cindi Decker, to stick with her artwork, so he decided to post a photo of her holding one of her first paintings.

Here is the photo of Decker and her painting with the caption, “My mom painted this and said no one would like it. It’s her 2nd painting.”

Photo Credit: Imgur

Little did mother and son know that the online floodgates were going to open, in a good way. A Reddit user suggested “Someone paint the photo of his mom holding her painting and repost it with the same title for extra extra karma.” And what do you know…

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And then, well…the Internet spiraled into a vortex of fun creativity.

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And we continue further…

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Cindi Decker said of all the hoopla, “Even though people say, ‘You inspired me to paint,’ I don’t know that it was so much me. I really give credit to the first artist who painted. You know, I’m not a painter. I’m just somebody who went out and did a little painting thing, so I got lucky to get caught up in all this fun craziness.”

I love when the Internet comes together for good instead of evil! Let’s see more of this!

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Woman Shares a Heartbreaking Photo of Her Mother’s Decline After Her Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

Degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s are absolutely devastating. They affect not just the person suffering, but also all the loved ones who can only watch helplessly as someone they love so much gradually fades away. Alzheimer’s steals a person’s mind and memories. What’s worse, as the Reddit post below illustrates with heartbreaking accuracy, it also robs them of what makes them unique.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

A 34-year-old Redditor from Camden, NJ, posted a photo that captures exactly what Alzheimer’s took from her mother — her ability to crochet, along with so much else.

The photograph shows 14 crocheted pieces that the woman knitted during the 2 years after her diagnosis, and the progression is breathtaking in the worst way possible.

You can clearly see her abilities fade along with her mind as she goes from knitting squares to circles to nothing at all.

“She made squares for a while, then the circles, then the little pieces of crochet, until she got to the point where she just carried around the needles and yarn in her purse,” the woman’s daughter wrote. “It has been a few years since she was able to speak and several since she was able to identify who I am.”

Photo Credit: Reddit

Her mother is just 66, and has already lived 12 years with her diagnosis, though it’s surely hard to say whether that is a blessing or a curse.

Others on Reddit responded with commiseration, stories of their own experience with the disease, and simple messages of encouragement to remind the woman she’s far from alone.

Photo Credit: Reddit

If you’re worried someone you love might be showing signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia, or if someone you love is suffering and you’re struggling to cope, please call the Alzheimer’s Association Helpline at 1-800-272-3900.

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De-Cluttering Your Home Will Actually Make Your Kids Happier, Too

Marie Kondo’s recent Netflix series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” has inspired people everywhere to take stock of how much stuff they own and probably don’t need. I’m actually doing it myself, and the method is easy to follow and really does help you become more mindful about your possessions and patterns of consumption. What’s more, decluttering has now been proven to not only increase the happiness of the adults in the home, but also kids.  According to psychologist Dr. Ryan Sinclair, there is a “direct relationship…between clutter and tension” that can increase stress levels for human beings in general.

That means clutter could be negatively affecting your child’s happiness, as well.

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First off, what is clutter? It’s not the dirty clothes left on the floor instead of tossed in the hamper, and it’s not the pile of crap in that one chair that never seems to stay empty for more than a couple of hours.

Lisa Krohn, a professional organizer, told Romper that while messiness isn’t anything to panic about, true clutter can signal a larger problem, and can have an impact on a child’s wellbeing.

“Clutter causes confusion, accidents, paralyzes children from making decisions, and creates anger and temper tantrums. Clutter is too hard to process. They can’t see the forest through the trees.”

Who knew you could blame your kid’s tantrums on your space instead of your parenting or their general toddler mood swings?

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In a 2016 article in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, scientists argue that being in an overly-cluttered space can lead to a cluttered mind unable to function as cleanly as it would in a tidy environment. Similarly, a study in Environment and Behavior found similar results with students learning in cluttered classroom environments – they had a harder time completing their work to the best of their ability.

If your kids’ play space is a total disaster, with each and every item not having a “home” to return to when cleaning up, the little ones will instinctively avoid the area for their own mental well-being – even if they don’t know why they’re averse to playing there.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

The good news is, you and the kids can tidy the space together, and everyone will be the better for it. Your children will feel a sense of reward by completing a task that leads to a positive effect on themselves, as well as others.

A tip from the professionals: Kids need clear, visual clues in order to truly be able to help keep their own spaces tidy. That means clearly labelling boxes and drawers so that they know where things go at the end of the day.

Still, they’re kids, so don’t expect perfection or for crap-pile to disappear seemingly overnight. Just keep in mind how much better it is for everyone when you pitch a bunch of their stuff while they’re over at grandma’s.

Everyone will be happier for your sneakiness. Fact.

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Dad Melts Hearts with His Wheelchair-Accessible Snow Fort

Parenting is a hard job, and I’m literally only saying that with the experience of being a puppy parent! Whether you have a fur baby or a real baby, it’s hard to always find the energy to play with them – especially when it’s cold outside.

That’s why I gotta give mad props to Greg Eichhorn of Ohio, who is a father to 9 adopted, special needs children. Although two of those kids are wheelchair-bound, Greg figured that shouldn’t stop them from enjoying a snow fort like every other kid on the block.

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“We built a bigger igloo – one that had a handicap-accessible hole so Elijah and Zahara could experience it, because I did when I was a kid,” he explained.

The adorable, thoughtful act garnered attention on social media when a friend of Eichhorn shared a picture of the fort and his buddy’s ingenuity on Reddit.

Comments poured in and were, true to Reddit form, all over the board. That said, the majority of people thought he was a pretty awesome dad for not only getting out there, but going above and beyond to ensure that all of his children were able to enjoy the day.

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As far as Eichhorn himself, he doesn’t think he did anything special. But he is using his moment in the spotlight to advocate for adoption.

“Our family is getting kind of full and it would be great if people stepped up, took on the same roles and enjoyed the kind of joy that we do. Because yeah, we get a lot of joy out of life.”

What’s more, when people reached out with offers to donate money to Eichhorn and his family, he declined, suggesting they donate the money to their local adoption agencies instead.

He sounds like a stand-up guy – and one with some pretty serious snow fort building skills. I’m not sure what else you need to be voted Dad of the Year.

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