Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Things I Learned in November

I'm a little late with this, and I didn't remember to keep track this time as closely as before, but I still have to share a couple of brilliant lifehacks from last month. Without further ado, with a nod to Emily at Chatting at the Sky, a few things I learned in November:

1. How to peel a head of garlic in ten seconds without a knife. Really. I use a LOT of garlic, and peeling it is always a pain. I tried this out after seeing the video, and it really does work. It took more than ten seconds, and that was only about three or four cloves, but still! Life changing. I can't wait until the next time I make this soup. I usually quadruple it, which means peeling 20 cloves of garlic. I know the "smash it with the side of your knife" trick but that only helps so much. This one will blow your mind. (P.S. That soup? If you didn't click the link, go back and click it. Print it and make it ASAP. You're welcome.)

2. How to de-seed a pomegranate. I don't often buy these, because they're just not worth the trouble. But learning this may make me change my mind. I'm not linking to the video because it was maddening--it was advertised as "how to de-seed a pomegranate in thirty seconds" and then you have to sit through a solid two minutes of inane blabbering before the guy even *starts* showing you! Ain't nobody got time for that! You don't need a video anyway--just score the pomegranate all the way around, break it in half, and then hold each half loosely over a bowl and whack the daylights out of the outside of it with a wooden spoon. This really does work...but you will want to wear an apron and make sure you are working somewhere that can be easily wiped, because you will end up with red juice spattered everywhere. 

3. It seems like every month I give a nod to a company I'm pleased with...this month it is L.L.Bean. I just love them. We had an issue with one of Jude's sneakers, where it was like something underneath the lining in the heel broke and was sticking out weird. They shipped out a new pair immediately. I am willing to pay a bit more for sneakers and backpacks and jackets and such when I know they will be excellent quality, durable, and backed up by L.L.Bean's satisfaction guarantee.

4. How to get rid of the hiccups: Take a deep breath, exhale completely, and swallow twice. It totally works. Forever grateful to a friend of a Facebook friend for that gem.

5. Jellyfish can't locomote. Loved World magazine's interview with Phil Vischer (creator of VeggieTales) and his spiritual reflections on that fact.

6. I've often heard and thought about Proverbs 29:18, "For lack of vision the people perish," as some sort of call to setting goals, casting a vision, writing a mission statement, etc. But in the interview linked above, Phil Vischer also pointed out that that verse doesn't apply to our ambitions. I was challenged and fascinated by his story and the way he's taking his new company in a different direction (and also thrilled to know that he sees and regrets how VeggieTales were cute and clever, but Christ-less moralism).

7. Patience pays off. To make a long story short, I finally got the iPhone I've been wanting for a long time--and paid less than half of what I was prepared to pay for a smartphone earlier this year. Super excited. A few apps I have been using and liking so far:
  • Pocket - for saving blog posts and articles to read later. Much better (quicker, easier) than saving them to Delicious with an "unread" tag and never coming back to them. 
  • Feedly - for the handful of blogs I want to keep up with but don't get in my Facebook news feed
  • ESV Bible - so handy. Do we realize how astounding this is, that we can have the entire text of God's Word in a device that fits in our pockets?!
  • TrueHDR - got a couple of great fall color photos with this. Perfect for those situations when the scene has a lot of contrast and either the sky is blown out or the details are too dark (which, incidentally, also says a lot about the magnificent design of our eyes, that we can naturally absorb all that beauty simultaneously in ways a camera can't!). 
  • Vyrso - haven't used this much yet, but I purchased a book through here and I love the idea of having the Bible linked to the book so you can easily look at a passage the author mentions.
How about you - what have you learned lately?


Danielle said...

I love Feedly, and know a lot who love Pocket but I've not gotten into that one.

Ok, you've got to join Instagram. Yes, you must. I'd personally ditch Facebook any day. Instagram is the one social media tool I really LOVE. Another photography one is PicTapGo. LOVE IT. I take almost all my pics with it and then upload to Instagram. So easy! I also like ESV Bible app and PBS Kids for when I need the kids to be quite somewhere for an emergency or long waits. :)

jennymarie1981 said...

I married into LL Bean. Seriously, my husband is from Maine and practically half of his parents' house is from there. His Grandmother ALWAYS gets us gift cards for Christmas too. Such a great company. Good to their employees, good, true fit, and great customer service :)

TJ said...

I will have to try your pomegranate deseeding method. I eat lots of pomegranates with yogurt and bananas for breakfast.