When we rounded up our staff’s Weekly Upgrades last Saturday, our editors were working on our positivity, making decadent sandwiches at home, keeping cleaner kitchens, and nursing ourselves back to health.
This week, we’re figuring out ways to stay warm in a cold snap, embracing the help of modern medicine, experimenting with high-tech notebooks, and using social media to collaborate with friends.
What upgrades did you make this week? Let us know in the comments.
Cold weather is for hot water bottles
A recent US East Coast cold snap got the gears in my brain turning, and forced me to figure out how to keep my humble abode warm as my pitiful space heater breathed its approximation of hot air into my bedroom. The solution? Water bottles. In particular, hot water bottles stuffed under my bedsheets, as suggested by our resident health expert Beth Skwarecki. Now, instead of cold blankets and the uncomfortable initial bout of shivering, my bed greets me (and my feet) with a warm embrace every night. Pro tip: Set an alarm an hour before you want to hit the sack to prep your water bottles and give the heat time to permeate your bed.
Patrick Austin, Staff Writer
Abandon clunky rain boots
I got shorter weatherproof shoes for everyday use on rainy days, and I feel as though I’ve seen the light after years of walking around in cumbersome rainboots/snowboots when it’s only minimally rainy/snowy out.
Emily Lipstein, Social Media Editor
Microwave your notebook
I got a Wave microwaveable notebook ($US25 [$32]). I laughed when I first saw these, but after cleaning out my office I suddenly appreciate them. Notebooks are hard to throw out, OK? You always feel like you’re going to need them someday. This one comes with a scanner app that is surefire and painless to use (unlike all other scanner apps, sorry) so when you’ve run out of pages and everything is in the cloud, you just microwave the notebook to erase the ink and then start over. The catch is it comes with a Pilot Frixion pen and if you lose it, you can’t just use any old pen (the ink has to be heat-erasable, you see). So I’ve ordered extra pens, like a sucker. I’ll report back after my first microwaving.
Beth Skwarecki, Health Editor
Automate your pharmacy pickups…
I finally downloaded my pharmacy’s app and signed up for text message alerts, which lets me manage my prescription information more easily and notifies me when they’re ready for pickup.
Alicia Adamczyk, Staff Writer
…and stop resisting pharmaceuticals
I did not think I’d ever be shilling for Big Pharma on Lifehacker, but I also never thought I’d be the person who got the flu shot and then got the flu. I’d gotten arrogant about how rarely I get sick, and then I was felled. I was pleasantly surprised on my trip to the pharmacy Cold & Flu aisle to find it a veritable cocktail bar. You can get the exact medication you need to treat the exact constellation symptoms you have; no more, no less. I am here with you today thanks to pharmaceuticals. I usually steer clear of medication when I have a cold, thinking the side effects aren’t worth it, but I have come to the conclusion that sometimes they are actually very effective.
Melissa Kirsch, Editor-in-Chief
Use Twitter for good instead of evil
I recently started a viral collaborative Twitter thread, the kind where one person asks for everyone’s stories. You should start one too! A good thread feels like holding court in the back corner of your favourite bar. To keep the thread active, quote-tweet the best responses with a few encouraging words. One note on formatting: Don’t say “quote this tweet”, just ask the question.
Nick Douglas, Staff Writer
Double down on the bodysuit trend
My upgrade this week is declaring this “the year of the bodysuit”. They stay put, they make my boobs look good, and they are very cheap at Target.
Claire Lower, Food and Beverage Editor
Add something new to your Instagram feed
I follow the wonderful illustrator Mari Andrew on Instagram, and she makes my feed so much better. Her drawings show that all the little things – our random curiosities, the passing thoughts we never tell anyone, the tiniest specks of joy we just happen to notice – are in fact, the big things.
Michelle Woo, Parenting Editor
Shop around for the perfect backpack
I finally found a medium-weight camera bag that I love. This $US80 ($102) Beaspire bag is perfect so far in all my tests and I’ll be taking it with me to Japan! (Tip: Always thoroughly test out a backpack at home before you travel with it).
Patrick Allan, Staff Writer