5 Ways Homes Were Designed To Stay Cool Before Air Conditioning

Air conditioning was invented in 1902 and came to the first home (in Minnesota) in 1914. But what did people do before there was such thing as air conditioning? The design of the home was the crucial factor. Here are a few home styles designed to maximize your chances of not dying from heat stroke:

1. The Dogtrot

Interesting name, right? The dogtrot takes its name from the breezeway between the two halves of a home — that your dog could, literally, trot through. Both sides could get fresh air, and the porch overhang shielded the front windows from the sun/rain. This style of architecture was popular on 1800s Southern plantations.


2. Sleeping Porch

As the name might suggest, folks used to sleep on porches in the days pre-A/C. This is the sleeping porch from Eleanor Roosevelt’s home in Hyde Park, New York.

RELATED: Here Are 6 Plants That Will Help Keep Your House Naturally Cool


3. The Shotgun

Another Southern tradition, the narrow width of the house meant the windows and the doors could take better advantage of cross-ventilation. The overhang roof shielded the occupants from the sun and rain, too. (Of course, on “The Waltons,” they were always sweating in the heat, and plopped down on the porch with hand-held fans. Livvy, how about some more of that lemonade?)

4. The Cupola

The small dome that sticks up at the very top is supposed to allow for ventilation, on the theory that hot air rises. Fresh air would flow through the tall windows and doors shielded by the porch.

Creative Commons

5. Shutters, Trees & Vines

One of the keys to keeping a home cool is to block out the sun. Shutters and strategically planted trees keep the sun at bay while vines, despite being bug super-highways, help keep walls insulated and cool.

RELATED: This Tiny Portable Air Conditioner Will Keep You Cool Wherever You Go

Closed French Window with Ivy. Ivy is encroaching on the shutters of this traditional French window.

Other Ways To Save On Air Conditioning

Of course, these days there are other things we can do around the house in order to keep the temps (and electricity bills) low. Consider closing the blinds in order to block warmth from sunlight. According to Family Handyman, “Shading blocks direct sunlight through the roof and windows, which is responsible for about half of the heat gain in your home.”


Regularly changing the filter in your air unit and nixing oven usage when temps are high can also help reduce air conditioning use. And did you know certain plants, like aloe vera and various ferns, can contribute to a cooler at-home atmosphere?

Yeah, nature is pretty cool like that.

Here’s How To Turn Bottle Caps Into Tiny Containers

Tiny is IN. Have you seen how popular tiny houses are? We rest our case. And now, you can take run-of-the-mill bottle caps, like from soft drinks or water bottles, and turn ’em into tiny little containers that you can use for…well, tiny little stuff. Like your daily vitamins, or earrings perhaps! Here’s all you need to do.

1. Get A Two-Liter Soft Drink

Once you’ve finished that soda, don’t throw the bottle away!


2. And You’ll Need One More Cap

Might serve you well to have two two-liter bottles, actually.


3. Grab Some Scissors

Now, it’s time to get crafty.


4. Along With A Tube Of Glue

Gather all of the supplies, of course.


5. Now, Cut The Bottle In Half

And it’s time to put them to work.


6. Cut Until Only The Neck Remains

Just keep cutting, just keep cutting!


7. Wind Up With This

Ta-Da! The (nearly) finished product.


8. Squirt Some Glue On

Apply some glue to the opposite end of where the cap screws on.


9. Take One Of The Caps

You’ll use the glue to secure the second cap in place.


10. And Smoosh It On

There you go!


11. The Other Cap Screws On Top!

Now, screw the other top into place.


You’ve just created your very own container. What will you do with it? Maybe put some hand cream or lotion in there. Who knows? The possibilities are endless!


Here’s the complete clip so you can do it for yourself:

[h/t: LittleLeyWorld and 5-Minute Crafts]

Here’s The Story Behind Glögg And Mulled Wine—And How To Make Your Own

Mulled wine and glögg are favorite festive beverages for the holiday season. Just the thought of a mug of one makes you feel all cozy. But have you ever wondered what exactly is in each and if there’s any difference between the two? If so, read on as we demystify these warming winter drinks.

According to The Huffington Post, mulled wine “is the English term for the drink that resembles glögg, Sweden’s festive wine beverage, but there are a few difference between the two that should be noted.”

Mulled Wine

Wikipedia states that mulled wine is a “beverage of European origins usually made with red wine along with various mulling spices and sometimes raisins. It is served hot or warm and is alcoholic, although there are non-alcoholic versions of mulled wine.” The traditional drink is popular in the winter, especially around the holidays.


Glögg is basically a turbo-charged version of mulled wine that derives from Sweden. The Swedes add a lot more alcohol to the mix. HuffPo mentions that they usually go with aquavit, a popular Scandinavian spirit, or perhaps vodka. They also add dried fruit and nuts, which are then eaten with a spoon straight from the glass or mug.

If this sounds tasty to you and you want to try making your own authentic glögg, here’s what you’ll need:

  • orange
  • Turkish brown figs
  • raisins
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • star anise
  • cardamom
  • dry red wine
  • bourbon
  • vodka
  • sugar
  • carmelized almonds

Get the full instructions in the video, courtesy of Marcus Jenmark, who at the time this video was filmed was executive chef of New York City restaurant Aquavit. Merry Christmas! Or, as they say in Stockholm, “God Jul!”

Disney’s DuckTales Is Returning To TV With An All-Star Cast

What’s old is new again. Disney is going back to their archives and bringing back one of their most popular shows. The rebooted DuckTales is coming back to TV.

Set to launch in summer 2017 on Disney XD, they’ve just released some info that you (and your kids) need to know about—namely, the cast and the new take on the classic theme song (Duck Tales, woo hoo!).

Disney ABC

The cast runs down like this:

  • David Tennant (Doctor Who, Jessica Jones) as Scrooge McDuck
  • Danny Pudi, Ben Schwartz and Bobby Moynihan (SNL) will voice perpetual mischief makers Huey, Dewey and Louie.
  • Beck Bennett (SNL) will play Launchpad McQuack
  • Toks Olagundoye (Castle) will be behind the mic as Mrs. Beakley
  • Kate Micucci (Raising Hope) as the voice of Webby Vanderquack

Mashable reports that we can look for appearances from characters like “Donald Duck, Flintheart Glomgold, Gyro Gearloose, Duckworth, Gizmoduck, Magica DeSpell, Gladstone Gander, and Ma Beagle and the Beagle Boys.”

In a release, SVP of Programming/GM of Disney XD Mark Buhaj said, “‘DuckTales’ has a special place in Disney’s TV animation history, it drew its inspiration from Disney Legend Carl Barks’ comic books and through its storytelling and artistic showmanship, set an enduring standard for animated entertainment that connects with both kids and adults. Our new series will bring that same energy and adventurous spirit to a new generation.’”

The original show ran from 1987-1990, and the DT gang was also included in a feature film, “DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp.”

This reboot will have taken two years to get back to the small screen as the project was first announced back in 2015.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nY_xCXE0sIc”/]

Get Ready For A Meteor Shower-Supermoon Combo Tuesday Night

The skies overhead are about to become quite busy. We’re in for the Geminid meteor shower and a supermoon at the same time!

Here’s how it will go: The Geminid meteor shower, known for producing as many as 120 meteors an hour at its peak, is one of the most popular showers of the year, according to Accuweather. The meteors will start around 9 or 10 p.m. local time on Tuesday, Dec. 13. Your best bet to catch the meteor shower is generally the night-of, though EarthSky says it may be worth checking out the sky the night before and after as well.

Coincidentally, the last supermoon of the year will appear on Tuesday, December 13 at 7:05 p.m. EST. A supermoon is a full moon that’s slightly closer to Earth and so appears larger and brighter than usual.


Unfortunately, the combination of the bright light from the supermoon plus the cloud cover that is expected around much of the country means it may be tough to catch the Geminid meteors this year.

Still, it’s worth attempting to view the shower. In order to get the best possible viewing bang for your buck, try and do your viewing in a remote area where there’s not a lot of competing light. Space.com says the meteors should be going strong for about 10 hours during their peak on Tuesday night into early Wednesday.

Flickr | Anthony Quintano

Want to learn more?

Astronomer Bill Cooke of the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center will be hosting a live tweet chat on the meteor shower, and you get more information on that here. Just ask a question on Twitter using #askNASA or @NASA_Marshall. Cooke and two others will be answering your Twitter queries starting December 13 at 10 p.m. CST until 2 a.m. CST the following morning.

New Kids On The Block, Paula Abdul And Boyz II Men Announce 2017 Tour

They were the soundtrack to an MTV-powered era. Hook filled songs (and videos!) like “Forever Your Girl” from Paula Abdul, “Step By Step” from New Kids On The Block (AKA “NKOTB”) and “End of the Road” from Boyz II Men left a lasting mark on the ’80s-’90s Walkman generation.

So dust off your high top Reebok Freestyles, those Miami Vice shades and your neon jacket, because all three of these acts are coming to a venue near you beginning in May of 2017.

“We’re bringing happy back,” said New Kid Donnie Wahlberg on The Today Show, where they made the announcement. Tickets are on sale now for this package tour which kicks off in Columbus, Ohio on May 12 before making its way around the country. (I worked in radio in the 1980s and 1990s, so when I say New Kids created a Beatles-like hysteria in downtown Cincinnati, I am not joking.)

Here’s the “Total Package” tour schedule, and Ticketmaster’s got the tickets.

As Matt Lauer noted during the announcement, the three acts have sold more than 200 million albums collectively. There are sure to be some superfans purchasing tickets right about now. Maybe you’ve seen Boyz II Men or NKOTB in recent years, but Abdul hasn’t toured in more than two decades!

Here’s a walk down memory lane:

New Kids On The Block “Step By Step”

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycZdVI-gQxs”]

Boyz II Men “End of the Road”

Paula Abdul “Opposites Attract”

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xweiQukBM_k”]

The Disney Store Is Looking For Work-From-Home Reps In 7 States

The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.

Now is the time of the year when some companies take on extra staffing to handle the expected holiday shopping crunch. (Like Amazon, for example.) If you’re a big Disney fan—and we know you are—here’s a part-time work-from-home position right up your alley for the holidays and beyond.

Let’s get a few points out of the way first, though:

  • You’ll be a Cast Member/Guest Services Rep.
  • For this part-time, non-exempt, work-from-home gig, you must live in either Florida, South Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Nevada, Illinois or Mississippi.
  • You must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and a reliable high-speed net connection. (And a reliable computer, natch.)

There are a few other details, but if you’re at least in one of those states, it’s worth your time to read on as we’ve listed other work-from-home opportunities below! (You may also want to send this to any friends or family you may have in one of these seven states!)

The position requires a flexible schedule that may require you to take call-in shifts during evening, holiday and weekend hours. Per the job description, duties include:

  • Answering inbound calls and email-assisting guests, providing impeccable guest service.
  • Contacting guests via outbound calls as instructed by supervisory staff.
  • Identifying and resolving issues that impact our guests’ experiences.
  • Channeling escalated issues to appropriate supervisors/managers.

As The Penny Hoarder states, maybe you can even break out your Donald Duck voice in this role.

disney photo
Photo by JeepersMedia

If you have previous retail or customer service experience and live in one of the seven states, this job may truly be for you. Under the “preferred qualifications” section, The Mouse House states “Previous experience in contact center or retail or service industry,” as well. So while you don’t have to have that, they’d like it a lot.

Apply here! (You’ll need to make a Disney account if you don’t have one.) If you’re looking for other Disney positions with a similar WFH scenario, check here.

If you’re looking for other work from home employment opportunities (and don’t live in one of the states above), Amazon has a bunch of them in over 20 states. Click HERE to check out the details.

Here’s some fun facts about Disney:

Looking for other work-from-home opportunities? There are several other positions currently available, including the following:

1. Marvelous Mouse Travels

This two-year old company includes 100 part-time travel agents working from home from around the country, and they are looking to hire more. As the name suggests, they specialize in booking Disney trips, but also do Universal Studios and Sandal resorts.

The Penny Hoarder features a positive review from one MMT agent, Nicole Scott.

“I loved planning trips to Disney for myself and friends, so I figured what could be better than getting paid for it? I love to travel, so planning trips for others is a bunch of fun for me,” she says. Scott says works just five hours a week and makes approximately $1,000 a month, which works out to about $50 an hour.

Of course, a reliable computer and net connection is required. Kari Bonnes, the owner of MMT, says some agents make $35,000-40,000 a year, working just part-time.

“I offer generous commissions to my agents plus referral bonuses,” Bonnes told The Penny Hoarder.

You need to be a big Disney destination fan and have a pretty thorough knowledge of their layouts, too. Sound good? Click here to apply.

2. CVS

In order to be eligible for this Customer Care position, you have to live in Arizona, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee or Texas. Plus, for the first six months, the position is not remote—you’ll work at a call center anywhere from 20 to 28 hours a week. Hours will increase to 40 from January to March, with overtime a possibility.

In this customer service role, you’ll take calls about everything from drug refills to insurance coverage. You need a high school diploma and at least six months of experience as a customer service rep. Experience being a “caregiver” and previous call center experience are both preferred but not required. As The Penny Hoarder says “pay is competitive with a potential quarterly bonus. After six months of employment and ‘measurable success,’ you can work from home.” So there you go.

3. Lurn

This company has been in business for over a decade, and offers training for those interested in building a digital publishing business. And now, the company needs a Customer Happiness Specialist!

This customer service position can be done remotely from anywhere in the U.S. You’ll get a new MacBook Pro or PC, and your high speed internet access costs are reimbursed. According to Lurn’s site, other highlights include “highly competitive salaries and bonuses depending on performance. The more you contribute, the more you make. No joke—some team members make double their salaries in bonuses!” Apply here.

4. Amazon

Looking to make a little extra money for the holiday shopping season? Amazon is hiring seasonal customer service associates to help answer customers’ questions and problem-solve any issues.

It’s important to note upfront that Amazon requires that you MUST live in one of the following states in order to be eligible for these work from home positions: Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin or Virginia. Learn more here.

Plus check out other retailers that are hiring work-from-home reps for the holidays here.

There’s A Natural Way To Turn Your Food Bright Purple

The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.

When it comes to “eating the rainbow” (aka, a simple way to remember to eat a bunch of different fruits and vegetables for optimum health), we’ve got most of the colors covered. Red apples, orange apricots, yellow squash, green asparagus and so on. That is, until you get to the whole “BIV” section of the Roy G. Biv spectrum of the rainbow. In other words, outside of an eggplant’s deep-hued skin, you don’t see many purple fruits or vegetables.

But have you ever heard of “ube”? It’s a Tagalog word (pronounced “ooh-beh”) for “purple yam.” These yams look kind of gray on the outside, but they are bright purple on the inside.

Ube is a hit in many Asian countries, especially in the Philippines. According to the Huffington Post, “The yam tastes, well, like a yam—pleasantly sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. Some say it has an almost floral flavor. It pairs perfectly with the taste of coconut, which is why so many Filipino desserts are a combination of ube and macapuno (the abnormally soft flesh of mutant coconuts).”

Mutant coconuts?

Anyway. Look for the ube root (not to be mistaken for a taro root or Okinawan sweet potato—HuffPo says ube has a distinctive flavor all its own) at a Filipino or Asian market. And if you can’t find it there, purple yam jam, powder or extract are also great ways to experience ube’s color and flavor. (Amazon has quite a selection.)


Some of the things you can make with ube look terrific. The above photo is called ube kalamay—a purple rice cake.

And this crazy-awesome-looking drink below is called a haluhalo: “Shaved ice soaked in condensed milk and topped with a combination of syrups, ube halaya, flan, fruit, jellies and sweet red bean.” Just a simple little drink, right?


After your shaved ice, try one of these “Ube Baes” donuts from the Manila Social Club restaurant in Brooklyn on for size.


“Every Friday we make 40 dozen ube donuts, and they all sell out,” Manila Social Club chef Björn DelaCruz told GQ. “People come back, and there is a three-week waiting period.”

There are a lot (and I do mean a lot) of ube recipes on YouTube.

Maybe some ube ice cream? Sure thing:

Homemade ube jam? Right here:

Why not try ube next time you need to inject a little color into your menu?

Photo by oh sk