Blog Posts by Real Simple Magazine
Use these strategies and products to protect your face and body this season. By Sally Wadyka
Four-Step Summer Skin Routine
1. Cleanse in the a.m and p.m. If your face is greasy in the summertime (even if it's normally considered dry), try a less hydrating cleanser than you normally use-like a bar soap-which will help control the extra sebum your skin is producing.
2. Apply your antioxidants. The sun's rays can induce damaging free radicals, resulting in fine lines, sagging, and brown spots. "Using a serum with antioxidants under your moisturizer, preferably one with SPF, can help absorb some of these free radicals," says David E. Bank, a dermatologist and the director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery, in Mount Kisco, New York. Some of the most effective antioxidants include vitamin C, Idebenone, and green tea. Try Prevage Clarity Targeted Skin Tone Corrector with Idebenone ($125, elizabetharden.com).
3.Read More »from The best sunscreens (and summer skin-care tips)
Six acclaimed writers reflect on their most memorable years, from 4 to 64.
In those days, they were called spinsters. I knew them by name. Miss Prescott was a librarian at Columbia University. Miss Cutler was a watercolorist. Miss Jourdan, a novelist and a magazine editor. The ladies lived in the apartment one floor above ours, at 36 Gramercy Park, in New York City. In the afternoons, while my mother taught school, I climbed the back stairs and visited them.
Their apartment was dark: dark paneling, dark furniture, and maroon velveteen on the window seats. Most walls were lined with books. Others were adorned with shields with coats of arms, crossed swords, and ornate tapestries. There was a wastepaper basket made from a rhinoceros's foot and a little white elephant carved out of ivory. As a child, I found it highly interesting that someone would carve an elephant out of ivory but never commented on it.
Miss Prescott was tallRead More »from My most memorable age
New roles for items that can help you get dinner on the table.
Straw as Ketchup Unclogger
Insert a straw until it reaches the bottom of the glass bottle. Shake the bottle, then pour, leaving the straw inside. The airflow provided by the straw breaks the condiment-stopping vacuum.
Coffee Beans as Pie Weights
When prebaking a piecrust, use beans to keep it from puffing up or shrinking into the pie plate: Line the bottom and sides of the cold dough with foil and fill to the brim with beans.
Aluminum Foil as a Piecrust Protector
To prevent a piecrust from burning while the filling cooks, make a foil collar to deflect heat. Take a piece of foil about 25 inches long, fold it into thirds lengthwise, and fasten the ends with a paper clip. Halfway into the baking, slip the collar over the crust (as shown). Leave it on until the pie is done.
Aluminum Foil as a Funnel
Fashion aRead More »from Cooking new uses for old things
Procrastinators, take heart. You can make your escape as soon as this weekend-without blowing your bank account. Here's how. By Susan Stellin
Hit the road (on the cheap). If booking a plane ticket is too pricey, try taking the bus. (Yes, you heard us right.) New "premium" coach companies, like Megabus.com and BoltBus (boltbus.com), combine low prices with amenities such as onboard Wi-Fi. Travelers can land fares for as low as $1 (!) for a one-way ticket from New York City to Boston or Washington, D.C., though $15 to $20 is the average.
Embrace the new. Recently opened hotels typically reduce their rates to attract customers. Check out Hotelchatter.com, a daily webzine, for information on the latest bargains.
Go where the deals take you. Want to take off somewhere-really, anywhere-next weekend? Go to farecompare.com/dealfinder (a ticketing and travel-advice site)Read More »from How to save on last-minute travel
- Bored with plain old potato chips? Conquer the mid-day munchies with these delicious finds. By Maria Xerakia Read More »from 8 gourmet chips to fancy-up your picnic basket
Experts share their wisdom about the many delightful surprises that await you in your golden years. By Anne-Marie O'Neill
You'll Be Happier
As it turns out, most grumpy old people used to be grumpy young people. Aging doesn't turn a cheerful person into a grouch. To the contrary, research has shown that, as we age, we become more emotionally stable and content. In early adulthood, there are a lot of what-ifs: Am I going to find a soul mate? Have a child? Build a rewarding career? Then you spend the next few decades striving to achieve those goals. But when you're older, the what-ifs have been resolved. So you are less stressed and can-finally-relax.
Laura Carstensen, 57, is a psychologist and the director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, in Stanford, California.
Wise Decisions Will Come More EasilyRead More »from Great things about growing old
Scientists used to think that we lose a significant number of our brain cells as we
Real Simple readers share the paternal words of wisdom that have proved to be true in their lives, time and again.
My father taught me the importance of making my bed every morning. When I was six years old, he showed me how to complete the task Marine Corps-style and would inspect my work on a daily basis. Today my bed is one of the only things in my life that is consistently neat and orderly. (Sigh.)
Buffalo, New York
How important it is to have fun. My dad was never boring: He often stood on his head to impress his three kids. And he made even mundane errands exciting. For example, he once coaxed us to imagine a trip to the fishmonger's (with its live octopus on display) as a Jules Verne adventure. My dad taught me that life is better when you have a good time-and bring others along for the ride.
Monique Citron Stampleman
Larchmont, New York
Many mornings when myRead More »from Father knows best
- When ordinary condiments just won't cut the mustard, elevate your beloved beef patty with one of these mouth-watering combos. By Kristen Evans Dittami Read More »from 7 gourmet burger recipes
Gardening and decorating tips to transform your space.
Cover Bare Patches in Your Garden in an Instant
No matter how strategically you plan your garden, there's always that sad stretch of time when there isn't a blossom in sight. Here's what you do: When you're at the grocery store or the garden center, pick up four to six hanging plastic baskets of bright, noncascading perennials or annuals in full bloom (or buy one to two per 10 square feet of space). Daisies (shown here), scaevolas, and geraniums are hearty options that are widely available . Remove the hangers and nestle the flowers―baskets and all―among the foliage of plants not in bloom (the plastic containers are usually shallow enough to be hidden in leafy, mulched beds). The baskets can pinch-hit all season: Just move them around to fill in other barren patches as needed.
Create an Outdoor Water GardenRead More »from Shortcuts to a backyard makeover
Water has a calming effect, and you can set up a water