Blog Posts by Real Simple Magazine

  • 5 Quick Rituals for a Better Day

    Tara Moore/Getty ImagesTara Moore/Getty ImagesFive experts provide fresh ideas for carving out small pockets of calm during even the most hectic, hair-raising times.

    By Stephanie Booth

    Eat the Same Breakfast Every Day
    There's something to be said for consistency. Knowing exactly what you're going to eat-and when-decreases stress and sets you up for a less harried morning. Plus, your mood won't determine what you put on your plate (making it less likely that you'll find yourself eating a glazed doughnut). Choose a healthy dish that you enjoy: an omelet with vegetables, oatmeal with seeds and nuts, or Greek yogurt with muesli and fruit, for example. You'll begin your day with energy as well as certainty.

    --Susan Kleiner, Ph.D., is a registered dietitian and a coauthor of The Good Mood Diet ($24, amazon.com).

    See More: 9 Easy, Healthy Breakfast Ideas

    Savor Your Coffee
    How long did it take you to down your last cappuccino? Next time, take a cue from the Japanese, whose formal tea ceremony can last four hours. Before taking a drink,

    Read More »from 5 Quick Rituals for a Better Day
  • 4 quick rituals for a better day

    Tara Moore/Getty ImagesTara Moore/Getty ImagesFive experts provide fresh ideas for carving out small pockets of calm during even the most hectic, hair-raising times.

    By Stephanie Booth

    Eat the Same Breakfast Every Day
    There's something to be said for consistency. Knowing exactly what you're going to eat-and when-decreases stress and sets you up for a less harried morning. Plus, your mood won't determine what you put on your plate (making it less likely that you'll find yourself eating a glazed doughnut). Choose a healthy dish that you enjoy: an omelet with vegetables, oatmeal with seeds and nuts, or Greek yogurt with muesli and fruit, for example. You'll begin your day with energy as well as certainty.

    --Susan Kleiner, Ph.D., is a registered dietitian and a coauthor of The Good Mood Diet ($24, amazon.com).

    See More: 9 Easy, Healthy Breakfast Ideas

    Savor Your Coffee
    How long did it take you to down your last cappuccino? Next time, take a cue from the Japanese, whose formal tea ceremony can last four hours. Before taking a drink,

    Read More »from 4 quick rituals for a better day
  • 4 fixes for money worries

    These smart, simple suggestions will help you keep calm about your finances―and stay above water. By Lesley Alderman

    Stress less, starting now. If you could rewind your thoughts from a recent sleepless night, they might play back like this: Worry about money…wonder what you're making for the bake sale…worry about money…remember to wish your coworker a happy birthday…worry about―you guessed it. In these challenging times, money worries are never far from any of our minds. What makes matters worse is that most people have a "recency bias, which leads them to feel that the future will be no different from the recent past, which in this case was not so great," says Gary Belsky, coauthor of Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them ($14, amazon.com). How do you stop that negative cycle of worry and feel hopeful again? (Without winning the Powerball, that is.) Start by discerning between irrational worries that you can set aside and valid concerns that warrant

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  • The top 8 pet-owner mistakes

    Avoid common errors, and keep your four-legged pal healthy and well-behaved. By Megan Kaplan

    Mistake 1: Buying a Pet Spontaneously

    Why this is a mistake: That doggie in the window may be darling, but he might not be the right fit for your family or lifestyle.

    How to avoid it: Fully inform yourself before you bring home a pet. Every dog or cat has its own needs, some of which are specific to the breed. Terriers tend to dig; Abyssinians explore and climb. If there's a breed that interests you, read up on it (try the website of the American Kennel Club, at akc.org, or the Cat Fanciers Association, at cfainc.org), talk to owners, and get to know someone else's Border collie or Persian. That said, not every dog or cat is typical of its breed, so "ask about the pet's history, health, and temperament," says Stephanie Shain, a director at the Humane Society of the United States. When dealing with a breeder, you should be shown where the pet was raised and meet his parents.

    See More:

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  • Things your pet shouldn't eat


    You may share your backyard and even your bed, but it's probably best to avoid sharing a meal with man's best friend, or any other pet for that matter.


    Listed here, from most (1) to least (4) dangerous, are common foods and drinks that make pets sick. If you think your dog, cat, or bird has consumed one of these items and you are concerned, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435).



    1. Chocolate
    Why: Stimulates the nervous system and the heart. Poisonous to: All species, but dogs are most likely to eat dangerous quantities. Possible effects of poisoning: Vomiting, increased thirst, restlessness, agitation, increased or irregular heartbeat, increased body temperature, tremors, seizures.

    Related: Solutions to Common Pet Problems



    2. Grapes, Raisins
    Why: Damage the kidneys. Poisonous to: Dogs, cats. Possible effects of poisoning: Increased thirst, increased urination, lethargy, vomiting.



    3. Garlic, Onions
    Why:

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  • 10 fabulous recipes to make with Halloween candy

    Your kids have scared up way too much candy. Make the leftovers vanish with these sweet, creative treats. By Melissa Roberts


    Don't Miss:


    Which Halloween Candy Is Healthier?


    The Best Brownie Mixes


    New Uses for Halloween Items


    Read More »from 10 fabulous recipes to make with Halloween candy
  • 10 haunted places to visit

    Do you believe in ghosts? If you're one of those "seeing is believing" types, then it's about time you check out these infamous spots. Warning: Enter at your own risk.



    Don't Miss:


    Simple Halloween Costumes for the Family


    Spooky Halloween Décor


    How to Host a Pumpkin Carving Party

    Read More »from 10 haunted places to visit
  • New uses for lemons

    Lighten hair, brighten clothes, soothe sore throat-the secret talents of this citrus staple.



    And don't miss:


    How to Save On...


    66 All-Natural Cleaning Solutions


    10 Smart Uses for Old Plastic Bags



    Read More »from New uses for lemons
  • How to joke around with kids


    Real Simple asked seven very funny people for ways to get a child giggling (before laughing with you turns to laughing at you). By Rory Evans

    Toddlers

    Funny development: As powerless little creatures who can't even speak well (if at all) or walk well (if at all), "they love knowing the answer. And it's even sweeter-and funnier-when they know you're wrong," says Los Angeles pediatrician Harvey Karp, the creator of the book and DVD The Happiest Toddler on the Block ($15, amazon.com).

    Their comedy hero: You.

    Comedy gold: Adults making fools of themselves, or what Karp calls "playing the boob." Scour the kitchen for a sippy cup that's clearly in your hand; put a (clean) diaper on your head like it's the hat of a royal-wedding attendee.

    See More: A Guide to Cleaning and Fixing Toys

    Of course, toddlers are also suckers for "a zerbert [the classic raspberry] to the belly or other kinds of tickling," Karp says. (Even better: Let them tickle you.) Father of two Bert

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  • 10 new baking uses

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