Blog Posts by Real Simple Magazine

  • How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee

    It's the best part of waking up, but there are a million ways to brew it. Here, 2012 U.S. Barista Champion Katie Carguilo, from Counter Culture Coffee's training center, in New York City, spills the beans on her choice method.

    More on How to Fix 17 Basic Cooking Mistakes

    Jamie ChungThe Right Equipment
    Carguilo likes the clean, robust taste that comes from a manual dripper, since it filters out oil and sediment. And she's not alone. As basic as it is, the pour-over has become the latest thing at gourmet coffee shops. Cone-shaped drippers work fine, but Carguilo prefers the flat base of the Kalita Wave (shown at right, $38; filters, $13 for 100: shop.wreckingball "The grounds lie evenly, so the water saturates them equally," says Carguilo.

    The Right Water 
    If you don't like the flavor of your tap water, use filtered or bottled.

    More on The Best Dishwashing Detergents

    Fresh Grounds 
    Grind beans within a half hour of

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  • Back-to-Basics Beauty Tips and Tricks

    By Alexandra Gonzalez Repetto

    How to heal dry skin, ace eyeliner application, curl stick-straight hair, and master other beauty skills-each in three simple steps.

    More from

    Makeup Colors That Flatter Everyone

    Gentl & HyersMakeup Lessons
    How to Apply Foundation

    1. Smooth primer onto your face. This creates an even canvas and helps makeup last longer, especially if you have oily skin.

    2. Put a dot of foundation on each cheek and your chin, nose, and forehead.

    3. Blend from the center of your face outward, using a damp foundation brush or a makeup wedge for the thinnest coating. You can also blend with just your fingers- your body heat will help the formula melt into your skin for a more natural finish.

    Extra credit: If your foundation tends to cake up, especially in the creases around your nose and under your eyes, smooth it out with a fingertip's worth of eye cream.

    More from
    4 Affordable, Effective Skin-Care Routines

    How to Apply Highlighter
    1.Form the letter C

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  • 6 Products for Naturally Glowing Skin

    By Alexandra Gonzalez Repetto

    Even if winter weather keeps you indoors, you can maintain a healthy glow with these products.

    More on

    Ways to Treat Acne

    Plamen PetkovBenefit Cosmetics 10
    Scared of highlighters and bronzers? A compact duo makes the two products super-wearable and a snap to apply. Swirl and swipe the powders on cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, and just above the brow to get the perfect glow.

    To buy:

    St. Tropez Tanning Essentials Anti-Ageing Face

    Avoid streaks-and the sun!-with a hydrating face cream that gradually "tans" skin with every use. Its fragrance is tropical, instead of the often-icky self-tanner aroma.

    To buy: $35,

    More on

    Younger Skin at Every Age

    Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow Pads
    Get a natural dose of Vitamin D with these exfoliating and firming pads. The textured application works to smooth skin, while the DHA and soy proteins deliver long-lasting Read More »from 6 Products for Naturally Glowing Skin
  • Decoding Your Dog's Behavior

    Is Fido happy, scared, or lonely? Two dog experts divulge the clues to reading canine behavior.
    By Sean Cunningham

    Unless your dog is Lassie, you probably can't always tell what your beloved pup is thinking. Stanley Coren, Ph.D. (, whose books include How Dogs Think ($16,, The Intelligence of Dogs ($20,, and How to Speak Dog ($15,, and Jonathan Klein, founder of the "I Said Sit!" School for Dogs, in Los Angeles, offer their expert opinions on interpreting a dog's expressions and behaviors.

    Robyn LehrRobyn LehrSmiling
    Ever looked at your dog and thought, She's grinning at me? It turns out she is. Like humans, a dog "smiles" when it's content. The muscles in the body are relaxed, which you'll notice most by observing the face: Instead of clenching its teeth together, the dog lets its mouth hang open. The tongue is relaxed and hangs loosely, so that it's visible over the front of its teeth. The eyes are soft and the ears are straight. Bottom line: When

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  • How to Say No to Your Kids

    Saying no is never easy, but it's often necessary. Here are several ways to make it easier on both you and your kids.

    A version of this article originally appeared on

    No. It's a little word with a lot of influence, especially for parents. Maybe it's because of what happens after we say the word "no" (you know, the screaming and tantrum-throwing) that we skirt around it, try to disguise it and sometimes just don't say it all.

    "News flash: Kids need you to say 'no,'" says Lori Freson, M.A., a licensed marriage and family therapist. "Children are not emotionally or developmentally equipped to make major decisions or rules, or to self-regulate. That's your job. And if you don't do it, your child will feel a sense of confusion and internal chaos, which could manifest itself in stomach aches, headaches, tantrums, and even ulcers."

    That's why it's a big deal every time you dodge "no" for the more kid-friendly "here, get distracted by this ice pop." But, we all know, putting

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  • The Best Time to Book Flights

    Follow these general and seasonal rules to get the best deals on your family's airfare.

    How to Get Deals

    Airline ticket prices continue to rise, but there are still deals out there. Knowing when to buy your tickets for spring break and the holiday season can help you save big. Kellie Pelletier, the airfare expert at Jetsetter, has the inside scoop on when to buy for each big travel season. Keep reading to get her advice.
    Carlos Davila/Getty ImagesCarlos Davila/Getty Images

    A version of this article originally appeared on

    Ground Rules for Getting the Best Airfare

    JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty ImagesJGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images
    Before going into the specifics of when to buy each ticket, she shared some basic rules:

    -Shop on Tuesday mornings. Fare sales are often launched Monday nights, so other airlines have matched their prices by Tuesday morning.

    -Search how full your flight is. You can tell if your flight is full or empty by starting to buy tickets online and "choosing your seat." That will show you how many seats are taken already.

    -Remember it's a

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  • What Do You Know About Love that You Wish You Had Known Earlier?

    Christopher Silas Neal on RealSimple.comWhen it comes to amore, we all have our coulda, woulda, shouldas. But maybe it's possible to have one or two fewer. This month readers share their hard-earned wisdom and advice- to save others from future heartache.

    I wish I had known that my relationship status has nothing to do with my personal worth. When I was a teenager, I spent so much emotional energy thinking that I needed a boyfriend to feel confident. But it turns out you need to love yourself before someone else can reciprocate.
    Brigette Indelicato
    Philadelphia, PA

    Related: 10 Creative Valentine's Crafts for Kids

    My short, unpleasant first marriage taught me that there's no need to rush things. My ex-husband and I knew each other for just seven months before we tied the knot. If we had waited longer, I doubt we would have said, "I do." Fortunately I'm now with someone who is patient. We dated for 2½ years before getting engaged, and we're waiting another 2½ years before walking down the aisle.
    Amanda C.

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  • 21 Cool Gifts for Kids

    One-of-a-kind ideas from our 2012 gift guide that will delight the little ones on your list.

    Gifts for Kids

    Gift-giving can be quite stressful when you've got Santa to compete with. We're rounded up more than 20 thrilling finds that are under $50.

    33 Creative, Inexpensive Stocking Stuffers
    9 Healthy Holiday Eating Strategies
    18 Great Gifts for MenRead More »from 21 Cool Gifts for Kids
  • How to Avoid Holiday Family Fights

    Greg ClarkeTis the season fights? Learn how to manage 15 classic difficult family personalities.

    Related: How to Make the Holidays More Affordable

    By Amanda Hinnant

    "Everyone's a child at Christmas," the saying goes. At Thanksgiving, however, everyone simply acts like one-petulant, complaining, unhelpful, boastful-as they all assume their prescribed roles. (You, of course, are perfect.) No matter how mature your relatives may be in everyday life, when thrown together in an old, familiar situation, they regress-and their "issues" take center stage. Why? Experience has taught them that this behavior succeeds in getting people to focus on them and their agendas, says Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families ($16,

    While you can't control the actions of your role-playing relatives, you can at least control your own reactions. Here, authorities on etiquette and family dynamics offer strategies for handling a tableful of problem

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  • 13 Stylish Holiday and Christmas Decorating Ideas

    By Krissy Tiglias
    Steve GiraltSteve GiraltFrom a charming mantel display to a decadent candy buffet, capture the true magic of the holiday season in festive touches that make the days all the more merry-and memorable. For some stylish inspiration, take a cue from these beautiful and simple-to-pull-together details.

    Related: Easy Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress

    Sweet Tidings

    The halls are decked, now bring colorful delight to the table with a sweet set-up of treats that never feel out of season. For the ultimate centerpiece, try a no-fuss arrangement filled with red and white peppermint balls and fluffy marshmallows. Call on ribbon candy, multicolored chocolates, and candy canes for making the perfect sides.

    Overhead Opulence

    Don't restrict magnificent baubles and sparkly snowflakes to the tree. Accentuate overhead lighting with shimmery decorations and stick to a fresh winter palette like pale blue and silver. Finish it off with an elegant satin ribbon gently dangling from the chandelier.


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