• Contributed PhotoContributed PhotoKickstart your entertaining with the perfect summer playlist!

    Whether you're throwing the perfect summer party, getting a summer project done or just lounging by the pool, the perfect playlist makes summer even sweeter. We've all got favorite songs from this summer's top hits - and from summers past. But here's a list of some songs to get your summer entertaining playlist started: Check them out after the break!

    (If you're not sure about how to make an iTunes playlist - it's easy! Check out the simple directions.)

    Here are some sounds, old and new, that you might like!

    The BeatlesContributed Photo"Here Comes the Sun"
    The Beatles

    It's hard to have a summer playlist without this amazing, perfect song. Of course, it's easier to buy the full Abbey Road CD, but if you don't want to, you can download it from iTunes.

    Related: 12 ways to build your own water park in your backyard

    PhoenixPhoenix"Everything is Everything"

    You've probably heard all the great tracks from their Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix album, but this album

    Read More »from 12 Songs You Need to Play at Your Next BBQ
  • Treat yourself to one of these great drives, islands, beach towns, lakes, or wilderness escapes .

    Kremmling, CO

    Splashy adventures in Kremmling, CO
    This a real-deal ranching town at the confluence of the Colorado, Blue, and Muddy Rivers serves up splashy outdoor adventures for summer, from rafting to dips in hot springs.
    > More: Splash around in Kremmling, CO

    Palm Springs, CA

    Poolside R&R in Palm Springs, CA
    Palm Springs in summer? Yep, we said it. Zero crowds, killer deals, and a pool around every corner make this the place to be.
    > More: Unwind by the pool in Palm Springs, CA

    Lander, WY

    Climb to your heart's content in Lander, WY
    Dip into Lander, Wyoming, a cool town of climbers, killer coffee, and cowboys. Epic hiking trails also await you there.
    > More: Get sporty in Lander, WY

    Scottsdale, AZ

    Sizzling deals in Scottsdale, AZ
    In Scottsdale, expect summer temps of triple digits with a chance of more triple digits. But hotels and resorts-even the ultraposh ones-drop their room rates by as much as

    Read More »from 42 Perfect Summer Trips
  • Labor Day marked the unofficial end of summer for many of us. I'm still not ready to call it quits with this summer, so I'm doing everything I can to maintain that carefree summer spirit for as long as I can!

    I know if I'm having a tough time with the end of summer vacation, chances are high that my kids miss the fun experiences, adventures and chill time they had over their break, too.

    I came up with a few simple ways that we can all savor summer memories:

    • Include a summer memory in your child's lunch. Write down a favorite summer moment -- riding a new roller coaster with your daughter, splashing around at the beach with your son -- on a note and tuck it in his or her school lunch.
    • Frame photos. Pick up a few basic frames and show off some of your best shots from summer. Swap them out every week until you're ready to bring on autumn decorations (sigh...when you really do have to give up on summer).
    • Create a summer vacation notebook. If your child is in third
    Read More »from 5 ways to savor summer memories
  • The brutal truth is that the calendar says, "September." But in many parts of the country, it's still crazy hot, and the potential for continued summer fun is as high as the humidity. And technically, we've still got a few weeks of summer left to go, right?

    I've got one last trip to the beach coming up, complete with lobster rolls and soaking up some vitamin D for the dark days ahead. The crowds will have cleared out, and there's something really special about the beach in September. Like going to the movies on a sunny afternoon, it feels like thumbing your nose at the rules. (Plus, at night, I'll slip a sweater over my swim suit and feel like an extra in the J. Crew catalog. Always a bonus).

    So for everyone else intent on enjoying every last moment: how will you keep the fun rolling this month?

    Read More »from How will you keep the summer fun rolling this month?

  • You're having a big blowout this weekend, right? Or at least a casual get-together to celebrate the end of summer in as many delicious ways possible. Even if you're not the one throwing the party, you don't want this summer to get away from you before trying the most amazing cocktails of all (summer) time. Just like the white clothes, after Labor Day, it may be time to put away these refreshing drinks in favor of the warm-ups that fall and winter require.

    More from The Stir: 3 Veggie Burgers That Will Have Meat-Lovers Fooled

    So hit your liquor store, and bring home enough ingredients for these five summer cocktails before it's too late!

    1. Raspberry Bourbon Lemonade

    My personal favorite, I put this together after having something similar in a Brooklyn restaurant. It will most definitely be on the menu this weekend.


    6 raspberries
    1.5 ounces bourbon (equivalent to a shot glass)
    6 ounces lemonade (regular or raspberry flavored)

    1. Muddle

    Read More »from 5 cocktails you must try before summer ends
  • Master the grill with these easy tips and techniques, plus a chef's secret for keeping steaks hot at the tableMaster the grill with these easy tips and techniques, plus a chef's secret for keeping steaks hot at the table
    A quintessential part of summer grilling, a perfectly cooked steak with that charred, slightly smoky exterior and juicy, tender meat makes any meal complete. The best part is they're easy to cook and are incredibly satisfying. Plus, they can be prepared simply with salt and pepper, topped with salsas, or marinated in a chimichurri sauce or a variety of flavors. Using a good quality piece of meat is a large factor in the outcome of the dish, but even if you have the most beautiful cut of meat, you can completely destroy it by overcooking it. And then all those lovely marinades, salsas, and side dishes will have nothing to pair with.

    Related: Kitchen Fantasies: High-End Grilling Equipment

    Avoid this catastrophe by following these easy steps and tips: Chef Smith of Stephen Starr's Steak 954 in Florida, shares his go-to technique for perfectly grilling a steak.

    What should the perfect steak look like? According to Smith, it should taste like beef, have a good texture that's not too firm but

    Read More »from How to Perfectly Grill Steak
  • - Molly Aronica, The Daily MealMore from The Daily Meal: Most Bizarre Ice Cream Flavors How to Make Homemade Ice Cream Like a Pro The Most Outrageous Ice Cream Desserts New York City's 5 Best Spots for Ice Cream The Daily Meal's All American Menu

  • Bring the Muppet magic home with cool crafts, recipes, and printables featuring Kermit, Animal, Miss Piggy, and all your favorite characters.

    Check five awesome ideas here, then, head to Family.com to see even more!

    Read More »from Muppet Mania! Cool Crafts and Recipes Featuring Your Favorite Muppets
  • Muddled, grilled, poached, or fresh off the pit, there's more than one way to enjoy summer's fresh peaches.

    Peach Collins
    A play on the Tom Collins. We muddle (mash) ripe peaches and shake them with peach-flavored vodka.

    Peach Lingo:
    Peaches are called freestone or clingstone, depending on how strongly the pit is attached. Freestone fruit, which easily separates from the pit, is great for eating fresh, poaching, and grilling. Clingstones typically need to be cut away from the pit and are best puréed or turned into preserves.

    Yield: Serves 2

    1/4 cup simple syrup*
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    1/2 cup chopped ripe peaches, divided
    1/2 cup peach-flavored vodka
    1/2 cup club soda
    2 peach slices

    1. Mix simple syrup, lemon juice, 1/4 cup peaches, and about 1/2 cup ice in a cocktail shaker or plastic cup. Using the end of a wooden spoon, muddle mixture until peaches start to break up. Pour in vodka, cover shaker with top (or the cup with plastic wrap), and

    Read More »from 15 juicy peach recipes
  • photo credit: thinkstock.comphoto credit: thinkstock.comOver the next few weeks, schools will begin the new academic year. And while parents may be thrilled to have their kids back at school, I'm sure many will also admit they feel that tinge of sadness that summer vacation is over. Lazy mornings, breezy afternoons, relaxed bedtime routines...yes, it's definitely a welcomed change of pace from an often-frenetic school year.

    So how should you spend that last week before school starts back up? Sure, wake the kids up a little earlier to get them ready for their new start times. Get their bedtime routines back on track.

    But try to savor that last week of summer break as a family:

    • Have a picnic dinner. Working parents might not be able to leave their job in the middle of the day, so plan a picnic for dinner. Let the kids help make the meal, or hit your local market and pick up pre-made dishes from the deli counter for extra ease. Grab a blanket, some drinks, and find a pretty park to share some family time over a meal.
    • Camp out
    Read More »from 5 ways for families to enjoy the last week of summer vacation


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