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Credit: Sang An

Thoughts, p. 6

The Simple List, p. 8

Editor’s Note, p. 27


Your Words

  • This Month’s Question, p. 31 
    What ingenious cleaning trick did you learn from your mom?
  • No-Obligation Book Club, p. 37
    Who is your favorite fictional mother?


Trends Worth Trying




Life Lessons

  • Good Read, p. 61
    Francine Prose rhapsodizes about her special bond with an unlikely subject: her crab-apple tree
  • Modern Manners, p. 67
    Michelle Slatalla on if it’s ever appropriate to spill a friend’s secret
  • Expertise, p. 71
    Five ways to improve your confidence


The Guide



  • Pretty Smart, p. 99
    The latest beauty products and tips that save time, money, and your sanity
  • Road Test, p. 106




  • How to Buy a Home, p. 135
    Seven comprehensive checklists to ease the stress
  • Moneywise, p. 145 
    Ways to save on doctor visits; how to buy an individual stock; the pros and cons of downsizing your auto insurance



  • The Definitive Cleaning-Products Road Test, p. 156 
    Real Simple tested 345 sprays, mops, scrubbers, and more. These 34 winners outshone the rest
  • Miss American Pie, p. 166
    Baker and author Beth M. Howard explains how a simple dessert has helped her cope with life’s complexities
  • Can You Get More Creative?, p. 170
    Creativity helps you in every-thing from parenting to work projects. Here’s how to tap into it
  • Your Strong Suits, p. 176
    Make a splash with swimwear that is both stylish and flat-tering, no matter your shape



  • Raise the Taco Bar, p. 192
    Easy and inventive Mexican dinners that can be prepped in 30 minutes or less
  • Things Cooks Know, p. 200
    Simplifying strategies, techniques, and tips from the Real Simple test kitchen to yours
  • Simply Sweets, p. 202 
    Classic cheesecake
  • Quick Takes, p. 204
    10 ideas for baked ham
  • Spring on the Side, p. 207
    Delicious dinnertime accompaniments featuring the best produce of the season
  • Road Test, p. 216
  • Five Easy Dinners, p. 219 
  • Nutritional Index, p. 232



Credits, p. 229
Where to buy the products featured in this issue


Discounts & Deals, p. 236
Exclusive savings on coffee and tea accessories


Clip and Save: Real Simple to Go, p. 238