See what was in this issue of Real Simple.
Credit: Anna Williams

Wrapper's Delight, pg. 33
Brown paper packages tied up with string? Ho hum. Dress up plain parcels with easy-to-make accents for gifts that are almost too pretty to unwrap.

Grill Power, pg. 216
Surefire techniques and ingredients for easy, delicious summer meals. Plus a cheat sheet for grilling meat, chicken, fish, and vegetables.

Outward Bound, pg. 228
Furniture that weathers the elements so you can relax on your porch, patio, or pool deck (and, yes, even that grassy patch otherwise known as your lawn) without worry.

Original Skin, pg. 238
The quickest route to a softer, smoother, more youthful-looking body? Exfoliation. Everything you need to know ― from how to apply a facial peel to the best scrubs.

Your Cancer-Prevention Plan, pg. 244
Surprisingly, simple lifestyle changes can reduce your odds for getting the deadly disease. Here’s what you need to know, today and beyond.

Friends & Neighbors, pg. 252
By starting a local meal-swapping group and a home-improvement club, a Seattle family saves time and money ― and gains a sense of community.

  • Web Exclusive: Start Your Own Cooking Exchange

The Guide


  • Sponges that get the job done… and tips for microbe-management, pg. 79
  • The best tinted moisturizers for every skin type, pg. 109
  • Commonsense tips to get what you want from your hairstylist, manicurist, and more, pg. 115
  • How to deal ― politely ― with people who invade your space, pg. 139
  • Twelve easy-to-wear tunics ― the season’s most versatile staple, pg. 159
  • Wear, wash, repeat. Summer clothes you’ll live in, starting at $9, pg. 167
  • The gender gap, decoded (or why men love a good fight), pg. 147
  • Web Exclusive: Real Simple Workout Challenge
  • Protecting your hearing from iPods, lawn mowers, and other noises, pg. 199
  • Web Exclusive: Hearing-Aid Basics
  • Surf? Check. Sand? Check. Now where’s that bug spray? Here, everything you need to make your next day at the beach go absolutely swimmingly, pg. 207


New Uses for Old Things, pg. 51
A six-pack container totes condiments to a barbecue; rubbing alcohol clears the water from your ears.

Modern Manners, pg. 54
Tips for dealing with copycat friends.

Products of the Month, pg. 56
A broom with a built-in cordless vacuum cleaner; a soy spread that tastes like peanut butter.

Easy Upgrade, pg. 60
Four surprising ways to wear a scarf.

Garden Guide, pg. 62
Grow cherry tomatoes on your patio or deck.

Fake It, Don’t Make It, pg. 64
Chicken Tostadas


Spring on the Side, pg. 265
From pea salad to crunchy carrots, seasonal accompaniments to round out almost any meal.


Thoughts, pg. 6

Your Words, pg. 39
What’s your favorite book and why?

  • Web Exclusive: More of Your Favorite Books

In Every Issue

  • Why Not? pg. 8
  • Contributors, pg. 24
  • Editor’s Note, pg. 26
  • Credits, pg. 303
  • Real Simple To Go, pg. 308