See what was in this issue of Real Simple.

By Real Simple
Updated August 18, 2004
Minh + Wass


Outdoor Rooms, pg. 140
With its sunny days and balmy nights, summer is the perfect time to relax and entertain outside. Here are 14 backyard-makeover ideas you can finish in an afternoon ― and enjoy all season long.

Easy Wear, Easy Care, pg. 146
Look cool and stay cool. These lightweight tops and airy skirts offer casual comfort and wash-and-wear convenience ― no ironing needed.

Breaking the Habit, pg. 152
Out-of-control behaviors dominated the lives of these five women. Here's how they fought back and won.

Life's a Picnic, pg. 158
Newfangled recipes for eight picnic classics ― oven "fried" chicken, baby-back ribs, cherry pie, and more.

Just Add Water, pg. 166
Whether you go to the beach, a favorite lake, or the local pool, Real Simple has 35 ideas to get you in the swim of summer.

3 Days, 3 Dishes, pg. 179
Sirloin steak and fresh asparagus star in a three-day family menu.

In Every Issue

  • Thoughts, pg. 6
  • Editor's Note, pg. 22
  • Contributors, pg. 28
  • Your Words, pg. 31
    How do you make the most of summer?
  • Access, pg. 198
  • Real Hard, pg. 200
    Summer Reading


  • Quick Fix, pg. 39
    Refreshing your flag
  • Inspected Gadgets, pg. 40
  • Fans for any room
  • Cleaning Up, pg. 44
    Summer stain removal
  • The Organized Life, pg. 50 Glove compartment
  • The Gracious Give, pg. 54
    Gifts for a new mother
  • Fake It, Don't Make It, pg. 56
    Dijon Potato Salad
  • PLUS: A lip balm for the beach, a pretravel checklist, a compact salad spinner, new uses for old things, and more.
  • Straw bags, pg. 59
  • Shower gels, pg. 65
  • Cotton towels, pg. 69
  • A kitchen garden, pg. 77
  • Best batteries, pg. 81
  • Summer classics, pg. 89
  • Affordable wines, pg. 93
  • How to fire people, pg. 101
  • Workout clothes, pg. 107
  • Pullout fitness plan, pg. 110
  • Tying things to your car, pg. 119


  • Wise Woman, pg. 125
    Elizabeth Bing, an 88-year-old childbirth educator, on ponytails, work, and pregnancy today.
  • Life Lessons, pg. 129
    This Father's Day, a writer pays tribute to her film-professor dad and the world he showed her.
  • Priorities, pg. 187
    A young married woman in Tampa contemplates returning to school and changing careers. Two experts offer advice on handling the professional and lifestyle changes that lie ahead.

Life Coach

  • The Joy of Commitment, pg. 193
  • Barbara Sher examines the fears that keep us from committing (to relationships, jobs, homes) and shows how to start making decisions we can live with and learn from.