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Let's Hit the Beach! Double DIY: Popsicle Tote and Watermelon Towel

by Stephanie Lee

DIY popsicle tote and watermelon beach towel

One of the things we look forward to most come summertime are visits to our local beach. Lying back on a towel with our toes in the warm sand and the sound of waves in the background is pure bliss.

But once we head to the water for a dip and emerge from the ocean to stroll back to our towels, we often find ourselves looking around in confusion because our little bundle of belongings looks just like every other bundle on the beach!

Well no more. I've decided the easiest way to easily identify our stuff is to make sure it looks different to everyone else's, and I think this bright watermelon and popsicle combo might just do the trick!              

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Ready, Aim, Fire! How to Stock a Campfire Box

by Amber Dickson
Roaring campfire
Photo: Amber Dickson

Whether at the beach, the woods, or your own backyard, a campfire is a guaranteed way to relax and enjoy your favorite people.  Take a little time to stock a campfire box with a few of the following fire-starting supplies.  It will make lighting a campfire quick and easy and therefore more likely to happen. Your future (smoke-scented) self will thank you.        

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Summer Living: How to Throw an Amazing Backyard Movie Night

by Rachel Jacks

There's something uniquely romantic about watching a movie outdoors. While drive-in theaters are uncommon these days, you can still experience a movie under the stars by setting up your own outdoor movie theater for a backyard movie night.

We've put together a list of everything you need for an amazing backyard movie night, from the best outdoor projector to the ultimate movie snacks. Once you have everything you need for your outdoor movie night, you'll be all set to make it a regular summer tradition. 

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9 Ways to Make the Most of Your Summer Using Your Smartphone

by M.E. Gray
Apps to optimize your summer
MJTH/Shutterstock

Summer is fleeting, and you want to make the most of these warmer months. But where to start? Your phone is a great resource, because there are so many free apps out there that can help you optimize your vacation, schedule the myriad of activities you plan on doing, and keep you safe in the sun. We've rounded up 9 of our favorite helpful summer apps, almost all of which are free!         

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This Simple Trick will Make the Ice in your Cooler Last Longer

by Holly Wade
This Simple Trick will Make the Ice in your Ice Chest Last Longer
Photos by Holly Wade

Summer is the ideal time of year for family outings, beach days, picnics, adventures in the park and so on. You probably bring along an ice chest to keep your drinks and a few snacks cold, but in the hot sun, that ice will be melted in no time. One sure-fire way to make the ice in your ice chest last longer is to add a simple household item...salt. Rock salt, to be exact. Much like salt helps freeze ice cream as it churns, it can help the ice in your cooler last longer because salt lowers the freezing point. Here's how this technique and several others can help the ice in your ice chest last longer!

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How to Go to the Movies for Less This Summer

by M.E. Gray

How to get cheap movies tickets and save money this summer

It's summertime, which means bonus free time, if you're lucky. Going to the movies is a classic way to stay out of the sun while still having fun - the only issue is that outlandish price tag! I had quit going to the movies a few years back, because the cost of admission was higher than I was comfortable with. However, after learning different ways to obtain cheap movie tickets, and figuring out how to keep my costs low, I'm back to seeing flicks on the big screen. It's still a treat when I get to go, but it's not nearly as painful to my wallet. Keep reading for 12 ways to go to the movies for less.          

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How To Keep Your Garden Watered While You're On Vacation

by Rachel Jacks

Tips for how to keep your garden watered while you're on summer vacation

In my part of the world, the hot, sunny summer growing season does not overlap much with the rainy season. It can go weeks without a drop of rain in the summer, which makes watering my vegetable garden daily a necessity. But summer is also vacation time, so if you don’t have a sprinkler system, how do you keep everything from dying while you’re gone? Don’t worry, there are a variety of DIY solutions to this problem.      

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The Ultimate Guide to Road Trip Games

by Joel Selby

Road trip games: playing tic-tac-toe in the car.

Road trip games are a lifesaver, whether you're trekking cross country to sight-see or simply cross-county to see the grandparents, you're a college student on a butt-numbing quest to see how many states you can pin in a single weekend, or you're simply idling in traffic on the way to the airport.

Sure, you can flip through Facebook or have the kids watch Frozen for the 1,000th time, but why not use some of that road time to have a little fun while fostering a deeper connection with your fellow travelers? 

Read on for our ultimate guide to road trip games to get started!      

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10 Supremely Sippable Cold Brew Coffee Recipes to Try This Summer

by Rachel Jacks

Iced Cold Brew Coffee

Regardless of what the calendar says, one of the ways that I know it's really summer is that I switch from drinking hot coffee to refreshing cold brew. But if you start to get bored of the same old coffee every day, it might be time to spice things up with one of these cold brew coffee variations. I bet you definitely haven't tried all of these unusual flavor combos.              

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Going on a Road Trip? Don't Forget to Grab This from the Drug Store

by M.E. Gray

Going on a road trip? Don't forget to grab this from the drug store

There's a (younger) part of me that loves going on long road trips. I get excited about seeing new places, listening to hours of podcasts, drinking Red Bull - it's a freeing experience like none other. Then there's the (older) side of me that can only handle the open road for so long. Sore back, moody in traffic, yells at slower drivers, and seriously bummed out about how sticky everything feels after being in the car all day. While I can't...

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How to Sew a Pool Lounger Organizer

by Holly Wade
How to Sew a Pool Lounger Organizer
Photos by Holly Wade

As the weather heats up, you can find me poolside every weekend with a good book and probably my giant avocado pool float. Hanging out by the pool is a relaxing luxury, and wouldn't it be easiest if everything you need is conveniently within reach? Instead of digging through your giant bag for your sunscreen and cell phone, simply pull it out of the side pocket of your own DIY pool lounger organizer! This easy-to-sew organizer lays over the seated part of a pool longer with pockets on both sides for easy access to your most use items. Get ready to lounge extra hard this summer!

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9 Tips for an Amazing (or at Least Tolerable) Road Trip with Your Pet

by M.E. Gray

Traveling with dogs and cats - 9 tips for a less stressful road trip

Pets. We love them, and sometimes when we're traveling, we don't want to leave them. Whether it's because your boarding situation isn't ideal, or you just can't imagine going on a vacation without them, you want to make sure you and your dog (or cat!) are prepared for a pleasant and non-stressful road trip. I've hit the road a few times with this furry lady pictured here, and after a few hundred hours in the car together, we've learned a thing or two. Here are some tips for traveling with dogs (and cats!) as you head out on your vacation this summer.             

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DIY 4th of July Popsicles, Two Ways: One for Kids and One for Adults!

by M.E. Gray

Recipe: 4th of July popsicles!

Here's a summertime tip: Always make popsicles. Summer is here, which means the Fourth of July is on the way and you probably have a barbeque to host. Whether you're holding a kid-friendly summer party or an adults-only celebration, popsicles will make everyone happy, including you! That's because they're ridiculously easy to make, you can prep them far in advance, and nothing tastes better on a hot day than a refreshing popsicle. We have two tasty recipes for you to prep this summer. The first popsicles are champagne-infused (adults only!), mimicking the colors in a bomb pop. The second are kid-friendly (but equally delicious) lemon-flavored fruity popsicles.        

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19 Things to Do Before Going on Vacation This Summer

by M.E. Gray

How to prep your home before going on vacation

School's out for the summer, and vacation time is here again! Are you planning a big trip this year? Maybe it's a road trip across the country, or maybe it's a cruise. Perhaps an outdoor camping getaway or you're headed to a cabin by the lake. What ever the reason, if you're leaving your home unattended for a few days or even weeks. While your house can't actually get lonely without you, it will miss your maintenance. A few things need to happen inside and out so you can rest easy while you're gone. Here are 19 things you should do before going on vacation:           

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What Should You Do This Month? Throw a Backyard Solstice Party to Celebrate the Start of Summer

by Rachel Jacks

Backyard Solstice Party

While many Americans think that summer starts on Memorial Day, it officially begins on summer solstice, usually June 21 in the Northern hemisphere. The longest day of the year seems like the ideal excuse for a party, so here are some ideas for a backyard celebration of midsummer. And if you don't get around to throwing a summer solstice party, there's no expiration date on these outdoor party ideas!                

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The One Thing You Might Be Doing Wrong When You Fly

by M.E. Gray

Flying tip

If you've ever flown on a plane, you're familiar with that groggy feeling that follows once you land. Your legs are wobbly, your stomach is churning, and you might even have a headache. Thousands of miles from home, you feel the opposite of refreshed. I recently took two trips in the same month, flying back and forth both times. The first trip was irritated by the long-lasting effects of flying. I was groggy and grouchy in the days following my flight. For my second trip, I changed one small thing in my routine. Even though I flew across two different time zones, I felt remarkably better during my second trip. My flying tip? It all starts with an empty bottle.          

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Travel Lighter: 10 Ways To Save Space In Your Suitcase

by Faith Provencher
Travel Lighter: 10 Ways To Save Space In Your Suitcase
Photo: Elliott Chau

I used to pack haphazardly and I'd end up coming home with a suitcase so stuffed that it felt like it might explode at any minute. But when I traveled to France for two weeks last summer, I did lots of research on how to travel lighter. And I haven't looked back since! Here are ten tips on how to save space in your suitcase so you don't have to check your bag at the airport or lug a hopelessly heavy bag around town.   

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Sew It! DIY Loopty Loop Outdoor Pillow

by Faith Provencher
Sew It! DIY Loopty Loop Outdoor Pillow
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

It's finally starting to look a bit more like spring here in the northeast, which is giving me major motivation to spruce up the deck. One place we were lacking, though, was in the pillow department... it can be difficult to find outdoor pillows with personality. So I made some, of course! Click through to check out the full tutorial for these fun loopty loop outdoor throw pillows.   

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