Nothing brings back the lazy days of summer like clothes drying in the warm wind. Instead of giving your wardrobe a manufactured fresh-air scent, you'll be giving them the real thing. To keep wrinkles at bay, give your clothes a good snap before hanging them on the line; finger smooth each item while hanging.
"Yellow is happy, optimistic, clean, upbeat," says Leslie Harrington, PhD, executive director of The Color Association. But, like that perpetually cheerful co-worker, yellow can be exhausting, so go easy. Try a vase of daisies in the entryway to see how you respond to the shade before you make a more permanent commitment. Another option: Paint just one wall bright yellow; we like Benjamin Moore's St. Elmo's Fire (a zesty citron yellow) and Sundance (a paler hue).
Park the body shapers until the leaves fall. If you feel the need to look better in that sundress, stand up straight, tuck in your buttocks, and suck in your bellyyou'll do wonders for your posture and your silhouette. (To get rid of bloat, see below.)
Enough of that easy-listening music or edgy new rock. 'Tis the season to fill your MP3 player with tunes that transport you to summers past: The Lovin' Spoonful's "Summer in the City," Martha and the Vandellas's "Heat Wave," The Beach Boys's "I Get Around," Sheryl Crow's "All I Wanna Do," Rod Stewart's "Maggie May"… ah, the listand the beatgoes on.
Where to find recipes that help you feel virtuous for making healthy choices and keep you wonderfully satisfied? Health.com/recipes, of course. The antidote for "stressed": Homemade Peach Ice Cream or Blackberry-Blueberry Shortcakes. Looking for some heat? Szechuan Spicy Eggplant is calling your name. If you crave something crunchy, try the Spicy Pickled Okra.
Every time you think about how you were done wrong, your blood pressure can go up, says relationship expert Michelle Callahan, PhD, author of Ms. Typed. Because moving on is about forgetting as well as forgiving, try this: "Write down every detail of what happened. Then have your own personal ceremony of getting rid of it. Seal it up, pack it away, burn it, whatever you want," Callahan says. You'll feel lighter immediately.
You're working out and counting every last caloriebut you're not losing. What gives? Certainly not the needle on the scale. Try these smart-eating tips from nutritionist Christine Avanti.
Look for hidden salt. Even so-called virtuous foods like bran cereal, diet dressing, low-fat cottage cheese, and salsa are often loaded with sodium. Aim for no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day, The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science recommends.
Substitute the triple sec in that margarita with sugar-free syrup, make that gin and tonic with sugar-free tonicor try this antioxidant-rich sangria recipe from nutritionist Christine Avanti, author of Skinny Chicks Don't Eat Salad.
Your pearly whites can look dull next to those summery whites you're wearing, but here's a bit of good news: Affordable at-home whitening formulas can help lighten your smileyellow teeth, in particularup to three shades. Health Expert Network dental pro Michael Apa, DDS, recommends Crest Whitestrips Advanced Seal ($45). Or find a whitening special at your local dentist (some offices are sure to offer bargains during this slow economy, Dr. Apa says), and follow up with at-home products.
Summer, with its contrasts of hot and cool (think: the sizzling sun and sand versus a chilly ocean or lake), is a perfect time for a spiced-up frosty treat. Try this: Drizzle juice of half a lime onto a watermelon ice pop; sprinkle with cayenne pepper, to taste. It'll knock your socks off (although we hope you're not wearing any)! The lime-and-cayenne combo can add zip to a dish of fruit, too.
Forget that long to-do list and be more spontaneous. "Having open space in our calendars and lives is fundamental to our ability to relax and be happy," says Mike Robbins, motivational speaker and author of Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Already Taken.
Go light on the news
All the bad news coming at youonline, on-air, in printonly fuels anxiety. In fact, alternative medicine guru Andrew Weil, MD, says it can make you downright depressed and promote a negative view of life.
Light, guilt-free ways to indulge in summer temptations.
Jazz up your walk
There's nothing better than a summer walkexcept a summer walk that lets you enjoy the great outdoors and hike your calorie burn. The secret: Add intervals (short bursts of high-intensity exercise). Celeb trainer Gunnar Peterson, who has worked with Jennifer Lopez and Penelope Cruz and is the author of G-Force: The Ultimate Guide to Your Best Body Ever, suggests this jazzed-up combo, which can burn as many as 300 calories in 40 minutes at high intensity.