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Real Simple December 2018

Real Simple magazine provides smart, practical, beautiful solutions to make life easier—every single day. Each inspiring issue is packed with fast and delicious recipes, organizing and decorating ideas, great fashion and beauty finds, money-saving tips, and more. For annual or monthly subscriptions (on all platforms except iOS), your subscription will automatically renew and be charged to your provided payment method at the end of the term unless you choose to cancel. You may cancel at any time during your subscription in your account settings. If your provided payment method cannot be charged, we may terminate your subscription.

United States
Meredith Corporation
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12 Issues


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editor’s note

THE HOLIDAYS ARE already stressing me out!” This was a text from a friend recently that ended with that greenish emoji face that looks like it just ate a vat of pickled cabbage. While I didn’t text this back, I did think: Are the holidays stressing you out—or are you letting the holidays stress you out? I realize that sounds judgmental. But I know from experience that the quest to create the perfect season can turn your holly-jolly into a horror show when you let seasonal activities become oppressive obligations. I used to drive myself—and my loved ones—nuts as I obsessed over finding just the right wrapping or punch bowl. But during a particularly busy December a few years ago, as I searched for the best family photo to upload for…

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give gifts—share memories

COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS A spin on the traditional Advent calendar, Reichel stuffs 24 pockets with small surprises and activity thought-starters. “They’re filled with fun ways to celebrate the season, and I sprinkle in a few fun little gifts as well!” she says. MERRY MATCHING Coordinated pajamas are not only cozy, they also add a “special, festive touch” to a gift exchange, says Reichel. “We let the kids open them up on Christmas Eve after dinner and wear them to bed that night.” WRAPPED UP IN THE MOMENT “Everyone knows the saying about first impressions, that’s how I feel about gifts!” says Reichel. “I feel like people really treasure gifts when they come in beautiful packages—it makes them seem more thought-out.” USE THE CUSTOM TAGS AT RIGHT TO ADD SOMETHING SPECIAL TO YOUR GIFTS, COMPLIMENTS OF TARGET. DISCOVER…

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real simple 24/7

MEET CLAUDIA FISHER DEPUTY EDITOR AT REALSIMPLE.COM Best-ever gift: A friend once gave me a bright passport case. The color makes it hard to lose, and the case makes me think of her whenever I travel, even 10 years later. Go-to recipe: Scrambled eggs prepared the way my grandpa taught me. It’s basic, yes, but it gets the job done. Favorite item in my apartment: My little gray cat, Luna. @SEAFISHY ON INSTAGRAM DIY gift wrap Wrap the perfect present every time with our foolproof method. Watch the how-to video at 40 festive Christmas recipes Are you the host of Christmas dinner this year? These recipes will make your meal as special as the holiday itself. Get the recipes at Open and tap for holiday decor ideas. GIFTS FOR LESS Shop the most coveted holiday gifts of the season, like this chic and reusable…

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what accomplishment are you most proud of this year?

Believe it or not, building a chicken coop. I think it’s nicer than my first apartment in college. @BLEUMOON #RSLOVE “GOING THROUGH A BIT OF A RED PHASE.” @IKOFLOWERS I managed to clean out every one of my closets this summer. I purged 15 years’ worth of stuff. After all the recycling, donating, trashing, and shredding, I was really proud of the big pile of empty boxes I had and the wonderful feeling of calm all that empty space brought me. CHRISTINE MEDINA, CHATSWORTH, CALIFORNIA Paying off my student loans! @ERINMBLOSS I finally dusted off my mom’s old sewing machine she gave me a decade ago and learned how to sew in February. Not only have I sewn almost every item of clothing I wear now, but I’ve also begun to make peace with my body. PAM KOCKE,…

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the short list

Delicious memoir In Kitchen Yarns, Ann Hood explores the role food has played throughout her life: growing up in an Italian-American home, star ting a family, coping with divorce, and falling in love again. In this cozy read, Hood shares recipes that shaped her—from her mother Gogo’s lemon meringue pie to her second husband’s perfect baked potato—and the poignant life lessons about loss, love, and friendship she learned in the kitchen. Modern family Exes Claire and Matt, the pair at the center of The Adults, both want to spend Christmas with their young daughter, Scarlett. So they jump at the idea of the three of them, along with their new partners, heading off on a holiday vacation. They’re all grown ups, so what could go wrong? Caroline Hulse’s farcical debut is an ode…

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presents that pay it forward

Buy one, give one: What could be easier or feel better this time of year? Start with State Bags. For each stylish backpack purchased, a student in an underfunded neighborhood is given one stocked with essentials like school supplies, socks, and healthy snacks. TO BUY: Lorimer backpack, $90, Kane Metallic Plaid backpack, $95, Williams Leather Patchwork backpack, $295; 1 BENEFIT BAUBLE Kenyan artisans make these painted-wood and brass cuffs; with each purchase, 25 school meals are provided to students. TO BUY: FEED Jenny Cuff, $48; 2 CANDLES FOR KIDS Buying this cinnamon-and-nutmeg-scented candle donates three meals to a child in need. TO BUY: Remember When 8-oz. Small Jar Candle, $16; 3 GREAT KNIT Love Your Melon wants to give a beanie to every kid with cancer. It donates 50 percent of all profits (including those from…