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Real talk for a second: While we love, love, love summer and understand that many of us across the country had one hell of a winter, does anyone else think it’s really hot right now? And almost unbearably muggy? And wait… is that another mosquito bite?

Summer is the best/worst.

That is precisely why we’ve rounded up eight ideas to give you a much-needed boost and ensure that you make the most of the 39 days from now until Labor Day.

Whether it’s for your home, your beauty routine or your dinner (er, dessert) table, here are a few ideas to keep you cool.

Put Your Salon Manicure on Hold

Stop futzing with salon manis (your polish is going to get destroyed as soon as you hit the beach anyway). Instead, keep your nails groomed yet simple with a few coats of Dior Nail Glow. It has a slight pinky sheen, giving you a carefree (and chip-free) solution to bare nails.

Rework Your Wedding Attire

You’ve been wearing that same floral shift for three months now, and despite pairing it with six different necklaces, folks are starting to catch on. For the next event, try separates like a pair of structured blush-colored culottes (that you may already own) and a matching crop top. Just be sure to add some killer strappy heels.

Give Your Cabinets New Life

Open shelving may be one of the top home-design trends for 2015, but for those not ready to break down the doors (quite literally), we love the idea of adding a surprise pop of color on the inside. All you need to do it yourself is a can of Valspar Reserve (here, in "Cool Rain"), a small paintbrush and a few afternoon hours.

Break Out Your Slow-Cooker

You have better things to do than toil over a hot stove these days. (Top priority: Spend the day at the pool.) But you still need to eat, and that usually involves cooking. Make it easy on yourself by busting out your slow-cooker and following these simple recipes for corn chowder, baked beans and an unbelievable cherry cobbler.

JMM Health & Wellness

Start Prepping For Fall Veggies

Mid-July is the perfect time to spruce up (or start) your backyard vegetable garden. The best bets? Beets, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and kale. Plant them now and they’ll grow well into November.

Get Tan While You Shower

You win a gold star for outstanding sun protection this year (go, you). But if you still want a little color, try this genius in-shower self-tanner from St. Tropez. Just slather it on while your skin is wet, then wait three minutes and rinse off. The surprisingly natural color will continue to develop over the next few hours.


Pick Up a New Beach Read

So you already flew through your list of fluffy beach reads. Now for the serious psycho-thrillers to keep you on your toes. Our latest pick: The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango.


Book a Last-Minute Getaway

That annual beach time-share is relaxing and all, but what about swapping it for a once-in-a-lifetime jaunt to Taiwan, Istanbul or even Havana? It’s now easier than ever to get to far-flung destinations, thanks to new flight routes from major U.S. cities.


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