How to Survive the Dog Days of Summer

From late July through the end of August, the Northern Hemisphere enters something called the “dog days of summer.” Not named after any earthly canine, the nickname “dog days” comes from the ancient Greeks who noticed the star Sirius, also called “the Dog Star,” became the brightest star in the sky. These days are best known now as the hottest days of the summer, and this week, we’re looking at how to survive them.


6 Tips To Stay Hydrated In The Heat

When the sun gets hot, there’s nothing like a refreshing cold drink. But while soda may be sweet, it doesn’t do much to keep your body hydrated. And staying properly hydrated is about more than just drinking water — though that does help. Check out these handy tips for staying hydrated all summer long.

How To Stay Motivated During Summer

Why is the outside temperature able to drain our motivation? One week you’re eating right, going to the gym regularly, flying through tasks at work, and making great progress on your New Year’s resolutions. The next, you’re camped out on the couch with a tub of ice cream watching game show reruns. Don’t be too hard on yourself; a lot of people hit a slump during the dog days of summer. Here’s what you need to know about getting your motivation back.

Get The Most Out Of The Dog Days — With Your Dog!

The dog days may not get their name from our four-legged friends, but it’s certainly a good season to get in some serious play time. But what if you’ve explored all your favorite walking routes and fetch just isn’t fun anymore? (Who are we kidding? Fetch is always fun!) But there are also plenty of other great activities you and your dog can enjoy together.

Just For Fun: Funny Dog Compilation

The dog days might not have anything to do with dogs, but it’s a pretty good excuse to spend some time with man’s best friend. Take a minute (or 10) to have a laugh with these hilarious hounds!

To staying cool,


Don’t let summer end without one more party!

Summer is on its way out the door. Soon the kids will be back in school, fall will be rolling in, and the holiday rush will be upon us. But let’s not mourn the end of the season. Instead, let’s celebrate everything that makes summertime awesome. This week, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to planning the best end-of-summer barbecue!


Add Some Style To Your Summer Barbecue

All you really need for a good barbecue is a grill and some paper plates, but it’s the details that turn a simple cookout into a summer celebration. And it doesn’t take a lot to create a photo-ready setting. With a little care, a simple chalkboard, a bit of planning, and some freshly cut flowers, you can add a unique flair to your gathering. We bet you didn’t know barbecues could also be classy.

The Best Outdoor Party Games

Cornhole and horseshoes are summertime staples, but they’re not the only ways for guests to have fun while they wait for the food to finish grilling. It’s time to bring something new to your outdoor party! Create massive versions of your favorite tabletop games, let kids practice their hand-eye coordination with a pool noodle toss, or get creative with an outdoor chalkboard installation. Let your imagination run a little wild this summer.

38 Recipes For A Perfect End-Of-Summer Party

Let’s talk about what people really come to a barbecue for: the food! You can’t go wrong with a hot dog or veggie burger hot off the grill, but if this is your last summer smash, make it unforgettable! Did you know you can serve banana splits on kabobs? Or that zucchini-tomato bake is easier to make that you’d think? Add these recipes to your cookbook, and serve up the most memorable end-of-summer barbecue ever.

Just For Fun: Hilarious Barbecue Fails

When you plan a big get-together, there’s always a chance something will go awry. But you can rest assured knowing your barbecue will (probably) go better than the ones in this video!

Here’s to the end of summer,

Order up! Is your kid ready to start cooking?

There are some things every person needs to learn, like cooking, changing a flat tire, and properly filing taxes. While most of us tend to have a little trouble with those last two, cooking is one thing we really can’t go without — unless you want to spend your days eating Hot Pockets or wasting money by dining out. If you have kids or grand kids who are ready to get started in the kitchen, this week’s articles will be a big help!


Life Skills Kids Learn When They Cook

Did you know teaching your kids to cook does more than make sure they don’t live off of ramen noodles when they grow up? While eating healthy meals is important, the process of cooking also teaches kids a whole host of important life skills. Lessons about nutrition, patience, and even math are hidden in your kids’ favorite recipes.

 The First 5 Recipes You Need To Teach Your Kids

Your kiddo is finally old enough to start making more than cereal. What recipes do you start with? Grandma’s tiramisu is probably a little too complicated, and picky eaters may not be interested in learning the right way to prepare Brussels sprouts. Fortunately, The Daily Meal has a collection of timeless recipes perfect for young chefs that they’ll enjoy making for the rest of their lives.

Kitchen Safety For Kids

Hot surfaces, running water, sharp knives, and raw meat — it’s no wonder most household injuries take place in the kitchen! Even the most cautious adults have suffered a few kitchen wounds in their day. Before your little chef helps cook dinner, show them this handy video so they know the do’s and don’ts of kitchen safety.

Just For Fun: Old Kitchen Utensils Gain New Life

There are tons of things in our kitchen that never get used. Instead of letting them take up drawer space and clutter cupboards, be inspired by these creative kitchen DIYs.

Let’s get cooking,

Are you wearing enough sunscreen?

Summertime brings sunshine, and while the warm weather sure beats winter blizzards, the bright sun can also pose a hazard to your health. Sun safety isn’t merely a seasonal concern. But since most of us tend to spend more time in sunlight during the summer months, let’s look at a few important safety tips we should all be practicing


Top Sun-Safety Tips

It’s fun to spend time with the family playing beneath the warm summer sun, but skin damage, heatstroke, and skin cancer are all real threats we need to be aware of. Fortunately, protecting yourself doesn’t mean shunning the sun. The Environmental Working Group has some quick tips to help you enjoy the sunshine safely.

How To Apply Sunscreen

The American Academy of Dermatology reports wearing sunscreen can help prevent sunburn, slow premature aging, and reduce your risk of skin cancer. This is great news, especially since sunscreen is relatively easy to find at almost any store. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t using enough sunscreen for it to be effective. A dab on your nose won’t cut it. Learn the best way to apply sunscreen before your next trip to the beach.

Sun-Safety Tips For Pets

It’s not just people who need to be careful in the sun. Summertime can also be hazardous for pets. We all know how dangerous it is to leave an animal in a car during the summer, but sun safety goes beyond rolling the windows down. Did you know you can get sunblock for your dog? This product is definitely handy if you’re bringing Fido to the beach. These sun-safety tips can help you make sure everyone in your family has a good summer.

Just For Fun: Animals Who Are Too Cool For School

Sunglasses are just as important as sunscreen when it comes to protection. Don’t believe us? Just check out these stylish animals who prove sunglasses really are the best accessory.

Stay cool out there,

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For …

July is national Ice Cream Month, and for good reason. It’s the middle of summer, and indulging in an ice cream cone is the best way to beat the heat besides taking a dip in the pool. July is such a perfect time for ice cream that national Ice Cream Day is also this month on Sunday, July 15. To celebrate these sweet holidays, we’re getting the scoop on this favorite summertime treat.


The History Of Ice Cream

National Ice Cream Month got its start in the United States in 1984, but people around the world have been enjoying this creamy dessert for much longer. From Alexander the Great’s honey-flavored snow to ancient Chinese sorbet, get to know ice cream’s history a little better with this sweet video.

Easy Homemade Ice Cream

What’s better than eating ice cream? Making ice cream — so you can eat it later, of course. National Ice Cream Month is a great time to teach your kids lessons in the kitchen with a treat they’ll love to make. Check out this video from PBS Parents  for an easy, kid-friendly ice cream recipe your whole family will scream for.

Ice Cream Trends To Watch Out For

Ice cream is an amazing dessert. It’s relatively simple nature means there are endless opportunities to prepare and serve ice cream in ways that will make you say “wow.” Check out rolled ice cream, fish-shaped ice cream cones, and other crazy new ice cream trends you need to try.

Just For Fun: Weirdest Ice Creams In Every State

Chocolate and vanilla may be classics, but have you ever tasted Idaho’s ice cream potato? Every state in the US has their own unique ice cream flavor. Which ones would you try?


Here’s to a sweet summer,


Planning a beach vacation this summer?

Summertime is beach season, so it’s no wonder the first week of July is national Clean Beaches Week. A little sand and surf have always been part of summer vacation, and it’s up to us to make sure our beaches are able to welcome visitors for many seasons to come. This Clean Beaches Week, we’re looking at the simple ways we can help keep our beaches beautiful.


Clean Beach Coalition

The Clean Beach Coalition is a network of organizations and individuals dedicated to helping maintain fun, well-managed beaches around the world. Check out the Clean Beach Coalition website for updates, beach safety tips, and opportunities for you and your family to participate in Clean Beaches Week.

Teach Your Kids About Ocean Conservation

Caring for our oceans plays a big part in caring for our beaches and our planet. More than 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by oceans, and we can all play a part in keeping such a big portion of our planet healthy. Check out these tips for teaching your kids how easy it is to take care of our oceans!

What Should I Bring On My Beach Trip?

The first step for maintaining a clean, fun beach for everyone is bringing the right supplies. Sunscreen, swimsuits, and beach towels are a must, but there are plenty of beach must-haves you’re likely to forget. Did you bring a floating strap for your underwater camera so you don’t lose it in the waves? What about a beach mat to keep sand from invading all your belongings? Here’s a list of things savvy beachgoers bring on every trip — and the things they leave at home!

Just For Fun: Best Beaches In America

The truest way to celebrate Clean Beach Week is to get out there and enjoy some of our nation’s wonderful beaches. Travel Channel lists the top 10 best beaches in America, from sea to shining sea.


Surf’s up,

How Will Your Family Save the World?

While the winter holidays are times when many charities end up with a surplus of volunteers, the same organizations often struggle to find help during the rest of the year. If your family is looking for a way to make summer vacation worthwhile, why not consider volunteering your time? These resources can help you get started.


A Family’s Guide to Getting Involved

Between work, school, and extracurricular activities, members of your family can sometimes feel like total strangers. We could all use a way to feel closer to our loved ones, and volunteering is a great opportunity. Kids can learn a lot from volunteer work, and the sense of pride that comes from helping others can improve everyone’s well-being. Learn why your family should volunteer in your community.

 10 Kid-Friendly Volunteer Service Projects

Volunteering really is a great way to spend time with one another, but not all volunteer opportunities are suited for every member of your family. Age and ability requirements mean younger kids aren’t able to help out with their older siblings at the soup kitchen. This article breaks down the best ways for kids of all ages to give back to their communities.

The Pros and Cons of ‘Voluntourism’

Instead of taking a traditional summer vacation, many families opt to try volunteer tourism, or “voluntourism.” This method of giving back allows volunteers to experience new cultures while simultaneously helping people in need around the world. This sounds like a win-win for everyone, but some voluntourism programs cause more harm than good.

Do Some Good: Where To Volunteer

Not sure where your family can do the most good in your community? VolunteerMatch can help! You can find hundreds of volunteer opportunities in your area and scroll through the causes that matter the most to your family.

To making a difference!