Keeping cool during the hottest months of the year isn’t just a matter of comfort—it can also be life-saving. Heat stroke and exhaustion strike millions of people each year, and their effects can be deadly. Even if you have central air conditioning in your home, activities like exercising and cooking can raise your temperature fast and put you at risk. And of course, outdoor activities like gardening, walking and running put you at tremendous risk on hot days. Here are a few tips for keeping cool this summer indoors and out so that you stay comfortable and reduce your risk of a heat-related illness.

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Is your garden bursting with goodness this time of year? It’s the season for harvesting fresh, fragrant herbs and juicy, ripe fruits and veggies from your own backyard. Of course, there’s always more than you can eat at one time. Having some clever kitchen helpers makes it much easier to preserve your garden’s bounty. Here are the three we’ve been using the most this year:

1. Re-Zip Food Storage Bags
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Warm summer weather brings long sunny days, made only more perfect by the chance to enjoy a delicious meal outdoors. My favorite part of summertime cooking is the chance to focus on uncomplicated meals that highlight the freshness of fewer ingredients.

Here’s a simple recipe for a meat marinade that’s sure to make your guests call you “Queen of the grill!”

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One of the best parts of summer is enjoying your outdoor space. Entertaining on the deck, puttering around the garden, relaxing on the patio…this is the time of year when you can really enjoy your outdoor areas like additional rooms of your house. And there’s no reason to stop enjoying them when the sun goes down. In fact, you might want to make a point of relaxing outside after sunset, when the heat of the day turns to refreshing evening breezes. All you need to do is add some outdoor lighting and your yard will be ready to enjoy as late into the night as you like.

Adding outdoor lighting doesn’t have to be expensive or a hassle. Solar lights soak up the sun all day, then turn that energy into warm, ambient lighting after dark—no wires to install, batteries to change, or cords to trip over. And best of all, you can use it anywhere: patio, garden or deck! Here are out favorite solar lighting ideas:

 

On your deck
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Summertime gatherings are more fun when you have plenty of activities to keep guests entertained. Games are a great option because they give everyone something to do together, even if they don’t know each other well. Plus, games are a great way to help shy people get in on the fun without too much pressure. It’s easy to incorporate games into your next barbecue or pool party. Just set them up at various spots around your yard and people will start to play! Here are a few of our favorite games that are just challenging enough to be fun for grownups, but just silly enough to be relaxing enjoyment.

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1. LED Ladder Toss