Blog Posts by Books for Better Living

  • 5 Extraordinary Sex Tips for Women from ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

    Books for Better LivingBy: Jaiya via Books for Better Living

    Here's the second installment of our new "Sexy Saturdays" series where we bring you straightforward (but not too serious) talk about sex-how to get creative, make it better, and most of all, enjoy it. Today, Jaiya, a sexologist and author of the upcoming book Blow Each Other Away, offers tips straight from Fifty Shades of Grey. Kids: Feel free to plug your ears and sing, "la, la, la, la!"

    If you've been captivated by the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon, then you may have wondered how you can take the "ordinary to the extraordinary" when it comes to your sex life. I know that you all dream of having hot, passionate, intense, orgasmic, mind-blowing sex. You may have even been feeling a little let down by your current sex life. So why not spice things up a bit, because extraordinary Fifty Shades sex is possible. Here's how:
    1. Fantastic Foreplay: Christian and Anastasia are in a constant state of turning each other on. They use innuendo in speaking

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  • 4 Tips for Positively Better Sex

    Books for Better LivingBy Meilina Wilkinson via Books for Better Living

    This is the first in a new series of articles we're calling "Sexy Saturdays," where we bring you straightforward (but not too serious) talk about sex-how to get creative, make it better, and most of all, enjoy it. Kids: Feel free to plug your ears and sing, "la, la, la, la!"

    We seem to be thinking, talking and reading about sex a lot (Fifty Shades of Grey, anyone?), but like every learned skill, we need practice to be good at it. A positive side effect of all that practice is that sex is beneficial for your body and your emotional well-being. Sex releases antibodies and hormones (specifically, Immunoglobulin A and oxytocin, aka the "love" hormone) that boost the immune system and speed the healing process. What a brilliant way to heal cuts and bruises faster, am I right?

    Further, researchers have found that having sex three times per week for one year burns the equivalent of six Big Macs. (Could it replace Zumba as the latest fitness

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  • 6 Ways to Make Music with Your Kids

    Books for Better LivingAn article in The New York Times caught my eye recently. It reported on several studies that found music training during childhood may improve auditory skills for a lifetime. Playing an instrument can, for instance, help you be able to hear a conversation over background noise when you're elderly. (In my own unscientific research, I have found that I am excellent at clapping to the beat of a song; my husband, not so much. Guess which of us played the clarinet for 10 years.)

    You don't need a scientific study to know that music is good for kids, good for the soul and just plain fun. Before I had kids, I thought lullabies and nursery rhymes would be in my new-parent future, but when my daughter was born I realized that I didn't remember very many of them. My curiosity led me to All Together Singing in the Kitchen, a fabulous guide for any family that wants to make music part of their lives. Musician-sister duo Nerissa and Katryna Nields put together this creative handbook for family

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  • 5 Questions for the AstroTwins

    Books for Better LivingBy: Amy Leibrock via Books for Better Living

    I'm not much of a follower of astrology, but I have to admit that whenever I read a profile of my sign, it rings eerily true. To get the goods on how astrology works, we caught up with Tali and Ophira Edut-aka the AstroTwins-professional astrologers and authors of Shoestrology.

    Books for Better Living: We'll admit it-some of us at BBL are skeptical about astrology. I'm a cancer, but not all cancers can have the exact same personalities and problems that I have, right? Could you explain how astrology works?

    Astrology Twins: The horoscopes that people read in magazines and newspapers only touch on one aspect of astrology-the "sun sign." There's plenty of merit to those predictions, but they are definitely broad and generalized. To really get the juice out of astrology, you must run a birth chart (you can do one for free on our website astrostyle.com). This is basically a snapshot of where all the planets (plus the moon) were in their orbit at

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  • Does Natural Deodorant Really Work?

    Books For Better LivingBy: Emily Lyman via Books for Better Living

    Conventional deodorants and antiperspirants scare me. They contain chemicals and other ingredients that are absorbed into our bodies. While these ingredients have not been conclusively linked to breast cancer or Alzheimer's, studies have shown that they could possibly have long-term health effects. The problem is that no one seems to know exactly what those heath effects are. (Here's the National Cancer Institute's take on the issue.)

    I hate being smelly. Briefly, forever ago, I tried the crystal deodorant and the all-natural tea tree oil stuff (which actually has propylene glycol - read why it's bad for you at The Good Human) without any decent results. But I still cringe every time I roll on Secret thinking about the aluminum, the Alzheimer's, the chemicals.

    Enter fall. As I tend to sweat just a bit less during cooler weather, I thought it was the perfect time for an experiment.

    More From Books for Better Living: How to Harmonize Your

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  • Vietnamese Home Cooking: Lemongrass Chicken

    Books for Better Living

    By: Matt Albrecht via Books for Better Living

    My fiance and I are no strangers to Eastern cuisine. We are devotees to adventurous eating, loyal only to our insatiable taste buds. On some nights, we're practitioners of the Italian way of life; on others we pay homage to our Chinese food deities. Nomads are we.

    Cooking at home, however, is not a religious experience for us despite our obsessive devotion. In truth, we consider every recipe by way of its nutrition facts (does it fit our macronutrients?), cost (are these ingredients less than 10 dollars per plate?), and prep time (can we do this in under an hour?). As working adults on a budget with little time to spare in the evenings, we don't often venture far from meals consisting of an inexpensive protein accented with fruit or veggies seasoned with a copious mixture of spices accumulated over the years.

    So when we were given a copy of Charles Phan's new cookbook Vietnamese Home Cooking, we poured over the photos of

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  • 3 Benefits of Core Awareness

    Books for Better LivingBy: Liz Koch via Books for Better Living

    Somatic educator Liz Koch's Core Awareness: Enhancing Yoga, Pilates, Exercise, and Dance is a guide for getting in touch with your core and tapping into your innate capacity for healing, building strength and increasing flexibility. We asked Koch to explain the value of cultivating core awareness. -BBL Editor

    We've been hearing about the importance of the "core" for quite a while now. If you think all this core talk is just about flat abs, think again. The human core is at the center of our being, deep within the belly behind those flab or fab abdominals. Focusing attention on our true core can help us become conscious of our somatic (body) intelligence and improve our proprioception (the system that tells us where our body parts are without looking at them). Improved proprioception increases a sense of balance, coordination and speed. This increased awareness helps us feel grounded, centered and calm so we have a better sense of

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  • Detox Without Juicing

    Books for Better Living

    By: Christina Foxley via Books for Better Living

    Recently, I'm noticing a lot of people are talking about cleanses. There was even an article in The New York Times that highlighted the increasing fad of juice cleansing in the office. I am definitely intrigued by the promise that juice cleanses flush the system, making you feel healthier and helping with weight loss. However, the idea of living on nothing but juices doesn't sound all that appealing to me, especially since many of them are really expensive - $58 a day?! For juice! - so I opted for another way to cleanse. I turned to The Detox Diet; The Definitive Guide for Lifelong Vitality with Recipes, Menus, and Detox Plans by Elson M. Haas and Daniella Chace and found a more basic, less expensive and seemingly healthier way to detox. See the menu plan below, which is just one of a number of different plans featured in the book that can a be done for just one day or up to three to four weeks; you can totally do this!

    Upon

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  • 5 Ways to Prepare Your Vegetable Garden for Fall and Winter

    Books for Better LivingBy: Colin McCrate via Books for Better Living

    Colin McCrate is the coauthor of Food Grown Right, In Your Backyard: A Beginner's Guide to Growing Crops at Home. In the spring, he told us how to plant our first vegetable garden. Here's his advice for preparing your plot for fall.
    Do you feel the crisp breeze in the air? Notice the leaves are beginning to change color? Fall is finally here! With the change in season comes changes to your garden. It's important to get your veggie garden prepared for the transition to fall and winter. Plus, it's a fun way to make the most of the remaining sunny days. So, grab the garden gloves and get going to the garden:

    More from Books for Better Living: Rhubarb-Strawberry Crumble Pie: A White House Favorite

    1. Harvest and preserve vegetables and herbs
    Oddly enough, after investing time and energy into the garden all season long, many gardeners will slowly fade away from harvesting as the season nears its end. I know you're tired of making zucchini

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  • Why I Threw Away My Gym Membership

    Why I Threw Away My Gym MembershipBy: Emily Lyman via Books for Better Living

    You can throw away your gym membership.

    [Get] rapid results by working out just thirty minutes a day, four times a week.

    These are the promises offered by You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises by Mark Lauren and Joshua Clark, along with others, such as "ingeniously simple" and "do-anywhere program."

    I don't know about you, but I've never had a lot of faith in workout books and programs. Not because they don't work, but because I'm the type of person that flakes out. They either require too much of a time commitment or I get bored - or any other excuse I can think of to justify watching So You Think You Can Dance instead of going to the gym.

    Enter this book. I started its 10-week basic program four weeks ago, and I threw out my gym membership yesterday. Well, I let it expire, not to be renewed. The four workout programs in You Are Your Own Gym are made up of exercises that use your body weight - no gym

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