Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Kerner -- How to put the "OOO" back in "Mattress Mambo"

What comes to mind when you hear the word "sex"? Do you smile? Do you scowl? Or do you just roll your eyes because, "who has time?" Does the thought make your heart race with pleasure or anxiety?

While the mechanics of sex are fairly simple, the other aspects of sex can get pretty complicated and emotionally charged.

Everyday stresses, strains, and past hurts don't knock on our bedroom door -- they sneak underneath like a nonchalant breeze. Sometimes you don't even notice the toxicity until there's a marked change. By then, is it too late?

Ian Kerner has a PhD and several books about sex/dating/relationships. His newest book, Sex Detox, not only addresses this fact of life but professes to put a couple back on the path of, ahem, "passionate persuits".

According to Kerner, "American sex lives are broken" and "we cannot seem to make them whole."

In a nutshell, his message? Its not about getting freaky-deaky as much as it is about intimacy. When you have a deep connection with your partner, you have a much higher chance of sexual fulfillment when you are doing the matress mambo.

Kerner's approach? He talks a bit about "neuroplasticity" which involves the brain's way of rewiring itself. (Like learning new, healthy habits to replace the old unhealthy ones.) He believes that we can retrain our brains and get rid of the unhealthy attitudes and action, thus paving the way to a healthier, happier romantic relationship. This is where he introduces his readers to the term, "reORDERng" which means to "observe, recognize, de-couple, engage, and regulate. "

The 30-day process does take commitment as well as some reading each day. Kerner's tone is friendly, not preachy. And you need not be in a long term, relationship in order to see results. Kerner also devotes a large chunk of the book to singletons.

But do you know what I found most refreshing about this book? He includes same sex couples! This is the FIRST relationship book I've ever read that includes gay and lesbian couples, citing them as well as straight couples in varied examples! (Gay/lesbian couples face many of the same problems straight couples face, so why shouldn't they be included?)

You are wondering if I took the "30-day challenge", aren't cha? Um, no. But for reasons I can't blog about, sorry. But in reading the book I have become inspired to try his techniques. (Though I'd bet you my entire savings that if I brought this book to my husband he'd be making fun of me for the next month just because I expressed an interest. But that doesn't mean all men will be opposed to the book.)

The second last page of the book, for me, was the most uplifting and profound.

"The goal of the program is not to find a spouse for the sake of being married. The goal is to get rid of your prefabricated pictures and checklists and learn to trust your own instincts...

"I often tell people that dating and maintaining relationships... is like acquiring a piece of art: We should wait to be struck and captivated by someone we want to take home and frame. But too often we do the opposite: We walk around with our frames, desperately trying to fit others into them... we carry those frames with us into our intimate relationships, where they shape our expectations and ultimately, our disappointments... Worse, our frames also become shields, blocking others from getting through."

Insightful advice indeed.

This review was written on behalf of Parent Bloggers Network.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Room-A-Day Giveaway

Quick! You need to enter this contest, RIGHT NOW. The first drawing starts January 28.

You may be asking yourself, "Why is Lisa being so bossy. And what is she talking about?"

Well... The lovely peeps at Kimberly-Clark (who manufacture Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Depends and Kotex) are hosting the great “Room-A-Day Giveaway.”

(I just realized the only Kimberly-Clark product I'm unfamiliar with is the Depends. But hey, give me about 30 years. Ok. Maybe less time than that. But seriously? We have quite a few of their brands in our home.)

But the company realizes, we moms? Are their biggest buyers. So they're trying to show us some love. The object of the sweepstakes is to help some lucky moms "relax, restore, and renew".)

S'Anyways... Sixteen lucky winners will be chosen (from January 28 to February 15) to receive $25,000 to renovate ANY room in the house. The winners (one person, per weekday) will be announced on The View. The final winner will be announced on the “Room-a-Day Giveaway” website, March 21.

Well? What are you waiting for? To enter click on the link provided or go to the Room-A-Day Giveaway widget in the sidebar.

This post was written on behalf of MomsCentral.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Party On...

When Tracy and Ben decide to have a party in the park, they continuously disagree on the preparations, activities, and food. What to do? Barney to the rescue!

The big purple dinosaur is celebrating his 20th birthday this year. And his creators have got a whole new video out to mark the event. Check HERE for the details. The new video, Celebrating Around the World, takes children on a whirlwind adventure without ever leaving the house.
From Brazil to Ireland to India, Barney and the children stop to talk a bit with children, who are dressed in traditional garb, about their customs and what they love to do when they celebrate.
There's lots of different dance styles showcased. (This DVD is filled with dance and music. If you've got little dancers in the house, they'll really enjoy this production. Odds are they'll be jumping out of their seats, trying to "bust a move" too.)
Through the course of the show, Tracy and Ben learn how to settle their differences. They decide to celebrate their friendship.
Of course Barney and the two kids meet up with Baby Bop as well as her big brother and cousin along the way. (Yes, if you haven't watched in a few years, you'll see that a young, orange dinosaur has been added to the cast.)
If you've watched a few episodes of Barney, you've seen how the show has a few songs they use quite often. These regular songs are infused into this DVD.
My son is 5 1/2. He's not into Barney anymore. (Well, unless he could pretend Barney was Darth Mol and chop off his leg with light sabers.) But kiddos who are neck-deep into their love affair with Barney will really get a kick out of this newest addition.
This review was written on behalf of Parent Bloggers Network.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Safeguard the family against colds, flu and viruses

Hi. I'm Lisa. And I'm a big ole' germ-o-phobe.

What can I say? My son and I seem to catch colds and keep them for long periods of time. Also? The husband travels alot and I know that if I'm sick, odds are they hubby is out of town and I'm on my own.

So when asked to review What to Expect Guide to a Healthy Home, this germ-o-phobe JUMPED at the chance.

Heidi Murkoff, (the author of What to Expect When You're Expecting) teamed up with Sharon Mazel to write this booklet. And they've done a very thorough job of providing tips and tricks that protect your family from the everyday germs and viruses that throw households into a Kleenex-filled chaos.

For example, according to the booklet, "most people touch 300 surfaces every 30 minutes." And on that note, "did you know that 80 percent of germs are spread by touch"? (And guess what? "... People who wash their hands an average of seven times a day have about four times fewer colds than the average person".)

But there's so much more! For instance, how often should you clean the kids' bath toys? How often should the playroom toys be sanitized? What about the toothbrushes? And changing tables? And don't forget the bedrooms!

Oh and the kitchen! There are quite a few tips on how to keep your family's food safe as well as how to clean kitchen surfaces.

And what about when you and your family are out in public? The What to Expect Guide to a Healthy Home also gives you some ideas on how to protect your child from those people who love to bring children (sporting 104 fevers) to the grocery store. Or those parents who slyly drop their sick kids off at daycare or local fitness center. (Ugh. Don't get me started on that!)

The small booklet is a quick read. In a mere 16 pages, you'll be armed with quite a bit of info on how cut down on the stomach viruses, colds, and allergy-related sicknesses in your home.

The booklet, sponsored by The What to Expect Foundation and The Clorox Company, is FREE. Want a copy for yourself? Go to http://www.whattoexpect.com/.

The What to Expect Foundaton is a non-profit that provides free prenatal health literacy and support to low-income families. It has helped more than 200,000 women nationwide.

Through Clorox' Company's foundation, cash grants totaling more than $66.3 million have been given to nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges. For more information on them go to http://www.thecloroxcompany.com/.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Teas(e) me!

About 10 years ago, I came upon an article about how green tea is great for revving up a tired metabolism. That's all I needed to hear. I was hooked. If there's a way I can still eat ice cream on occassion without it affecting the size of my butt? I will happily do whatever it is I need to do.

I remain devoted to green tea to this day. Actually? Even more. So when Parent Bloggers Network asked for volunteers to review The Ultimate Tea Diet by Mark "Dr. Tea" Ukra, I was very excited. I think I might have even pulled a Tom Cruise and jumped on a couch the day the book was delivered.

The Ultimate Tea Diet is brimming with all sorts of tea info -- from tea history to the various flavors, to the vast benefits. Plus? There are recipies for incorporating tea into many foods. I had no idea you could do that!

The premise of the book (without giving too much info away) is to
  • Find a tea you love and drink it all day

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. (There's a menu plan and recipes that incorporate tea into foods for ideas). Eat when hungry and stop when full.

  • Think positively

  • Exercise a little each day
Much of the information he gives is common sense (see rule #2, 3 and 4). And Ukra's tone throughout the book is friendly and positive.

And if you're new to the idea of tea? There's even a quiz as to what type of tea would best suit you.

You might even be wondering how it is possible to fit all of this tea drinking into your busy lifestyle. Dr. Tea's got some ideas to help you. And if you've got a specific food craving? Ukra's got some ideas for you there too!

And the recipies! Dr. Tea devotes almost 70 pages to recipies and ways you can incorporate tea into your meals. (My favorites were ways he infused tea with apple sauce and corn-on-the-cob.)

But I guess the million dollar question is, "Lisa you lose weight?"

Well... the short version of a long story is... YES! I lost three pounds before Thanksgiving on the program. A five-day Thanksgiving trip threw me off of my diet and exercise plan. The rest of the holidays, the parties, extra outings (aka extra alcohol and decadent foods) and lack of time to exercise meant that I did gain a pound back. But it was ONLY a pound! But within the past week, I was able to lose that pound doing what "Dr. Tea" mentions.

I'm hoping 2008 will usher in a slightly thinner Midwestern Mommy -- or at least a midwestern mommy whose appearance in a swimsuit at the local pool won't leave any one mentally scared for life.

This review was written on behalf of Parent Bloggers Network.