Archive for the ‘Books & Music’ Category

Making a Change for a Happy and Healthier You

Like most people, I’m all for leading a healthier lifestyle. However, it’s not always easy to make the necessary changes. That’s why I was so interested to read 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You (AmazonEncore, 2011). Written by wellness coach Brett Blumenthal, the book suggests a small, healthy change to make each week, such as taking a multivitamin every day, learning to say no, and starting each day with a nutritious breakfast. When combined over time, these small changes will eventually lead to a bigger change resulting in a happier and healthier life. Today, I’m starting at week one, which is to drink more water. Although it sounds easy, I’ve had the same half full water bottle on my desk for a week. What small changes do you want to implement in your life?

Las Ventanas al Paraiso Introduces
An Exclusive Book Club

Having spent more than a decade working in publishing, I’ve acquired a fair number of writer friends who often give me a sneak peak at their works in progress. Now, thanks to a new program at Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico, guests can get their hands on advance copies of novels by best-selling authors. The “Hot Type” program is made possible through an exclusive arrangement with top publishing houses. Between six weeks to six months from being released for sale, the Hot Type books can be read poolside, the perfect way to relax after a treatment at The Spa at Las Ventanas. The following advance novels are currently available:

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin

The Stranger You Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams

A Year and Six Seconds by Isabel Gillies

In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks

The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

Soundings of the Planet To Offer Healing Music Course

This past April was Stress Awareness Month, but most of us are all too aware of stress on a daily basis. For me, fitness and spa visits are an integral part of reducing stress and keeping a balanced lifestyle. And it’s the music I hear during a massage or yoga class that takes center stage in connecting my mind and body. No matter how we chose to reduce stress, music always plays an important role in changing our mood. Soundings of the Planet, a leader in producing instrumental music and nature sounds CDs for meditation, yoga, massage, is now spreading its message that that mind, body, and spirit can be healed through music. The company is offering an online course, called Experience Music as Medicine, available on This 10-week course will teach how music can enrich and influence many areas of life. Those participating in the course are encouraged to pay only what they can afford. There is one lesson per week for 10-weeks, and participants will be notified via email when each new course is available.

Additionally, company founders Dean and Dudley Evenson will be hosting Meditate with Music, Toning and Chanting on May 6, from 7:30-9:30 p.m., at East West Books in Seattle. Participants will learn about the benefits of meditation and experiencing inner peace through music. Visit to register (tickets are $15 for advance purchase, $20 on the day of the event).

New Book Introduces Comfort
Food Recipes to Vegans

More and more people are turning away from meat and dairy to adopt a vegan lifestyle. Whether as a health or ethical choice veganism is rising in popularity, and vegans are looking for retail items, like cookbooks, that support their lifestyles, which is something you might want to consider when planning your spa’s retail offerings. I think I’ve discovered the perfect solution. Although it seems like a healthy choice that I admit is foreign to me, there are many vegans who miss the taste of a good old fashioned burger with all the fixings from the local diner. With ‘greasy spoon’ favorites in mind, author Julie Hasson has created the perfect recipe book for those who are stilling longing for the comfort food experience without the typical ingredients. In her new book Vegan Diner: Classic Comfort Food for the Body and Soul ($19.95), Hasson cooks up diner favorite recipes from breakfast to dessert with delicious, non-meat and non-dairy ingredients. Readers will find recipes for such delights as cinnamon orange rolls, very sloppy Joes, double chocolate strawberry pie, and more. She has even created a unique recipe for “the blue plate special,” a staple at diners across the country. So collect your quarters for the jukebox, and let the mouth watering begin!

New Book Sheds Light on the Aging Process

Now that I am over 40 (I can’t believe I just posted this information by choice), I am starting my search for the elusive Fountain of Youth. During the course of the day I am inundated with information about the secrets to staying young, and while I am paying close attention, it can become overwhelming.  From natural treatments and fitness to medical procedures, the stream of advice and techniques seem to be endless. But where is the proof that these techniques actually work? Kate Marie, the author of the new book Fast Living Slow Ageing, has the answer. At the age of 40, Marie found herself overweight and living an unhealthy lifestyle. After being diagnosed with depression, she took back control of her life and started a hormone and supplement plan. “This turgid process created a burning desire to consider my future and ultimately to want to develop a successful health and wellness strategy for the next 30 years. I wanted a long-term plan for staying well, so I thought I’d try to write one – hence the book was born,” says Marie. “Of course, with a project of the magnitude I envisioned, I knew I couldn’t do it alone.”

Marie collaborated with a team of experts that included more than 50 scientists, doctors and health practitioners to find proven and cutting edge ways on how to look and feel your best while ageing. With a clear, concise, and fact-driven  approach, this book delivers  techniques on how to get the most out of life mentally and physically through nutrition, exercise, hormones, supplements, and stress management. Lets face it—we are going to age, so it’s never to early to gather the ammunition we need to be the best we can be.

Fast Living Slow Ageing is now available through online retailers in ebook format. Visit Amazon, and the Sony Reader Store to purchase or go to

Let’s Talk…

While it may be easier to shoot off an email or a quick text, the art of conversation is still valued. And, according to Maribeth Kuzmeski, author of several books, including The Connectors: How the World’s Most Successful Businesspeople Build Relationships and Win Clients for Life (Wiley, 2009) stresses the importance of communicating through actually talking, as opposed to relying on technology. “Conversations are the building blocks of relationships,” says Kuzmeski. “Without them, we form relationships that are devoid of substance. But for anyone who wants to create truly beneficial relationships, you have to stop texting, walk away from the computer, and connection with someone one-on-one through a great conversation.” Here, Kuzmeski offers more tips on why we should talk more:

• It puts quality ahead of speed.

• It’s the glue of great relationships.

• It’s the only way to see what someone is saying.

• It’s an opportunity-making skill.

• It’s a great way to invest in others.

• It is not a requirement to be the most outgoing person in the room.

• It’s the best way to mend a broken relationship.

• It makes life better.

Listen Up…

My coworker and good friend (I won’t name names here) has a habit of cracking her knuckles quite often. Although I love her dearly, every time I hear her doing this, it drives me crazy. Like everyone, there are just certain sounds that are close to intolerable to me. But last evening when I came across a book on one of the shelves in our office called 100 Sounds to See (Health Communications, 2010), I was intrigued. Upon looking through it, I realized that, although I am quick to recognize the sounds that drive me batty, I take for granted the sounds that soothe my soul and put a smile on my face. As author Marsha Engle began slowly losing her hearing, she decided to collaborate with photographer William J. Huber to capture her favorite sounds through photographs, and the results are breathtaking. From the image of a flag unfurling in a breeze to the shuffle of a deck of cards, each stunning photograph is a reminder to the reader to take some time to appreciate the gift of hearing. Experience the power of this amazing book for yourself by clicking here.

Discover the Ugly Side of Spa
with a New Book from an Industry Insider

Everyone knows that work is called that for a reason. While some careers tend to have more glam than others, most jobs come with a downside. What Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2000), by Anthony Bourdain, did for the culinary set, Lora Condon’s Spa Wars: The Ugly Truth about The Beauty Industry (2011) seeks to do for the spa set.  A licensed esthetician since 1998, Condon goes behind closed spa doors to reveal some of the dirty industry secrets she has witness over the years. From spas that re-use worn robes and used towels to clients with questionable hygiene, she doesn’t mince words when it comes to taking the “warm and fuzzy” out of spa.

New Book Offers Tips from Spas Around the World

Besides from enjoying treatments and services, one of my favorite aspects of spa-ing is learning tricks of the trade from the experts when it comes to homecare. You can imagine my delight when I received a copy of Nature’s Beauty Secrets: Recipes for Beauty Treatments from the World’s Best Spas (Universe Publishing, 2011), in which fashion model and extensive world-traveler Dawn Gallagher shares a collection of ancient and modern beauty secrets, exercises for the body and mind, and healthy lifestyle tips from a variety of spas around the world. In addition to easy-to-follow recipes and tips, the book is brimming with beautiful photographs, making it a lovely retail item.

Milady Publishes New Book For Spa Business Owners

Because it’s a long road filled with many questions and concerns going from entrepreneur to successful business owner, Milady recently published “Successful Salon & Spa Management, Sixth Edition.” Written by Edward J. Tezak, who has been in the beauty industry for 50 years, the book is designed to help owners gain a clear perspective on how to run a spa or salon. It covers such topics as advice on menus and pricing, lease and rental agreements, and many more daunting topics. Interested in learning how to run a more successful business? Order your copy at

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