Saguaro Palm Springs

“Where Should I Stay in Palm Springs?” I’m Here to Tell You

“Where should I say in Palm Springs?” People ask me that a lot. I like to think this is because I always look so well rested and have such a glowing all-over-even tan. But it’s probably just because I’ve been out to the desert a zillion times, love it, and have stayed just about everywhere. Here’s my quickie guide for where to stay in Palm Springs and why. Read more…

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Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs pool scene

Babymoon Part Deux: A Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs Weekend (Including Shameless Bikini Bumpin’!*)

*Bikini baby bump not pictured anywhere here, obvi, hello.

As long as I can waddle, I can try to squeeze in one more babymoon. (I should put that in a pretty script font and circulate it as Instagram wisdom — because you can mark my words, so help me.)

No, but seriously. Our big European adventure was the technical last hurrah before babies — but so were Vietnam, Bali and Belize. So that’s how we do.

The next few trips on the docket are weekenders, including last weekend’s little Palm Springs jaunt. (A quick trip to the desert is something we’d talked about even while freezing our tushies off in Venice and Paris especially.) We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, which had just made its debut with an official grand opening party the week before. The Hard Rock replaces (and totally revamps) the former Hotel Zoso on Indian Canyon Drive — walking distance from basically everything. Read more…

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pasteurized cheese paris babymoon

Pregnant in Paris: A Babymoon in the Land of Unpasteurized Cheese

I’ve been a vegetarian for so long (20-plus years!) that I don’t experience any sense of active compromise when I’m quickly scanning menus for the limited dishes I can eat. And certainly when I travel, I don’t necessarily expect to eat that nation’s specialty, and I don’t bemoan it if I can’t. I’m very used to this, and I like to think I’m low maintenance in that regard, though I do actively seek out vegetarian restaurants when I travel if it’s a possibility.

You’d think that a babymoon in Europe (France, Italy, Spain) would be kind of a perfect scenario for a pregnant vegetarian: first-world cleanliness practices, and tons of bread and pasta and cheese as national specialties, available anywhere from street corners to fine dining rooms (especially compared to some of the more far-flung or meat-loving places where we’ve traveled recently, like Indonesia, Istanbul). Easy peasy, right?

Totally wrong, as it turns out. American pregnant women are not advised to eat unpasteurized cheese (or milk, or juice), and it turns out Europeans are not real big on pasteurizing their stuff. Ironic, right? Given that Louis Pasteur‘s birthplace was indeed France. Read more…

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LA Furniture Store Barcelona Table and Chairs for Outdoor Entertaining

Sponsored: Check Out the Chic New Furniture I Want Right Now!

As you know by now, I’m in the middle of a house remodel that has necessitated our move out of our house — and in with parents and in-laws. As disruptive as this is (and I’m sure I could think of a few other choice adjectives to describe it as well), it also provides a great sense of excitement: When we move back in, we’re going to have a brand-new-feeling place and a fresh start.

To go with our new bathroom, new office, new dining room, and revamped dressing and laundry room, we’re definitely eyeing plenty of new furniture. (Obvi!)

LA Furniture Store has a couple of locations right near us, at the Westside Pavilion and in Downtown L.A. (not to mention e-commerce and locations in Florida and New York as well), and would be a great place to pick up some key pieces. Here’s what I’m thinking… Read more…

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LA Furniture Store starburst gold mirror

Win a $125 Gift Card for Sleek, Modern Home Decor and Furniture!

OK, dear readers and impeccable home decorators! It’s giveaway time again. And I’m pretty pumped on the latest prize.

The modern home decor, furniture and accessories retailer LA Furniture Store is offering Homebody in Motion readers a $125 gift card toward its super chic and sleek modern styles, available online as well as at locations all over the country (including several right here in my home town of Los Angeles — DTLA and Westside Pavilion holler! — plus New York and Florida).

Put your (free!) money toward a huge selection of modern furniture, or use it to completely cover one amazing accent piece — like this gilded starburst mirror with kind of a mid-century modern feel, a steal at $125 on the nose. (It reminds me of my fave Palm Springs, and I totally want it in my house — we can be twinsies). Read more…

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Carthay Square Los Angeles 1936 Spanish Deco Tiled Bathroom

In Which We Attempt a Los Angeles Home Remodel While Pregnant (Gulp!)

Surely I must be one of those people who’s not happy unless she’s in constant motion, whether that means traveling (three countries per 10-day vacation is about our speed), or keeping busy at home.

The latest piece of evidence: On Tuesday, which is the day I hit 19 weeks pregnant (or exactly halfway on the twins full-term scale), we’ll move out of our house as we begin demo for a two-month remodel. To recap: a home remodel while pregnant. One that requires moving out. And moving in with parents and in-laws. For six weeks. Gulp.

In short, here’s why. Read more…

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Valentine's Day in Paris

A Very Clichéd Valentine’s Day in Paris (Or Why We’re Never Celebrating Again)

Several years ago, I had the privilege of covering the opening of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas casino resort. It was a really wildly splashy affair (in the recession, no less) that involved a spectacular black-tie New Year’s Eve dinner designed by Colin Cowie, and a concert in a rather intimate ballroom by such up-and-comers as Jay-Z, Coldplay, Beyonce, Kanye West — you know, no biggie. Of course, the fabulous food and champers flowed, and surprises like poolside concerts and other treats popped up around the property all weekend. After that, David and I decided, “OK, we don’t have to do New Year’s Eve anymore. We can put the whole holiday to bed. We’ll never top this.”

Valentine’s Day in Paris was kinda like that. From the second deck of the Eiffel Tower after sunset, we declared, “It’s a wrap on Valentine’s Day.” Read more…

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Paris Babymoon, Eiffel Tower Winter

International Babymoon Ideas: Where Should We Go for a Safe Last Hurrah?

First of all, just to put it out there: The word “babymoon” is pretty obnox, right? But the concept, of course, is something I can totally get behind.

Obviously, when I found out I was pregnant, there was zero chance we were going to miss heading out for (at least) one last hurrah abroad. Of course, we got the doctor’s OK (he was relievingly unconcerned), and then we tossed around a ton of babymoon ideas.

Where to go? In recent years, our travel has tended to favor remote and third-world places, often accessed by super-long flights from Los Angeles. This time, we had a few specific criteria: Read more…

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twin ultrasound week 12

More Homebody, Less Motion?

Oh yes, this blog is about to take a turn.

My absence here in recent weeks can be explained by the big news that (wait for it) I’m pregnant… with twins no less!

At this stage, I’m into the second trimester and expecting mid-summer. Obviously the exciting developments over here mean that our decision making about all matters both house related and travel related shift in new directions.

I hope you’ll keep reading to see where all of this takes us. I’m pretty darn curious myself!

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PAW Animal Sanctuary Caye Caulker, Belize. Madi Collins.

The Amazing PAW Animal Sanctuary: Your Volunteer Vacation in Belize? (Or a Very Worthy PayPal Click!)

I want to tell you guys about a really wonderful woman, and a really special little place in the world.

The woman is named Madi Collins, and the place is the colorful little PAW Animal Sanctuary on the tiny island of Caye Caulker in Belize.

I found Madi (that’s her pictured above) several weeks ago, while asking relatively pettier questions about hotels and such on TripAdvisor’s Belize forums. (Sidebar: Do you know about/use TripAdvisor’s travel forums? They’re the best wellspring of info ever.) She popped up there in a somewhat desperate search for a donated laptop for her animal sanctuary — and as a devoted animal lover, I reached out to her in the hopes we could help.

Just before our trip, we’d not yet turned up a spare laptop we could donate, but I emailed Madi to tell her I had a never-used smartphone, still in the box, if perhaps she could use it for her organization? She emphatically said she could, so I put it in my suitcase and we set off for Belize. Read more…

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