Photo: Dan Hallman Photography

How to Style Curly Hair: You Asked For It!

I recently wrote a story for Today.com about why I’d never want to look 25 again, and about celebrating beauty at all ages. In spite of myself, I read every comment following the social media promotion of that post — which was meant only as rah-rah women in tone, but was taken in all kinds of ways.

A significant enough subset of those comments focused on my hair. [Bats lashes prettily!] Women of various ethnicities, ages, and hair lengths wanted to know how to style curly hair. Specifically, they asked me which products I use on my signature long, blonde curls.

Well, ladies? That’s all the encouragement I need! Here in plain terms are my easy-to-duplicate instructions for how to style curly hair. I know as well as any curly-haired queen that our hair is very specific to each of us, as are the methods for making it look its best. But this is my personal method, practiced over a whole adult lifetime, in case it can help you, too! Read more…

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Triada Palm Springs Hotel

Triada Palm Springs: A New Palm Springs Hotel in the Best Location!

I’m back from the desert with updates about a new hotel: the Triada Palm Springs.

As I teased in a recent post, I just got a chance to stay in the new Triada, which recently opened from Marriott. It’s a Spanish hacienda-style property with 56 guest rooms in the tony Movie Colony neighborhood downtown, and it’s really lovely.

The property just underwent a multimillion dollar renovation, but was orgiginally designed in 1939 (as readers of this blog well know, I am a huge fan of 1930s vintage Spanish style) and began its life as a private residence. In the 1940s it became the Ambassador Hotel and had various incarnations over the years—during which time it hosted the likes of Esther Williams, Elizabeth Taylor, and Howard Hughes. Most recently, though, it had sat vacant for decades. Read more…

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Seychelles, tropical paradise Indian Ocean island nation

6 Outrageously Over-the-Top Africa Vacation Ideas

It’s Monday morning after a holiday weekend, and I was feeling a little groggy — not quite awake yet on my weekly conference call, guzzling coffee, trying to look alive. But when I got organized to put up today’s guest post, I found my inspiration real quick. I’m up, I’m up! Helloooooo big world.

And I suspect you will feel alive too, when you let your wanderlust dreams run wild, thanks to the second-in-a-series post from GeoEx Africa expert Starla Estrada. To refresh, Starla has adventured through 17 African countries (modes of transportation: on foot, 4×4 vehicles, quad bikes, kayak, canoe, hot air balloon, helicopter, various small aircraft), and she’s off again this Friday for a month of exploring on the continent.

Before she goes, she’s provided her spectacular picks for over-the-top Africa vacation ideas. I’m so excited to share them with you here:

Read more…

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DSC_0388

How to Dye Eggs Naturally Using Nothing but… FOOD!

Last year, I was busily being more “motion” and less “homebody” for various reasons. First, I was pregnant and we were trying to get all possible travel in before babies (I was editing the original version of this post from a tropical lanai). And of course, we’d been booted out of our house while we remodeled in my second trimester. But it’s my very talented sister who was then — and always is, if I’m honest — the more gifted “homebody” anyway, when it comes to mind-blowing Pinterest-worthy DIYs, crafting, and making stuff in the kitchen.

So she took the reigns as guest blogger with this post about how to dye eggs naturally. And given it’s Easter season again, it’s time to bring this gorgeous post back for your DIY inspiration! (After Easter, this project is amaze for a baby shower or other springtime event, too.) Without further ado, check out the wizardry that is Elisabeth’s tutorial for how to dye eggs naturally:

“Last year when my son was in kindergarten, his teacher requested that parents send in some kitchen scraps for coloring boiled eggs using only nature’s bounty. Naturally, I thought, “Oh, this’ll be swell. I’ll send in my cabbage scraps for the kids to make their nature craft, and then run over to CVS to buy some Paas coloring kits for when we dye the pretty eggs at home…” Little did I realize that modern kindergarten teachers are nobody’s fools; one would never propose a craft project that wouldn’t produce a dramatic show to hold the interest of discerning five-year-olds. In this case, the spectacle lay in the power of simple foods to create effective egg dyes that not only cost very little but come out way, way better than Paas. This year, I decided to try my own hand at naturally-dyed eggs. (Enough friends asked me how I did it, so I was inspired to ask my sister to allow me to use this forum to share the joy…) Read more…

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Saguaro Palm Springs

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

“Where should I stay in Palm Springs?” People ask me that a lot. I like to think this is because I always look so well rested, wear color so well, 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 — now updated (with photos) for the 2015 spring festival season! Read more…

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Sayulita

2 Fun Day Trips From Punta Mita: Marietas Islands and Sayulita

In my last post, I talked in detail about our glorious experience at the St. Regis Punta Mita, one of the luxe resorts in the gated Punta Mita enclave, where a vacationer could easily wile away endless hours at the sprawling pools and beach.

But we were also near enough to a couple of other fantastic options for day trips from Punta Mita that I’d love to share here. Read more…

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St. Regis Punta Mita beach at sunset

Luxury Romantic Travel: Bidding Adiós to Bebés for a Punta Mita Getaway

When is a vacation more than a vacation?

I’m going to tell you straight up. It’s when you have seven-month-old twins, and you’re getting on a plane for a getaway without them for the first time since they were born. It’s when you watched with major FOMO other people’s travels on Instagram during the summer your babies were born and you were post-op and in the weeds with two newborns and in love with the new cuties, but also in WTF-is-going-on mode. It’s when you’ve never in your entire life needed or deserved another vacation as badly.

Those were the circumstances behind our trip to Punta Mita, Mexico, such that I was literally skipping through LAX on the way out of town. Of course, we were going to miss our sweet babes madly, but they would be safely in the care of four deeply doting grandparents.

So on this trip, we were off to the St. Regis Punta Mita, a getaway planned for pure luxury — no camping, no remote locations, no crazy string of planes, trains, and automobiles this time for obvious reasons. Just the most luxurious beach-and-pool vacation we have taken since our honeymoon in French Polynesia. Just sheer luxury romantic travel this time, thank you very much. Read more…

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Pan Am Experience review

Pan Am Experience: The Coolest 1970s Aviation-Theme Dinner Party You Will Ever Attend

Last year on Valentine’s Day, we were taking in the Paris views from high up in the Eiffel Tower, with two babes baking in my belly. It was pretty hard to top.

But this year, we spent the holiday having an entirely different kind of travel experience that was much less far flung, but also in some ways much more exotic. Aviation fans and general travelphiles: You’re going to want to check this one out.

Our date was to — wait for it — the Pan Am Experience, a 1970s aviation-theme dinner party set in a 747. Read more…

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St. Regis Punta Mita

To Bebe or Not to Bebe? First Flight After Twins Sparks Family Debate

Tickets booked: We’re off again!

This time, it’s another significant milestone for us. It will be our first flight as a couple, away from babies, since the twins were born.

Yes, both David and I have traveled for work separately. And we’ve traveled together by car, too. But this time we’re busting the passports out of the safe — along with my wedding rings that finally fit again after a year, hooray! — and winging away to Mexico next month.

When I snagged our tickets, I did so knowing that it left us options. For a zillion reasons I hardly need to illuminate here, this wouldn’t be some big adventure travel blowout, or anything with a 15-hour time zone difference. No, this would be a luxurious, relaxing beach vacay of the highest order, in relatively close proximity. Our flights to Puerta Vallarta with plans to head to the amenity-filled St. Regis Punta Mita (pictured above) would leave our options open: We could figure out later whether or not to bring the wee babes, and the vacay could equally well accommodate either choice. Read more…

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after pregnancy body

After Pregnancy Body Shocker (Or: Beware the Korean Spa)

Hey Pregnant Ladies:

I hope very much that you, like a celebrity, look Us Weekly-cover ready a month after you deliver. Looking and feeling hot and sexy as a new mom would make for a few less things to worry about during that emotional, exhausted, insane first few weeks. And I want that for you.

And maybe that will happen. But just in case it doesn’t, I’m here to tell you a couple of personal tales that I hope can prepare you, in the event that you find yourself still looking pregnant for a really long time after you deliver. (If this is news to you, sorry I’m the one to—ahem—deliver it!)

Here’s the real deal: You’re probably going to look pregnant for a while, even a long while, after delivery. Here are stories from my first three months postpartum, after delivering my full-term twins, that still make me cringe deep in my soul — the trauma may never fully fade, in fact. But now that I’ve lost all my pregnancy weight (50-plus pounds through hard, protracted work — no magic involved), I have the necessary distance (and confidence) to tell two tales from the trenches. Read more…

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