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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Simple Things That You Can Do To Maintain Your Health While Traveling

Are you interested in staying healthy on your travels? You might think that this is going to be tricky. However, I'm happy to tell you that that’s not the case. There are steps that you can take to remain fit and healthy regardless of where you are heading. You don’t need to let your diet go out the window. Here are the best options that you can explore to ensure that you don’t run into trouble.

There are steps that you can take to remain fit and healthy regardless of where you are heading. You don’t need to let your diet go out the window.
Photo by Pixabay

Workout Wherever You Are

First, you might want to make sure that you are working out regardless of where you are going around the world. There are lots of different types of exercise that will be perfect for traveling and provide real benefits if you are constantly sitting down on planes or trains. For instance, you might want to think about yoga. Yoga is beneficial because you don’t need anything with you to practice this activity. Alternatively, if you are interested in completing exercise movements such as a dumbbell lat raise, then you might want to think about heading to a local gym near where you are staying. 

Don’t Fall Into The Trap Of Eating Bad All The Time

One of the things that people tend to do when they are traveling is just eat anything they want. While this is absolutely fine, it’s probably not doing wonders for your health, which is why I recommend a compromise. Try eating whatever you want one day of the week, or for one meal of the day. But, for the majority of the time, you should be trying to eat healthy, ensuring that you are getting all those nutrients and vitamins into your diet. I always make a point of seeking out vegetables on a menu at least once a day and make a trip to the grocery store when I first arrive and load up on fruit for mornings (or anytime snacks).

Make Sure You’re Outside A Lot

Make sure that you are going outside on a regular basis. The fresh air is good for you, and it’s much better than being cooped up in your apartment or whatever place you are staying in. Being outside with mother nature is a fantastic way to keep up both your physical and mental health. 

The more that you are outside, the more steps you are going to be able to get in. You should be trying to reach your goal that you set for while you are at home, and then add more onto this. Walking is something that you are going to do a lot of while you are traveling and the more steps that you can get in, the better it is for your health. Take the stairs not the elevator when heading back to your accommodation, just to boost the count.

I hope that you have found this article useful, and now have a better understanding of some of the things that you should be doing to maintain your health while you are traveling. It’s not always going to be easy as you’re going to want to do different things while you’re on vacation, but your health shouldn’t suffer just because you’re not at home.

How do you stay healthy on vacation?

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Happy Lunar New Year 2023

Gung hay fat choy! We have kicked off 2023 with a trip to Palm Springs, and then a little celebration at home for the Chinese New Year (or Lunar New Year, since more Asian countries/people celebrate than just China). You may remember all our activities from 2022 and our at-home celebration from 2021. We didn't go as big this year, but that doesn't mean it wasn't as fun.

We'll be checking in with some local Lunar New Year events, but in the meantime, let's look at our at-home celebration.

We'll be checking in with some local Lunar events, but in the meantime, let's look at our at-home celebration.

Yeah, not sure why this is so blurry. We just had tater tots with bacon & eggs.

We actually started our day with a Zoom brunch with friends, where we wore our old firecracker headbands, because they're awesome. 

I brought back these fun Lunar New Year animal plates, because they are timeless and they are the perfect size. I also want to call attention to this flavored water that was like a very light and not-too-sweet soda. I purely bought these based on the cool see-through cans. We had a mango and a pineapple and I highly recommend them. I also have these lovely Chinese highball glasses from Cost Plus World Market. Let's move on to the rest of the table.

I really thought I needed a new runner for this year and found this adorable Year of the Rabbit topper for our coffee table. I brought back my pink fish vase, because fish are very symbolic as a New Year food and image. I ordered a fish platter, but it didn't get here in time. I picked up a lucky jade succulent from Trader Joe's that comes with a lucky envelope you can use. Onto food!

Clementines, tangerines or oranges are another symbolic food of Lunar New Year, because they are both gold (orange is the closest you can get to gold in food) and look like money bags, which symbolize prosperity. I got almost all my food from Trader Joe's, again, so we had this Spicy Thai Shrimp Fried Rice. A+, highly recommended.

Again, I got Chicken Shu Mai. You can also get it with pork, but we aren't really pork people. It comes with a teriyaki soy sauce, which brings me to one of my favorite things...

At some point, I got these egg cups that have little bunny feet and tails. They are great for soft-boiled eggs, but also perfect for dipping sauces, so if you're looking for a sturdy dipping vessel, egg cups are fantastic and the ideal size, especially for bite-size things like these shu mai. 

I also picked up some Vegetable Spring Rolls, because vegetables are important, and the Philly Cheesesteak Bao, which I know aren't traditional, but they are delicious. Bao, and dumplings, are very popular Lunar New Year foods, because they also look like coin purses and money bags. Trader Joe's has potstickers and soup dumplings, both of which are delicious options, too. 

Red envelopes are given out to children during the New Year celebrations, though people often add money and give them to adults as well, Start your year with a bit of prosperity to manifest it all year long. I picked these rabbit ones up from 99 Ranch, a chain Asian grocery store. They are sparkly - love it! - and they were only $.50 for 6 envelopes. The same ones were $5 at a different store.

After dinner, we did these scratch-off fortunes. These were not as good as other ones I've purchased, as I took a bunch to work and found that half of them had typos on them. I should have ordered again from the same company as last year. They were also prettier and had actual fortunes. These just seemed to have attributes, like you'd find in a Panda Express fortune cookie. At least those have lucky numbers though. These fish fortunes are fun, too.

Also from 99 Ranch were these date mooncakes that we had for dessert. They had several different varieties, but since I don't love matcha (don't yell at me) and I'm not sure what Lotus tastes like, I chose these. Imagine a really cookie-heavy Fig Newton. I would have loved more date filling. Mooncakes symbolize family reunion and completeness. Everyone can benefit from a little bit of that (unless your family is problematic, in which case, surround yourself with chosen family).

I just threw this photo in there so you can admire my fun Lucky Cat short kimono. And these banners are gorgeous. If you're wondering about the rest of the backdrop, it's just a red tablecloth I had on hand.

If you're at my house celebrating something, you always have to have some sort of headgear or glasses, so this year we have lucky fish and money bags.

You can make your at-home celebration as big or small as you wish. It's easy to fit your budget. In the past we've ordered foods from a local Asian restaurant, but you can easily have a filling dinner for the whole family from the grocery store for $40 or less. If you have a Trader Joe's near you, they have a ton of easy-to-make foods at reasonable prices. 

Likewise if you have an Asian store near you, it's easy to find traditional foods that you like, but the labels are almost entirely in foreign script. This is fine if you're adventurous, want to ask a salesperson, or use Google Translate on your phone. I did this with a packet of gold papers that I thought might be napkins. They weren't. I always have a fun time looking at fun new foods and drinks.

I hope you all have a wonderful year full of prosperity, love, kindness, and generosity. Do you celebrate the Lunar New Year or another annual festival?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links and may result in me being monetarily compensated should you make a purchase through them. Your support helps me run this blog and I thank you in advance for using my links (even if you buy entirely different things).

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

3 Tips for Choosing the Right Underwear

Your underwear, though not seen, plays a crucial role in your overall comfort whenever you dress, especially on vacation when you may be a lot more active or switching between multiple activities. According to a survey, the average woman owns about 34 pairs of underwear, and it is important to ensure that those pieces are comfortable and stylish. As a woman, your appearance and sense of style go beyond how you look. More importantly, it has more to do with your personal confidence and that’s what others pick up on. Believe it or not, wearing the right underwear can give you a much needed boost in confidence everyday.

Your underwear plays a crucial role in your overall comfort, especially on vacation when you may be a lot more active every day.
Photo by Castorly Stock

Invest In High-Quality Fabrics

Quality underwear may cost more, but it's worth the investment. High-quality underwear is made from durable fabrics and is designed to last longer, saving you money in the long run. Additionally, quality underwear is more comfortable and less likely to lose shape or stretch out after a few wears. As you focus on quality, it is important to consider the fabric. Look for underwear made from breathable and moisture-wicking materials, such as cotton or bamboo, to keep you fresh and dry throughout the day. The fabric of your underwear can greatly affect comfort and breathability. Cotton is the most popular choice for its softness, breathability and absorbency. However, for a more luxurious feel, you can also try other fabrics, such as modal, bamboo, or silk.

Choose the Right Fit

Make sure your underwear fits well to avoid discomfort and visible panty lines. It is best to look for pieces that have a snug yet comfortable fit and sit smoothly against your body. Getting the right fit also includes your bras. The most comfortable bras can go a long way in enhancing your confidence and preventing sweat. A well-fitting bra will not show visible lines in your outer clothing. Did you know that wearing underwear that is too small can lead to discomfort and even health problems? Meanwhile, wearing underwear that is too large can lead to bunching and riding up.

Photo by PNW Production

Special Occasions

Do you have a variety of underwear styles on hand for different occasions? For example, you should have a few seamless thongs for tight-fitting clothing. Additionally, you can get a few pairs of boyshorts for more casual looks and high-waisted or full-coverage briefs for more formal occasions. Again, do you have them in different colors, especially neutral ones? Not having the right underwear for different occasions can cause discomfort. It can also cause you to waste a lot of time trying to find the right fit.

I usually wear different underwear on days I'm out running around than I do on the airplane where having a bit more breathability is nice, since the airplane can be very stuffy and warm. I also bring boyshorts or long line (like bicycle shorts) for under dresses/skirts and to sleep in if our accommodations aren't that cool.

No matter the type of underwear you choose for different occasions, remember there are seamless options for each. Thanks to fashion technology, various threads and fabrics enhance your comfort and style when wearing these undergarments. Remember to keep records of the combinations or types that worked best for your comfort as you experiment with different styles.

Whatever style you decide is best for you and are perfect for packing, always keep your comfort, hygiene, and functionality in mind. You don't want to realize halfway around the world that the undergarments you have on are actually the worst. If you think bra shopping at home is terrible, just think about doing it in another country where you may not even speak the language. Use the above tips before you pack and stay comfy and looking good.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Free Art in Palm Springs

As you know, one of my favorite things to do in a city is to take a walk to look at street art. So many cities work with local artists to beautify their streets, buildings, trash cans, and electrical boxes. Palm Springs is no different and there are tons of great photo opportunities all over. Unsurprisingly, I was ecstatic.

As you know, one of my favorite things to do in a city is to take a walk to look at street art. Palm Springs is no different.
Why yes, I do love you Palm Springs!
Over the 5 days we were in town, we saw so much free art, not including all the amazing architecture, which is a whole other thing of its own. 

The art starts as soon as you get off the plane. The airport is mostly outside, with great places to sit, picnic, view art, let the kids play, sip coffee or wine, and even learn a little history. Throughout the grounds are a scattering of sculptures, including two of these beautiful scenic rams.

Downtown and Uptown are chock full of commemorations of previous residents, including former Mayor Sonny Bono, who got his own bronze statue (there's a bust of him at the airport, too, before you get to the Sonny Bono Concourse). You can see how well loved this statue is as a photo op. Seconds before I took this, there was a whole family climbing on him for a picture, and seconds after I took this, I took one of Eric with him. There's also a plaque that tells you all about why Bono was such a honored member of the community.

Across the street, a little bit up the block, you'll find this bronze statue of Lucille Ball. We actually missed her the first time we went down that street. If not for Pokemon Go, we may not have seen her at all. It was very sunny, so you'll have to pardon all the terrible shadows. Lucy came to Palm Springs before her career had taken off and then returned again and again once famous and married to Desi Arnaz, staying in the best hotels and even making a movie there.

The streets are lined with colorful benches, each done by a different artist. Make sure to walk all the way around them, because there's something different to see from each angle. Each has a completely different vibe and I was loving it. There were pop art ones, nature ones, and ones celebrating Pride. There was even one outside the airport that looked like a giant plane ticket on top of two piles of suitcases. Very clever.

It's not all sculptures and benches though, because there also seems to be a cool mural tucked around every corner. I saw so many I couldn't take photos of while I was driving, but I did stop outside a hotel I wanted a photo of and this was on the wall between it and the hotel next to it. Swoon!

Here are 3 different pieces of art in one picture: Fault Line Meditation by JEVPIC, 
Line-Segments-Palm-Springs by Ryan Campbell, and Palm Springs Babies by David Cerny

We never made it to the Palm Springs Art Gallery, even though we had every intention to get to it. We did enjoy the park across the street from the gallery one evening, where there is So. Much. Art. For free!

Enjoy this different view.

The street leading to the museum greets you with a gigantic Marilyn Monroe. This 26-foot statue, entitled Forever Marilyn, celebrates another one of Palm Springs' famous residents. You can also take a self-guided tour and see what is dubbed the Marilyn Monroe house (from the outside), one of the homes she rented throughout her career.

I loved everything, no matter how weird, out front of the museum, but I especially loved this one called Suspended Time, by Gonzalo Lebrija. This car is surrounded by a small black lake, giving it an awesome mirrored effect.

This is actual water.

What did I think of Palm Springs and all its amazing art? There was a piece of art to describe that, too. Wow by Midabi. With so many things costing money, self-guided walking tours are a great way to do something cool for free. It's one of the best free activities in my opinion, because city art is a wonderful way to get a feeling for a city and the people who live there.

What's your favorite piece of street art, or your favorite city for street art?

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

5 Items I Never Travel Without

I tend to travel more than most people, and I like my trips to be easy and convenient. I accomplish this, in part, by finding items that help me travel better. There are things I take on certain trips on not on others, but there are 5 things that I always pack, because they have become a necessity. 

I like my trips to be easy and convenient. I accomplish this, in part, by finding items that help me travel better. Here are 5 that I always pack.

If you're looking to kick your vacations up a notch, then here are my suggestions for your carry-on:

A Reusable Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is very important, especially when you're walking more and sitting on a dry airplane for hours. I bring along a thermos that keeps liquids hot or cold, that way I can take my coffee on the go and also fill with ice and water for cold water all day long. This saves me money and also time standing in line to get a beverage. It's also great for the environment, because I'm not constantly buying another bottled water. Most places have bottle filling stations. While it may not be the greatest tasting water, it's free and if you have ice in it to make it really cold, it mostly masks any weird flavor. 

I either take along a S'well bottle that I use every day at work or a bigger Laken bottle, but also sometimes both (one for each of us). 
For more than ten years, I've been traveling with a collapsible laundry basket that I use as a hamper and a laundry tote. It has great sturdy handles and pockets to hold change for machines, the strap to keep it closed, and detergent. I've also used them to carry games, when we've had to go to an actual laundromat outside of our hotel/timeshare. It's strong enough to carry multiple loads, even when wet. You can also use it to corral all your purchases, so you don't forget anything when you're ready to leave. I've done this in the past when I was figuring out if I needed to get anything for anyone else before I left.

It looks like the one I have has been discontinued, but you can get one without pockets, or if you want one with pockets, there's this one that may not be as as heavy-duty with an outside mesh pocket, and this one that is taller with a reinforced outside pocket. 

Reusable Grocery Bag

One of my first stops on a trip is either to the grocery store or farmers' market. A lot of places charge for bags now and I've been to destinations that don't have bags at the register at all. I have several of these Nanobags that are super small and can fit in your bag, pocket, or coat. They carry a ton and weigh almost nothing. I use these at home, too, and bought some for everyone else to use  when the whole family went to Scotland in 2019. You can buy them here (I use the standard), or if you're looking for something similar Chicobag is available on Amazon.

We've used these for festivals, purchases when out sightseeing, and for carrying around our coats when it stops raining or we get too warm. If you haven't packed a back-up bag for your return trip and have purchased a few too many things, then this works in a pinch as a personal item on the plane.

Battery Back-up

When you're out all day long and taking pics and posting to social media and using GPS  and playing Pokemon Go (or whatever else you do on your phone), your battery is not going to last. I carry a big backup that will charge both of our phones twice during a day. This is especially great when we're at theme parks or we're on a a long flight. We survived off this battery on our flight to France, where we had a whole day layover in Baltimore (basically two days before we could charge up properly). It has 3 ports, so you could, conceivably, charge 3 devices at the same time. 

Mini Power Strip

When you're traveling with multiple electronics that you need to charge at the same time, it's helpful to have a way to do that if you only have one or two free outlets. I have several travel power strips, including a surge protector, that are small and take up less space than multiple chargers. This way I can plug in my laptop, phone, and portable battery all at the same time. The one above doesn't seem to be available anymore, but there's this one that is similar and I have also taken this one on trips where I thought a more substantial one might be better and this one for international trips. 

It may seem like these 5 items will take up a substantial amount of room in your carry-on, but I promise they won't, and they will save you having to bring other things, as well as save you money once you get to your destination, which is always great. I hope this helps you be more efficient in the future and your travels are easier because of these tips.

What are your favorite things to bring along on your vacations?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, I may be compensated monetarily. Thanks in advance for any purchases you make. It helps me continue to run this blog and bring you my best budget travel tips.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

The Prettiest Foods in Palm Springs

Last week we were in Palm Springs and we spent 5 days eating and sightseeing and window shopping (with both shops and homes) and soaking up some much needed sun. We did a lot, but we also relaxed quite a bit. 

We went to a handful of "must-visit" restaurants while in Palm Springs and had some of the prettiest food we've seen. Here's a quick overview.

We went to a handful of "must-visit" restaurants while there and had some of the prettiest food we've seen, which I always enjoy and like to share, because you eat with your eyes first. Here's a quick tour of our trip through dishes we were served:


We made it off the plane and our car was dropped off (we used Turo) and we were starving, so we headed straight downtown, found free parking, and headed to Farm. This French country restaurant uses locally-grown and sourced foods that all looked beautiful. I was even able to get a watermelon juice. I haven't had one of those out since our trip to Ecuador. Anyway, I asked our waiter his preference between two dishes and he recommended the eggs Florentine. My eyes and my stomach were both happy with that decision.

Gastropub 1501

I knew we weren't going to want to eat too heavily on our first day. Our flight was just before 8am, so we were on our way to the airport at 5:30. We ate pretty much as soon as we got off the plane, but travel days are always weird, so I opted to hit up a much-recommended gastropub for happy hour. We aren't drinkers, but we love a good discounted food menu. I'd been looking forward to this charcuterie board all week and I was not disappointed when it arrived at our table, with the exception of the marcona almonds, but then realized those were awesome with everything else. 

Eric also ordered this avocado toast, which was lovely to look at, but he was less than thrilled by the bland "heirloom" tomatoes, and I thought the onions weren't pickled enough. When he mentioned his thoughts on the tomatoes, the waiter said he'd heard that before. I wonder how many time times they need to hear it before they change the kind they use to something more palate-pleasing. 


I found this restaurant on a list of Instagram-worthy dining spots and chose it because it had great reviews and also was a hot-spot for people with dogs. I made reservations for brunch and we sat on their pretty patio, so I could see diners with their pups, and ordered this blueberry ube blintz plate and French toast (it was nothing exciting to look at, but was tasty). This came with matcha powder and edible flowers. 

The food was good, but not amazing. The biggest disappointment here was the crazy prices for their coffee. Eric ordered a French press ($9!) and I got a double-espresso ($2.50) that they served me in a shot glass instead of an espresso cup and it was stone cold by the time he brought it to the table and explained the menu. I will give them credit for the gorgeous restaurant, inside and out, and the amazing bathroom.


We were able to walk to downtown/uptown from our timeshare, so we did and we got a lot of bonus exercise this way. The people who started Farm decided that they wanted to venture into a different kind of food from another part of the world. The opened an upscale Mexican restaurant and serve everything from specialty cocktails to small plates to platters. We both had tacos (calamari and steak), but we started with taco chips, which are like tiny tacos filled with refried beans and served with a trio of sauces/dips. I love their plates. Click through my link to see the restaurant and their amazing bathrooms.

Wilma and Frieda's

All the most-recommended restaurants seem to be right next to each other, but Palm Springs is actually fairly small, so that's not surprising really. We finally made it to Wilma and Frieda's on Sunday for brunch with a very short wait. Their menu has a ton of things that sound delicious. I ordered the biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs and country potatoes. It was very good, but not visually interesting, though the eggs were that very fresh deep yellow color. Instead, I give you Eric's bangers and rings, an eggs Benedict with a split open grilled cheddar sausage and poached eggs nested in onion rings. It could have used more sausage, but other than that, it was interesting to look at and to eat.

Local restaurants tended to be fairly expensive, so I only made one reservation a day, and it was usually breakfast. Dinners were hard to get reservations some days and the price per entrée were more than we were willing to pay.  Overall, the food in Palm Springs was very good, but somewhat overpriced. Coffee, almost everywhere, was outrageous, but my $7.50 coffee at a coffeehouse was better than all the (even more) expensive coffee at restaurants. I'm not sure what sort of coffee crowd they're catering to, but if I'm paying almost $10 for a drink, it either better be a damn good artisan coffee with flavors and spices or have booze in it. Even so, I can't wait to go back to Palm Springs. 

What are some of your favorite places to travel for the food? 

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Budget Winter Travel Destinations

It's the middle of winter, and if you're one of the majority of people who don't live in a sunny locale, then you might be looking for a quick getaway and a break from the snow/rain/cold. We just returned from our warm weather vacation and I don't blame anyone else for needing to do the same. Here are just a few ideas for affordable winter destinations.

It's the middle of winter, and if you're one of the majority of people who don't live in a sunny locale, then you might be looking for a warm getaway.

Tucson, Arizona

Tucson is pretty affordable all the time, but the much of the year can be horribly hot, but the winter months are quite lovely and still warm enough to not need a coat most of the time. You also won't be looking at airfare that's out of your budget, though you will have to share the road and attractions with Snowbirds (retired people who spend 3+ months in warmer destinations).

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands

If water sports and the beach are totally your thing, this is your destination. February is the best month to visit, with plunging airfare (especially if you're already on the east coast) and affordable lodging.

Paris, France

Now that the holidays are over, and it's not Spring yet, Paris is the perfect getaway. We spent a week there in September and had excellent weather, but now if you pack a jacket and some great walking shoes - because you will be walking a ton - you can still get some good sun and lines for museums and other attractions will be much shorter. If you've got a valid passport, and want to get out of the country, France is lovely, plus the Euro is basically a one-to-one conversion to the dollar, making it even more affordable.

Cairo, Egypt

Another great warm-weather destination that's outside the US is Cairo. Right now you can find airfare for under $400 round trip and you can soak up all that sun and history for less. You'll feel proud of yourself for getting in a once-in-a-lifetime trip for so little, while also eating all that delicious middle eastern food.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Trying to stay stateside? That's okay, too. February and March are awesome months to visit The Big Easy. The weather is beautiful, it's not that humid, and if you go a few weeks before Mardi Gras, or the week after, you can get screaming deals on airfare and hotels, plus you'll miss all the crowds and actually be able to walk around and see/do things. One of my favorite things I've done there is a visit to the Sazerac House, which is free and you get to drink and learn some history.

Santa Cruz, California

California is always a good road trip state, especially if you're in a nearby state, but there are plenty of flights going in and out every day. Santa Cruz should have pretty good weather, though you'll probably need a jacket for the evenings, and the boardwalk will be open (a must if you've seen The Lost Boys, Killer Klowns From Outer Space, Us, Sudden Impact, Dangerous Minds, Back to the Beach, or any of the other movies filmed there). There are a ton of things to do there, including free things, so you can easily stay on budget.

I hope you are all having a great start to 2023. We were so excited for our first trip that I think I've discovered a new tradition for our January trips. Shockingly, we don't mind being nerds. You only live once, so you might as well have fun. I had room in my bag for these totally unnecessary headbands, because I know how to pack light.

Where are you hoping to head for winter or later in the year?

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