The Circle of Moms site will be discontinued on March 1st, 2020. Head to POPSUGAR Family's Facebook page for more community discussions.

Let's Go >>

Home Made Mimi

Keeping my people happy, healthy and humble in Hollywood.

Michelle is a winner of Top 25 SoCal Moms - 2013

What's the best part of raising a family in SoCal?

The beach, the mountains, the desert-- we have it all right here in Southern California. The indoor-outdoor California lifestyle really exists! We can have meals outside, nap in a tent and read on a hammock. Even winter birthdays can be held outdoors. (I know, Cold States, it’s not fair.) Also, In LA, we are a giant mix of cultures and ethnicities. Museums, free concerts and parades bring people together to celebrate this diversity. It’s a fantastic environment in which to raise young children. But if you really just need to get away-- It’s pretty easy to get to Hawaii from here!

What's a great destination for a family vacation in SoCal?

Palm Springs in December. Last year we rented a house with family friends through VRBO and got a great deal-- much less expensive than staying in a hotel. With little ones, having a kitchen is essential. It didn’t hurt to have a pool, hot tub and fire pit either. On Christmas Day we took the kids up the world’s largest rotating Tramway to see snow on Mt. San Jacinto. (If you’re like me and afraid of heights, I recommend having a drink first!) The Living Zoo, mid-century modern architecture, thrift stores, golf courses... there’s something for everyone in Palm Springs.

What do your kids love most about living in SoCal?

“It’s hot and there’s a lot of pools” ~Pearl, age 5

(Mom’s note: We do not have a pool and we usually have cool temps here by the beach. But I suppose living in SoCal means different things to different people.)

“Cookies.” ~Vivi, age 2

(Mom’s note: California is also home to many fresh fruit and vegetable farms. Neighborhood farmer’s markets are commonplace and farm tours are a fun and educational family activity. But I suppose living in SoCal means different things to different people.)

What are some fun activities to put on a summer "bucket list" for your kids? Please link to a picture if you have one.

Michelle Villemaire

We want to make an iPhone movie and screen it in our backyard! Our kids are only 5 and 2 but we'd love to have them come up with the idea and do most of the writing themselves. Thanks to the writer of this question for reminding us-- summer is getting on!
View All Answers

What are the best art museums in the country to take kids to and why? If you've visited one with your kids that they loved and you have a picture we can use, please also share a link to the photo.

Michelle Villemaire

In LA: Skirball Cultural Center. The permanent Noah's Arc exhibit is a must-see! Imagine climbing aboard the arc and living with the animals. They also have an awesome art studio with endless natural art supplies. In Boston: Children's Museum. Simply the best. Maybe the biggest, too. You'll find me on the second floor on the computer with the home design program. I'm obsessed with it! Oh, there's plenty of stuff for the kids too... In New York: The Guggenheim. Although I've only taken the kids there in my dreams. With rollerskates of course.
View All Answers