Month: April 2017

Growth is not easy.

Hey everyone!

This week was my first week in Costa Rica. It has been full of challenges and strengths. I have been attending a school so that I can get certified to each English. The course is tough. There is homework and lesson planning to do almost every day. The days are full of lectures and lots of note taking. It has been great being in “school” again. The teachers make the lectures interesting because they are teaching us just how they want us to teach our students. They use activities that require a good amount of communication between the classmates. We are learning in a way that has never been used in my previous education classes. It’s challenging because we have to type everything the teacher is doing and saying so that we have complete information. This is important because when we go out to teach we will be able to use all the activities, quotes, and information.

Another challenge I am having is the amount of time I am spending with only the guys in the group. There are women in the course other than me. It appears I am the only woman who wants to do what the other guys are doing. Last weekend, I went on a hike to the volcano with them and this weekend I am going to the beach with them. This is difficult for me because I have chosen to not have any guy friends or hang out with them in these types of situations. It has been hard for me. This weekend I will be staying in a room with one or two of the guys because of the beach housing arrangements. I was scared to tell my fiancé that this is what’s will happen. I did not want to tell him this is what I am doing for he will want to do the same in the future. I know this is a hypercritical of me. That is why I do not hang out with guys like I have since being in Costa Rica.

I use all the energy I could to talk to my fiancé about the situation and how I was feeling. We had a very intense conversation about sleeping in the same room with the opposite sex or similar instances. I wanted to cry and scream at him. He told me how he felt about my double standard. I did not like what I heard. It took all my strength to stay calm and hear his side. I realized in this instance that we are both right and we are both wrong. We both have valid points and we have perceptions that are in the way. We both grew up with different ways of seeing relationships. My parents have always had monogamous relationships where as his parents have not. It is known that his parents are open with the fact that they see multiple people at once. This causes him and I to see things differently. He has never cheated on me nor has he ever shown interest in others while with me. The difference in thought processes still shows.

We are learning to see each other’s points of view. This point of view is not wrong and it is not right. There is a median that we have not been able to come to terms with because we do not understand where each other is coming from. I am beginning to see how having guy friends is beneficial for our relationship. There are limits to how and when we should hang out with someone of the opposite sex. Yet, it is healthy to have friends who are of the opposite sex.

I need to delve deeper into this to see what more there is to learn and grow in this area. When I decided to come to Costa Rica my soul was telling me that this will test my limits with my fiancé. It will help us grow and learn more about having a healthy relationship. So far life is giving me exactly what I need and when I need it. There are more thing that I will learn in the next few weeks.


Day One and Two in Costa Rica

Hey Everybody,

I arrived in Costa Rica yesterday afternoon. It has been an adventure for sure. I am staying in Barva. It’s a small town not far from Heredia. I am staying with a host family. She is very sweet. She speaks very little English and I speak very little Spanish. We have been using hand motions and google translate to communicate. It is very hard on me. I had to cry a little bit this morning because of the feelings I was having about the language barrier.

I have meet a few people from the course already. Yesterday, I met one of the guys from my course. His host family is just around the corner from me. He and I walked around Barva yesterday. It was nice seeing the church, the local gym, the town square, and a duck/chicken. The church is over 100 years old. It’s a catholic church that looks old from the outside and absolutely gorgeous on the inside. I have to go back to take some pictures for you. The town square has a basketball court, a playground, and plenty of open space for skating. This town has some strange things in it as well. It has these masks  everywhere. They are clowns heads, shrek heads, and even flounder from the Little Mermaid.  Apparently, it’s a popular thing they do here a few times a year. They wear the heads and dance around the town square. Also, I saw a chicken that looked like a duck. It had a chicken body and a duck like head and bill. Very crazy.

Today, I meet 3 other guys taking the same course as me. We took a trip to Volcon Barva. It is a dormant volcano about 35 minutes from where I am staying. We took an UBER to the farthest point we could (you need an SUV after a certain point) and walked the rest of the way. It was a steep 2.3 mile hike to the rangers station. We only had an hour before the park closed so we paid and went on a quick walk through the park. We could not go see the Laguna Barva for time-sake. We will try again soon. (I know I will regret saying this next part if my dad reads this. Sorry, Dad.) Since we took the UBER to the top and there was no cell service we unfortunately could not UBER back. We decided to just walk until we could get cell service. We walked for about 20 minutes and still had no cell service. It started raining. We just kept talking and walking while getting wet. Then a man we ran into at the rangers station drove by and offered us a ride to a place we could get cell service. We all hoped in. The guy was on vacation with his family from Washington DC. His family did not want to hike the volcano and stayed in San Jose. He was really nice. He actually took us right into the town of Barva. (It was on his way.) It was pretty awesome. Mind you, I would never hitch hike alone. I only did it because I was with 3 guys who were fit and big. I knew they would keep me safe.

My feet are killing me after that hike so I am relaxing in my room. I know this will be a tough month for me. I will grow and learn a lot. There are so many things I am struggling with including the language barrier and being one of the only girls in the group. I will keep you updated on my adventures!

Collect Moments Not Things

Hey Everyone!

I have been a bit busy lately getting ready for my trip to Costa Rica. I leave tomorrow for an unknown amount of time. I will be taking a Teaching English as a Foreign Language Course for the next month. There will be plenty of adventures and struggles. Learning and navigating a foreign country will have its ups and downs. I will post as often as I can so that you can get a feel for what it’s like to move somewhere without your family, friends, or fiance.

There are some packing issues I have run into. As most people know you have to keep your luggage under a certain weight limit. I went over this limit and had to repack my bag three times. When traveling abroad, you really don’t need as much as you think. I was able to leave a bunch of pants and jackets I packed home. I get cold easily so I thought I would need a lot of jackets. To save space, I limited 5 light jackets to 3 jackets and 4 pants to 2 pants. One of each I am wearing on the airplane.

It will rain a good portion of the time I am in Costa Rica because it will be the rainy season while I am there. I wanted to pack my rain boots. They are heavy and huge so packing them was not an option. I did some research and found that they are inexpensive to buy in country. I will post when I am in country how much they actually cost me to buy.

After, taking these items out of my luggage I was able to get my suitcase down to the 50 pounds. It was not easy for me. I love to over pack and over prepare. I want to make sure I have all the things I am used to having. This will be something I will have to get used to. There will be things I love here that I will not be able to have in Costa Rica.

Tomorrow starts the beginning of an adventure of learning and growing into a more rounded person. I am learning to collect moments not things!



The Best Way To Make Oatmeal

Ever since I was a kid, one of the only ways we had oatmeal was if it was baked. It is the most delicious way to eat oatmeal. I have given the recipe to some of my friends and they eat it more often than I do now.

The longest part of the recipe is the cooking. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and 40-45 minutes to bake. It originally was a non-vegan recipe. When I was vegan, I found a way to make it vegan without changing the recipes taste or texture. In parenthesis, are the alternative ingredients to make the recipe vegan.Baked-Oatmeal_exps2346_W101973175C05_12_4bC_RMS (2)

  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs (1/2 cup of apple sauce)
  • 1 cup milk (1 cup soy, coconut, almond, or rice milk)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (1/2 cup earth balance butter)
  • Additional milk (soy, coconut, almond, or rice)
  • Add chopped nuts if desired.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nuts. In another bowl, whisk eggs, milk and butter. Stir into oat mixture until blended.
  • Spoon into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Bake 40-45 minutes or until set. Serve warm with milk. Yield: 9 servings

For leftovers, store in fridge and reheat in microwave or oven, then add extra milk. If you want to make them more convenient for mornings, make them in a muffin tin. The cooking time would be a little less.

I hope that you love this healthy and tasty recipe! Please, post your comments if you try the recipe.


What do you have to gain?


Change is never easy. This is something I am learning more as the days go by. I have 16 days until I leave for Costa Rica for an undetermined length of time. I will be leaving behind my entire life.

I am focusing on what I have to gain rather than what I could lose. I have a car, family, a sense of stability, and favorite things to do. I want to keep all of this. I want to keep these things and not let go. At the same time, I want to see what doors open for me while living abroad. I want to see in what ways my relationships and life grows. My heart is telling me there is much more to experience and gain by making the leap of letting go of what I have here.

There is something to be said for making a commitment and moving toward it no matter what may happen. It takes courage, faith, and strength to do something that you have never done before. Something you have been dreaming of doing since you were a child and making it a reality takes trust, love, and energy. There is so much to gain and so much to lose. Having faith that what you gain will out weight the loss is a huge aspect of doing something huge.

I challenge you to do something amazing. Do something that you have always wanted to do. It could be something small like running a 5k or something huge like moving abroad. You have so much to learn about yourself and life so take the risk and see what happens. Remember to focus on what you could gain. Remember that you influence people around you. What if you stepping outside of your box and running that 5k gives someone the courage to leave an unfulfilling job or confront something that has been holding them back? People see strength and courage in others allowing them to make the change they need in their lives.

Go out and do something great! Let me know what you do and how it changes you! I will be sharing my journey and changes with my move to Costa Rica over the next few months. I hope to inspire you to great things. Also, I hope that you pass it on to others as I am to you. You are great and you can do whatever you set out to doing!! WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO GAIN?

How is your exercising going?

Hey Loves,

For exercise this week, I walked to the park with the kids three out of the five days. We played tag again which got my heart rate up and we went exploring in the woods. I know I can do better so this week I am going to push myself to do more. I found this app on my phone called Aaptiv. They have audio workouts with music so you can take it with you. I could do it at the park with the kids or by myself while the kids play. They have a free 7 day trial and $9.99 a month after.

They have many different routines. 7-minutes quick hits, outdoor running, strength training, yoga, walking, meditations, and training for 5k’s, and marathons are some of the audio exercises they have. I did “full body strength for beginners.” It was an 8 minute interval workout. I started with jumping jacks, then went into squats. After the squats, I did push ups and bicycle crunches.

My goal for this week is to do three exercises from this app for a minimum of 7 minutes each time. I would suggest you could do the same or do something similar, whether it be jump roping, jumping jacks, a run around the block, or a combination. Do it three times this week for a minimum of 7 minutes each time.
I am rooting for us all to have a more active life. I want to be fit and in shape. I would love for you to join me in this journey for a better physical body and life. Please let me know how your work out was this last week and how you do this week. I am looking forward to hearing about what your challenges and success are.

new me