5 day countdown


Our time left in Costa Rica is short and I am flopping back and forth from feeling sad, nervous, and anxious, and then feeling so very excited. It’s confusing me.
This adventure has been incredible…I don’t even know where to begin. We have made some amazing friends and have become so close very quickly. When in a foreign country, with few familiar things, you hold on…tightly…to the friends you make. We have spent holidays with one another, countless dinners, puppy play dates, and let’s not even admit how many boxes of wine we’ve plowed through…it’s been a lot of fun. I am so sad to leave it.

I am nervous about starting again…again. New place, new jobs, new people…new directions…new phone numbers..I just barely memorized my phone number here! Moving the dogs will be stressful for them (and us) and Eddie has never even walked on a sidewalk before…let alone be cold. I keep joking with the Hubs that we are going to have to get him a sweater and booties…that warm jungle blood is going to be in for a shock. Hell…my blood is in for a shock! I get cold when it’s 78 degrees these days…I’m screwed.

I am anxious because…of everything. I’m an anxious person…it is what it is.

But…underneath all of this sad, nervous anxiety lies a huge ball of giddy excitement. We weren’t able to make it back home for the holidays last year so I am thrilled to be spending it with my family…it’ll feel like a real Christmas. We will also be able to see all of our Denver friends whom we adore. I know I have said this before but…we truly have the most amazing friends in the world…the ones in Denver, as well as the ones scattered around the world…we are fucking lucky.

And…furnishing a new home! I love that shit and we have almost nothing…not even a mattress. We do have a lot of sick artwork though…priorities.

New cars!

New shoes! I don’t think my Havianas are gonna cut it in winter.

Lot’s of new stuff and experiences to look forward to…and countless experiences and friendships to look back on.

Let’s do this.

on getting healthy the hard way


After moving to Costa Rica I figured I might as well get in shape…boring I know but totally necessary. New chub rolls were popping up weekly and it was making me miserable. The Hubs was surfing everyday and was dropping the lbs every second…while I lost a few pounds from a healthier diet…not on purpose mind you…it just happens here.

So…you know how it goes…I was unhappy with myself and feeling gross. Luckily (!?) our good friend, Jon Mangogna, is a TRX trainer.

After going to a few classes and being unable to walk for a day or two…that shit hurts…I pouted too much and gave up…then finally something clicked, aka my hubby made me go with him regularly, and it has honestly changed my life.

For about six months now the Hubs and I have been going to Jon’s TRX sessions three times a week and it has totally transformed my body and my attitude. I never thought in a million years I would be able to do 100 pushups, crunches, squats, jumping jacks, and battle rope hell action, without a break in thirty minutes but I can now…thanks to Jon. He also incorporates kickboxing into the workouts because it is fun as hell and so fucking hard. Man I love hitting shit.

I asked Jon for his take on TRX to share with you:

“I never really got caught up in the whole “lift heavy weights and get big” phase. In fact I never was even interested in the gym (I know, funny thing to hear from a professional trainer). I was, though, always interested in movement: judo, surfing, skating, snowboarding, running, jumping, climbing, flipping, you get the point. In every day life your body moves using muscle groups, not isolated muscles, and in 3 dimensions without stopping to think about it. The TRX allows you to work in all 3 of these dimensions using multi joint movements at all times. Combine that with balance, flexibility, constant core challenge, and a low impact on the body and the TRX makes you good at….well….LIFE. Just so happens that all that aesthetic stuff, like a smokin beach bod, follows as a bi-product!”

He said it…and I am a believer. Now that we are leaving Costa Rica I am genuinely sad to leave behind our sessions…who am I? Also… the view certainly didn’t hurt.

So thanks Jon…I will miss you. I will also miss telling you that you are a big dick for an hour, and then giving you a kiss and a big Thank you as we leave. It’s a love/hate hour.

If you are ever in the Nosara area and are looking for a great work out…contact Jon at vivaventure1@gmail.com.

What do you guys do to keep/get in shape? I am all about working out now and would love to expand my physical horizons. Please share in the comments.

skin care – protect yourself


Let’s talk about sun protection. You are wearing it right? Please say yes. Yes? Great.

As an esthetician I know that our skin requires sun protection and some common sense to maintain it’s youthful glow. I love the sun but I understand my skins limits and I want to look young forever and ever. So…I wear sunblock…every single day.

The majority of my clients are concerned about aging but they often don’t even think to incorporate sun protection into their daily routine.  Even small amounts of everyday exposure can affect your skins health.

There is a large debate within the health and wellness community of what type of sun protection is best but that is for another blog post. For right now let’s discuss why it is important to wear sun protection.

  • Sunburned skin hurts…a lot. Although the pain, redness, and blisters will fade, the damage sticks around to wreak havoc.
  • Skin cancer usually appears in adulthood, but it is caused by sun exposure and sunburns that began as early as childhood. It all adds up.
  • Sun exposure and repeated sunburns accelerate the skin’s aging process, making you look older than you are. Skin changes caused by UV light are called photoaging. The results of photoaging include: weakening of the skins connective tissue reducing elasticity, wrinkles, increased dryness and flaking, small red veins on the nose, ears and cheeks, and dark spots.

Sunburn is better prevented than treated. To prevent a sunburn do these things here:

  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. A broad spectrum sunscreen protects from both UVB and UVA rays.
  • Apply a generous amount of sunscreen to fully cover exposed skin. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or as often as the label says.
  • Apply sunscreen after swimming or sweating and even when it is cloudy.
  • Use a lip balm with sunscreen.
  • Wear a hat and other protective clothing. Light-colored clothing reflects the sun most effectively.
  • Stay out of the sun during hours when the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection.

So…wear sun protection! My daily sunblock is easy to blend and does not leave a white, chalky residue. I use Vital Therapy, the same brand I use at Mint Skincare Studio. And again…use it every day! Even walking to and from the car, driving to work, and sitting by a window exposes your skin to UV rays…like I said before…it all adds up! Prevention now is far easier than repair later.

cook it – tom kha gai soup

Photo: Bon Appetit
Photo: Bon Appetit


I make this soup pretty regularly for the hubs. It’s super easy, delicious, and makes the house smell amazing. We like to make it a little more hearty so we’ve added noodles, carrots, and onion to the recipe. Fancy mushrooms aren’t easy to come by here in Nosara so I used what I could get.
The photo above is from Bon Appetit and the hubs is giving me shit about not using my own photos but…I forgot to take a pic (I was really hungry), our plates are so damn ugly I am ashamed (so maybe I didn’t forget to take a pic), and my photography skills are pathetic. I’ll work on it I swear. Anyway…here’s what to do:


  • 1 1” piece ginger, peeled
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves (I used regular lime leaves) or 1 Tbsp. lime zest and ¼ cup lime juice
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1½ lb. skinless, boneless chicken, cut into 1” pieces
  • 8 oz. shiitake, oyster, or maitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 13.5-oz. can coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, tough outer layers removed (can substitute lemon juice)
  • 1 med. carrot sliced thin
  • 1 med. white onion thinly sliced
  • Rice or Bean thread noodles
  • Chili Pepper flakes (to taste)
  • Chili oil, cilantro leaves with tender stems, and lime wedges (for serving)


  • Using the back of a knife, lightly smash lemongrass and ginger; cut lemongrass into 4” pieces. Bring lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, and broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors are melded, 15-20 minutes. Strain broth into clean saucepan; discard solids.
  • Add chicken and return to a boil. Reduce heat, add carrots, wait 3 minutes then add mushrooms and onions, simmer, skimming occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and mushrooms are soft, 20–25 minutes. I like for the vegetables to have a slight crunch to them. Mix in coconut milk, fish sauce, chili pepper flakes, and sugar. Turn off the heat and add the noodles, they only take a minute or two to soften.
  • Divide soup among bowls. Serve with chili oil, cilantro, and lime wedges.

The original recipe can be found at Bon Appetit