Saturday, April 27

i did it

i did it, you guys. i completed my to-do list from this week! and let me tell you, this was the longest to-do list i have ever had. in my life. and now that it's done .. i am on vacation.

i fly this afternoon and by dinner time i will be on the ground in NJ. hallelujah!
i am so excited to spend some time with my friends and especially my family. but most importantly i am so looking forward to watching my brother get married!

the festivities from this week will only happen once so be prepared for some posts with an overload of pictures :)

Monday, April 22

how to make your hair super soft

for a while i have been wanting to try some sort of hair mask that would contain my friz and try to make my split ends less noticeable. i have had my eye on this mask, mainly because it seemed pretty easy to do! coincidentally, paris's sister asked me this weekend if i wanted to try to do a hair mask with her and i said absolutely.

all you need is some avocado and olive oil.
since i didnt have a mixer like the tutorial called for i just mashed them together really well with a spoon. this is what i got:
i applied to mask only to the middle of my hair and below, mainly because the top of my hair gets pretty oily on its own and i didnt want to risk having the roots like super greasy.

a few things:

the tutorial says to just rinse out the mixture with conditioner. i needed to shampoo my hair twice to get all the stuff out! simply rinsing did not work for me.

the tutorial also says you can add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil because your hair will soak up the scent. you should do this. i was tempted to name this post "how to make your hair smell like avocado" because after shampoo and conditioner my hair still vaguely smells of guac. i just didn't think that title would attract much attention ;)

however i must say after blow drying my hair i noticed significantly less frizz/extra volume that my hair normally has when i blow dry it.

and now my hair is super soft!

i would definitely try this again, but with an extra scent added to mask the avocado smell. has anyone tried any similar hair masks??

Sunday, April 21

nice to meet you

there are some new readers around these parts so i thought i do a little about me post to re-introduce myself.

i am originally from new jersey but have spent the last two years or so in costa rica living with my boyfriend.

i try to spend as much time as i can getting to know this country, and have so far been to a few different volcanoes, and of course lots of time at the beach.

i am a middle school english teacher and even though the job is hard, i love it.

i miss my friends and family a lot so i try to go home at least twice a year. and this year is extra special because in one week i will be going home to celebrate my brother getting married!

and of course i can't leave out my little puppy rocco. he is my first dog and has been such a loveable companion. i just can't get enough of my little baby boy.

i wanted to say thank you to all my readers both old and new! creating this blog was one of the best decisions i have made during my years abroad and i have loved getting to know so many people through it. i appreciate every single one of my readers, so thanks for sticking around!

you can follow me here through bloglovin' and twitter.

Friday, April 19

so proud.

this week was tough. 
being so far away from my friends and family during all of this chaos was not easy but i can only imagine what it was like for everyone in boston.

 boston, you made it through and are just as tough as everyone already knew.

Wednesday, April 17

taking more opportunities

in keeping with my vow to travel more this year, i am trying to say yes to as many opportunities that come my way. for one reason or another i tend to turn down invitations for things that i should really take part in! so, when one of my private students offered me the chance to go on a canopy tour (zip-lining) with her and some friends i said yes. can you believe that i had not yet been zip-lining before this?? sadly, it's true.

however, i am now an accomplished zip-liner and here are some pictures to prove it. there were 14 lines and 19 platforms on our tour. some of the platforms we had to walk to and some we just arrived on one zip-line and left on another. all really high up in the trees. if you are someone who enjoys roller coasters i think zip-lining would be right up your alley. otherwise, maybe stick to some nice hikes.

anyone else ever been on a canopy tour??

Tuesday, April 16

just a moment


 i just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge what happened in boston yesterday. as someone who has watched the marathon multiple times, and who has been in the same spot where yesterday's tragedies occurred, well it is just terrifying and unsettling. 

to my brother and sister-in-law i'm so glad you are both safe. to all my friends in the boston area, the same. and to all of those affected by the events of yesterday i send you my love and prayers. this was a senseless act of violence that took innocent lives, injured innocent people and dampened the spirits of many.
but as usual, our spirits will not be dampened for long. 
we will grow stronger because of this.

Sunday, April 14

monday mingling

this is the one picture that i took this weekend.
 i hope you are all thinking, those shoes are really old looking, i bet she works out a lot.
i don't. but i try. i got two runs in last week and the week before and i'm going to try and twist paris's arm to get three in this week, if our schedules work out. even running just twice a week has made such a difference in my mood and energy that i am hoping we can keep it up!

this week i have the opportunity to co-host the monday mingling link-up so i hope you will stop by some of these lovely blogs and introduce yourselves!


Welcome to the eleventh week of Monday Mingling! Please take the time to introduce yourselves to our co-hosts! If you are new to this blog hop, please leave us a comment letting us know you are following and we would be happy to follow you back. Due to the changes with Google reader, I changed the rules to follow either GFC or Bloglovin'. Thank you for joining us this week, and don't forget to link back to us by grabbing our button. Happy Mingling!

Southern Sunflowers and Coffee Beans

Rachel @ Postcards from Rachel

Blog | Instagram | Twitter 
I'm Rachel and I blog over at Postcards from Rachel. I started my blog as an expat abroad to keep my family and friends up-to-date. I love to post about our travels and family adventures!

Britta @ The Boots Parade

The Boots Parade is a lifestyle blog documenting my life in Costa Rica. Topics of my blog include my job as a middle school English teacher, my time in Costa Rica with my boyfriend, my puppy Rocco, and any adventures I encounter on the way! I have loved making relationships and friendships through my blog and I am excited to continue to do so.


1. Follow both of your hosts via GFC or Bloglovin'.
(first 2 links below)

2. Follow your co-hosts via GFC or Bloglovin'
(next two links)

3. Link up your main blog URL, not a specific post.

4. Link back to us by grabbing our button.

5. Tweet, Facebook, and Pin this blog hop. The more you spread the word the more people will link up, and the more success you will have! 

6. Be sure to visit other blogs! Don't just link up and wait for others to find you. 

Let's get this party started!!...

Friday, April 12

happy weekending

someone is clearly worn out from the week! ^^
and i am too. here's to a hopefully relaxing weekend.

Thursday, April 11

the people you meet

tuesday was my friend's birthday and she invited me to go out to dinner with her and a bunch of other students. i had the absolute pleasure of sitting next to an elderly woman who came to costa rica from norway to study spanish. we spent the majority of the night sharing stories about learning the spanish language, living in foreign countries, and traveling experiences. she had many more stories to share than i did (she worked for pan am! so cool!) but it was one of those conversations that just makes you go, wow.

i think that is one of the pleasures of living in another country. you meet so many different types of people from all over the world. and sharing stories with each other is such a great way to get to know the world just a little bit more. here's to the conversations that leave you with that itch to travel to just a few more places and meet a few new people.

Wednesday, April 10

bridesmaid hair


my brother's wedding is coming up in just three short weeks! i am getting so excited for my trip home and of course to celebrate the day of the wedding with my family and my sister-in-law! i am lucky enough to be one of the bridesmaids in the wedding and it is going to be my first time doing so.

 i've decided to do my own hair, as i like to normally experiment with braids and twists, etc. i'm not sure what kind of hairstyle i want for that day and i thought i would throw it out there to my readers to see if anyone has any suggestions. i know that i do not want my hair down because i would just get frustrated with it and end up throwing it in a ponytail anyway. i am also fairly handy with braids and french braids so i think i would be able to pull something like the above two right styles. my main concern is having the style stay where it is! my hair has been known to just fall out of any style i put it in fairly quickly so if anyone can recommend a way for it to stay put i would greatly appreciate it!

i look forward to your suggestions and in three weeks you will be able to see what i decided on :)

Monday, April 8

places to go

at the beginning of the year i decided that this was the year paris and i would travel. i have been here for coming up on two years and have only been to a handful of different spots in the country. so now that we are somewhat more financially able to travel .. we are doing it! if you've been following along you know that over holy week we went to la fortuna and the arenal volcano. here are a few of the other places i would like to visit before the year is over!

both ticos and tourists have been telling me that santa teresa is a must see! they say the white sand beaches are some of the most beautiful in the entire country.

the waterfalls at montezuma have caught my eye for quite some time now! montezuma is one spot in costa rica that is still fairly untouched by large building projects with more of a relaxed village feel. this place is on the top of my list!

and last, cahuita, limon. cahuita is on the caribbean side of costa rica which i also have yet to vist! some places of limon are not the nicest spots costa rica has to offer but i hear that cahuita is a must see. and i hope that i do!

if i could, i would spend all of my time traveling to every nook and cranny of this country (and others!). but alas, work and paying bills unfortunately take precedence. but i am going to make a point to get more weekend trips in if it is the last thing i do!

Friday, April 5

baldi hot springs, parte dos


so i thought i would share the last few photos from my trip to la fortuna.
this was our first weekend trip traveling together just the two of us and i'm so glad we did it.
it has made me excited to start planning our next little weekend trip, where ever it may be!

other posts from our weekend in la fortuna can be found here, here, and here

i hope everyone has a lovely and relaxing weekend!

Wednesday, April 3

what i'm listening to


although i have one more post of picture from our trip to la fortuna, i am going to change it up a bit today to give you another song that i just cannot get enough of lately. i am lucky enough to have a few friends who listen to pretty much the exact same music that i do. so when my friend shot me a message saying "listen to of monsters and men. i love them,"

 i listened. and i, too, loved them.

i know it is not the newest of music. but isn't it the best when it is new music for you? discovering new music for your personal library that you just can't get enough of sure is wonderful. my lovely friend michelle wrote a similar post this week where she describes herself as a habitual music listener and i think i will say me too. not to mention, the music she included is pretty darn good.

happy hump day and here's to two more days until the weekend!

Tuesday, April 2

baldi hot springs, the beginning

our one full day from our weekend trip to arenal was spent here. the baldi hot springs.
if this is not what you had pictured when you thought of hot springs from a volcano, well it wasn't what i had pictured in my mind either. but boy oh boy was i okay with what i saw there in the baldi resort.

just look at those pools. and the water. oh, the water. each of the 25 pools was a different temperature and got warmer and warmer until the very last pool, which i will wait to show you until tomorrow. for now, just imagine yourself lounging in one of these pools and not having a care in the world. 

Monday, April 1

the mystery of lake arenal

when we were admiring the lovely lake arenal, paris told me that there supposedly was an abandoned city at the bottom of the lake. and i thought .. hmm supposedly .. that means it must have happened suddenly and people are unsure of what really happened. and that means that this whole city just got covered in water and had no idea what was going on .. you know like armageddon style.

so of course when we got home i googled "city under lake arenal." and now i can tell you that there is a town at the bottom of lake arenal. however, this town was rebuilt at a different location on higher ground so that the lake could purposefully be made larger. a little less exciting than my original thoughts but probably for the best. anyway, it sure is pretty right?