Friday, December 28

the best food

for christmas eve and christmas my aunt cooked up a storm. my mother's side of the family is spanish and since i was little every family gathering has involved delicious home-cooked spanish food. and even though my aunts and cousins don't get together as often as we used to, my mom still loves to make all the tapas my dad, brother, and i can eat. lucky us!

so for christmas eve my aunt prepared a ton of tapas that were a huge hit with everyone. stuffed mushrooms (with the good jamon), croquettas, codfish with tomato sauce, manchego cheese, red peppers, and more. then for christmas dinner she made a traditional paella. these pictures really don't do it all justice but writing about it makes me want to eat it all again.

does anyone else have traditional foods that they eat around the holidays? (or always?)

happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, December 26

someone else's home for the holidays

i didn't take all that many pictures on christmas eve or christmas day. and the ones that i did take are all very different from one another so i wasn't sure how to make a post about them.
which is why i picked three of my favorites to post for now.

my parents and i hopped on a plane sunday morning and headed south to tampa, florida where both my aunt and grandmother live. so we all headed to my aunt's house for christmas eve dinner with some of her friends and then christmas with just the family. they were two very laid back but also very fun days. i haven't seen a lot of my family outside of my parents and brother in quite a while so these past few days were just really nice. not to mention we were constantly indulging in some great food (thanks aunt monica!).

so before i sort through the rest of my pictures (and my dad's because lets be honest, i'm going to snag some of his better ones) i thought i would leave you with a few scenes from my aunt's lovely home.
i hope everyone had a very merry christmas!

Tuesday, December 25

merry christmas and feliz navidad

i wanted to wish everyone a very merry christmas!
i have been in tampa florida since sunday celebrating the holidays with my family
and it has been so nice to see them.
i hope everyone has a great christmas with their loved ones :)

Friday, December 21


the other afternoon we made a ton of cookies and it was so much fun! i used to bake a lot in high school but it was nothing compared to the amount of cookies we pumped out this day. for the chocolate peppermint cookies we used this recipe and the sugar cookies we used this recipe.

on sunday i leave for florida for a few days! my grandma and aunt live down there so my parents and i are going to spend a few days visiting, including christmas. i've never been to that part of florida so i am excited to see what it's like. i hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, December 20

pinterest fail

so yesterday my friend jess and i got together and spent the whole afternoon baking christmas cookies. we were ambitious. we picked out three recipes and planned on making all of them. like i said, ambitious! the one that we were most excited about was this recipe: pinwheel christmas cookies.

we had everything set and were following the directions to a T. how hard could they be?
well .. they showed us. about midway through the rolling of the two doughs together i realized that these might not turn out the way we had hoped. 
and sure enough .. they did not.

instead we had a pinterest fail at its finest.

they are totally edible .. just not very nice to look at.
the other two cookie recipes made up for it though.
more on those later in the week!

Wednesday, December 19

lemon poppy seed

a few months ago i wrote a post about some delicious pancake recipes. i never actually made any of those pancake recipes ... until now. this weekend we made some lemon poppy seed pancakes and they sure were scrumptious. i thought i would share the recipe with you!

you need:

 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup poppy seeds
zest of 3 lemons (the recipe calls for 4 but we used 3 and it was perfect!)
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted


in one bowl mix all the dry ingredients and in another bowl mix all the wet ingredients. mix them all together and voi la! lemon poppy seed pancake batter. 
super easy. even more super yummy.

Monday, December 17

the best of friends

since before i got home my mom had been asking me if i would be interested in having a turkey dinner while i was here. i didn't need to think about that...yes i would love a turkey dinner, especially from her cooking.

so that is what we did on sunday. i invited two of my bests to come over and we had a nice night of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green beans. we spent some time watching the 12.12.12. concert that we had taped. man that bruce looked just as good the second time i watched him ;)

i just love those girls and i'm so glad i got to spend some quality time with them. it got us ready for our upcoming trip to philadelphia in two weeks. speaking of ... anyone have some good recommendations for things to do in philly?

Friday, December 14

holiday scenes from home

like i said yesterday, i have been playing around with my new camera! i ended up getting the cannon rebel t2i at a super discounted price and i'm still really excited about this purchase. so i spent a little while snapping some shots around the house. these are just a few of the things that remind me of home during the holidays. we aren't having a real tree this year because we won't be home for christmas, but we always put up our wooden christmas tree that my grandfather made. every year we fill it as much as we can with the littlest ornaments from all of our travels and family traditions. it just wouldn't be christmas without it!

does anyone have any fun weekend plans? i'm excited to spend some time with parents and then get into the spirit at a holiday party with my favorites! enjoy :)

Thursday, December 13

christmas came early

okay guys i have it. its here. my new camera is out of the box and in my hands. it only took me a few days to work up the courage to start using this thing but now i've started and i can't stop.
i'm in love. i think this was just what i needed to back in my blogging groove while i'm home, wouldn't you say?? i'll probably be taking pictures of anything and everything the next few weeks while i learn how to use this thing so i hope you don't mind some random picture posts coming up!

Tuesday, December 11

Don't worry I made it!

So don't worry guys! I made it to the states just fine and have been loving every minute of it. I haven't even taken my computer out since I've been here! Mainly because my mom showed me how to use her iPad :) To be honest I'm not sure how often I am going to be blogging while I am here. So far I just haven't had that urge to write a blog post which is weird because in Costa Rica it is one of the things I look forward to most ... That and reading everyone else's blogs which I also have not gotten around to yet, sorry guys! I will catch up on everyone's blogs soon! I think it because most of my blogging has taken place there and not here so I just have to find my blogging groove while I'm home.

For the most part, my time at home as involved lots of eating out, some coffee and frozen yogurt dates, and lots of friend time...oh and a few runs here and there. I am loving it and I've only been here for three days! So needless to say I am looking forward to the next four weeks. :)

Friday, December 7

dear U.S.A.

dear paris: i sure am going to miss you for the next few weeks. don't forget to leave rocco food and clean water every day. i love you!!! dear visa process: you officially suck. i really thought yesterday was going to be the day i finished all of your shenanigans. womp womp. dear self: do not over pack your suitcase. in fact, severely under-pack so you can bring lots of goodies home from the states. and finally ..... dear U.S.A: see you on SUNDAY. and everyone else that goes along with it :))))


Wednesday, December 5


as many of you know, i am going back to the states on sunday for a nice long 5 week visit. i could not be more excited! i'm not gonna lie, i am always looking forward to going home even if i just got back from a trip. don't get me wrong, i really do like being here in costa rica with paris and his family and working at my job but i also really love being at home with my friends and my family.

it's hard living in another country without your own people. it's hard always feeling like that foreigner girl, especially when the language spoken isn't your native language. it's hard not being able to do some of the things you would normally do at home just because here it simply isn't safe or comfortable. and it's really hard not to think about those things a lot of the time.
oh the other hand, it is very very nice to be here with paris and to have the opportunity to live (pretty much) on our own and have our relationship grow while we are face to face instead of thousands of miles apart ... yes that part is nice.

so that is why this upcoming trip is bittersweet. because paris .. and my baby rocco ... cannot make the trip with me. in order for paris to enter the U.S.A he needs a visa. even if it is just a week long trip ... he needs a visa. and that visa process really isn't all that easy or cheap. so we are waiting until he has a little bit more experience at his job where they can write him a really great recommendation letter that will hopefully lead him to visa-dom. but until then i have to make my trips home solo (or sola .. you know if you're speaking spanish). so yes this trip is a little bittersweet because heck yes i am excited to go home! but boy oh boy am i gonna miss my two guys!

Tuesday, December 4

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas pt 2

you guys we did it. we put up our first tree together! our very. own. tree.
it's not a real tree, but its ours. like i said last week, paris's sister very graciously gave us her old tree with a ton of decorations that she used to use. so even though this tree may not exactly be my style i am just so happy that it is ours!
this was my second out of three trees that i have gotten to decorate so far and each time i remember that christmas is getting closer and closer. it is semi bittersweet though because my parents told me we will not be having a christmas tree this year at home since we are traveling to florida to be with some family. but i'd say decorating three trees before that isn't so bad!
does everyone have their trees up already??

Friday, November 30

just 9 days!

don't worry he's not eating them!

dear students: it was so nice having our last day together at the amusement park the other day! it was nice to be able to spend some time with you guys outside of class. see you in a few months. dear home: i will see you in 9 day. 9 DAYS!  i'm so excited i will probably be constantly humming to myself for the next week so don't mind me. dear paris: thank you for finally helping me to put up our new tree! and for bringing me sushi last night... you're the best. and i'm gonna miss you. dear new followers: thank you! this week i hit 200 followers and i was so excited! i honestly love having people come back every day to read my blog and i appreciate every single one of you.


Thursday, November 29

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

last week we went to paris's sister's house to help her decorate her christmas tree. i really love going to her house because those are usually the time when paris's whole immediate family (his parents and four sisters) get together to eat and have some good laughs.
so we helped decorate a christmas tree and hang up some other christmas decorations and it got me so excited for december! his sister even gave us her old tree and decorations so that we can put it in our apartment and have our very own first tree together. so nice!
we have yet to find the time to sit down and put the tree up together but i'm hoping within the next few days.
i'm so excited that december is almost here and i'm definitely ready for a full month of christmas decorations, songs, and celebrations :)

Tuesday, November 27

my christmas wishlist

 i still can't believe that it is that time again for all of the holidays to come around. thanksgiving has already passed and next up is: christmas!

i thought i would make a little wishlist because i know that all of my lovely readers are dying to know what i want for christmas .. and because you know .. santa is surely one of those readers.

 1. the watch, i've already posted about. the project is almost funded but needs a little more help so you guys should really go check it out!

2. i want a crock pot. pinterest has just been too seductive this year for me to not have a crock pot.

3. i recently bought a new camera that is patiently at home waiting for me and i have been looking for a camera bag that can do double duty as an every day purse. i found this one by dre hartmann that i love but it is a little bit pricey! anyone have any good camera bag recommendations?

4. i am always on the lookout for some new stud earrings and these would be the perfect addition to my collection.

5. and finally, like i said here i need a way to organize all of my jewelry.  my mom found this on etsy and i think it would be perfect! you know for my ever growing collection of jewels...

and there you have it! well i could always find a few more things to add but... i'll take care of some of the shopping myself ;)

Monday, November 26

a tico thanksgiving

saturday night we finally celebrated thanksgiving. one of my coworkers who is from the states organized a lovely dinner with some of her old usa coworkers from her last job here in costa rica. it was a mix of about 10 people from the usa and 5 tico boyfriends/husbands and paris's sister. there was a 17 pounds turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, cranberry sauce, apple crisp, and pumpkin pie! after everyone was completely stuffed we all went around saying what we were thankful for, mostly being able to have a lovely little dinner with new friends in our home away from home. all in all it was a great success :)

* sorry for such poor quality photos but in just two weeks i'll be using my brand new camera!

Saturday, November 24

thanksgiving on a saturday

well rocco thought he'd dress up as a snowman for you guys today, although he's sure he wouldn't like the snow not even one bit.

even though thanksgiving was on thursday, its not a holiday here! so everyone had to work then and yesterday. but today (saturday) we are having a thanksgiving dinner with one of my coworkers and some of her other usa friends. i'm excited! even though i dont know them, getting together with a bunch of people who do know what thanksgiving is about will be a nice little treat.

i hope everyone got some nice black friday shopping in yesterday! i know i did and now i'm almost all done with my christmas shopping :) hallelujah.

Thursday, November 22

tales of a past thanksgiving

thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. and today marks my third (third already???) thanksgiving outside of the united states. since last year i foolishly didn't take any pictures of my first "costa rican thanksgiving" (a semi bust) i thought i would share some pictures from my first thanksgiving away from home when i was in spain! i keep thinking that i was in spain last year when it turns out it has already been longer than a year since i got back!

so here is a bit of a photo over-load of some pictures during a spanish thanksgiving with lots of good food and friends all wrapped up in my little spanish apartment! man, do i miss that place...

i hope everyone has a lovely lovely thanksgiving .. i will be thinking of all the food everyone is preparing and eating without me ;)