First week in Esterillos Este


Our home for the next three months.

We have officially been at our beach house in Costa Rica for a week. We are just getting the hang of things. Some things that we have learned are…

  • Lock everything up even when you are home and around – luckily we haven’t learned this the hard way, but by repeated advice from neighbors.
  • A floor bed in this house is not reasonable for our 1 year old. There are way too many ants, iguanas, and bats.
  • You cannot bring enough sunscreen to Costa Rica! It’s way expensive down here.
  • Cloth diapers will take too much effort to be worth it. We are using our disposable inserts in our Grovia hybrid shells and it seems to be working well thus far.

We were hoping to find some kind of local farm to buy fresh produce, etc.   Luckily for us we found a family that sells milk, eggs, cheese, coconut oil, and whole butchered chickens. We had our first Sunday roast chicken from them and it was tasty!

We also found another cow farm that produces all sorts of milk products. Including yoghurt. Randy has been making a fresh fruit smoothie every morning and this yoghurt is a welcomed addition.

Another great find was a spice farm, Villa Vanilla. They grow all sorts of spices, fruits, and veggies. We went for a nice walking tour there and then bought some of their delicious spices. We will certainly be back! Here’s the website if you are in the area.

Right now our vegetables and fruit come from a large fruit market in Jaco. I don’t think they are grown in a wonderful manner so we are still looking for a good source for fresh produce. We will keep you posted.

There is a great meat shop next to the fruit market that sells fresh and delicious meats.

A typical morning smoothie consists of the following:

  • Fresh fruit (starfruit, strawberries, banana, mango, pineapple, watermelon, passionfruit, etc.)
  • Local yoghurt
  • Chia seeds (Atenas, Costa Rica)
  • Cinnamon (Villa Vanilla)
  • Cacao nibs (Villa Vanilla)

Top 5 Best Baby Gifts – 2014

When there is a baby on the way everybody wants to buy tons of adorable toys and clothes for the bundle of joy.  How do you find the right gift?  Below is my list of favorite gifts for new parents…




Erbaviva Baby Washbag Pouch

These pouches are amazing!  We used these from day one and really enjoyed how it kept our baby clean and moisturized.  The smell was so lovely and not at all overpowering.   This is an expensive item that most parents would think twice to buy themselves because of the price, but it would be a most welcomed gift for any age child. If they were not so expensive I would bath with them myself.




Grovia Magic Stick All Natural Diaper Ointment

This is my personal favorite diaper ointment that really does work magic! It is made for people that are cloth diapering because it doesn’t ruin the diapers.  You can still use it if you are using disposables though.  You can buy this awesome stick for the new parents, or you can just ask them what diaper ointment they prefer.  This is an item that is used a lot and lasts for a while.




Finn & Emma Footed Coverall

These footed coveralls are super cute, natural, and have cork buttons… need I say more? This was actually a hand-me-down gift that we received and we used it all the time. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but are also a very easy and convenient piece of clothing.





Burp cloths, receiving blankets, hats, socks, and diaper wipes.  I seriously do not think it is possible to have too many of any of these items.  These are not as fun as buying a cute outfit, but it’s always nice to have these items thrown in as a bonus with a fun present.




Gift Boxes from…

The Land of Nod, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Citrus Lane, etc.

If you are really stuck on what to get a new baby and need help then just leave it to the experts and purchase a gender/age appropriate gift set.


A few buying guidelines to remember…

Buy clothes that are larger.  I can’t tell you how many 0-3 month clothes we received, but couldn’t use by month 2.  Aim for at least 3-6 or 6-9 month sizes.

Remember the parents’ style.  You aren’t buying for yourself. Try to fit the parents’ style and not yours.  Trust me it will be very appreciated!

Include a gift receipt.  Sometimes parents need something else and can’t use the gift you gave. Don’t be offended.  If you give a gift receipt then at least your money isn’t wasted.

Lastly, it’s the thought is what counts. No matter what you give, it will be appreciated. So have a little fun while you are shopping.

Hey all you moms out there – what would be your top five?  Leave a comment below.


I just want everyone to know that I was not given anything by any of the above product companies.  I just really enjoy using each item.


The First Four Months of Being a Mama

Some things I have learned in the first four months of being a mom…

The first four months has gone by so quickly.  I feel as though I was pregnant with my daughter Eloise only a few days ago. Below I have listed a few things that I have learned up until this point.  Please take everything with a grain of salt.  We all know that every baby, mama, and family situation is different.  This is also my first child and I was given the advice to not take advice from first time moms.  I have listened to this, but I also feel that it’s nice to see what other new moms are going through.  I hope this post helps someone.

My body has changed forever and I must accept that.

My body is starting to mold back into a somewhat recognizable state.  Though I feel that it will never be what it once was.  It was totally worth it!  Not to say that I won’t ever be a fit hot mama, but it will always be different than it was before.  I have to learn to love my new body just as much as I did my last.

Grovia Hybrid Cloth diapers are the best.

I am big on researching products before I make a purchase.  Oh boy did I research cloth diapers!  The top reviewed and recommended that I ended up purchasing were… FuzziBunz pocket one-size, SoftBums Omni one-size, BumGenius 4.0 pocket one-size, and finally Grovia Hybrid one-size.  Hands down the Grovia hybrid was the winner.  It is on the pricier side, but soooo worth it.  The materials are obviously higher quality, they have only leaked once or twice in the night during a long sleep cycle.  No poo blowouts!  All the other diapers have leaked pee and poo numerous times.  Also, Grovia makes a diaper ointment called the “Magic Stick” that truly works some magic and is cloth diaper safe J

Sometimes Eloise will cry and I have to let her.

Before we had Eloise I decided that I didn’t want to use the cry it out method and wanted to prevent any crying.  I don’t consider myself a cry it out mom now, but I do understand that sometimes she just “needs” to cry.  I have to remind myself how much she goes through every day in this great big world.  Not to mention any growing pains she may be experiencing. In the first three months I generally would hold her and continue any soothing techniques when she was crying.  In the fourth month I have started to put her in her swing or down somewhere else so she can start to figure out how to soothe herself.  I don’t let her cry alone for more than fifteen minutes.  Generally she will soothe herself in seven minutes or less.

 Pumping milk is hard.

The first week I pumped milk I cried every time.  If you are just beginning pumping I want you to know that it gets easier both physically and emotionally.  It is worth having some stored milk so you can get a break sometimes.

A happy mama is a happy baby.

I truly believe that babies reflect our feelings.  If I wake up smiling she will have a big grin on her face as well.  It can be really tough to get some time to myself, and a lot of the time if I do I feel guilty about it.  I know that I shouldn’t because it’s helping everyone in the long run.  I try to get outside for a walk, or just take a bath.  Even doing nothing is really nice.

I can do this.

My husband has had two work trips since Eloise was born.  I was so nervous about being solely responsible for this little life.  The first time he was away I had some friends come over in the evenings so I could feed all the farm animals and then shower or eat.  Community is so important when raising a little one.  The second trip I didn’t have anyone over.  Both times were so empowering to know that I could do it.  Not saying it was easy and the experience definitely gave me a new respect for single parents!

So that’s it.  I could go on and on as I know many of you could, but I just wanted to put my thoughts out there.  Feel free to comment and let me and other parents know what you have learned.