Photo Essay: The Signs of Costa Rica

Since one of my focuses this year is to have more original pictures on this site, I think adding in some photo essays will help keep me motivated! Here is a little round up of some of the fun and funky signs we have found in Costa Rica.

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A sign directing you to the beach in Tulemar – Manuel Antonio, CR


Just hanging on the side of the road – Manuel Antonio, CR… 

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Carry Only a Backpack on your Next 2 Week Trip: A Complete Packing List!

Travel Light

There are a lot of benefits of packing light and yes you can go completely minimalist and wear the same one or two things the whole trip, but while I love traveling light, I also appreciate a little variety and having an outfit I am proud of while abroad :)… So today I will share with you my packing list for the 2 week trip I am currently on – where I am carrying a backpack on my back + 1 over the shoulder carry on (that also acts as a beach bag)! This is not for everyone of course, because some people have no interest in lightening their load… but I do get asked by certain family members and friends often how to pack lighter so I figured I would just share my list! One caveat to remember, beach or warm weather vacations are FAR easier to pack for than having to bundle up in the cold! There a lot of links here to travel items that I love so enjoy! Here’s to making your travels a little lighter 🙂

Chelsea’s Costa Rica Packing List for 13 days & 13 nights… 

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Out With The Old, In With the New: A New Year, A New You!

New Year's

A lot of people don’t really like new year’s goals/resolutions, etc., and to be quite honest, I am not a huge goal setter. But every year, I do use January as a time to reflect on what I am currently doing and determine whether or not it is taking me in a direction that I want to go. If it is not, then I like to come up with ways to redirect that. I also try to set one main intention for the year. In 2014, that intention for me is: to expand my knowledge!

Now, there is nothing that makes you more accountable than sharing your goals, dreams, plans or intentions with others so here goes nothing…… 

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You Are What You Eat, You Are What You Think!

This site is dedicated to health, wellness and balance. Of course a lot of that has to do what we put into our bodies in terms of healthful and nutritious food. However, it’s not only about the things we eat but also the things we tell ourselves. As much as you are what you eat, you truly are what you think!

Change Circumstance Change Attitude… 

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5 Simple Ways to Brighten Any Day

There are a few very small changes you can make that will have a huge impact on your mood and enjoyment of your day. I try to do these things most days and I know that each one of these simple tasks certainly makes my day a little bit brighter.

1. Put flowers next to your bed. I love to go to the farmers market and have fresh flowers in the house and I always put a small arrangement next to my bed. It’s pretty hard to ‘wake up on the wrong side of the bed’ when the first thing you see are beautiful flowers.


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30 Things I am Grateful For

While it is important to take time each and every day to be grateful, I think Thanksgiving is a perfect day to list out many of the things that you appreciate in your life. Given this is my 30th year, here are 30 things I am grateful for… in no particular order as there are many more beyond this list!

Gratitude is the best Attitude… 

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A Refreshing Morning Ritual


As many of you know, I am on day 11 of a 14 day cleanse. Of course, I have been focused on the food portion of the cleanse but one of the best benefits that has come out of this is that I started a morning ritual that is incredibly refreshing…. 

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The Benefits of a Cold Shower

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What am I experimenting with lately?

Cold showers…

Yep you heard it right. I really really hate the cold but my friend Jesse Jacobs recently wrote a blog post on the benefits of taking cold showers. I had read a bit here and there about this idea but his blog finally convinced me to give a shot.

I’ve been trying this for a week now and while I cannot say I have seen any real ‘results,’ there are two things I have noticed. One, I feel incredibly refreshed and invigorated after the shower. Enough so, that yesterday I actually forgot to do my 10-15 seconds of cold and once I realized it, I got back into the shower to do it! And two, it’s easier to put lotion on post-shower because I am no longer sweating in my small bathroom :).

Here is the link to his blog for more of his personal success rituals and a step by step on how to get started but below I have included the 8 benefits a cold shower can provide. Thanks Jesse!… 

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The Simple Equation for Happiness…

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There was an article going around recently that I found very interesting but one of the things that really stuck with me was the above equation for happiness. It is so simple yet SO true.

When you put yourself in a place where your expectations exceed reality, you are disappointed which can lead to feelings that make you unhappy. Now this doesn’t mean you should have low expectations for everything. To set a personal goal for yourself is an amazing way to get out of your comfort zone and I think these types of goals or expectations are necessary to grow and succeed.  But often times we have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others…

Take a moment to think about the things we expect.

We expect our spouse or significant other to know exactly what we had on the agenda, even though we may not have communicated it on a level that makes sense to them.

We expect to look like the model on the magazine cover, yet choose to forget the amount of hours that went into perfecting that look, from training to hair and make-up to photo editing.

We get angry at the person who accidentally cut us off while driving… although I have a feeling most of us are guilty of the same, whether we are aware of it or not!

We can’t understand why the person behind the counter is not doing their job correctly, yet we likely have not taken the time to look into why. Is this their first day? Are they dealing with a hardship in their personal life? Did they just get yelled at by their boss?

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What if, instead, we acted without expectations? Instead of something automatically being someone else’s fault, how could things be different if we took the time to look within ourselves? Or took the time to fully accept the situation… and decide how to react to it.

When your significant other didn’t do what you had hoped (i.e. show up on time, run that errand, etc.), remind yourself that you too have spent a little extra time picking out your outfit or forgotten something you were supposed to do. You can let one mistake ruin your evening or you can choose not to.

Instead of judging, comparing and hoping for a certain physique, what if you found gratitude for the beauty of your body (whatever shape that may be) and the amazingly well run machine that it is. Try to embrace rather than fear, nourish rather than obsess and find excitement rather than criticize.

Instead of getting road rage when someone makes a mistake while driving, remind yourself that it was likely that, A MISTAKE… You, too, have made mistakes.

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What if instead of finding anger, rage, disappointment (all which lead to unhappiness) we found compassion for others and for ourselves? It might truly change everything.

So keep this simple equation in the back of your head and when negative feelings start creeping in, give yourself a moment to pause and reflect. You might have a different outcome if you let go of  your expectations (or at least find a way to adjust them).

Have a wonderful weekend!

Photo Credit: Niice Stuff