You Betta’ Read Girl

We all know that reading is fundamental or so we have been told, right. Well, it is! Reading is absolutely necessary. Whether it is books, articles, or FOOD labels – READ and read thoroughly.

I should have read when I was in the store the other day BUT I took for granted that all things are created equal.

Okay, so here is a little backstory about me. If I am buying something that has a label – milk, plantain chips, coffee, beans in a bag (you never know), seasoning, soap, lotion, etc… I read the label. I want to know what I am buying – all of it. HOWEVER, the other day I bought some curry seasoning to make Curry Lentils and I grabbed the baggie off the shelf, quickly skimmed the ingredients and placed in the cart. While skimming I was looking for key words – leche (don’t they put that s*** in everything), carne, pollo, jamon, or hueves and none of that was listed in the ingredients. Good right?!

So I get home and I am preparing dinner. I dance over to grab the curry and cut it open. As I get ready to DUMP the curry into the pot, I pause and look at the label one more time. This time a little slower. Reading EACH word.

Harina de trigo, sal, curcuma, glutamato, comino, mostaza, azucar, culantro, jengibre…. and the list continues but I will spare you. I was okay with most of the ingredients, except for the glutamato (MSG) but I knew that in the store and decided it was for this one meal that I wanted to make.

I kept reading and got to:

Puedo contener trazars de proteinas de pescado, soya, gluten, lacteos, nueces, huevo y mariscos. I thought pescado, I know that word. Pescado, pescado, pescado – FISH! huevo y mariscos!! eggs and seafood – REALLY!!! This package may contain those things (insert sad face).

As a herbivore, plant-based eater, vegan by diet (whatever you wanna call it)… this is not acceptable for me. If I decide I wanna have some fish or traces thereof, I want it to be on my terms. But since eating things that have eyes and poop is no longer my story I would rather not have something, knowingly, that could contain it. So, needless to say we did not have Curry Lentils. I will have to make my own curry seasoning (which I have done many times in the states) or find one here in Costa Rica without all the extra.

My lesson: read thoroughly, don’t skim a language you are not fluent in, yet, boo! Something else that resonated with me, yea Imma get all deep and what not, is never settle. I was going to accept something (MSG) that I do not normally accept and intentionally avoid because I saw a recipe and wanted to take a shortcut to make it and in the end, I didn’t even make it… SMH

Read. Never settle. Read. Never settle. Read. Never settle. Read. Never settle. LIFE is always teaching. What lesson, big or small, has life taught you lately that you want to share? Drop it in the comments – you KNOW I love to talk to you 😉

On another note: #TeamBz is having a GIVEAWAY.

There will be three prizes and three winners:

One person will receive a visor.

One person will receive a pair of socks.

One person will receive the ‘WE OUT’ tee.

For details and to enter click the link –

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My Costa Rican Reality

Since making the decision to live abroad I have heard various words to describe our decision. Some of the words that come to mind are – brave, courageous, crazy, impulsive, amazing, different, etc… We have been asked – why would you up and move your family, are you guys okay [my question is what does that mean, what is ‘okay’] or did you all think about this – to which I give a side-eye or eye roll.

I honestly think this decision was one of the most challenging ones we, as a family, have made. Because we LITERALLY picked up our WHOLE life as we KNEW it to live in an unknown place and eventually unknown places. We had never been to Costa Rica; however, our desire to expand and explore was greater than the fear of the unknown. Now that we are here there are challenges but with those challenges are beautiful opportunities for discovery.

When we told people we were moving to Costa Rica, some thought huts and jungles and envisioned us carrying tubs of water on our heads, while traipsing through the outback [and YES, we were told this!]. However, our reality is completely NOT that. We knew we did not want to live in heavily touristy areas but we also knew we were not looking to reside in a bungalow. When we first arrived and were living in the mountains we saw some interesting houses, placed in strange places [like the immediate side of a mountain] but we have yet to see a hut lol. Maybe homes with a literal open concept but no huts.

Since being here we have discovered many things. HA! So many things!

Things that are the norm in Estados Unidos are not a concern here. For example: screens for windows and doors. Who needs them?! Many people here leave their doors wide open and windows up, with no barrier to protect them from outside elements. This is not something that we are used to; however, we are adjusting. We hung our mosquito net from the overhang outside our front door and let the breeze flow through. We appreciate fans, especially mid-day because air conditioning is a luxury. But honestly where we have stayed the temps aren’t bad and most days it is pretty comfortable inside, until I start using the stove to cook dinner.

Another thing we have discovered is the sensitivity of the septic system here, requiring people to throw tissue away instead of flushing it. So whether you are wiping a dribble or a drab put your tissue in the small waste basket that you will find beside toilets throughout the country.

Also, the same way we feel most comfortable speaking our native language, Inglés, those here prefer, Español – which is understandable, it is their native language. Some people are willing to work with you when speaking and will put their little bit of English with our little bit of Spanish and together we make a broken conversation happen that is beautiful in the end BUT many do not even attempt [kinda like we do in the states… smh]. Those are the frustrating moments, when you have something you want to say but are not able to articulate it… oh, how many times does this happen in life and not just due to language barriers. There are days when I just wanna have a conversation with someone who can hear my heart and let me talk… just let me use my words lol

This is why I keep Stress Away and Peace and Calm essential oil blends on deck. I’ve got to figure out how to get my order shipped here so I won’t run low but, uh, figuring that out is another blog.

Have you had to adjust in a foreign place? How did you handle it? Tell me in the comments.

These small frustrations do not outweigh the joy we have knowing we are giving our kids the world. As imperfect, as it may seem to some, it is perfect for us at this time in our lives. It is our brave, courageous, crazy, impulsive, amazing, different, and love-filled life, as we explore the world.

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six helpful apps when traveling

so, i’m a newbie to this whole traveling ordeal, but if you’ve been following me on any social media i’ve been living in costa rica for coming up on three months. and there have been a few apps that i have been using that have proved themselves to be very helpful during this time i’ve been abroad.

6. whatsapp

whatsapp is probably one of the best apps to message with people in different countries. if your friends have whatsapp it pretty much works just like imessage, but of course nothing compares to the interface and pretty-ness of imessage; however, it gets the job done and it doesn’t charge the other party international fees.

whatsapp also has the capability of video chatting and phone calls. it is a very helpful app; all you need is the other people’s phone number.

5. airline app

okay, so the app is not called airline app but it depends upon what airline you’re flying with. for me i had connecting flights on different airlines so i needed multiple apps, but having the app is easier than carrying around the piece of paper that you have the possibility of losing. but will you lose your phone? nope. i’m almost guaranteeing that you’ll have your phone on you always.

both airline apps i have, united and american, keep a notification on my lockscreen telling me that my flight is coming up and when you swipe it opens to your flight ticket in the app. the apps let you know of delays and any other information about your flights.

4. uber

chances are you already have this app, but this is extremely helpful when needing to get around. here in costa rica they have taxis and buses, but taxis can be super expensive and the buses make multiple stops and you can get extremely car sick on the buses here. uber is just extremely helpful and my family and i are extremely thankful for it over here in costa rica.

3. duolingo

if you’re trying to learn a new language this app is great and it’s free. there’s many different languages like german and spanish. while i was still in college in the states i took a german class in addition to practicing sometimes on the app and it extremely helpful. in the app you play matching games, you speak, and translate words. and it always goes over words that you practiced before so you won’t forget. the app reminds you every day to practice so you can advance and keep up your daily streak. the app also has a feature where you can have a “text conversation” with someone (a bot) in the language and it helps with your conversational and recall skills.

2. airbnb

of course, when you’re leaving the country you’re going to need somewhere to stay and my family and i have been using airbnb. this is probably one of the best apps ever. i can stay anywhere i want without the expensive hotel costs. airbnb is probably one of the best apps to get your bang for your buck, but do your research about the areas you’re staying in and be sure to read the reviews!

you can save $25 off your first trip of $75 or more with my mom’s code: khadijahb88

1. google translate

it helps when speaking to natives of the country. soooooo soooo helpful. get it. use it. embody it. that’s all i must say.

*photo taken by DynamikWorks

what apps do you use when you travel? link me below


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