Camping With Your Kids in Northern Thailand · DAY 2 · 2 Day Itinerary

While camping with your kids in Doi Suthep National Park, visit a remote Hmong village and enjoy a cup of coffee in a tiny mountainside cafe · Read about DAY 1 here! · DAY 2  I awoke before sunrise and headed out in search of coffee, only to find other early risers also seeking hot beverages. The concession’s posted hours let us know that we’d all have to wait more than an hour before any coffee hot water + instant coffee/tea would be available, so I headed down to the nearby pavilions to enjoy the quiet and read by headlamp. Shortly before sunrise, I nudged the children out of their sleeping bags, bribing them with sweet breakfast treats I’d brought along in my pack. I helped bundle…

Camping With Your Kids in Northern Thailand · DAY 1 · 2 Day Itinerary

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, 16km northwest of Chiang Mai, has it all! Waterfalls, Hmong Villages, Temples, mountain biking, hiking, and camping! *Read DAY 2 here* Our mountain-born kids started camping long before their first birthdays, and love to sleep under the stars. Our two children (8 and 11) and I were visiting Chiang Mai, Thailand, in 2012 and heard about an amazing nearby campground in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, so we decided to check it out! DAY 1 – Depart from Chiang Mai Doi Suthep campground is located in the mountains, 24km outside of the city, in Doi Suthep National Park. I made a reservation online and packed our day packs. What to bring Clothes (layers best) and socks, hats and gloves, the nights are cool/cold year round.…

Transform An Ikea BILLY Bookcase Into A Stunning Kitchen Pantry

Ikea provides affordable and good-looking options for remodelers on a budget, and here’s how to make your money go even further! While designing our kitchen, using Ikea cabinets, we needed a large pantry for our family. The cost of the coordinating Ikea pantry unit exceeded our budget, so I decided to wander around Ikea for a while and figure out an option. That’s when the BILLY bookcase came into view! It’s estimated that every five seconds, one BILLY bookcase is sold somewhere in the world. Pretty impressive considering the Billy series was launched in 1979. Historically, these bookcases have become a home for books and chotskis to be displayed, but these days, they can be transformed into a myriad of functional furniture/storage pieces. You can find…

Become A Digital Nomad and Escape Your Stressful Life · We’ll Tell You How

This is the first in a new series of interviews and guest posts about living as a “digital nomad.” My friend Shay has kindly agreed to talk with us and share a bit about her experiences as a single millennial, living in Costa Rica.   ¡Buen día Shay! Thank you for your willingness to share about what it’s like to live in Costa Rica. Many of my readers are seriously considering moving abroad, so I’d like them to have as much information as possible as they consider this significant life change. let’s get started! Where are you from, originally?  Southern California, USA How long have you lived in Costa Rica? 10.5 years…Wow!! What are you looking at right now? Right now I am on a work…

Give Your 1960’s Ranch Style House A Facelift For Under $100

Not content to pull into the driveway of a boring looking 1960’s ranch house anymore? These inexpensive changes can transform your cookie-cutter ranch and make it a modern mid-century joy to come home to! Same, same, same… All  ofthe other houses in our 1960’s tract home neighborhood had terracotta brick, plastic shutters, and a small cement porch with twisted iron railings, that jutted out inconveniently from of the center of the house.   Every other home in our neighborhood was an equally dreary version of ours. Most of our home improvement budget was earmarked for a kitchen remodel, so it would take ingenuity to transform the exterior of our home. Fortunately, I’m a penny pincher, and knew I could make this facelift dream a reality!…

The Best Show To Binge On This Weekend! Bon Appétit!

Don’t think you’d care about what goes into Viennese Whirls, or how they’re made?  Well, this show not just about baking, it’s an opportunity to spend time with people overflowing with passion, optimism, kindness and skill. This show is like a hot pepper…pop that little inconspicuous chile into your mouth and be swept up into the burst of flavor and surprising heat that hits you when least expect it. Seriously, the baking is secondary to everything else. Weekend In The Country Searching for the U.K.’s best amateur bakers, the competition, held in the lush garden of a stately country manor, brings together 12 competitors from all walks of life. They will gather each week and bake their way through ten weekend “bake-fests.” As each episode…

Expat Moms Tell All! Guest Post Series- Moms With “Flip Flops On The Ground.”

The ONLY way to find out what raising children in Costa Rica is really like, is to go to the source. This the first in a series of upcoming guest posts by moms who are living the dream! Pura Vida, Penny Tina has lived in Atenas, Costa Rica for 18 years. She had both of her children in Costa Rica, and is raising them in this idyllic town. She owned and operated a community center and now runs her own real estate company. Today, she has kindly agreed to share her experiences with us! These guest posts will help you find out the pros and the cons, from people who are doing it and aren’t afraid to tell you the truth.  After living 18 years…

Avoid Knee Replacement Surgery With Stem Cell Treatment

Updated July 7, 2017 “17, 18 19…” I happily counted off each step as I bounded up the suspended steel and concrete stairs. At the top of the first flight there was a breathtaking view of the ocean I considered a reward for my efforts, so I paused briefly to gaze out at the Pacific, then turned around and flew up the final 40 steps up to our vacation condo. We’d stayed at this same condo a year ago, while on vacation in Costa Rica. At that time, the expedition up and down the 60+ steps, multiple times a day, was daunting and incredibly painful. The reward of relaxing on the beach, or meals out motivated me, as I struggled up the jungle gym of a staircase.…

How To Install A Painted Plexiglass/Acrylic Backsplash In 6 Easy Steps

My husband and I recently remodeled our mid-century home’s kitchen. We easily made the decision about which type of cabinet and countertop materials to use, but we went round and round trying to select the perfect backsplash. I knew I did not want a tile backsplash. They require exhaustive maintenance and trends like “subway” or “Moroccan” tile pass quickly, so you’re left with a dated look in just a few years. Scrolling through Pinterest, I discovered some beautiful painted glass backsplashes, but the prohibitive cost and challenging installation drove me to look for other options. We both loved the look of the glass though, so we decided to find a way to make it work! As we researched our options, we came across some examples of…

Learn How To Grow Loofahs In Your Garden!

Peering out the window of our tiny house in Costa Rica, I saw our neighbor Josué slowly climbing up a ladder holding a basket full of what looked like overgrown zucchinis. He pulled each one out and placed them side-by-side on his roof, where the unobstructed sun would beat down on them for more than eight hours each day! Why was he doing this to his zucchinis? Josué climbed back up every morning to rotate the large veggies, and after a week of baking in the Costa Rica jungle heat, they’d transformed into a row of dark brown logs. I was dying to know what he was tending to up on his roof, so I asked, “¿Que son esos?” It turned out they were loofahs!…

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