“Tiny House Your Full-Sized Life” · 7 Day Challenge

The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment. – Marie Kondo Tiny house living or downsizing may sound appealing, but if you can’t abandon your current full-sized life, you can still experience the joys of tiny house living. I moved back to the US two years ago after long-term tiny house living abroad and in just two short years back home, my drawers, closets, and life were bursting at the seams. I had innumerable decorations (otherwise known as stuff) out on display that needed constant cleaning and I’d begun replacing, rather than religiously repurposing or upcycling what I already had. As the amount of stuff increased, “clutter clusters” were spawned in almost every room. The materialism…

Easy Spring Cleaning Secrets And Tips

Frühjahrsputz (German) · lente – skoonmaak (Afrikaans) · dọn dẹp nhà cửa sạch sẽ vào cuối đông (Vietnamese) · pulizie di primavera (Italian) · nettoyage de printemps (French) · limpieza general (Spanish) · Spring Cleaning (English)                                                                   Spring is fast approaching, and with the continuous rain showers we’ve had here in the south, I’ve been able to postpone the dreaded spring cleaning my home so richly deserves. Our ancestors kept their homes warm with coal, kerosene and wood. On the first sunny day of spring, they’d throw open the doors and windows and haul everything outside to beat out…

5 TRUTHS ABOUT EXPAT LIVING · Free ebook!

Watching too many episodes of House Hunters International lately? Can you see yourself waking up to unscheduled days, ready for whatever adventure comes your way? Are you thinking, “I’ve got to get out of here!” more and more these days? Well maybe you can do just that. Moving abroad is not terribly difficult. Once you’ve made the decision, you research different countries’ annual rainfall, crime rates, and cost of living. You voraciously read books about different expats’ madcap experiences as they got to know their new home country, and before long you feel ready to “pull the trigger.” Thousands of people, just like you, have traded in the rat race for a completely different life, but research has shown that the average length of stay for expats…

“I’ll Have The Love Tacos Please!” – How We Successfully Operated Our Restaurant in Costa Rica

The old restaurant refrigerator hummed and rumbled sporadically, a sign that for at least this moment, all of its’ contents weren’t “going south.” This would be the last time I’d heave up the rolling steel garage doors of our tiny Mexican restaurant, that opened up to the bustling street in front. I surveyed the dining room, shaking my head as I looked down at the bulky Guanacaste wood tables and chairs that took up way too much room. They’d been made by a local artist, so we’d tolerated the inconvenience and bruised shins for years. The bright-colored Mexican blankets and papel picado, hanging on the walls, were covered with a thin layer of street dust, a relentless foe, I constantly battled. I’d painstakingly rag painted…

Shifting Perspective · Our Impromptu Photo Shoot In Costa Rica

“There’s a place to wait over there.” My husband waved his hand toward the far wall of the dusty automotive repair yard in Costa Rica, where we’d stopped to have the oil changed in our 1990 Nissan Sunny. It was almost 10am, and the heat and humidity wrapped around us like overcoats. Sweat droplets made their way down our backs, as my kids and I picked our way around broken down vehicles sprawled out around the yard, in various states of disrepair. They looked like they’d desperately crawled toward this isolated mechanic’s oasis, but sadly, chugged their final gasp and collapsed, just short of the single work bay. This was not an air-conditioned waiting room with magazines strewn about. We were in Costa Rica, where the only place…

November 8, 2016 · My Experience As A Democratic Poll Watcher in the South

That fateful November morning in 2016 Somewhat nervously, I pulled on my newly acquired pantsuit and donned my official poll-watcher badge. Today America would be voting into office the first female President of the United States, and I would be there to witness it! Frustration and disbelief consumed me, when Donald Trump became the Republican Party’s candidate. The outright racism, misogyny, etc. combined with his complete disregard for the truth, shook me to my core. Living in Tennessee, I’m surrounded by his supporters (including friends and family members.) With the unending right-wing propaganda being spewed about voter fraud, I decided to volunteer as a poll watcher for the Democratic Party. That way, I hoped to prove that Democrats cared equally about the sanctity of the democratic process.…

Stem Cell Treatment In My Knees and Hands Eliminated My Pain!

Updated July 7, 2017 The paper made a crinkling sound as I eased onto my back and waited for the doctor to come in. My heart raced in anticipation, I’d never been this excited to have a medical procedure! I was about to begin stem cell treatment and I couldn’t wait! What it was like I’d been experiencing incredible pain in both of my knees for the past seven years. That pain impacted every aspect of my life. I could barely walk any distance without having to rest, navigate stairs, or sleep through the night. All the doctors I’d seen told me both of my knees were “bone-on-bone” and needed replacing. They said it was my only hope of any restored function and relief of the…

HOW TO START “TINY HOUSE” THINKING

“I give them six months!” my spouse chortled, after watching an episode of a tiny house show.  I wanted the couple on the show to drive off happily into the sunset, but it did seem that the field was littered with red flags. They had St. Bernard, a bathroom space one spouse seriously compromised on, no private space for either of them (one of them planned to work out of their tiny home) and a refrigerator only big enough to hold pint-sized milk containers. They seemed adventurous and optimistic though, and had well-functioning knees, so maybe they could make it work. What is driving the tiny house movement? What is it about this lifestyle that’s so appealing to us? “Tiny house” living abroad Our family spent the last seven years in Costa Rica,…

5 WAYS TO “TINY HOUSE” YOUR FULL-SIZED LIFE

“Tiny house” living sounds incredibly appealing, but if you can’t just up and leave your current full-sized life, you can still enjoy “tiny house” living. 1.   Downsize – as a child of the 70’s, my rule of thumb was, “when everything you own can no longer fit in your VW bug, you’ve got too much stuff,” but then the 80’s, relationships, home buying, and children came into play, and that thought never again entered my mind. Our family moved to Costa Rica nine years ago, and with the exception of a few boxes of mementos, I got rid of everything we owned. We moved into a furnished (to Costa Rican standards) house, so we had everything we needed, I just didn’t know it at the time! There are…

I’m Turning Tica, Si! Oh Yes, I Think So…

It’s official, I’m turning into a Tica, and here is why: #1 When we first arrived in Costa Rica, I thought many women dressed somewhat provocatively. Late teens through great grandmothers, they all flaunt what they’ve got! As a fifty year old, ex-hippy, I ambled around in my sensible flats (often Birkenstocks,) loose fitting shirts, and comfortable khakis, camouflaging what I felt was my less than perfect body. In the US, the obsession with being thin is ingrained in every woman from a young age, I was dieting in middle school! Latin women embrace their figures and exude confidence. Most women exercise daily and naturally tend to eat healthier with such an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. They are comfortable in their skin and…