Expat Extra – Jackie & Junior

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Hello friends and welcome to another edition of the Expat Extra!  Today I am featuring Jackie and her husband Junior, who live in the Guanacaste region (western coast) of Costa Rica.  We just met Jackie and Junior a couple of months ago at the International Living Conference in San Jose where both Greg and Jackie spoke (they both performed well!).  We very much enjoyed getting to know them better over the conference weekend.  They are young and ambitious, and will show you that you don’t have to be retired to move to a foreign country!

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I Love You, Costa Rica

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I think it’s no secret that I love Costa Rica.  Here are just a handful of things I love about this great country: 

The gorgeous central valley, as viewed from my patio (and yes, this is a Poinsettia TREE)!
Coffee fields everywhere!

How friendly the ticos are!

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Grecia, Costa Rica – the book

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Have you ever wondered about the little coffee-farming town I live in, here in the Central Valley of Costa Rica? Well – wonder no more!  I’ve written a little guidebook to help you navigate around Grecia.

After living here for over 3 years, I discuss what you need to know if you are visiting Grecia – either on vacation, or even if you are thinking about living here one day. 

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Costa Rican Arroz con Pollo

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One of my favorite things to order in restaurants here in Costa Rica, is Arroz con Pollo (in English means “rice with chicken”). So, if you know me at all, you’ll know that I’ve been dreaming of making this from scratch for some time now. When we go out to eat here, we will order Costa Rican food, but when we are home I tend to make our USA favorites (which you know if you’ve read my Costa Rica Chica Cookbook; if not, please check it out – it’s my favorite US recipes, but also how to make them here in Costa Rica with some differences in ingredients). I think this Arroz con Pollo might actually be my first authentic Costa Rican dish I’ve made at home! 

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Expat Extra – Mike & Martina

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We first met Mike & Martina just recently, after hearing about them for a while and people telling us that “you just have to meet them, we know you’ll like them!”  Well – we do!  They are our age (a rare thing here!), down to earth,  sweet and so easy to talk to.  We plan on seeing them much more – they are just our type of people.

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Paperback is out! Life Outside The Cubicle!

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Hello friends and happy Tuesday!  Just a quick note to let you know that Life Outside The Cubicle is now available in PAPERBACK!  Yes, like an actual book that you can hold in your hands.  I got to see if for myself just a few days ago, and I must say – it looks awesome!

So if you are one of those people who doesn’t “do” ebooks, or just likes to hold a real, actual book in your hands – here you go!  I’d be honored if you checked out my book.

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Life Outside the Cubicle

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“What do you do all day?” I get this question a lot. And while exactly what I do changes each day, I was amazed by my new “normal” the other day.

4 years ago, I never would have thought I would be spending my day formatting and publishing my 3rd book and working on 7 arm candy orders. All while drinking Costa Rican coffee with parrots squawking in the background and with the lovely view of my husband working across the table from me (instead of a grey cubicle wall!).

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Self-Publishing for Newbies

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Hello friends! Greg and I get questions all the time on self-publishing, so we have decided to do a blog post on it for you. That’s right – this post comes from both the Seymour’s today! 

Here is our advice, answers, and tips for you:

1. Why did you self-publish vs. publishing the traditional way? Well, that answer is quite simple: time and money.

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Homemade Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Dog Treats

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Hello friends!  If you missed yesterday’s post about how Costa Rica has made me a better cook, CLICK HERE.  

To continue the cooking-from-scratch theme, today I am featuring my good amiga, Lynette!  She has learned to make her own doggie treats here in Costa Rica.  Actually, they sound so good, I’m wondering if these are just for pets??  Her dogs (which are the cutest goldendoodles ever) adore these treats, and I’m sure your dog(s) would too!

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HOW COSTA RICA HAS MADE ME A BETTER COOK

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Even before I came to Costa Rica, I loved to bake. But it was only on occasion, only when I had time, and really – only if we were going to a party or family gathering and I needed to bring something. The point is – I enjoyed baking when I had time to do it… but I just never seemed to have that much time.

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A Day in the Life of Living in Grecia, Costa Rica

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So you’ve heard that living in Costa Rica is perfect, like being on a permanent vacation? Well, I’m here to keep it real. Here’s an example of what it takes to live here – or of what can happen occasionally. Sometimes every day.

This is a true story, and is pretty much a combo of “tico time” + “pura vida” + just plain real living in Costa Rica.

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The Secret to Keeping Lettuce Crisp (for up to 3 weeks)!

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Let me tell you a story.  There was once a girl who lived in Dallas and LOVED salad.  Almost any kind of salad, but her favorites were caesar salad (with or without chicken) or a fried or grilled chicken salad (with ranch dressing, cheddar cheese and croutons).  OK, so maybe these salads weren’t the healthiest of salads, but still – it made this girl feel good and healthy when she got to eat a salad for a meal.  At least she was getting some vegetables, and let’s be serious – any kind of salad is better than a burger or pizza.

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Reserva Forestal Grecia – Bosque del Niño

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Reserva Forestal Grecia Bosque del Niño (Grecia Forest Reserve of the Children) is right here in Grecia.  It’s a nice little getaway from the city life.  When we were there – we were the only ones there!  

There’s a huge field for soccer or playing catch, and behind it is a large covered area with several picnic tables and grills.  The bathrooms are located behind the covered area.

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Los Chorros Waterfalls, Grecia, Costa Rica

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 Do you like waterfalls?  Well, they seem to be pretty plentiful here in Costa Rica.  Los Chorros is a little gem right outside of Grecia.  Easy to get to for a low-keyed and fun-filled day of natural beauty.

Los Chorros is about a 15 minute drive from Central Grecia, and just 30 minutes from the International Airport (SJO) in Alajuela.  It’s between the two small towns of Grecia and Tacares (see map at end of post).

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Crema Dulce Recipes

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Hello friends and welcome back to Part II of my crema dulce blog.  If you missed it yesterday, click here for Part I on the many uses of crema dulce in Costa Rica.

Now, for Part II – here are my crema dulce recipes for you!  Have fun, and let me know if you try any of them.  

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Crema Dulce – a little box with big uses.

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So, when I first moved to Costa Rica, I was surprised that I couldn’t find cream in the refrigerated section of the grocery stores. I searched and searched – several different grocery stores – all to no avail. And I’m talking about any kind of cream: half and half, light cream, whipping cream or heavy cream.

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You know you’re in Wisconsin when…

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Well, we just got back from a little trip to Wisconsin.  We went to see my sweet mom, and as a plus got to see all three of my brothers and their families. Initially my mom was going to have knee surgery, and we were going to help her with recovery, but her knee got better so it was not needed (yet, anyway), so we got to just hang out and have a good time.

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Ode To Costa Rican Sidewalks

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Jen be nimble
Jen be quick
Jen jump over
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The above picture is not doctored – it is really me, jumping over a very real pothole on a sidewalk in the town of Grecia, just yesterday.  

I know I look quite agile here, but I was really pretty cautious (and perhaps just a wee bit scared).  Look how deep this hole is, you could seriously hurt yourself if you weren’t looking where you were going:

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Costa Rican Food

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What is typical food like in Costa Rica?  One of my friend’s from the States was asking me this the other day, and I’d been wanting to do a post on this for some time.  Rice and beans are plentiful here and used in a lot of dishes.  Though we do not dine out frequently, here are some of our favorite things we order when we do go out.

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A Year In Review – 2015

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Hello friends and HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone!!  

I was just looking at all my pictures from this past year, 2015, and realized it was a pretty darn good year, with a bit of heart ache as well…  Here’s a little recap for you:

January marked our 20th anniversary, and we celebrated it in a big way by renewing our wedding vows in Manuel Antonio:

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