Costa Rican American Beauty

One of the most memorable movies posters ever was for American Beauty starring Kevin Spacey and this chick…


I spent the day cleaning bracts – they are not flowers, says my blog buddy, Susan out of the pool On a Bougainvillea, the flowers are tiny. The part around the flower is a “bract.” With the high winds it’s a lost cause to try to keep the pool bract-free… but what else do I have to do?

My version of American Beauty – Costa Rica style.


And then there’s this guy…

We Know Who We Want to Be When We Grow Up

Nancy and I have decided we know who we want to be when we grow up.



Nancy has decided she wants to be Victoria… our eye doctor. This is quite a change for Nancy because she has said in the past she wanted to come back to earth as a tall blonde. Dra. Victoria isn’t a tall blonde. She’s a tiny tica! But her brilliant smile and friendly wave everytime she sees us (or a customary kiss on the cheek) is every endearing. Plus she loves to shop and travel and talk … right up Nancy’s alley.







I want to be Jeremy. I became acquainted with him via his website. (A fun place to visit!) He’s a world wide traveler and lecturer, helping some of the world’s biggest brands be more successful. I met Jeremy face-to-face for the first time on Monday when we attended his marriage to Shelby. Jeremy and Shelby chose Costa Verde Costa Rica for their wedding because they wanted extreme adventures. They are doing it all: whitewater, ziplining, catamaran, 4×4, horseback riding, and partying.

Merry Christmas – Drunk Santa Animated Gif

Keeping with the spirits of Christmas. Nothing says Happy Holidays more than a drunk Santa crashing into the bumper of a car.


Atenas Loses Goodwill Ambassadors


Tom and Kay Costello have sold their iconic Kay’s Gringo Postres and will be returning to the U.S. to be closer to family.

The Costello’s came to Costa Rica 12 years ago and opened Kay’s Gringo Postres which quickly became the “must visit” place for gringos considering relocating to Atenas.

Visitors could almost always find a gringo who had made the move already and would be willing to share their experiences and advice. Kay’s uncanny memory for names and faces made everyone know they would always be welcome at Kay’s Gringo Postres. Many recall with fondness, how they would have lunch at Kay’s during a tourism visit and return six months later and have Kay call them by name as they walked into the open air restaurant.

A feature of the restaurant that attracted local gringos to return was the free lending library. Donated books were available for anyone to check out on the honor system.

Tom and Kay Costello made a big impact on the local community by establishing a fund-raiser for Hogar de Vida, a local orphanage. Their Chili Cook Off has raised thousands and thousands of dollars to benefit the children.

On her Facebook page, Kay still was thinking of those around her, writing:


Their departure from Atenas will leave a hole that probably cannot be filled.

How to be good at everything


Some people absolutely breeze through life, don’t they? You know the sort: good looking types, charm oozing out of them, winning smiles, careers on an ever-upward trajectory, brilliant at sport, DIY, cooking, building homes with bare hands, fixing cars. Brilliant at everything. Maddening, isn’t it?

Still, why not join that crowd? Wait – don’t roll your eyes and raise your eyebrows; it can be done. With a slight disclaimer admittedly. This is how to be good at everything you do, let’s face it, if you’ve never been able to kick a ball properly you’re not suddenly going to be transform into a talented footballer overnight.

Making career progress….
Making an impression in your workplace and developing your career in the way you want it to is not always easy, and not always in your control – external circumstances can seriously effect a business. But some things are in your control and you should control those. Be punctual, dress smartly, stay sharp and bright. Ask if you can sit in on meetings, even if your presence is not requested. Ask questions, when appropriate. Communicate properly; if you’re struggling with a task, say so. Demonstrate an enthusiasm for the company and the industry it is in. Support any social events with your attendance.

… or making a career change
You can’t be good at your job if you either dislike your role or feel you are unsuited to your current profession. You have little hope of thriving if you have come up against a brick wall. That being the case it’s time to contemplate a change in career, and there is nothing to stop you. Consider what it is you want to do and if that requires you to learn a new skill, do so in your spare time and examine all the opportunities which may be available. The only person stopping you from achieving is… you.

Practice, practice, practice
There’s really no secret to being good at anything. It’s about knowledge and practice. If you have a longing to cook, or to take your cooking to a new level, practice: experiment with recipes and do so when you have time, not when you’re rushed and hungry mouths need feeding. If you want to write a novel, you can do all the research in the world but there’s no substitute for just… writing. If you want to perfect your online roulette strategy on websites like you need to familiarise yourself with playing styles and rules. That’s how to get better!

Be generous with your time
Rushed jobs are compromised jobs and the same logic applies in your personal life. If you’re a parent, it’s easy to lose sight of the importance of just spending time with your children. You can cram all the clubs, hobbies and activities in as much as you like but having time for your kids is crucial, whether that is spending an hour colouring, reading a book, or just watching television together. Paying attention, and not being distracted, is the key to being a good parent.

Don’t try and be good at everything…
If this sounds like a contradiction to all that has been written before, it’s not. It’s impossible for anyone to be good at everything, no matter what impression any individual might give off. You can only cram so much into your life and there might be one or two things you need to drop: prioritize what is important and make sure you’re putting everything into these areas of your life.

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