Last week, I came back from a trip to Costa Rica. It was a seven-day fiesta in Dominical, a little beachfront town on the Pacific.  I stayed in a beautiful house overlooking the water with just some of my closest friends. I’m kidding, there were ten of us. Surprisingly we all got along great!  There was a lot of alcohol and chips, so not a lot was going to go wrong. Nevertheless, here are some things I learned from my trip:

    • First, and foremost: Surfing (in Costa Rica) is dangerous. Our first activity on the FIRST day was surfing, and two of my friends got seriously hurt within minutes of our surf lesson. One ended up with a fractured fibula (aka crutches and bed rest), and another had the fin of the surfboard slice her head open, leaving her with six stitches. So the lesson here is – get your cute surfing pic before your surf, and maybe with a short board (because looking sexy with a heavy-ass ten foot beginner board is nearly impossible).

    • Don’t be afraid to not do something that doesn’t feel right for your body. I almost quit as soon as we started our surf lesson that day because the current was super strong and it hurt my bad back just walking through the ocean. But I didn’t want to be “that person” so I pushed through, and although I had fun, and was glad I did it, my herniated disks were not happy, and I spent the rest of the vacation pretending to not be in pain. Of course, you want to be able to do whatever the able-bodied person is doing next to you but sometimes that’s unrealistic. Listen to your body. Only you know what feels right and what doesn’t. Trust your instincts. (Pretend you are in yoga, or that you are listening to Oprah).

    • I learned how to make super easy, healthy, delicious pancakes without flour!!! Just blend 1 medium banana, ¼ of oats, ¼ of a spoon of cinnamon, and 2 eggs, and you got your batter! Lauren, my faux lover of the trip, made them daily and they were nutritious and left me leaving full and light! Try eating the pancakes as a sandwich with peanut butter in the middle. Yummy!!!!

  • The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it- Eckhart Tolle, “A New Awakening”. (A book I obviously read (and everyone reads) on vacation that I highly recommend).  Things aren’t always going to go how you expect (especially when you or someone you’re with gets hurt on day one of the vacay).  Being injured sucks! There is no way around that.  But when a shitty situation happens, you literally have to thank god you are alive and change your attitude, or you will be miserable.  "What you think, creates the emotion that you feel”.  So instead of feeling sorry of yourself for whatever happened, you have to rewire your brain to be in a present, positive mindset.  Yes, you may not be able to change what happened to you physically but you can change your thoughts about it.  And if you are not yet ready to part with feeling sorry for yourself, keep trying.  Sooner or later your thoughts will seep in.  Fake it, until you make it. 

  • Humidity makes me prettier. It gets a bad rap but I like it. Some call it sweat; I call it “I don’t need a highlighter, bitch”.

    • I’m a closet introvert. Yes, I am social AF on a normal basis but I NEED my alone time. I was in a house with 9 other people, so every morning I would walk down the stairs, get coffee (that was usually already made by Lauren Valentine, who deserves a shot out for always satisfying my needs. Pretend that sounded less sexual), and then I would go upstairs and spend some time reading or doing a light workout. I really liked working out to “Boho Beautiful” on YouTube. It’s basically a girl who does a lot of Pilates based workouts that are short but really work your core.

    • I didn't watch TV on vacation, which is of my worst habits that’s  apparently easily lost in a tropical location. I usually watch a little TV with most of my meals at home, and sometimes those meals turn into binges (TV and food alike); yet, on vacation I’m so consumed with activities, sun, water and drinks (aka cocktails) that I could care less about what’s streaming on Netflix.

    • I didn’t complain on vacation. Ok fine, I still did, but not as much. I complain when people are around me because I basically speak my thoughts out loud. (Does anyone else do this? Anyone? Am I technically doing it now)? But in Costa Rica, I was very aware of the fact that I was #blessed to be there with, especially with so much current devastation in the world. So any time I felt a complaint coming on I would think “STFU bitch, you are on vacation, with a panoramic view of the ocean, no one gives a fuck!” and that pretty much kept me quite…for a little.

    • I only wore 10% of my 52lb checked- in bag (somehow 56 lbs on the way back). Why do we pack shit we don’t even wear at home? Like, why do we think that that one dress that we got three years ago on sale at Nordstrom(rack) will finally have it’s chance? It won’t. You are going to wear the same pair of jean shorts, flip flops, and sleep attire ALL WEEK LONG (unless someone is taking lots of photos, then you will undoubtedly make lots of changes).  In that case you pack like I did- I suggest you start your very own theme nights. You don’t even need anyone else to participate. Just try to wear as much of your planned outfits as possible. And guess what? It does not need to rain for you to wear your ten-pound Hunter Rain boots that you needed to bring. You can just pair them with a summer dress =] (photo included) 

    • Waterfalls are painful. Others will say it felt like a massage, I say it felt like someone was throwing rocks at my head. 

    • I like to make toasts. It's the Russian in me. In my family, you are expected to make a toast, any time you sit to have an alcoholic beverage. (Because toasting with water is bad luck, duh)! If you go on vacation with me, I will make toasts for every occasion. More occasions =more drinks = more toasts. If I date you, I will expect you to make toasts to me. It’s true.

  • I WANT TO SAVE EVERY STRAY ANIMAL I SEE. I want to take them home, shower them with love (and maybe just give them a shower), nurture them, and make them love me.


               If you want to donate lots of money for me to get started on this dream of      
               mine, I will be very happy. You can write it off as charity.
Pura Vida,



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