Friday, November 21, 2014

Reinventing life...

Today I want to share with you a special post, I connected with Kate a year ago through Stroller Adventures and since then we've met up for smoothies in Costa Rica and she's moved back to Victoria and began a Life Coaching business and written an online course. So much has changed for Kate and also for me, in fact just a few weeks ago I had a Skype call with Kate in which she helped me figure out where I'm heading and where I am at. Which is why I invited Kate to write a guest post for you. 

Here's Kate:

1 year ago this month I was planning 6 month trip to Costa Rica. I was doing all sorts of research about what to expect and stumbled upon a post Maribel wrote about grocery shopping in Costa Rica. In her post she wrote about how pickleswere both expensive and elusive. As a pickle lover, I knew I had found a kindred spirit. Maribel and I actually had the opportunity to meet in person while I was travelling. She has been so supportive of my journey and I am so thankful she has given me the opportunity to share my story and new project with all of you.

My name is Kate Zealand and I am the proud Creator and Facilitator of a brand new online course called Lead Your Life: 6 Weeks to Learn Who You Are, What You Want and How To Reinvent Your Life. This course walks participants through a step by step process of defining personal values, creating a life vision, eliminating limiting beliefs and creating a personalized action plan to help them achieve success.

But before I go any further, I want to tell you a little bit about how Lead Your Life came to be. For 10 years of my life I was stuck. I was in a job I wasn't passionate about, I didn't have any drive. I guess if I summed it up in one word it was that I felt "unfulfilled." In my heart I knew there was something bigger and better out there for me, but I had no idea what that was or how to get it. Instead of dealing with these feelings I just stayed put, where it was safe and stable and where I living a life I didn't love.

It all came to a head when my husband and I decided to take a leave and travel through Costa Rica for half a year. I made the decision that this wasn't only going to be a big adventure, but this was going to be my opportunity to re-evaluate my life and its direction.

So I did.

I had just written my Master's thesis and so I was in full on research mode. I started investigating all sorts of ways to jump start a life, or get your life back on track or get on track for the first time. As I did this, I used my background in Values Based Personal Leadership to create a process I could go through. I wanted to figure out who I was and what I really wanted out of life.

I spent 6 months working my way through a process of self-discovery.  I came home with a vision, a plan and a new zest on life. I left my career, started carving out a new path and opened up my personal coaching practice, ZealandCoaching.

As my coaching practice began to grow, I started taking on coachees and talking with them about their stories. I was struck by how many people identified with my story and felt similar emotions. I found myself often referring back to the processes that I had gone through while travelling. There were so many aspects of my journey that were helping my coachees.  I wondered whether my personal journey  would help others too.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Rescue Bots are back!

The Holiday season is just around the corner {literally!} which is why we are taking the time to visit the mall and local business' so that everyone can make a wish list of what it is they want. Our almost 5 year old has been a fan of the Transformers Rescue Bots since last year when he saw them on TV for the first time. We recently received a complimentary copy of a new DVD from our friends over at Shout! Factory Kids to review.  

Our weekday schedule includes eating lunch {picnic style} while enjoying an episode of the Rescue Bots, that is the only time of the day we can watch it. Often our son asks to watch the show and it is not showing on TV that is when I'm glad that Shout Factory Kids along with Hasbro has released DVD's of the show. 

Recently Shout! Factory Kids in conjunction with Hasbro Studios released their latest DVD  Transformers Rescue Bots: Mystery Rescue that includes the following episodes: 

- Countdown
- The Haunting Of Griffin Rock
- Spellbound
- Blame The Gremlins
- Feed the Beast

The Rescue Bots: Chase, Heatwave, Blades, Boulder along with the Burns family are in charge of solving five different mysteries happening in Griffin Rock, in these mysteries the team confronts ghosts, search for the legendary Maine Ridge Monster, chase gremlins and more! 

We have been enjoying watching Cody helping the Rescue Bots solve these mysteries and also watching our other Rescue Bots DVD. These DVDs have also been traveling with us in long drives and keeping our kids entertained. 

This is the perfect stocking stuffer or gift! {priced to own at a SRP of $14.93}. 

Disclosure: We received a complimentary advanced copy of this DVD which facilitated our review. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

La Paz Waterfall & Gardens {Costa Rica}

When thinking of Costa Rica it is easy to think of green and lush spaces, volcanoes, wildlife such as toucans, butterflies and frogs as well as waterfalls created by nature. All this and more is what makes Costa Rica a preferred destination in Central America. It's as if you are somehow connected to paradise and you never want to leave paradise.

Just a few minutes East of the Poas Volcano is the La Paz Waterfall and Gardens, a wildlife refuge and nature park that also has a boutique lodge for guests to enjoy a magical stay. We are lucky to have visited the La Paz Waterfall and Gardens twice, both times we have been in for a treat. Getting up close and personal with toucans, butterflies, hummingbirds and frogs.

This is one of the places I mentioned in my 11 fun things to do with kids in Costa Rica list and it's for obvious reasons I've included La Paz in the list. It's a one stop to make sure you see most of the wildlife you have in your Costa Rica list plus see gorgeous waterfalls and enjoy a fun filled day learning about Costa Rica and how Costa Ricans are working hard to preserve their natural green scenery and wildlife. They have rescued 

The park has roughly over 100 species of animals, there is a hiking trail to see the 5 different waterfalls in addition they have a delicious buffet style restaurant overlooking the hummingbird garden and another restaurant overlooking the man made trout lake with waterfall at the top of the mountain. 

What will I see? 

You will most likely also see the Morphos Butterfly, don't let the dark brown on the back of its wings fool you, when it flies away you will see the blue hues of its wings. 

Birds are everywhere! Our favorite was the hummingbird garden in which we suggest you sit or stand still and enjoy the birds flying around you left to right. 

The Frog exhibit is also magnificent! They have blue jeans frog, due to its blue legs. The colorful red eye leaf frog and the green and black poison dart frog. You are not allowed to touch the blue jeans and the green and black poison dart frog for obvious reasons {they're poisonous}, but you can ask the exhibit ranger if you may hold the red eye leaf frog in your hands and he will help you. 

The last time we visited was my birthday and I had been wishing I could hold a red eye leaf frog, my wish was granted. Shortly after the frog with on my hand and we took this picture it jumped onto my daughter's face which completely caught her by surprise and of course she began jumping and waving her hands after a few seconds the frog jumped off her face onto a leaf, that is when I captured the picture above on the left. 

The toucan exhibit is one of a kind, you will see the always colorful keel billed toucan and you will be allowed to hold or have it placed on your shoulder. I took advantage and pet mine to make him feel even more comfortable. You can also feed the toucans. On exhibit there is also the chestnut-mandibled toucan which has a dark brown beak. 

There's also a jungle cat exhibit, in this exhibit we were able to see the very majestic jaguar. Which kept posing for us and walking around following my kids around the exhibit. They also have an ocelot that is very playful. 

Ever wondered what a typical Costa Rican home looked like before electricity? La Paz Waterfall and Gardens has a traditional casita in which you will be able to try traditional snacks and drinks and be able to sit and enjoy the peacefulness of being away from it all. In front of the casita you will see the traditional ox-cart. Lovely isn't it?

Straight across from the casita you will see a hiking trail that leads to the 5 waterfalls, the highest one being 120 feet tall. There are several look out points from which you will be able to feel sprinkles of water on your face. This is what the trail looks like on the way to the waterfalls.

The prize at the end of the trail, roughly a 20 minute walk from the Casita to the main waterfall. 

At the end of the Waterfalls trail you walk up steps to reach a gift shop and the bus stop, the bus is included with your admission and they will drive you back up to the main entrance to the park/parking lot. 

There are monkeys and there is a snake exhibit too. You will learn about the deadliest and most poisonous snakes that Costa Rica has and believe when I say they're all there. 

What should I know before I visit?

When you visit we suggest you take comfortable walking shoes since you will walk a lot, both up and downhill. We also suggest you take your rain gear be it an umbrella or light jacket since you will be outdoors walking in the rain and cloud forest, dressing in layers is a great way to ensure you are comfortable in weather changes. Strollers can be used, but honestly we don't recommend you use one since you walk up and down and floors are a bit moist making it slippery at times. 

There is private parking with a security guard, please drive carefully since you are up in the mountains it is likely you will see wildlife crossing the road such as the stick bug my husband saw a few yards away. 

What is the admission cost and what about restaurants? 

Adults     $38.00 USD 
Children  $22.00 USD (3 - 12 years old)

Buffet Lunch is an additional $13.00 USD per adult and $7.00 USD per children, it is a good restaurant with a delicious basil based salad dressing and several options to eat. 

If you are a resident of Costa Rica your admission is $22.00 USD per adult and $13.00 USD per child. Make sure you have your proof of residency ready to show, as they will ask for it at the ticket desk. 

One final tip, bring your camera and battery fully charged as I'm sure you will take many pictures. This is the place to get up close with wildlife that you wouldn't be able to hold in the outdoors.