Jumping on the bandwagon

Ciao! After a failed attempt a few years ago at this blogging thing, guess who’s back… back again. I really shouldn’t use the word failed because the fact of the matter is, I just let life get in the way and before I knew it (or more like didn’t know it) I had forgotten all about making time to write and share with you my super exciting life! Ha!

My name is Haide, and as you can probably already tell from my first paragraph, I don’t have it all figured out…yet. Actually, more often than not I trick myself into believing I do. I am a 25 year old 1st generation Latina living in Austin, Texas who loves to shop, sing, dance, travel, and explore new cultures among many other things.. I just love life! On any given Saturday you’ll find me at Zara shopping for the perfect outfit to wear salsa dancing plus the perfect beach dress to wear on the next vacation I haven’t even booked, chic shades to wear to Brunch the next day and one or two cute pieces to keep my office wardrobe stylish. On Sunday morning you’ll find me Pintresting (that’s a word right) the World’s Best Gluten Free French Toast while deciding if I should go to the gym before or after church or not at all and maybe I should skip the cooking and text the girls to meet for brunch instead. Mondays are for walks with my mini poodle Louie and wine tastings with my handsome boyfriend or for orthodontic and hair appointments. Are you intrigued yet?

So why am I back? I’m not trying to be like the cool kids and make a million bucks off my blog, although if I’m keeping it 100, that would so freaking amazing!  Rather, in the past few years I’ve re-discovered myself by stepping out of my comfort zone, doing things that seemed so out of the ordinary and yet along the way I realized that there were so many people out there who were living these extraordinary lives making them seem so… ordinary. As I sat in the hair salon dryer chair yesterday, I thought, “OMG I really need to start blogging again and share all of the great things I’ve learned, am learning, and will learn”! Again, I don’t have it all figured out but I want to invite you on my journey as I do, and hey you might just learn a thing or two as well…or at least I’ll keep you entertained :).

XOXO,

Haide

Costa Rica | Pura Vida!

costa rica surf

Colorful homes, palm trees, surfboards, and reggae music is the norm in the beautiful country of Costa Rica! Let me begin with saying that Costa Rica had never been at the top of my bucket list, but recently I realized that I hadn’t explored Central America at all and I had to change that! This trip was decided on a whim and I didn’t do much planning for it like I usually do. I figured San Jose, being the capital, was a perfect place to stay and explore a little bit of the culture and see what the ticos were all about.

Jonathan and I flew into the San Jose airport and shuttled over to a hotel in central San Jose. This turned out to be a very inexpensive trip due to the great deal I snagged on Expedia! Our flight was a mere five and a half hours from Austin to Houston and then San Jose. We arrived at around noon and went straight to have lunch at Nuestra Tierra which was everything we expected and then some!

 

Following our delicious lunch, we explored the area a bit before heading back to our hotel. For whatever reason, we weren’t feeling the industrial San Jose vibes too much, but we decided to give it a night and then maybe head closer to the beach. We got ready for a night out and ate dinner at a nice little restaurant downtown before following the salsa music to a fun rooftop bar and dance club! We had so much fun but were exhausted and had to be up early the next day for a river rafting excursion we booked through the hotel so we head in early.

The next morning we decided after the river rafting we would book a hotel near the beach to explore a different part of the country. We were picked up by a shuttle and made our way to the river about an hour away.  I thought river rafting was going to be more like kayaking at town lake here in Austin lol! I was so wrong. If you ever have the chance to raft the Rio Pacuare, DO! We booked our excursion through Exploradores and had so much fun!! The price includes a traditional tican breakfast and lunch halfway of your rafting excursion in the middle of the rain forest! I should say, the journey is about five hours long so be prepared to use those arms! The guides are great and thoroughly explain safety rules on the bus ride down. I don’t know how much safer I felt after reviewing these but I am so thankful for our amazing guide Kenneth who made our experience so enjoyable! Also, they have photographers stationed throughout the river capturing all of your super adventurous moments and you can purchase a digital copy of them all after your excursion, definitely a plus for us! Tip: Do not take your cell phones with you, even if you have the waterproof cases. The raft in front of us flipped, thankfully they were all safe but one almost lost their phone to the river! Just buy the pictures after,  they’re much better anyways ;).

We were then dropped off in the surfing town of Jaco where we stayed in a quaint little guest house just one street away from the downtown area. It’s definitely “good vibes only” and you can find everything you need in their main street which is just feet away from the shore! From a grocery store to a delicious variety of dining options, to all kinds of dance clubs, Jaco kept us well entertained :).

On our third day we took a cab over to the national park of Manuel Antonio to see if we could find a sloth to take a picture with! I’m glad I read on this prior to arriving because the hike through the rain forest is no joke, so definitely wear your athletic shoes! There is also a beautiful beach in the park, which almost serves as a reward after all the hiking, so wear your swimsuit underneath or bring it with you, there are restrooms and showers right before arriving. I said it’s like a reward because it’s not like you exit the park and then go visit the beach, it’s literally in what feels like the middle of the rain forest…it’s stunning! Ok, so my one disappointment; I didn’t see ONE sloth! We must’ve hiked like 8-10 miles total and we never once saw a stinking sloth, I have no idea if it was the timing or what but I was so sad. I had given up on the sloths or monkeys, but right when we arrived to the beach we saw a gorgeous white faced Capuchin monkey! We soaked in the beach for a bit before returning to our hike back. As we exited the park I saw a man selling coconuts on the side of the road, have I mentioned I have a coconut obsession? Well you know now, so of course I went and cooled off with a delicious coconut, perfect post-hike hydration. Of course after all of that hiking we were super hungry so we took a cab up to the Airplane restaurant. Literally, it’s a restaurant inside an old airplane, overlooking the rain forest… breathtaking for sure and the perfect ending to our hiking adventure.

We finalized the trip in Jaco by taking surfing lessons which was the highlight of our trip and I couldn’t leave without something to remind me of my Pura Vida experience, so I got my belly button pierced! Definitely won’t forget that experience lol. Jonathan and I thoroughly enjoyed Costa Rica and I am so glad we took the time to explore the culture a little bit. We encountered such nice people and one of our taxi drivers even explained why their national motto is “Pura Vida”. He said it’s because they live life without worries, they don’t like to get involved in wars and are for the most part self-substantial. Costa Rica has been named one of the happiest countries in the world and I am not surprised! Thank-you Costa Rica, for showing us a great time!

Pura Vida!

XOXO

-Haide

Visit Puerto Rico!

I landed yesterday in La Isla del Encanto (The enchanting island) and I just couldn’t wait to tell you all about it! This is my fourth time visiting this beautiful island and second time post Maria. This time it’s a little different because we came to my boyfriend’s aunt’s wedding so I didn’t overload our days with activities but I’m excited to experience such a magical day in such a magical place.

Upon arriving we were picked up Dad and dropped of at Luquillo Beach where we met up with friends. This is one of my favorite beaches not only because of its white sand and electric blue waters but because there is a row of over 30 restaurants right behind it! I had the best Mofongo in Kiosko #38 and you can find the best piña coladas in Kiosko #7. So from having an amazing food selection and sandy beaches, Luquillo tops my list :).

 

We headed home where dad received us with a delicious bistec, arroz con salchicha and tostones! Can someone say Puerto Rico?! After our food comas we decided to relax at home and wait for mom to get home and catch up. Today we are headed to beautiful San Juan so stay tuned :)!

XOXO

Haide

Braces in your 20’s

Back in high school I had visited an orthodontist with my siblings for a consultation. I kind of really wanted them because I thought they were cool but it turned out I didn’t need them then.

Now in my twenties I began to notice one of my front fangs was becoming more noticeably forward and although it wasn’t painful, it bothered me. When 2018 hit, I was like “new year new me” lol so cliché, but I was like braces are so 2000 and they’re going to cause me so much pain. I went to a consultation at Sonrisas Dental and they were so great at answering my questions that I decided to begin the process that same day!

What type of Braces?

Invisalign

The Sonrisas staff explained to me the difference between Invisalign and traditional braces. Invisalign is great for those who don’t want the braces to show at all, the downside is that the process takes longer and the patient is responsible for putting them on and off at home. Immediately I knew that wasn’t for me because I’ll either forget to put them back on or worse, I’ll loose them!

Ceramic Braces

Very much like your traditional metal braces except they are a clear color, therefore you can still feel them and you can see the metal wire running through the middle but from afar you can’t even tell! These are the ones I went with.

Life With Braces

If you’ve been debating whether or not you should get braces at least go in for a consultation. At my consultation they even told me approximately how long my procedure would last. All in all, aside from the initial discomfort, braces don’t stop you from living your life and I can’t wait to see the final results!

XOXO,

Haide

First Time Cruise to Cozumel

I just returned from my first cruise ever and I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised! We sailed out from the port of Galveston, TX on a 5-day Carnival Valor cruise ship. First of all, I’d never looked into cruises before because my idea of traveling is to explore as many places as I can while I’m there and the idea of a cruise seemed caged to me. I was soooo wrong, although my favorite part was exploring Cozumel, I was so glad I took the time to explore the ship as well! Between the twelve decks on the ship there’s always something for everyone to do, but if your a first timer you can easily miss some of the great amenities on the ship so I’ve put together a few tips that I hope will help you make the best out of your next cruise :).

What to pack?

Initially I was going to pack light because I couldn’t imagine needing more than some bathing suits and shorts on a cruise ship. Thankfully my boyfriend, who is an islander and has been on many cruises before, advised me to pack a few dresses for dinners and one nice outfit for “elegant” night. I heard the word elegant and immediately reassessed my wardrobe plans.

  • 4 bathing suits
  • 3 pairs of shorts with corresponding tops
  • 2 cover ups
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of dressy shorts with 2 blouse options (because decisions)
  • 2 dresses
  • 1 off the shoulder pant jumpsuit
  • 3 workout outfits
  • 2 hats (lost one to the wind and the sea)
  • sandals
  • running shoes
  • wedge heels

I am so glad I did because you just never know what you’re going to end up doing with so many options on board! Above are some of my #OOTD.

Pro Tip: Pack one of your bathing suits in your carry on. Checking in your luggage is so convenient but often it can take some time to arrive to your room so avoid wasting time and enjoy one of the many pools or hot tubs on arrival!

What to Do on Board?

My primary focus was to locate the gym and the bar ( I know, kind of paradoxical ). By arriving early we were able to explore the ship before the multitude arrived which gave us quite an advantage. The fitness center was right behind the spa and beauty salon and next to the sauna and steam room, yeah I know, that was enough for me already! The bars were also easy to locate because there’s one on all the floors with activities, including one in the Adult only “Serenity’ area, Casino floor, Main Lobby and Buffet floor.

On deck nine there was food options two pools, hot tubs, and daily activities hosted by Carnival’s ‘Fun Squad’ including the “Hairy Chest Contest” lol! I’m going to elaborate a little on food options… there was so much food! You can choose from a Hamburger restaurant, a Mexican burrito bar, a Pizza restaurant, Sushi bar, and a buffet room with everything from salads and entrees to an array of desserts and self serve ice-cream and frozen yogurt all day!

Aside from eating we spent quite some time on deck five also which hosted the large casino, a dance club, a Karaoke bar, a Live music bar, a coffee bar (I told you there were plenty of bars) a comedy room, a theater and more! We didn’t spend much time on the main lobby (deck three) but we did stop by one night and had so much fun dancing salsa and bachata to one of the alternating nightly music groups that played around the ship.

Pro Tip: Upon arrival they issue you a personalized Carnival cruise card that is linked to your credit card to use around the ship for anything you want to purchase! Although this is convenient, it’s easy to loose track of how much money you’re spending so head on to the main lobby on your last sea day to ask for a statement. This will allow you to make sure there aren’t any erroneous charges on there.

Cozumel!

Carnival offers excursions you can purchase for your day on land but we opted for an on our own excursion. We rented a Jeep at the port and drove over to Buccanos Beach Club located on the northern shore of Cozumel. Rated one of the top snorkeling sites and with an on-site tequila tour, we knew this was the right place! The food was amazing and the snorkeling did not disappoint, we really enjoyed our day drinking Mojitos and laying on the sandy beach finishing up with a delicious tequila tasting before heading back to port.

Pro Tip: Plan ahead! Do not waste your time on land, instead get right to exploring.

I don’t know when I’ll go on another cruise but now I’ll know how fun they can be and how to take advantage of all the work on board fun! Till next adventure:).

XOXO,

Haide