Try It Tuesday – Travel Tuesday #CostaRica #RIUGuanacaste PART II #TryItTuesday #foodie


RIU Guanacaste – Costa Rica ♦ ♦ ♦

This is Part II of my Try It Tuesday post about RIU Guanacaste – Costa Rica.
Since I am a foodie, I had already decided to dedicate a special post to the food. I thought I was going to be waxing poetically about the yummy delectable bites that haunt my dreams. That did not happen.

I was bummed how lackluster the food was. Plus, decent hot food was not available 24-7. I know they say that food was available in the Sports Bar, but that was not even worth mentioning.

Here was the breakdown of our meals. Let me say, as someone who likes to plan their meals, I did not like the fact that the “fine dining” restaurants did not accept reservations. It was first come/first serve. We had to show up at 6pm to tell the restaurant we were coming at second seating. Ughh!

Breakfast – was the best meal of the day – bacon, fried eggs, omelet station, platanos maduros, donuts, sweet breads, croissants, smoothies

Lunch – stewed chicken or pork with steamed rice and French fries
There was a stewed gravy with chickpeas that was very tasty.

Night 1 – Buffet – grilled chicken, steamed rice
The chicken from the grill was the best part. Delicious!!! There were different salsas to try and some were super-hot. Muy picante! Whenever they are cooking on the grill outside, the food is going to be delicious. Figure out how to take a plate of that cuisine goodness to your room. You will be hungry later and you will wish you had more. This is a fact.

Night 2 – Buffet Fukoma Asian cuisine – eggrolls, chicken on a stick, stir fry pork, fried rice, fruit
The thing about eggrolls is that they need to be eaten HOT and not after sitting on a buffet for a while. Even though it is very popular, I usually do not eat Chinese food off of a buffet. There are few things worse than lukewarm Chinese food. Picture me being annoyed.

Night 3 – Tuscano Gourmet cuisine – ceviche, quinoa, roasted vegetable, rice pudding reimagined, triple chocolate cake dessert
This dinner was an improvement and closer to what I was used to eating at a RIU resort. I loved the ceviche. The quinoa was okay. The rice pudding reimagined was nothing like rice pudding. It was still tasty. And I wish everything else could have been as delicious as the triple chocolate cake. It was pretty awesome.

Night 4 – Ocatel Steakhouse – buffalo wings, shrimp kabob, grilled fish, potato wedges, roasted vegetables, apple turnover, cheesecake
The shrimp kabob was mouth-watering but the grilled fish was not as well seasoned. The potato wedges were standard like what you might get at a chain restaurant. Everything else was good but not outstanding.

****RIU restaurant hack –> I got to-go containers from the Sports bar and filled them with food from the buffet. Kept that food in the refridge in my room. Then reheated the food in the microwave in the Sports Bar when I was ready to eat. Sounds tacky, but at least I did not go to bed hungry!

TOW Final Word: Overall, I was not impressed with the cuisine. I wish they had more local flavor instead of trying to serve what they think Americans want. I don’t like to wonder if there will be decent food available for my next meal, but that is what I had to do, otherwise I would have been hungry. Their snack food offerings were pitiful. Yet another reason to choose Riu Palace. They have 24-hour room service and better food (from what I was told).

Try It Tuesday – Travel Tuesday #CostaRica #RIUGuanacaste Part I #TryItTuesday


This month’s Try It Tuesday is again Travel Tuesday!

For our annual trip, we decided to go somewhere different for vacation: Costa Rica. We like staying at RIU when we travel in the Caribbean, so we booked our room at RIU Guanacaste.

RIU Guanacaste – Costa Rica ♦ ♦ ♦

Room ♦♦♦
The room was okay. We had an ocean view room on the 5th floor . We were in room 5060- close to the main elevator in the lobby. The bed was extra firm. We asked for a pillow top for the mattress but they did not have any available. There was no room service. The bar was restocked every other day. The room was cleaned every other day. When I needed extra towels and washcloths, it took several requests and phone calls to get it (was not a language barrier because I asked in English and Spanish). It took them a long time to do everything.

Bar Service ♦♦♦
Bar service was okay earlier in the day. I found the servers to be friendly. But as it got later in the day, there were less and less friendly servers. They took your order, gave you your drink, and that was it. No smile. No conversation. They were not trying to put on a show at all. I got the impression that a lot of them did not enjoy their job.
Also, I found the drinks were consistently weak unless you asked for double shots. I am not trying to get drunk, but I want something stronger than fruit punch or watered down juice.

Shows/Activities ♦♦♦
For the shows, I give them an “E” for effort. I could tell that the dancers were trying their best but I think they needed better choreographers. For the pool activities, they had several fun events at the pool. However, the fun was overshadowed by the fact that all these children were all over the place, getting in the way.
In the Sports Bar, we enjoyed playing pool. We wanted to play foosball, but it was always occupied. We could not play ping pong because the ball was cracked (I suspect one of the kids did it). There were a lot of children running around, even at midnight. I did not think I was THAT PERSON (you know the one that hates kids) but I was a little frustrated that there were no adult only spaces.

Food ♦♦♦
The food was mediocre. I usually love coming to Riu resorts because the food is amazing. We arrived on a Friday at lunch time. We could barely find anything appetizing to eat. I wish they had more of local food instead of trying to cook American food. It seemed that they thought Americans only like hot dogs, hamburgers, and nacho chips. But the hamburgers were overcooked, the hot dog weiners were pitiful, and the nacho chips were a weird texture. Even the cheese dip was watery, like they were trying to make their last case of Velveeta last all month. (more on the food in another post)

Beach ♦♦♦
The sand on the beach was a darker color, not white like in the Caribbean. This is because of the volcanic ash in the area. If you are not prepared, you might think that the sand was dirty.
There is no bar service on the beach. The locals sell coconuts and mangos but they are not pushy sales people. The one guy I saw with coconuts was standing by a tree like he was waiting for people to approach him.
There were a few RIU personnel that helped drag beach chairs to where you wanted to sit, but there were not enough people to help everyone. Pretty much, if you were a lady, you were helped. If you were a guy, you had to get your own chair.
Tourist TIP: If you want a massage, there are usually locals on the beach offering massages for $39 USD. Their massage tables are a short walk through the woods (not as sketchy as it might seem). I received THE best deep tissue massage from a lady who looked like she was 7 months pregnant. Yea, I was surprised too. I think her name was Jocelyn.

Water Sports ♦♦♦♦
Snorkeling was great! There were plenty of fish to see. My friend also recommends the dive instructor if you want to get your PADI certified SCUBA license. He said it was a great experience.

Excursion Tours ♦♦♦
There are many different excursions to choose from. If you want a short trip, you can pay $15/pp for roundtrip transportation via the water taxi to Coco Beach. What I was not expecting was the fact that to board the boat, you have to walk into the ocean and climb aboard. I thought they should have had a port or something. Good thing I was wearing shorts and flip flops.
Tourist TIP: You can get better rates on the excursion tours ($35 – $200 prices negotiable) from local agencies on the beach than inside the resort. We took the Tour to Miravalles (cost between $90-130pp/depending on how many going)

Disco ♦♦♦♦
The best part about resort was the disco. I had so much fun. The best night was Saturday after 11pm. The DJ knew how to keep everyone on the dance floor. The only negative about the disco was that the drinks were not included. That was not too much of an issue for me. After all that dancing, all I wanted was water.

TOW Final Word: RIU Guanacaste was okay. It was not exactly bottom of the barrel when it comes to accommodations, but if you can afford to spend the extra $$, stay at the RIU Palace Guanacaste. The service, food, and accommodations are a lot better. It is worth it. I told our travel agent that we wanted to stay at the RIU Palace and she told me we were booked there (but that’s another story). Once we got there, it was going to be too much of a hassle to change resorts. If I had to do it over, I would have changed at check-in like I thought about doing.

Stay tuned for RUI REVIEW PART II which is all about the FOOD

Try It Tuesday: Daily Goodie Box #freebies @dailygoodiebox #TryItTuesday #review

I was excited to be chosen to receive a Goodie box and once received, I was not disappointed. There was a nice mix of products for me to try. I also liked that the portion sizes are bigger than other sample boxes.

For March’s edition of Try It Tuesday, I decided to give my honest opinions of the products that I tried.

Here are some of the products in my February box:

JustChill – Stress Relief Drinks 

I had the ginger flavored drink. I do not usually like zero calorie drinks because I don’t like sugar substitutes. I liked this because it had a strong ginger flavor which I think helped to mask any of the possible after taste of the sweetener. It was definitely refreshing. I believe this is best served cold and is a great alternative to ginger ale. I recommend it and would buy this again.

Vermont Smoke & Cure – Cracked Pepper Beef & Pork Sticks 

These are pretty tasty and full of flavor. I think these make a good snack.

Nature’s Bakery – Raspberry Fig Bars 

The pack came with two fig bars that are just a little bit thicker and wider than the fig bars your grandmother might be used to eating. While I could not taste the raspberry flavor, I did think these were delicious. I ate these as my breakfast one morning and was surprised how filling they were. These are so-o-o-o much better than another well-known national brand that I will not name.

Jack N’ Jill – Natural Toothpaste 

I cannot remember using kiddie toothpaste when I was little. I am so used to using regular toothpaste that the first time I tried this, it seemed like it was not strong enough to clean my teeth. I realized that I was not accustomed to natural toothpastes and decided to keep using it. For example, I had to remember it was not going to foam up in my mouth because that chemical was not present in natural toothpastes. A foamy mouth is one of those things that I have always come to associate with “clean” feeling. Once I got over my initial hang ups, I started to enjoy the qualities of the product. This is a very mild teeth cleanser. Because it is all natural, I think definitely would use this for my children’s teeth.

Nellie’s All-Natural – Laundry Soda Packs 

I could look at the packaging and imagined that this would be a quality product. I was not disappointed. These laundry packs cleaned my clothes like they I figured they would. I like the fact that this is a natural product. All natural does not mean I have to walk around with dingy clothes. Great stuff!!!

Coffee Blocks – Butter Coffee 

I have heard so many good things about bulletproof coffee (coffee with butter) that when I saw this, I was excited. I do not usually drink coffee. Regular coffee makes me sleepy. I was hesitant to try this because of that fact. I tried it one morning…I. Was. Hooked. I followed the directions and it was too strong at first. Instead of 12 ounces of water, I used 16. It was still strong but not so bitter I could not drink it. I added a teaspoon of honey to sweeten it. I drank it at 9am. At 6PM, I felt like I was still hyped up from that cup of coffee. I had so much energy. By the end of the day, I was tired and went to sleep with no problem. RECOMMEND!!!!! I already told my bulletproof coffee loving friends that they have to buy this.

Aloha – Daily Good Greens 

This is my least favorite product of the box because I am not a fan of protein powder shake mixes. And the only chocolate I like is milk chocolate. I mixed this packet with water because I do not like milk. I don’t know if that affected the flavor. I can say that Aloha brand was better than most, but I probably won’t be buying this flavor. Overall, it did not taste like minerals and vitamins. I think I could drink the vanilla flavor mixed in juice or a smoothie with no problem. I do like the fact that it is full of a lot of good, healthy ingredients. It would make a great addition to anyone’s healthy regimen.

Gorilly Goods Coast

This is was so delicious. Ingredients include organic cashews, organic raisins, organic coconut nectar, organic coconut, organic curry, sea salt, and organic cayenne. I have never had a curry flavored snack and was curious how it would taste. I loved it. Great balance of flavors. I ate it slowly because the small package was almost 200 calories! But the flavor made it worth it. I savored every morsel.

TOW Final Word: Overall, I am glad to have been introduced to these neat products that I am now adding to my regular shopping list! Let me say again that I am in love with Gorilly Goods cashew nuts and the Coffee Blocks!!!!

This post is full of Amazon affiliate links. Support my blog by clicking those links if you are thinking about ordering any of these products. Thanks!!!

Try It Tuesday Harney & Sons Earl Grey Supreme #TeaTime #tryittuesday


I have been remiss in regularly sharing my product reviews as part of my Try It TUESDAY meme. I hope to do better in 2017.

Harney & Sons Earl Grey Supreme 

I am not usually an Earl Grey tea drinker, but it was so good that I had to share.

I cannot tell you what temperature I brew my tea but the water is close to boiling. I have a kettle that heats the water to boiling and then turns off. I doubt the water loses too much heat in the time it takes for me make my cup of tea.

They called this Earl Grey Supreme because it is a mix of for black teas, Silvertips, and Bergamot.

About the company: In 1970 John Harney, Master Tea Blender, embarked on a mission to share his love for tea. Harney & Son Tea selection offers over 200 varieties of the highest quality leaves. The Harvey family personally sources their tea from the most reputable, established estates and garden throughout Asia and India.

Why do I  ❤ love ❤ this tea? It is full of flavor and richness with a hint of citrus. Usually, I flavor my steeped black tea with a little cream and sugar. This tea has a natural sweetness so that I did not feel like it needed any sugar.

TOW Final Word: Buy or Pass
BUY! I have come to realize that this is an excellent quality tea in comparison to earl grey varieties by other brands. If you are a tea connoisseur, you will definitely enjoy this tea. If you like the occasional black tea, you cannot go wrong with having this in the pantry.

You can buy on Amazon by clicking any of the affiliate links in this post.

Best phone case EVER!!! #EYN #walletcase #tryITtuesday #iphonecase #iPhone6plus


It has been a while since I have talked about a product that I love for you to try.

In an effort to revive my Try It Tuesday meme, I am going to talk about my favorite phone case.

E-Y-N = Everything you need

EYN Products  makes the best phone case ever. I have had different cases for my iPhone and I always come back to this brand. I can hold my phone, 2 cards, and my ID. Plus there is a nifty little mirror.

I discovered this company when I bought a case for my iPhone 5 off of Groupon. My first case was a light blue in color. While I love the functionality of this phone case, I do not recommend purchasing in a light color because if you are OCD like me once it starts to get dirty, you are going to want to buy a new case.

When I upgraded to 6Plus, the first thing I did was get another EYN case. This time, I bought it on Amazon.

Thank you PRIME free shipping!

When people first see my case, they ask if it is one of those external batteries that people sometimes have on their phones. When I tell them it is my phone case, they are pleasantly surprised.

While this is my favorite phone case, I have two complaints:

(1) I can’t use the phone jack with my aux cord in my car. My ear phones are Bluetooth, so that’s is not much of an issue. I have to take off the bottom part of the case too use the aux cord.

(2) One of my power charging cords does not stay plugged in because the space surrounding the charging port is narrow. It fits Apple charger cord but not some after market charger cords. Again, not a deal breaker, but a mild annoyance.

TOW final word: Buy, Borrow, Pass
BUY. This will be the last case you will want because it has everything.

 Click HERE to buy now