Feathered Aspen


First days in San José

When we headed to the Mayan Riviera two years ago with Lily and and baby Lupine we quickly learned that traveling with children would have to look much different than when we’d previously went abroad.  I remember joking then that the biggest difference is that there is far less time for writing and reading.    The same is even more true now traveling with three kiddos.

We’ve still been having a great time.  Thus far we spent two days in San José, a week in Santa Teresa, and now we’re in Quepos/ Manuel Antonio area for the next week.  It’s been good to go at the kids pace.  Adventure in the morning.  Lunch.  Nap.  Evening walk or swim.  It’s amazing how resilient and curious these little ladies are.

I’m shooting lots of video and plan to make several videos of our Costa Rican travels.  Here’s the first installment from San José.  Enjoy.


A Costa Rican Menu

We’ve had some really good meals since we’ve been in Costa Rica, but food is pretty $$$ here and – perhaps more to the point – eating out with three children 5 and under isn’t for the fainthearted.  We had Cuban our first night, with arroz con pollo.  Slow cooked chicken on the drumstick with tangy pickled onions and peppers.  The breakfast at our first hotel was pretty insane too, with an all you can eat buffet with plantains, eggs to order, juices, and tons of fresh fruit.  We did lunch at a little cafe and the olive oil was insane and so was my cafe con leche.  For dinner, we sampled tacos and a falafel burrito at a little hipster restaurant.  While we’ve been in Santa Teresa, we’ve eaten out once and had crazy good ceviche with plantains, guac, and fish and chips.  But all of this is spendy and a little overwhelming with a screaming child (or two, or three…  More likely three if it’s after 5 pm.)  So we’ve been making most of our own meals, and we’ve been taking advantage of the super fresh (and cheaper) ingredients…  Santa Teresa is pretty remote, so anything that’s not produced here is super pricey.

As I’ve been eating and Joshua and I have been trying to take our meals up a notch because it’s a vacation, I’ve thought about how menu planning can get into a rut or how some of my friends and I like to trial out recipes with each other and then repeat them because we know they’re tasty and imitation/inspiration/whatever, it’s just nice sometimes to not have to plan it out all by ourselves.  So here’s my little gift to you:  a three day menu plan.  Vegetarian, fresh, yummy, cheap, no waste, and Costa Rican vacation inspired.  It’s all about the lime, mostly about the pico (salsa), and pretty easy to prepare.  Hope you enjoy!

Grocery List

  • Purple Cabbage
  • Cilantro x2
  • Red Pepper x2
  • Tomato x6
  • Mango x4
  • Pineapple
  • Onion x3
  • Melon**
  • Limes x8
  • Avocado x4
  • Bananas x6
  • Salad Greens
  • Feta**
  • Milk (or half and half for your coffee)
  • Dozen Eggs
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Can of Refried Beans
  • Black Beans (from scratch or canned)
  • Rice
  • English Muffins
  • Raisins
  • Dried Coconut


Breakfast 1

Open Faced English Muffins

  1. Arrange avocado and tomato slices over half of the open faces, sprinkle with squeezed lime juice, salt, and crumbled feta (**or queso fresco).
  2. Arrange sliced banana on one and small cubes of pineapple on another, sprinkle with raisins, coconut, and squeezed lime juice.

**Add protein:  poach an egg and layer onto your savory faces.

**Add yum:  mayo, cinnamon, peanut butter, or honey, respectively.

**Save: dehusked and cored pineapple, 1/2 the avocado, 1/2 the tomato, and 1/2 the banana for later…  Don’t bother with a juicer for the lime, just squeeze 1/4 over and save the other 1/2.  Place all of them in a bowl and stow in refrigerator.

**Start: Rinse and soak 1-2 cups of rice in 1:2 ratio water.  Rinse and soak 3 cups of beans in 1:2 ratio water (DON’T add salt – this toughens the skins, yuck)

Snack 1


  1. Add a cup of pineapple, 1/2 a mango, and a banana to your blender.  Add two cups of water (and some ice, if you prefer).  Blend and serve.

Lunch 1

Refried Bean Tacos with Mango Salsa

  1. Open and warm refried beans in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and lime juice.
  2. Dice 1 onion, 1/2 leftover mango, 1 tomato, and cilantro.  Add juice of one lime and salt.
  3. Arrange on warmed/toasted tortilla: spread of refried beans, salsa, feta (**queso fresco) and coconut for garnish.

**Save: 1/2 the refried beans, any remaining salsa.

Dinner 1

Everything Salad

  1. Slice 1/2 the purple cabbage into thin strips, dice red pepper, add remaining salsa (toss in another diced tomato if not much left).  Wash and add salad greens.  Top with olive oil, lime juice, salt, coconut, a handful of raisins, and feta.

**Save: leftover salad, leftover greens.

**Tip:  don’t mix greens…  Leftover will keep better.

Breakfast 2

Scrambled Eggs

  1. Onion and red pepper sauteed, add eggs.  Serve with a couple of slices of avocado and 1/4 of a lime to squeeze over everything.

**Still hungry?:  add a warmed tortilla and queso fresco.

Snack 2


  1. Add 1 cup of your melon (I used papaya, but papaya tastes like ass in the US, so I’d go with something more delicious.), one banana, and a handful of pineapple.  Cover with water and blend.

**Wanna be healthy?: add a cup of leftover salad greens.

Lunch 2

Tico Sandwiches

  1. Toast remaining english muffins.
  2. Warm remaining refried beans, spread on muffins and return to toaster with feta on top to melt.
  3. Add remaining veggies from salad last night or avocado and tomato with lime.

**Start: cooking your beans 4 hours before dinner.  Cooking your rice 45 minutes before dinner.

Dinner 2

Buddha Bowls

  1. Leftover heaven!  All about presentation, people.  Scoop of rice, scoop of beans, leftover salad OR make a whole new mango salsa.  If you’re feeling crazy, whip up this sauce:  1/2 avocado, 1 lime, 1/2 cup of cilantro, salt, garlic, olive oil, blend and drizzle over bowl.

**Save:  rice, beans, leftover salsa, leftover sauce.

Breakfast 3

Rice Pudding

  1. This would be really good with milk!  Add two cups leftover rice, one cup milk (or half and half, and if you don’t have enough, just mix with a little water), and one to two eggs in a frying pan.  (Butter please).  Cook until egg is incorporated.
  2. Add raisins and warm for another minute or two.
  3. Serve with coconut, sliced banana, and cinnamon.

Snack 3


  1. Chop up your remaining fruit and toss in blender. Voila!

Lunch 3

Guacamole and Bean Tacos

  1. You got this.  Leftover beans from last night.  Dice an avocado.  Dice a tomato.  Dice an onion (dice some garlic, if you haves it).  Mix, douse in lime and salt.  Add beans and guac to tortillas (maybe some queso!) and serve.

Dinner 3

Buddha Bowl

  1.  Don’t let anything go to waste:  the beauty of these ingredients is that they all go together, even the onions AND the fruit.  Don’t forget the lime.  Make more sauce, if you want.  REMEMBER leftovers are palatable if there’s a little effort made for presentation… I don’t mean to be gender essentialist or anything, but men, in particular, don’t seem to get this 😉 –



2017 Behind the Rocks 50 Mile Race Report

I had a blast running the Behind the Rocks 50 miler this year.  I was nervous going into the day having run hard the weekend before at the Salida marathon.  This was the first time I’d run back to back weekend races.  I wasn’t sure my legs had recovered and would be able to hold up to the dancing on the slickrock.  I felt a bit sore and haggered for most of the race, but I was able to keep to moving and have fun.

Moab will always hold a special place in my heart.  Running here is magical.  Enjoy the race video.  Apologies for the shaky segments.  I really need to get a gimbal.



Committing to Staying Active

     We went down to the Women’s March today with what is looking like was over a 100,000 people! Resist Coloradans resist! At the march, people were chanting “this is what democracy looks like!” While I love how strong people are together and the power of such a march, I was left feeling that no, this is not what democracy looks like. This country we live in is not a true democracy. We elect representatives, we don’t vote on laws. (Even more true in Colorado now that this year our populace voted to amend our constitution to prevent future ballot initiatives to amend the state constitution. Yep, we took away our own power.)
     Our democracy looks like people getting out to vote. Our democracy looks like us pressuring our representatives to legislate in the way we want them to. They represent us, not corporations. Too many of us fail to engage with this reality of our government. Too many of us are apathetic and tuned out. We’re plugged into our phones, computers and TVs, but we let reality pass us by. We worry more about when our package from amazon is going to arrive than what our government is doing. Many of us thought it would be impossible for Trump to win, but the sad truth is that the current state of our ignorance, apathy and democracy has left us with Donald Trump as president.
     So, I left the march thinking to myself how well do we know democracy? How many of us could name every representative, at both the state and national level, that represent us? I could name my national reps (Ed Perlmutter, Cory Gardner and Michael Bennett), but I couldn’t think of my state representatives. What districts are you in? How have your representatives been voting? (FYI you can look this all up at https://openstates.org/).
     I’m also left thinking that democracy is getting out to vote. It’s shame that so few people in our country vote.  Why?  What’s wrong with us? I love the power and energy that people are feeling as a result of the marches; however, the marches alone are not enough.
     I am guilty.  I have been apathetic and tuned out for too long. I realized today that if we’re actually going to resist this bullshit presidency of Trump we need to wake up. These marches need to be our wake up call. We need to stay informed. Read or listen to the news instead of watching netflix or browsing social media. Secondly, we need to use the avenues afforded to us within the structures of our government. We need to put pressure on our representatives. We need to vote. The 2018 elections are a long way off. We can’t let this energy and momentum die down. We can’t tune out again.
     At this point, the only true avenue for us everyday working citizens to resist Trump’s administration is to pressure our representatives and to prepare for the midterm elections to take back at least one house of congress from the Republicans. We need to be informed.  We need to march and be active. We need write our representatives. And we need to be active within our party. I believe that the DNC needs a lot of work. If the Democrats are going to stand a chance, we need to reform. Clearly, the party as is is not working. Superdelgates need to go. Centrist politicians supported by billionaires and big businesses need to go.  Personally, I want to give up on the democrats (I voted for Jill Stein); however, I need to see reality.  We have a two party system and that is not going away.  Instead, the democrats need to become a true party of the people again, not a more liberal party of the wealthy who happen to have a sliver of a conscience.
     None of this will happen though if we go back to tuning out. From here on out, I’m committing to staying active. I’m committing to not tuning out. I’m committing to making our democracy work again. Who’s with me?