Hi Guys,

My girl Kitiya from Mischo Beauty opened my eyes to a great campaign going on that starts tomorrow October 1st!

In the spirit of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, TotalBeauty.com, in partnership with its network of beauty blogs, is hosting a month-long initiative that integrates breast cancer awareness, breast cancer research fundraising and beauty giveaways to engage women in the quest for a cure.

Check out the video for more details!

Hi Bellas,

A long time ago, when I was building up my portfolio, I did a shoot with my friend Stacey. She has a beautiful face and I coudn't wait to get my hands on it. For this look, I wanted to try to do a traditional pin up combo with red lips, falsies, and subtle eyes. The look was actually very simple to do. The eyes are very everyday wear, minus the falsies. I spent a little bit of time correcting her eyebrows. She had the hook shape going on, so I used pencil and brown e/s to create more of an angled arch.

Here's What I Used (All MAC unless otherwise specified):

-prep and prime skin
-cinema secrets foundation
-CRC translucent setting powder
-shadester sculpting powder
-CRC rose blush

-spiked brow pencil
-embark e/s (brows)
-bare canvas paint
-shroom e/s
-jardin airs pigment
-espresso e/s
-sketch e/s
-Revlon colorstay liquid liner in blackest black
-smolder kohl pencil
-ardell falsies
-telescopic mascara

-dubonnet l/s
-brick red lipliner
-autobody red lipglass

She loves that apple, lol.

Hi Bellas,

How was your weekend? I had a fun one...Friday we went Go-Karting, Rock Climbing and Video Gaming for my boyfriend's birthday. I invited our crew and surprised him and he loved it. Saturday my friends had a cocktail party/soiree at their apartment so we dressed up and drank sangria, had munchies, chatted and played games. We used to have house parties but the carpet got uber trashed at our old apartment...so my former roomies have evolved into having grown up parties where the punch stays in the kitchen, lol. Sunday I went with my makeup mentor on a gig to do temporary tattoos using airbrush makeup and ink transfers. I was glad she let me come assist because temporary tattoos are another form of airbrushing which I'm trying to master. You could probably file it under the category of Body Makeup. A lot of large companies love hiring temp tattoo artists at corporate parties. It was fun and I think my tattoos came out pretty good!

Anywho, back to my FOTN. I finally got around to doing a tutorial using the best purple eyeshadow ever-the MUFE NO. 92 eyeshadow. I wore this look to the movies when I saw The Family that Preys on Thursday. I was a trooper because I didn't cry the entire time! That movie was uber sentimental too--and I'm a cryer! However, my motivation was to keep my makeup intact so I could film my Creamsheen/Suite Array Haul vid, lol.

The MUFE e/s is actually kind of hard to blend and apply evenly. I've done a couple of tries where I've removed my entire eye makeup because it didn't go on evenly. To help prevent this, make sure you apply a creamy base and then put a neutral eyeshadow all over the lid. I used vanilla e/s. The base shadow gives the MUFE shadow an easier surface to blend over.

This look is actually pretty basic but the pigmentation of the MUFE purple shadow gives it such a pop of color that it kicks it up a notch.

So without further ado, check out my video tutorial!

And some pics!

Here's What I Used (All MAC unless otherwise specified):

-Pur Minerals Peach primer
-Pur Minerals 4 in 1 pressed foundation in med dark
-msf in light flush
-beauty powder blush in true romantic
-ELF bronzer in warm tan

-bare canvas paint
-Makeup Forever No. 92 eyeshadow (purple)
-carbon e/s
-vanilla e/s
-smolder kohl
-Model Co. lashes
-Anastasia brow pencil
-zoomlash mascara

-Urban Decay XXX shine gloss in carney
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Hi Bellas,

Yesterday was another big day at MAC--the release of two new collections Creamsheen and Suite Array. I almost forgot but luckily I have a MAC store two minutes away from my job. I stopped by after work to pick up some items.

Check out my haul video!

While I was there I picked up cleansing tips and post haste e/s. The cleansing tips are great for touching up eyeshadow or liner. I keep them in my kit because it's quicker to unwrap the pre-moistened makeup remover swabs then having to break out the makeup cleaner and q-tips. I had to get post haste e/s before it was discontinued. It just jumped on to the Goodbye list on the MAC site. I've been lemming a bright pink e/s for a while!

***correction, I mislabeled this eyeshadow. This is Post Haste e/s not Passionate.

In terms of the new collections, let's start with Creamsheen. I love these lipsticks. It's a new lipstick finish from MAC. I'd describe it as a lipstick with a wet, dewy finish. They remind me of amplified creams in texture since they're very smooth and moisturizing. They have 12 colors which are all amazing. I picked up 4 on this trip. They didn't have creme de nude which was on my list. I'll have to go back for that one. I had also received fanfare in advance so in total I have 5 creamsheen lipsticks.

Sorry I forgot to swatch fanfare! But it's a pretty pink color.

Brave Red: This is a great color for those wanting to try a red lip. It's a nice deep red tone. When I first starting wearing red lipstick I remember having to wear it with gloss to make myself feel more comfortable. With this lipstick it already has the dewy look so you can jump right in!
Modesty: On my skin tone and lip color, this made a great neutral, everyday lip. Sometimes I have problems with lipsticks looking too pink and pasty on me, but this one was just right.
Party Line: This is a great plum color...perfect for the fall and for my clients that want a little more color than the average pink or nude.
Hang Up: The swatch doesn't do this justice. This is the darkest color of the 12 lipsticks in the collection. It looks darker in the tube but swatches to a beautiful wine tone. I've been trying to acquire more plums and berries to my collection and this is a great one to have.
Fanfare: This is a true pink color. On me I felt it was a little too pink...I would need to use it with a lipliner. But on others I can see it looking beautiful. This is going in the kit!

Suite Array
This collection had a combination of new Pearl Glide eyeliners and eyeshadow suites.

Let me start of with the eyeliners...these are amazing! I love how the color goes on creamy and smooth but it doesn't have and smear as much as kohls! For example, I just wore Mystery Kohl Power on my lower lashline this weekend and it looked crazy after an hour! And my eyelids aren't even oily! These new Pearl Glide offer the benefits of being creamy smooth like kohls, but have more staying power to boot. The pencils also all have a metallic sheen as well. My favorites are Raven and Fly-By-Blu because these colors look especially rich in person.

These swatches don't do the colors justice. They're more vibrant in person.

Last we have the eyeshadow suites. The packaging looks just like the brow shaders that are about to be discontinued. Two colors come in the pan...one light and one dark. The light side is twice as large as the darker side. The colors in this suite are very complimentary to each other...one could definitely be the lid color and the other the outer v/crease color.

However...these shadows were so sheer! Booooo. I spent a good 15 minutes swatching these multiple times to make sure I wasn't going crazy. But nope, they were pretty sheer. What a disappointment. Only two out of the eight duos swatched halfway decent on me. Have you guys run into the same problem? The two most pigmented were Smoke & Ash and Counterparts. I didn't pick up Counterparts because I don't see myself wearing that salmon pink and forest green combo often...it would probably sit unused in the back of my tupperware drawers.

Instead, I picked up blue zone. The lilac side of this duo is really sheer but I couldn't pass up the pretty cobalt shade. The Smoke & Ash duo is pretty standard-sparkley silver and black for a smoky eye. However, I got this for convenience purposes. Just throw this tiny duo in your purse or kit and you have an instant smokey eye kit.

In sum, I loved the Creamsheens. I pray they make these permanent. What a great finish! The liners are also awesome but the eyeshadows are sucky poo.

Like always, I'll be doing a video tutorial using these new products soon. Any particular looks you want to see?

Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

The other night I was catching up on my youtube vids and I was inspired by a youtuber out there named Eily. She's just fab! I recreated her recent teal look and added my own twist.

You know blues and greens are my fav! Next time, I'll try foiling the pigments and shadows to make the colors really pop.

I used my airbrush system to do foundation. I had to do a new color mix since I got a slight tan in Costa Rica...when I mean slight, very very light tan, lol, since it rained most of the time! I ended up combining two colors to make my mix: 1/3 number 8 mixed with 3/2 number 7. I love the way that airbrush foundation offers a lot of coverage but feels like you're not wearing anything.

Here's what I used (All MAC unless otherwise specified):

-Laura Mercier oil-free primer
-Temptu S/B airbrush foundation - 007 & 008 mixed
-Camera Ready Cosmetics blush
-vanilla pigment as a highlight

-delft paint pot
-olive green pigment
-gorgeous gold e/s
-nylon e/s
-meet the fleet e/s
-blacktrack fluidline
-pop blue eye pencil
-model co. lashes in #21
-zoomlash mascara

-NYX Iced Coffee jumbo lip pencil
-viva glam VI lipglass

I took these pics after midnight...I think I was tired cuz one of my eyes is bigger than the other in these pics, lol. And yup, that's the boyfriend sleeping in the background...I threw a blanket on top of him to cover him up, lol.

Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

I finally got the pics from the first Trash The Dress Shoot I did a few months ago. For those of you unfamiliar with this type of shoot...it's basically a gathering of photographers and a model who volunteers to "trash" her wedding dress. The model is put in unexpected surroundings to contrast her beautiful gown. I've seen shots where models have been in the middle of a swamp, graffiti covered streets...one even had her gown set on fire!

It's a big committment to volunteer your dress...but our model didn't mind at all!

Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot of shots of her makeup. There were about 6 photographers there and I couldn't get in touch with a bunch of them to get the pictures :(

My task was to give the model makeup that would last. The shoot was about 6 hours long, taking place in the forest and in the middle of the Chatahoochee River. Let's just say that I needed water-proof everything. The model had beautiful blue eyes that I emphasized with dark blue liner. I went for a pretty pink lip and some creamy foundation and that was it. The model had mature skin and some lines, so I had to keep the makeup light in order to not emphasize areas we wanted to cover.

It was a really great experience. While on the set I was also able to learn a lot about lighting, posing, and assisting.

Here's What I Used (All MAC unless otherwise specified):

-prep and prime skin
-fast reponse eye cream
-cinema secrets foundation
-graftobian powder
-graftobian creme blush
-sculpt sculpting powder
-fix plus spray

-Two Faced shadow insurance
-bare canvas paint
-shroom e/s
-deep truth e/s
-freshwater e/s
-fluidline in blacktrack
-L'oreal voluminous mascara in waterproof

-subculture lipliner
-4N lipstick
-2N lipglass

The shots came out great. Credits to Allan Levene Photography, Slava Slavik Photography, MMFotography, and Rhonda Klakow with Life to Image Photography.

Cindy was actually about 10 feet up in a stone wall in the middle of the forest. She climbed up there using a ladder.

In the middle of the Chattahoochee River. Her dress got soaked! And it was kinda stinky, lol.

The cute pink rain boots she wore under her dress.

You can see the makeup a little bit better here...but not really, lol. It was a pretty natural look. She climbed up this huge tree that was leaning over the water...now that's guts!

See what I mean when I said I needed waterproof makeup?

Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Hi Guys,

I put up my video using my Pur Minerals product. The look is geared toward Brown Eyes but really it would look good on any eye color. You can see in the video once I used the foundation my skin just warmed up instantly. I really love this foundation!

I used the Paint By Numbers eyeshadow palette and followed the insert to create the most dramatic look for brown eyes. The directions told me which colors to use...I only used three eyeshadows: a red brown, a peach, and a pink. I then used black eyeliner, some mascara and falsies. It was really easy to do. I paired it with my Neolite lipgloss and that was it!

Here's What I Used (All Products Used are by Pur Minerals unless mentioned):


-color correcting primer in peach

-4 in 1 pressed mineral makeup in medium dark

-mineral split plan in mineral glow/mineral light

-blush in plum adalite

-universal pencil in natural (eyebrows)

-eye prep

-beauty in numbers eyeshadow palette: numbers 10, 8, 3

-MAC kohl power pencil in feline

-Revlon Colorstay liquid liner in blackest black

-Model Co. lashes

-MAC zoomlash mascara


-universal pencil in natural

-lipgloss in neolite sunset

For more info, check out the Pur Minerals Blog.

Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Hi Bellas,

Last night, my boyfriend and I went through all the entries for my Name my Domain website contest. It was pretty difficult to pick a name that I felt would represent me, my image, and my future brand name. I wanted to keep my name in the title because people have been accustomed to it, but I also wanted to kick up my image a knotch to something more snazzy and fun.

After deliberations...and a lot of great suggestions....the winner is....





Phyllis at FortyIsTheNew20 !

She recommended the name http://www.urbanpretty.com/. Don't you love it! I love the contrast of the word and I definitely think it could create a great brand name in the future...possibly a cosmetics line even. My website will read Urban Pretty - Makeup By Ren. So as you see, I will be keeping my name in it...as an explanation of the company name. I'm pulling a Diddy and going from Ren Ren to just plain Ren, because that's how people in my non-blogging life refer to me. For some reason, I get a little embarassed in introducing myself as Ren Ren because it's more of a pet name my friends gave me.

So congratuations Phyllis! There were a lot of other contenders and thank you so much for helping me :)

Phyllis will be receiving a great bag of goodies provided by Stars Makeup Haven and myself, including: A mini Urban Decay Primer Potion, Two Faced Lip Injection Plumper, Two Faced Lip Injection gloss, two pairs of false eyelashes, a bag of empty pigment pans from pressing, Dior gloss, mascara, pigment samples, and more!

Thanks to everyone for participating! Phyllis I will be mailing out your goodies this week :)

Hi Bellas!

I have all the entries for the Name My Domain Contest (dang why didn't I think of that title earlier) and thank you so much for participating! I had a lot of great entries. You guys are so clever! This weekend my boyfriend and I will go over the entries and announce the winner on Monday.

TGIF Right? I have a couple of things going on this weekend which should be fun.

Friday: This evening I'm going with my best friend and crew to do a bridesmaid dress fitting/try-on...my first wedding as a bridesmaid!

Saturday: I'm doing a wedding from 11pm to 3:30. Nine faces to makeover yikes! Luckily I have an assistant to help me out. The bride is so sweet. I made her a face chart which I meant to post today but I didn't have a chance to take a picture. We're actually using the Cult of Cherry quad for her night-time wedding look. After that, I'm doing a fashion show and leaving straight from the wedding to arrive there by 4pm. It should be fun...I'm using my Cult of Cherry products once again to achieve a dark lip look for this fall collection.

Sunday: I'm doing a bridal consultation for an Indian wedding, yay! I've been wanting to do arabic themed makeup for a while. I can get a little more creative with with this kind of makeup. The bride wants to try airbrush makeup...should be fun!

Besides that I need to do some major laundry and cleaning, lol. Any big plans this weekend?

Hi Bellas,

Today is the last day to submit your entries for my Contest! I’ve gotten a lot of great entries so far and I’m super duper excited!

Stars Makeup Haven has already sent the prizes and they’re some gems in there! After Midnight tonight I will no longer be accepting entries.

Good luck!

So here are the rules:
-Contest Deadline is by next Thursday 11:59 PM, September 18th, 2008. I will announce the winner on the following Monday.

-I need you to come up with a website name for me to advertise my freelance makeup business as well as my beauty blog and tutorials. Think catchy, unique, yet professional at the same time.

-You must email me your suggestion to makeupbyren@yahoo.com with the subject "CONTEST" in the title. Put your suggestion(s) clearly in the body of the email, along with your name and mailing address.

-You can list as many suggestions in your email as you want, but I prefer one email per person.

-With the help of the boyfriend, I will pick my favorite for the winner.

-This contest is open to both international and US readers.

Hi Bellas,

A few weeks ago I participated in a shoot with two models named Will and Grace, gotta love that combo! In terms of makeup, we wanted to go for something a little more heavy in order to convey a more serious tone to the shots. Grace came to me in some serious need of brow help. She told me that she hated doing her brows because of the pain factor. I can understand but I think it gets better after time...I don't know if my nerve cells have died, but it really doesn't bother me to pluck anymore. To help a sister out, I placed some Ambesol (the tooth pain gel) on her browbone to numb it a bit, then I went ahead with my plucking. You may not be able to see it as well in the before picture, but brows make a huge difference!

For the rest of her makeup, I went with a dark lip and really smoky eye...ushering in one of fall's newest trends.

Here's What I Used on Grace (All MAC unless otherwise specified):


-monistat anti-chafing gel

-cinema secrets foundation

-graftobian powder

-housewine blush

-definitive sculpting powder

-msf in warmed


-spiked brow pencil

-sketch e/s (brows)

-Anastasia brow lights in pink

-sharkskin shadestick



-kohl pencil in smolder

-model co. lashes


-black creme color base

-sin lipstick

-Black Opal lipliner

On Will, I did the basic man makeup, but added a twist. I gave him the Dave Navarro Smokey eye...I love when men let me put makeup on them! Combine smudgy eyeliner, black e/s, and MAC multipurpose clear gloss and you've got instant rock star eyes!

Here's What I used on Will (All MAC unless otherwise stated):


-monistat anti-chafing gel

-cinema secrets foundation

-graftobian powder


-spiked brow pencil

-kohl pencil in smolder

-carbon e/s

-multipurpose clear gloss

-Covergirl clear mascara



Now some couple shots!

Hey Bellas,

Here is part II on my review of the Pur Minerals Line. This video was mainly reserved to reserving their makeup.

Stay tuned for my tutorial using the products from this line to create a dramatic look for brown eyes.

Universal Pencil in Natural: Can be used for eyebrows, lips, or as eyeliner. $16.50. If you’re trying to use this as a multi-purpose item it should be worth the money. But as an eyebrow pencil it doesn’t really work. The liner is just too soft. The texture reminds me of MAC crèmestick liners. Thus, I’d recommend strictly for the lips and to line the eyes.

Lipgloss in Neolite Sunset: Supposed to be a plumper, but I saw no plumping action. Another thing is that I hated the smell. It tastes like old lipstick back in the day, yuck. I prefer the scent of vanilla and bubblegum, or even unscented. As far as texture and moisture, the lipstick is pretty good. The lipstick is a little better, but I just hated the color on me.

Beauty in Numbers Eyeshadow Palette: $25. A great little palette with a bunch of dime sized eyeshadow colors. A mini booklet shows you how to use the eyeshadow colors according to your eyecolor. This is a great palette for beginners or neutral wearers. The shadow is pigmented but has the tendency to fall out so you’ll need to wear a creamy base underneath.

Blush in Plum Adamite: $15 for this little blush, but it’s too cute too resist! The blush comes in a mini compact with a mirror and a little brush. I Love this color and would definitely recommend. It looked good on x-sparkage who is on the fair side, and on me who is on the tan side. This is a great, versatile color.

Mineral Eyeshadow in Chocolate Topaz: $13 This also comes in a compact with a little mirror. I picked a basic brown, great for the crease. The shadow is extremely pigmented and smooth. In terms of the range of eyeshadows though, the colors are pretty neutral…so don’t expect any wow factor colors.

Four in One Pressed Mineral Makeup with SPF 15: Anything with SPF is a plus, and this also comes in a compact with sponge. I loveeeee this foundation. I got it in the shade medium dark and it’s the best match in mineral makeup I’ve found so far. It even matches better than my MAC msf natural in med dark. It sinks into the skin and has great, seamless coverage. At $24.50 I’d definitely repurchase.

Mineral Split Plan Mineral Glow and Mineral Light: This is a split compact with a bronzer and highlighter. For $22.50 you get two products in one. The colors are very natural and give the look of getting a sun-kissed glow without seeming like you’re not wearing anything.

Not Pictured, the Brushes:

Brush Set: $39.50 This 5 piece set comes in it's own quilted brush case. In includes an Angled Blush brush, a Powder brush, a basic Eyeshadow brush, a Crease Brush, and a Lip Brush. I wasn’t too impressed with these brushes. After washing and conditioning them they weren’t soft enough for my taste. They seem machine manufactured and a little cheap-o. Pass on these, you can get better brushes for a better price elsewhere.

Chisel Makeup Brush: This is supposed to be used as a buffer brush with the mineral foundation. $22.50 for this brush? I don’t think so! It’s super scratchy and sheds big time. Definitely pass.

Crease Brush: Again, super scratchy. Using it would just give you an irritated eye. For $16.50, save it and get yourself a couple of crease brushes from Sonia Kashuk.

All in all, the prices are a little steep for this mineral makeup line. It's even harder to stomach since the brand isn't as well known. Many of the products are very good and some of them you could definitely pass on. Personally, I’d recommend the pressed mineral foundation, the color correcting primer, and the skincare line. The rest are up to you, but there are definitely some cheaper alternatives out there.

Till next time, ciao bellas!

Hi Bellas,

I had the opportunity to try out a bunch of products from the Pur Minerals Mineral Makeup/Skincare line.

In my video I presented an unbiased review on what was hot and what was not in this line. I have part II coming up where I review the makeup (fyi, I loveddddddd the foundation).

All in all, this line has some really great products. It's a bit expensive though, but I saw them at Ulta for buy one get one free the other day. In actuality the prices of the products are similar to a lot of other brands out there like MAC, Smashbox and Urban Decay...but it's hard for people to accept the price since the brand isn't as well known.

FYI I'm not wearing any makeup in this video except for false eyelashes. I guess the Pur Minerals skincare really was making my skin glowing.

Here's a quick summary of my recommendations:

-Let's Get Started Daily Skincare Trio: Revitalizing Wash, Perfecting Serum, Mineral Moisture Complex -- This product line is travel size and worked great on my sensitive skin. For $35 it's a bit more pricey than I'm used to spending on face products though. But is that a good or bad thing? I probably need to invest just as much in skincare as I do on makeup, lol.

-Under Control Oil Regulating Gel: You're supposed to apply this after cleansing and it will control oil. However, I don't have oily skin so I couldn't really tell if it worked. I'm going to try it on a wedding coming up where the bride has oily skin. For $18, you get a whole lot of product.

-See No More Pore Minimizer: $21.50...kinda expensive but it really works! I'm sensitive about my humongous pores on my nose. It's best to use this in combination with a biore pore strip. I noticed that my pores got a lot smaller after using. I just need to make an effort to use it regularly.

-Color Correcting Primer in Peach: My fav skincare product from this line. The peach corrects as well as primes your skin. It's the same concept as salmon concealer. $29.50 makes it around the same price as other high end primers out there. Really really works though...makes your skin super supple. Highly recommend!

-Pur Minerals Lip Revival: It's supposed to reduce lines and plump. I saw no difference. I'd pass on this one. Save your $21.50 for a year's worth of chapstick.

-Fulvic Mineral Mist: At first I thought this was the same product as MAC fix plus when in fact it's not. It's simply a hydrator which is supposed to be really great when used on ice for the summer. It's a whole lot of product but I don't find it necessary to my makeup routine. Save your $16.50.

-EYE Prep: Same thing as UDPP and Two Faced Eyeshadow Insurance. I actually prefer this to UDPP because the texture is more liquidy and I find it easier to blend eyeshadow on top of this primer. If you don't have a neutral eye primer, I'd recommend shelling out the $17 for this product.

-Lip Tint in Sandy Quartz: Has SPF 15, a plus! But at $16.50 I'd probably pick up a MAC slimshine for around the same price. The color options are a bit too limited for my taste.

Stay tuned for Part II where I review the makeup!
Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Hi Bellas,

I just spoke with Beth of Stars Makeup Haven.Com and she has offered to sponsor my contest. Yay! That means more goodies and incentive for you guys to participate.

She also informed me that she is offerring a discount of 15% off of $35 or more ~ using the code KABUKI. Beth just got in a new shipment of brushes and she's giving you a discount to celebrate.

For those unfamiliar with Stars Makeup Haven...they have everything from empty eyeshadow tins for pigment pressing, and every single MAC pigment sample, lipstick sample that you can think of. I've purchased from them in the past with no complaints.

Here's a vid I did back in the day of some products I received from them...and some products the winner may receive as well!

Remember, the deadline is Thursday by 11:59pm. Good luck!

Hi Bellas,

So luckily my friends are on the ball with uploading their pics, because I'm basically stealing all of them to show to you all. I've taken my favorite shots of Costa Rica.

Thursday Morning, the plane ride was only about 4 hours, not too shabby. Me and my bestie Sai excited on the plane ride!

We arrived in the capital San Jose, and from there we took a 4 hour ride to our hotel in Arenal, the site of Costa Rica's most active volcano.

Volcano Lodge here we come!

The landscaping at the hotel was absolutely beautiful. Cool looking palm tree right?

This is our view of the volcano from our balcony! The volcano is active...at night you can see the lava and during the day the little puffs of smoke.

Beautiful view of the volcano at night.

Me and the girls minus two (who will be arriving the next day) for our first dinner in Costa Rica!

We ate at La Colonial...suggested to us by the hotel desk staffers.

But the food was yuck! That was the driest Arroz Con Pollo I've ever had! Luckily the fries were okay, lol.

Enjoying our yummy breakfast buffet...rice and beans, fresh fruit, plantains...whoa how am I ever going to go back to Continental Breakfasts?

The next day we took an excursion called the volcano hike. Nope we didn't actually hike on the volcano, lol, but it was in a national forest near the volcano. Our tour guide Danny was super nice, really super duper into the science of volcanos. He ended up giving us an hour lecture about the volcano complete with a drawing in the sand, lol. Enough already! On to our hike!

The guy with the furry legs is our tour guide, lol, not one of the Get It Girls.

It was a pretty easy hike...we didn't really see too much wildlife. Except a toucan in the distance and a mini snake, lol.

After that we got to have a nice dip in the Tabacon Hot Springs...the water was up to 115 degrees and naturally heated by the volcano. Sooooo relaxing. The Spa also included a dinner buffet...but again, the food was disappointing. I mean, it was Italian night...I want some good Costa Rican Cuisine!

Pic us up in the hot springs...with random guy that jumped in our pic!

The next day we checked out and headed to Jaco Beach, our next destination. A few hours of nausea and dizziness on the van later, we arrive at our beautiful beach side condo. Talk about gorgeous! We had everything we needed including a patio 5 feet from the pool!

Shot from my bedroom's patio.

Sai and I stayed in the master...he he. This bed is deceiving it looked nice but felt like cardboard when he layed down. Luckily the large plasma TV in our room made up for it ;) We tried not to turn it up too loud at night to not make the rest of our travel mates jealous ;)

Every morning we made breakfast like a little family and ate it outside on our patio. On today's menu, french toast, eggs, and crystal light, lol.

The first item we planned to do in Jaco is ziplining! The guides took us up a mountain in a tractor in our gear.

We zipped through about 15 ziplines of varying lengths going up to 60 miles an hour. I even did it upside down with my hangs hanging free. It was a little freaky at first but once we got used to it it was exhilirating!

Getting suited up!

Group shot, we're ready!

Sai and me enjoying/drowning in the pool!

BFFs - me, alex and sai...we totally didn't mean to coordinate our yellow swimsuits!

Sarong girls! Meli, Me, and Sai

The beach was literally right across the street from our condo.

While in Jaco, we decided to take a day trip to the National Rainforest in Manuel Antonio, about 1.5 away. We signed up for a leisurely hike in the National park, along with lunch and time on the beach.

This is us before the hike.

Little did we know what we were up for! Talk about the most intense hike ever! Apparently we also did it in a third of the time because Elizabeth, top pic on the right was speed racer! LOL...we were panting and sweating something fierce! Thank goodness none of us fell down and injured ourselves. I came close though.

The easy part of the hike.

One of the cute sloths we saw up in the trees!

We finally got to take a breather and take a group pic!

After the hellish hike was over, we ate lunch and then headed to the beach. All was serene and peaceful until this lil racoon started stalking us! Here he is going through my pink backpack! The little devil went up to every bag on the beach and even came back to us a second time. After that, it was a wrap, lol.

We were able to hit up the club twice while we were there. This is us in backyard with one of the locals...our girl Elizabeth had eyes on him ;)

After that it pretty much rained and rained...and we braved the weather to hunt for souvenirs. I love bringing back local goodies so we headed to the supermarket and I picked up coffee, chocolate covered coffee beans, crackers, fruit filled rolls and more.

Last day in Costa Rica...we took one last shot outside our hotel.

It was definitely a great vacation...but now that we got the whole adventure thing out of the way, we're doing Rome next time!

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