Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Olive Garden | Lunch with Mama Carrizo

Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal for attending this event.
The opinions expressed here are my own.
Mama Carrizo and I attended Olive Garden's grand opening on Saturday enterhappyfacehere We were given a chance at seeing the new building design with all sorts of updated elements as well as the new "Olive Garden Italian Kitchen" logo... plus eat food we love! Everyone knows someone who knows someone who is addicted to the OG's salad & bread sticks, you might even be that someone haha! 

The new design is somewhat of a contemporary feel with warm colors. The lighting and the minimalistic props gave the place a nice grown up feel. This new restaurant opened Monday, May 25th to the public at 2929 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77098 (hope this works). Roughly located on the 59 feeder between Buffalo Speedway and Kirby, northbound. It's a great location and not only will the business offices in that area benefit from it but the approximately 170 new jobs it'll be providing for folks in the area is fantastical news!

Here's what we ate & thoroughly enjoyed-
1- Garden Primavera with spaghetti substitute for the tri-colored vegetable penne
1- Seafood Alfredo with shrimp & scallops
1- Tiramisu (our favorite)

It was nice to meet with the General Manager, Lou Speaks, a 20+ veteran of the industry along with all the other employees who made sure to carry a smile from ear to ear during the entire time we were there. Good luck to everyone at this new location & muchos thanks for the invite Olive Garden!! 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Weekend Snapshots | 21

Today's post is brought to you by lazyass Jay. Don't be fooled though. Her weekend looked like this (as do most weekdays) but ours did not. A number of things happened this weekend including the Memorial Day flood. Haysoos!

This series is normally posted on a Monday but since Monday was a holiday and technically part of the weekend, you get it today. Let's start off with Saturdays shenanigans, shall we?

I was invited to be part of the Friends & Family Training on Saturday at a brand new Olive Garden Italian Kitchen. I never pass up food, especially the OG bread sticks. I swear they sprinkle something on them that makes them so addicting. I know folks that hit the OG up just for the salad and bread sticks. Thankfully, you can find the OG Italian salad dressing at grocery stores now so you can enjoy it at home (ours never lasts long because husband). Mama Carrizo & I gladly hit up the OG and were amazed by the new look of the place. More of this on the next post but you should know that this particular store opened its doors to the public yesterday --> 2929 Southwest Freeway, Houston, Texas 77098.

Remember how I told you I've been ISO a sweet side table for our living room & how I almost brought one home but it was out of stock? Yeah, well I changed my mind & went with a different 'table' (not that I don't want this one because duh! but I'll be putting it somewhere else now). I've always wanted an EXPEDIT shelving unit but since Ikea likes to make shit we love & then yank it from our hearts.. I had to get the next best thing which is the KALLAX. Essentially the same shit but the material and name are different. I thought about buying legs and making it taller but I'm kind of fond of the height it is now. We added some plants (that probably won't survive), a digital picture frame, tray for keys & such, Houston Oilers glasses I found thrifting, all of our Houstonia Magazines, HIWI book, Graffiti & picture book and lastly, an M&M cookie jar that we use for spare change. I think it's perfect for that wall & I'm excited about the changes this unit will go through with us.

I ate crawfish for the first time this season sadface at Hank's Crawfish. This place used to be a great stop for crawfish but on this visit, the mudbugs were pretty small. I enjoyed an adult beverage named Bayou Water, which looks nothing like the actual bayou water Houston is seeing all over the southwest due to the crazy rain we've had sadfaceagain And I also made waffles with Aunt Jemima's pancake mix. I don't think I've made waffles since I was a kid with Mama Carrizo so this was fun. And tasty. The husband and I also did some much needed yardwork on Casa de Reed. Rose bushes received their 5856739607th trim (they're killing me smalls) as did the trees in the backyard. It's amazing the fun I have with the tree pruning stick (affiliate) & how the giggling takes over at random moments LOL!

Last picture isn't too clear but it's what out street looked like last night around 10. Houston was slammed by a powerful storm that caused some serious damage throughout Texas. Thankfully, nothing major happened by our casa. It rained like crazy and the lightning was ridiculous, unlike any other storm I've seen. Our city woke up to water overflowing the bayous and lots of cars under water. Flash floods are no joke and it surprises me every year how brave people get with storms like this. If you can't see the bottom, you probably shouldn't drive through it. As of right now, the death toll is 2 in Houston. I'm sadden by all of the stories I'm seeing on social media of people who have lost everything & still have family members missing all through out Texas. But I am also very happy to see how positive people are and how overcoming things like this is what we are about as a City. We're not called the Bayou City for nothing, yanno? More rain is in our immediate future but nothing compared to what we experienced last night. Stay safe Houston <3

Can someone tell me WHY it always rains during our Houston holidays? Haysoos!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Ari Stumbles | 6

Here are a few of my favorite things this week. :)

Deep in the heart of Texas Instagram accounts you should be following

Grizzler is the first-ever canine photographer outfitted with a special harness that can read his heartbeat and send data via Bluetooth to the camera which then snaps a photo when his heartbeat passes a certain threshold. Too freaking awesome!!

David Letterman vs. Jay Leno. Why did Dave get the finale love denied Jay?
Because Jay is a hater LOL!

I am madly in love with these Senna buckle sandals but
they are sold out & I can't find similar sandals. :(

to make it work. I'm a firm believer in this. 

Hula paints murals while balancing on his surfboard. Follow his Instagram here.

I've been looking at Master Bedroom ideas on Pinterest & I'm really digging this one.

Hello Kitty Vans shoes on Vinted.

Can't wait to start this book after my WMC series.

E & I recently started watching The IT Crowd on Netflix and
it's hilarious. Definitely recommend it.

Have a fantastical weekend!
See you Monday with a recap of my weekend

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Project Life | Wk 15

Today I'm sharing Week 15 of my Project Life. Black & White theme with a pinch of Yellow. I forgot to add the week number on this spread before I took the pictures. Oops! I used scrap paper again like last week & I'm really liking the feel. I printed all the pictures & then looked for a bright color I could use to fill up with scrap paper. In this case it was Yellow from Kimmy's taxi. I think I'll continue the scrap paper trick until I'm inspired to do something else Haha!

This week I put my first sale on @Toyboxlife's Instagram & 5 years ago this week, I bought my first Diana F+ . I can't believe it's been so long & though I adore the damn thing, I haven't used it in at least two years. sadface But I am determined this year to take more pictures in film crossing my fingers I have more toys to add to my Instagram just not enough time to make it happen. sigh This week includes a picture of my Moocow, Jayla. It always makes me laugh when she lays like this because when she was a puppy with a super full belly, she reminded me of a cow so I call her Moocow haha! Watched an entertaining Netflix Original show called Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, my post on it is here. Saturday was quite entertaining with E's BFF celebrating his birthday with a Pedal Party. The bottom right picture is E & Vince, the BFF looking like straight up G's with those props haha!! We haven't had that much fun in a while so it was great! Also made us realize that we are definitely not as young as we used to be. Drinking & partying with friends totally takes a toll on you in your 30's. WHY!!!

I would like to point out that I did not include any pictures of Finnashit, major shocker haha!

Stamps: Heidi Swapp roller stamp & Studio Calico's number clear stamps for the week number (that's missing from the picture)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Currently Reading.. | 12th of Never

The Women's Murder Club Series - Lindsay Boxer, Cindy Thomas, Claire Washburn and Jill Bernhardt, the stars of 1st to Die and 2nd Chance, are the founding members of the Women's Murder Club. Later, in 4th of July, Yuki Castellano joins the Club. Together, they solve crimes in their home city of San Francisco, and often meet up to talk about clues and life over Mexican food and drinks at Susie's.
I've been a fan of James Patterson books for some time now. They are fast readers & pretty entertaining. I started the Women's Murder Club series a couple of years ago and fell off after the 11th book. Actually, I forgot all about them & didn't realize more books had been written. Thanks to Amazon and it's recommendations, I found out that not only did the series continue but I was 3 books behind. I bought the Kindle version and now I'm almost done with the 12th book (affiliate). I also found out that there was a TV show called Women's Murder Club based on the books with the lead role given to Angie Harmon, a chick I am not a fan of whatsoever so it's a good thing I didn't know haha!

I'm doing the Goodreads Reading Challenge of 10 books this year.. I'm not doing so well right now & need to step up my game! What are you reading these days? I'm always down for recommendations!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekend Snapshots | 20

Please forgive me for today's post, it contains mostly pictures of my kids. It was a rainy weekend in Houston and I went out once on Sunday for lunch and that was it. The picture above is of my big boy, Remidog, wanting some of my strawberry popsicle. I swear these kids have no manners when it comes to food.. then again, neither do I. Hmm...

The first picture after the jump is of my backyard from the Master at Casa de Reed. The weather was nice for about two hours and then BAM! it rained cats and dogs again.. all the way through Sunday. I love the rain, but not when a pond is made in our backyard. Finnashit thinks it fun to run through it and splish splash everyone in sight. If you're far and he didn't get you, he'll make sure to come running towards you & then shake like a Polaroid picture so you won't feel left out. facepalm

Finnashit has interesting sleeping habits. He can sleep just about anywhere at any time and doesn't give two shits if you are in his way. Exhibit A, B, & C below prove that. A) He has enough room on the couch next to me but he rather roll into a ball and push against me B) He has a crate of his own. A massive one that he normally loves but occasionally we'll find him in Chula the Chi's crate to which we search the house looking for her to make sure he's not sitting on her haha! C) He recently started sleeping under our bed. He'll either stick his head out from underneath or his butt. Such a weird kid..

One of my bestest homies ever had a birthday Sunday. It was super duper important we celebrated with delicious food and each others company. We met at Cafe Express and chatted the afternoon away. Genuinely good friends are hard to find so when I find them.. I don't let them out of my death grip. It's a flaw, I guess ;)

After lunch w Dante, I headed to Petsmart for some puppy grub & ran into a rescue group with their cats & dogs. I played with a couple of the kids through their crates and really loved this little girl named Piper (below). Her puppy breath was something serious. Made me sad to read that one of the kids there was actually left overnight at that same Petsmart tied to a pole. Who does that shit? Or better yet, why do people do this shit? Breaks my effing heart every single time. You know what makes it better though? Seeing people with hearts as big as mine making a difference in these kids lives. <3

Lastly, I took a picture of Casa de Reed's front door. I can't remember exactly what I was going for but my phone died right after this picture and I must have abandoned my idea. shrugs

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Project Life | Wk 14

Today I'm sharing Week 14 of my Project Life. Black & White theme which I love with a bit of blue/turquoise from scrap paper I had. I'm so used to using PL cards that I don't even think of using scrap paper. Don't overlook your paper hoarding, people!!

This week I went to lunch with a fantastical friend to celebrate my birthday. Finnashit received his first Barkbox & loved it! I facetimed for the first time with E while he was out of town. I don't think I've ever facetimed someone other than to try if it worked LOL! Facetiming with E was entertaining, he wouldn't stop making weird faces & eating really close to the camera haha! I did some gardening with Mama Carrizo and followed Finnashit to our room so he could should me why we can't have nice things. Everytime he kills a toy, he has me follow him to see it and he sits so proudly in front of it, haha! He is such a freaking character!!

The cards used this week are from the Midnight Edition Project Life Core Kit (affiliate) which is my favorite kit. I should reup my stash pretty soon too. I used me & my BIG ideas (affiliate) stickers on the bottom left card and the currently above my selfie. I used Elise Blaha's Today is stamp for Finnashit's dead plush toy picture & wrote messy in the box. Elise isn't selling stamps anymore but you can get this stamp and 36 other designs in a digital format here. I just bought mine & can't wait to add it to my future PL's! Can't forget the Heidi Swapp roller stamp that I can't get enough of. Studio Calico's number clear stamps for the week number. Really like how classy these numbers look, will probably continue using them.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mother's Day 2015 | I got it for my mama

Today's post is brought to you by Mama's Day 2015. A short & sweet post about the goodies I got Mama Carrizo this year. If you remember from this post, Mama Carrizo got a stenciled pillow for her bed, a picture frame and her favorite perfume last year. 

This year I hooked her up with a few gifts. The first one is the flower pot above. Mama & I were at Homegoods duh a few weeks ago and she saw a flower pot she just had to have. Mama Carrizo has been going hard on gardening & making her flowers all pretty and shizzle. We were there for something else so she passed it up and seemed bummed about it. Later that afternoon when I wasn't with her anymore, Fancypants & I rushed to the store to get it for her. Unfortunately, someone had already purchased it & I had to settle for the next best thing. Not only was she so grateful for the gift but the fact that I remembered and "tricked" her into thinking we could go some other day to buy it made her giggle pretty hard LOL!

To continue with the pillow tradition and the need to fill Mama Carrizo's bed with mini pillows, I bought the pillow above. No, I didn't make this one though I wish I had. I bought this at Paper Source which should be no surprise ;) I picked this pillow because it's small, can be used as a head rest and the writing is in yellow which is a color my mama uses in her bedroom.

I have been harassing my mama and sisters to get a tattoo with me for a couple years now. I don't know if they are scared to get it done or if they just aren't interested. Mama Carrizo did tell me not too long ago that she wasn't scared and that she'd be down for something small. Maybe we can get a BFF tat soon haha! Anyways, I thought these new metallic tattoos, that are super popular right now, would be a funny gift for my mama. She laughed pretty hard so I'm going to assume she likes them.

Mama Carrizo is a paper lover & office supply hoarder so I thought it would only be right to hook her up with a sweet planner. Mama is very old school when it comes to her bills. She's not into paperless and when she pays bills, she always prints out the confirmation. She keeps all her bills written down in a spiral notebook and it helps her. We all have some type of system, right?

We recently talked about the benefits of using a planner when doing bills. She thought it was a great idea to have a small planner with a lot of writing space. This meant I had to hook her up. I didn't think there would be any left at Paper Source but I checked out the planner section anyways. To my surprise, there were a couple of these leather ones for 75% off. YES, 75% off. This planner is from Aug. '14 - Jan. '16 so she'll only get 8 months out of it but it'll give her a good idea of what her next planner will be as far as size and writing area goes.

I hope everyone enjoyed Mother's day surrounded by family & friends <3

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Project Life | Wk 13

Today I'm sharing Week 13 of my Project Life. Purple & gold are the colors of this theme. I'm not a 100% down with gold yet.. I know it's been a huge thing for a bit in the scrapping world but I'm as usual, I'm late to this game haha!

I don't normally talk about the cards that I use for Project Life because my cards are not in a particular order. But I can tell you that this is from the Project Live, Value kit, Trinkets that I bought at Michaels not too long ago. I'm against sorting my cards because I'm lazy but I really enjoyed using this kit because I didn't have a hard time searching for cards that matched or made sense. The trinkets are a huge plus because gold! Haha!!

So this week includes bath time pictures of my boys. Remidog hates bath time but Finnashit enjoys it so much & it really cracks me up! I'm also sharing pictures of Finnashit the day I found him at our front door and a whole year later. Boy has this kid grown! Finnashit also sleeps oh so comfortably with his daddy. awww! Finnashit is always in my PL's so it should be no surprise that he is in this week multiple times. 

I used the Heidi Swapp roller stamp for the dates on two pictures. I also used the Shine clear stamp from an old Studio Calico kit and added a gold enamel dot that I probably got from SC too.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Weekend Snapshots | 19

Today's post is brought to you by my smallest & oldest kid, Chula the Chi! She's not typically a winker but I caught her right before she was going to scratch her face. See the back foot? LOL! If you think Finnashit loves his mama and has to follow her everywhere, Chulita is worse. She's my shadow and whines when she can't see or touch me. Damn kids.

This weekend was Mama's Day & not only did I spend some loving time with mine but I also visited my favorite paper store, Paper Source. It truly is my happy place! The folks there are so friendly and helpful & I really wish I could stick the whole store in my car and go home. I didn't stop by for myself though I know, so sad. I stopped by to get some goodies for Mama Carrizo. She's into paper goodies too which is probably where I got my obsession. Thanks mom!

Mama Carrizo had to work this weekend so I stopped by her job and we ate Chinese grub. So she got some goodies she'd been wanting and Paper Source+Homegoods made it happen. You can't possibly be surprised that I mentioned Homegoods right? Lol! I'm thinking of doing a separate post showing Mama Carrizo's gifts. Nothing too fancy but she seemed to really like them.

Check out Remidog's smiley face and my favorite part of our backyard -> Red, the barn. I swear it was in the top 5 things that sold this house for us. I mean, who doesn't want a red barn? Haha!

I rearranged my office again. I think I'm finally happy with the way it is now and will take a better pic soon. I think having inspiring words above your "creativity desk" are 100% effective and I recommend it to everyone.

I played with my Project Life this weekend. I'm trying to get back to working on a week every Sunday like I did at the beginning of the year. I felt like that really worked for me and slacking off hurt my progress. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Cobalt Blue makes me happy

Photo taken by me at my favorite store, IKEA
I like all shades of blue but I am obsessed with Cobalt Blue and it's close friend, Cerulean Blue. It's basically a super electric blue and I can't get enough of it. I've been in love with the color Blue since I was about 6. Before that, Purple was my main bitch but it just wasn't meant to be...

I wanted to share with you some of the Cobalt Blue things that I've been obsessing over. I want to add more blue things to my home like painting a wall in my bedroom or office or maybe getting one of those sweet sofa or chairs for my office. My husband totally disagrees with painting one wall in our bedroom this color. He says the color is way too bright and won't allow him to sleep -fist in air- dammit! So I'll paint one of the walls in my office Cobalt Blue and enjoy the fantastical view! HA!

Maybe I should start off with a small Cobalt Blue chair and stick it in a common room so that my husband can adapt? LOL!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Project Life | Wk 12

Today I'm sharing Week 12 of my Project Life. I can't believe it's been a month since I posted my pages. See what had happened was... No, really. I ran out of ink and paper for the Selphy & when I finally bought it.. the inspiration was gone. I wasn't ready to give up though. There's no due date on this. I'm a month behind. No big deal.

Once again I blurred out my journaling. Still haven't figured out a good way to do that. I wrote a lot this week which means I had a busy week. Yay! I went with green again because St. Patrick's Day duh! I didn't have anything else green so I wore green on my socks & it worked! 

I had my first movie date with Connie from Momma of Dos who should be called Busy Momma of Dos haha! I swear that woman is a Super Hero! She gets so much done daily and still has time to take me on a date haha! She also took me to dinner and the grub was delicious!

Jayla, my favorite child, is getting old and it breaks my heart. This girl & I have been together for almost 9 years and we've been through a lot. Life situations mostly, not any medical issues thank goodness! But her age is catching up to her and she's not the same kid she once was. Saddens me but I know how this works. Grandma Zoey passed away last year and we had been together for 10+ years. It's crazy that we don't get more time with our dogs but I know my past kids are in doggy heaven having a blast!

The boys sleep as hard as they play. It's why we can't have nice things. As you may already know, I buy my kids plush toys on clearance at Homegoods or Marshalls and even though they are cheap... I still get very sad when the cotton insides are all over my bedroom floor. Not really sure if it's because I have to pick it all up or because I know the toy is dead. I started a bag for toys that need to be sewed up. I plan on hooking Mama Carrizo up with because I don't sew. She won't mind, they are her grandkids haha!

I started my series #AriStumbles this week so I had to include that in my spread. Not to mention it's a selfie and I've gotta have one selfie per week LOL! I think it would be cool to see how I looked on such and such week and year, yanno?

I've got two more weeks done after this and will post them as soon as I take pictures of them!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Weekend Snapshots | 18

Today's post is brought to you by Finnashit and his new clearance toy. Clearance toys are the only way to go with my kids, I'm sure some of you feel me on this. Best places to buy clearance dog toys for me is Homegoods & Marshalls. I know I name drop these stores a lot and I swear I don't work for them or am affiliated (wish I was) but they have great dog toys. Remember when I told you that I can't go to these stores without buying some type of paper goodies? Yeah, clearance dog toys are another thing I have to buy. #dontjudgeme I also found a black Pug statue with a crown that I would have bought but the crown was broken. I couldn't think of a creative way to fix it so I bailed on it.

I was eating Oreo's Sunday, as I usually do (#TeamRotund) and I grabbed an Oreo whose outsides were flipped inside. Come to find out, 3 years ago yesterday I ate an Oreo that was flipped inside out too. Creepy? Nope, I ate it without a thought haha!

May 2nd was National Scrapbooking Day and I celebrated it by checking out everyone's IG feed, LOL! I did no scrapping this weekend and although I'm a bit bummed about it.. it's all good because I had no motivation.

Mama Carrizo's bff's daughter had a baby shower for her soon to be baby boy. As usual, my outfit consisted of jeans, white tee and my white Chucks. Mama Carrizo also proved once again to be the best mama a Shankasaurus could ever have by double fisting some tastiness. Beer in one hand and M&M's in another. She totally gets me!

In my last #AriStumbles post I shared a link about 18 times Angelica Pickles was the realest Bitch who ever lived and told you that I was awaiting her plush doll that I bought on IG. Well, that bitch has arrived and I am pretty excitamated about her. Not only did I get Angelica, but I also got Cynthia!! Yeah, this snail mail totally made my weekend!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Ari Stumbles | 5

These are a few of my favorite stumbles.

19 Seriously Smart Tips To Up Your Instagram Game that you want to see

7 ideas for Mother's Day gifts from last weeks Friday Love :)

18 facts about Texas that are absolutely definitely true

Women's bathroom signs, you'll never look at them the same again

Rats ate her front legs but her family didn't let that bring her down. Mrs. T a tortoise in Pembrook, Wales is now a supercharged tortoise.

Elise Joy's cork board blog editorial calendar

4-month-old baby boy’s rescue, 22 hours after he was trapped by the Nepal earthquake

Join Kellie on her National Scrapbook Day Blog hop with a cool DIY

DIY from A Beautiful Mess on making a hand-stamped necklace

18 Times Angelica Pickles Was The Realest Bitch Who Ever Lived. Btw, I bought a Angelica plush doll on IG & I can't wait for her to arrive. <3

Have a fantastical weekend!
See you Monday with a recap of my weekend with Weekend Snapshots!