Friday, October 30, 2015

Sponsored | Business Bestie Brunch

On Saturday, I was invited to attend the first Business Bestie Brunch in Houston held by The Marketing Chicks. This conference's mission was to motivate women in their business and give support. We're talking about 40 or so female minority entrepreneurs listening to motivational speakers, receiving powerful business messages and supporting one another. Oh, and there's brunch!

The conference was held at the Hyatt Place Houston in The Woodlands so it was a bit of a drive for me. Once there I met up with Jihane and Bre and headed inside the conference room to the smell of breakfast! After 'oohing' & 'awing' at the beautiful decorations and the cute swag bag at each table, we put our things down and headed towards the amazing smell! Our table also included Laura and Brittany, both bloggers/writers. I recently met Laura at the HLB networking event and I met Brittany at the last event The Marketing Chicks held.  

Once everyone was settled with a full tummy, Nicole from The Marketing Chicks welcomed us and asked us to introduce ourselves. Standing up in front of a room of ladies I don't know makes me incredibly excited and nervous. I always expect myself to stutter or fall out of my chair while trying to stand up. LOL! It hasn't happened, thankfully, but I'm sure a lot of people feel the same. Nicole talked a bit more about what this conference was about and how sticking together (via the FB group) is a great way to support each other.

Janee V. Henderson, a life coach, was our first speaker. She asked us what our vision for our business was. She wanted it to be plain and realistic, just like our goals. Nothing outrageous so that you could accomplish it within 30 days. Sacrifices & taking risks are a big part of running your own business, which brings me to the next speaker.

Seneca Dunmore is a very accomplished female who is a great motivational speaker. She talked to us about growing up in the hood and dealing with negativity. She said that everything that is urgent is not important and everything that is important is not urgent. As soon as she said that the room started clapping and oohing. It was a powerful statement for ladies who have a hectic business & personal life that are just trying to stay sane. She mentioned our vision and how not everyone is meant to come with you. This is crucial because we have so many undercover haters in our circles that we need to learn to dismiss the folks who are no good for us. Relationships should be similar to an ATM she said. You both deposit and withdraw evenly.

Another speaker was Yesenia Serratos who shocked us with news that the gov't had grants available for any of our businesses!! She explained the difference between an LLC and a Corporation (do you know?) and how to properly register our business. She told us to network and find win/win relationships and how to grow.

Level Office explained the amazing services they offer for small businesses like a virtual office!!! This is something I never thought of. As a business you don't necessarily want to share your home address with your clients. Call up Level One and you get a virtual address starting at $50/mth and they even receive your mail. They provide private work spaces or co-working areas that include killer amenities like an espresso bar, hi-speed internet, furnished offices, open 24/7/365 and mucho mas.

Then Kirsten Berger, a makeup artist and life coach, spoke about success and how to look the part. She told us that if you're not comfortable in the way you're dressed, you can't be successful. See, this is why I wear Chucks no matter where I go. It's always been crucial for me to wear what I want since I'm not a fancy pants type of chick. She said something that stuck with me- Success is a result not a goal. You like that, huh? She told us that everyone judges everyone so deal with it. This is particularly important for folks starting a business. You shouldn't be afraid of so and so judging your or hating on you. What they do has nothing to do with you.

The happy surprise speaker for me was Kristal Howard, who is a PR agent for Kroger. I say surprise because I've seen Kristal at the BE conferences and didn't expect to see her here. She gives great tips on connecting with brands and it's always real. She doesn't beat around the bush or tell you what you might want to hear. 

Overall, I'm extremely happy to have been invited and to be a part of a group of ladies that wants to grow and support each other. In the blogging world/business world it's important to have a great tribe to help with whatever you need. If you haven't already been to a conference for your business (yes, blogging is a business), I highly recommend you look into it. If you can't do conferences because they're a bit pricey for you, consider looking into becoming a member of a FB group. There are so many really good ones out there!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Paper Files | 5 - Adult Coloring Time

Today I'm sharing my newest find in The Paper Files, the Gangsta Rap Coloring book by Aye Jay (affiliate). Folks on my FB feed have been talking about how coloring for adults is therapeutic and what not so while searching Amazon for a nicely priced and basic coloring book, I came across this book. Now there are plenty of popular books that are probably a bit better, but this one spoke to my soul.

Two stories real quick...

Recently a friend asked me if I remember when I fell in love with Hip-Hop (Brown Sugar anyone? Also an affiliate) and my thoughts rushed to when I was in 5th/6th grade jamming Tupac and Bone Thugs. I replied with that information and we moved on to another convo. Later that day the convo came back up in my head and I realized that I had replied with when I fell in love with Gangsta Rap, not Hip-Hop. I guess technically I fell for Gangsta Rap first which explains why this book spoke to my soul. Not to mention there's a lot of my favs in this book like Tupac duh!, Biggie, Scarface, E-40, Geto Boys, etc.

Second story.. I was talking to another friend yesterday about this coloring book & she asked for a picture of the inside. She said that her brother had bought her a coloring book, but that it was so freaking intricate that to color one page it took her a few days. She then sent me a picture and it was beautiful but looked like way too much work. I can be impatient when it comes to my "art" and I totally use that loosely, so those intricate books with all the lines and complications... yeah, not happening!

Back to the book, it's 50 pages of black and white images of your childhood gangsta rappers and you get to do whatever you want to them. There's a page in the beginning of some gangsta rap talk and towards the end there's another one acknowledging each of the rappers in the book. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Weekend Snapshots | 42

Today I'm sharing my Weekend Snapshots 42, brought to you by bikes.. again! Yeah, I've been biking almost every weekend since Sunday Streets. My non-active ass has most definitely changed with this new hobby & I'm definitely not complaining. 

This weekend started off with a sweet Cemetery Gates ride through the East Side of Houston. E and I are not familiar with this side of our city so it was crucial that our iPhone batteries stayed on point. We've heard some not so very good things about the things that happen to cyclists on the East side so we were cautious. Thankfully, the ride went smoothly and we highly enjoyed ourselves. 

Everyone met at D&W and then rode out. E & I decided we would paint our faces a la Dia de los Muertos so we made sure to do our own faces in the truck before we met everyone at the bar. I've gotta say that for our first time painting our faces we didn't do so bad. Not that we weren't all busted looking but eh, we tried haha! I made sure to wear my new FYHA's shirt because duh! I love my city! (I also made it on their IG/FB, show some love & like the pic) One of E's friends was there so the three of us rode together most of the ride and at the half point we met with some more friends while we ate tacos from BoomBox Taco Truck and drank free Saint Arnold's beer. I would have taken pictures of both but see what had happened was... I was starving so pictures weren't going to happen!!

A rider went down while we were at the half point so E and I didn't finish the ride. We stayed and made sure the rider survived while paramedics rolled in. Thankfully, he will be just fine with a large amount of medical bills. A gofundme was started for him and I am amazed at how awesome the Houston bike community is. If you'd like to donate to help him out, please click here.

I woke up early to attend the Business Bestie Brunch in The Woodlands on Saturday. I was super excitamated to meet up with three of my blogger homies and meet so many inspiring women doing their thing! The brunch was delicious in SO many ways. From the mimosas to the delicious pancakes!! I'll have a recap of this event later this week!

Sunday was a pretty chill today at Casa de Reed. Mostly because of the rain, but also cause we pretty much ignored our house chores all week. Oops! We did make a run to Bicycle World for some parts for the new bike we bought. K, so it's not new but it's new for me. It will most likely replace the tank (beach cruiser) cause I need a much lighter bike to do all my crazy stunts! Yeah, I'm totally lying. I'm lucky I haven't fallen off -knocks on wood- Still looking for the perfect helmet since the one I've been using is E's old one and it really doesn't fit comfortably. I'd really like one like what the roller derby chicks wear but those aren't made for biking. The search continues..

My boys were awfully cuddly this weekend. Not sure what's going on but it's mostly Finnashit that looks for Remidog and puts his head on him. It's the cutest thing and it cracks me up since they fight over almost everything.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Sponsored | Pollo Tropical+Houston Latina Bloggers

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Last Saturday, the Houston Latina Blogger's had its inaugural networking event. I've talked about it a few times here and mentioned it a billion times on social media. It's because it was a huge deal to me and the two ladies who founded it #sorrynotsorry Our goal has always been to empower women and help our community come together for new partnerships. This event was no different. We worked hard on getting everything in order from the moment we thought of the idea. We made connections with new brands for sponsorship & stuck to the partnership we were first given on location. It was a lot of work, but completely worth it to us. HLB wants to see you soar and if there is anything we can do to help, you can count your lucky stars that we'll be there for you!

Networking events are all about mingling. It gives you a chance to make new friends and hear their stories, plus ask for advice from seasoned bloggers/professionals. It truly is an experience like no other and if done correctly, you will walk out of there feeling inspired and really motivated to get your dream moving!!

One of our nomtastic sponsors was Pollo Tropical. I can't even begin to tell you how amazing they were. They hooked us up with way more food than we expected, but boy were we grateful. One of the things I truly love about being a Latina is how much we love food and how it's a must when we have an event. We knew we needed a local place with traditional homemade cooking for our event because it's comforting and puts massive smiles on people's faces! Pollo Tropical was very giving and hooked us up with chicken, rice, beans, salad, amazing rolls and my favorite platanos. I, of course, went crazy on the platanos!! 

Pollo Tropical was so generous with their nomtastic food and we had sooooo much left over that as a true Latina, I took some home. K, so we told a lot of folks to take some home LOL! But that's another thing HLB is about, sharing and caring. If you haven't already tried Pollo Tropical, I highly recommend it and the fact that the customer service is good makes it so much better! Below is my take home plate. Okay, not a plate but a big ol' bandeja that makes me smile just thinking about it, haha!

Muchas gracias Pollo Tropical for partnering up with the Houston Latina Bloggers and giving us nomtastic food!

Pollo Tropical 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Weekend Snapshots | 41

Today I'm sharing my Weekend Snapshots 41, brought to you by Mama Carrizo on a trike LOL! This was such a great part of my weekend! But before I get into that, let's start at the beginning..

My friend Jessica came in for the weekend from Austin to see my face and hang out with the kiddos. This was a big deal cause we've been talking about it forever! We met with some other friends Friday night at Boheme and highly enjoyed the amazing Vietnamese fries. We drank, we ate and we laughed. A lot! My kiddos loved her and either invaded her personal space (multiple times) or were leaving their hairs all over her haha!

Our first Houston Latina Bloggers event was Saturday and it was mucho fun! I mingled and laughed mucho with some inspiring ladies! My mom and sister attended along with my friend Jessica.  It was cool to see my blogger homies meet my crazy familia! It was also great to see my familia meeting the people who have been inspiring me and motivating me in all aspects of my life. We ate some delicious food from Pollo Tropical, sweet goodies from Crumble & Co (OMG, I ate my very first macaron) and drank red Wildling Wine (I stuck with water) all while hanging out at the Thinking Girls Boutique. This store is the cutest with such a fresh vibe. You'll find goodies from all sorts of artists. The store hosts events and even has classes. Our event allowed people to connect and discuss the dreams they have with their brand or business. It's exactly what Connie, Jihane and I wanted to happen. We want to help our community with their ideas and dreams. Networking events like these are how we were able to put ours together. We met people who we wanted to collaborate with, discussed some terms and BAM! there it was! We're still really excited about how the event turned out, but we have plans for so much more for our City and our Latinos. Hope you'll stick around to see it!

E put Mama Carrizo's trike together Saturday so we met up with her Sunday afternoon to ride around. It was cool to see her smile. The smile was huge and she kept giggling. She went off the trail once and the sound of fear and happiness were hilarious! We did 6 miles, but E and I think she could have done more. Gotta respect the fact that she knows her limits, though. I mean, she hasn't been on a bike in ages! E went on his regular ride Sunday morning and sent me the cool picture of his friend getting some good air. After our ride, Mama Carrizo went home and we went to our favorite Mexican joint down the street. Alcohol is amazing after a bike ride. For real.

Tons and tons of pictures below. Pictures that aren't mine are credited.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Houston Latina Bloggers | First Networking Event

A few years ago, a few blogger friends and I met up to discuss the road we wanted to take as Houston Latino Bloggers. There wasn't a group representing us & since there's so many of us, we knew something needed to be done. We typically like to meet up after conferences because we're full of ideas and so inspired. Since this meetup, we've made an FB group and have grown our numbers. We've met some really great people & connected with amazing brands!

Our founders, Connie from Momma of Dos & Jihane from OnixJihane, have been working hard behind the scenes to make the first HLB event a fantastical one. I joined them in taking care of the social media/web development side of the group and I'm stoked about it.

Our first event will be held at Alicia's beautiful place, The Thinking Girls Boutique, and will be all about networking. Mingling is the name of the game & it won't just involve bloggers and Latinos. We've invited all sorts of people to join us to make this event memorable. You know Latino's love food so of course we have some delicious noms from Pollo Tropical and some sweet goodies by Crumble & Co. Oh, and wine! Lots and lots of wine from Wildling Wine

Words from our Founders:
HLB is composed of 50+ local Latina bloggers. Our bloggers are very diverse; our topics range from fashion, entertainment and local happenings to general lifestyle, parenting, politics and technology. 
We are having our first official HLB event this weekend. As a group we actually see each other on a regular basis at different events and we communicate almost daily. Our group also ranges from beginner bloggers, literally just a couple of month into it,  to those of us who are very seasoned. 
Some of the writers are Bilingual who write in both Spanish and English. We work with local and nation wide campaigns to help brands/companies expand or obtain further exposure in the Latino community. Some of our blogs reach thousands all over the US and overseas, too. Our group has several stay-at-home moms and also a wide range of professionals. We have Authors and well know Social Media personalities. A lot of our bloggers are graduates with various college degrees. 

We're still working on the official website & the database of the Latina bloggers in Houston, but our Instagram and Twitter are going strong and we would love for you to follow. Follow tomorrow's event with #HLBnetwork.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Weekend Snapshots | 40

Today I'm sharing my Weekend Snapshots 40, brought to you by my ass on a bike trying not to die, haha! The #SundayStreets shenanigans from last week made me get off my ass again this past weekend. I've had a sweet beach cruiser for a few years now, well, technically it was Mama Carrizo's but she never used it so it was handed over to me.

On Saturday, I met two of my blogger homies at the Thinking Girls Boutique to go over last minute goodies for our event on the 17th. Connie from Momma of Dos, Jihane from @Onixjihane and I will be hosting the first Houston Latina Bloggers Networking event. It's pretty exciting and nerve wrecking but the three of us are ready for this! 

Remidog did his usual window watching and then sat outside of the Kitchen with his siblings cause when we cook, no kids are allowed in the Kitchen. Except Jay cause she loves to lay on the cold tile and be in our way. I think she does it on purpose so that if we fall and have food in our hands, she wins! I wouldn't be surprised haha!

The grapes I bought the other day at Kroger are massive and I found out through my Instagram comments that apparently a lot of people got big grapes and they cannot lie. Also found out that #bluebowl has a crapload of pictures.. #sorandom.

So E & I went riding this weekend on some trail close to our casa. He made me wear a helmet that didn't fit right so getting a badass mohawk helmet is definitely in my future :) Pictures of my adventure needed to happen so that the world would believe that Shankasaurus was doing a form of exercise on a bike. See, my friends understand the depth of my laziness/mental fatness and they don't judge. BUT, if I told them I was doing something like riding a bike... eh, they start to question me so pictures happened. E actually took a crapload, but there's no need to share all that so you get one of me texting as I sit on the bike and one of me sharing the bird with you. Just so you know, we did 10 miles which I guess is impressive for someone who doesn't ride at all. My husband typically does 50+ so this wasn't shit for him. I was a bit amazed that I wasn't sore the next day and I still feel nada today. Also, you get one of E at some crazy looking bridge. He said it would be his new profile pic on FB. He lied.

Friday, October 9, 2015


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

One of my fav ladies, Carrie from Carrieloves, made a list of 16 Facebook groups for Creative Freelancers, bloggers and entrepreneurs. Definitely recommend you join some of these.

Last picture is gold, haha!

Cute and funny decals for kids and adults

13 Latina women in Hip-Hop you need to know

I was 9 when Mi Vida Loca came out, but I remember watching it a year or two later and thinking these ladies had some serious swag

7 days, 90 artists, 25 walls. A week-long mural festival in Houston, Texas, free and open to the public featuring artist from around the world, murals & celebrations.

Bre from Brewrites has a great post on HMB teaching you about your Aperture Mode on a DSLR

Female drift racers from Palestine!!!!!

This Chingo Bling shirt If you're reading this bring Whataburger is very much needed!!

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

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wednesday Words


wednesday words: a series of pictures with words. the exact opposite of wordless wednesday.
these photos are from pexel.com & made with canva.com by me.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Weeknd Snapshots | 39

Today I'm sharing my Weekend Snapshots 39, brought to you by #SundayStreets and the lovely people of Houston! Our weather has been exceptional these last few days and this event fell on the perfect Sunday.

Mama Carrizo, the sister and I hung out Saturday. We did the usual selfies at our favorite store and then picked a place for dinner and berry drinks!! Sunday was a very "physical" day for me LOL! E woke up early and went for his 'hit a crapload of Houston bridges' ride which ended at the Sunday Streets event. Sunday Streets celebrates Houston streets by opening them up for people to walk, skate, dance, bike or any other physical activity. Pets are encouraged. I say pets because we saw tons of dogs, but we also saw a pig!

On this particular Sunday, Washington Ave was open between Westcott and the Heights (roughly). The event is done at different areas every time. Parking is always the issue in events like this because there is no parking! So after driving around for a good spot, I met E at a shaved ice truck. We enjoyed our sweet strawberry in the shade and then when on a search for the Houston BCycle tent. Paid $5 for the bike and off we went to enjoy the day and the cool Houston folks! 

Being on a bike after so long was a bit of a wake-up call. Keeping my balance on point was crucial and not having been on a bike in a while was sort of funny. It also reminded me of how much fun it can be and how amazing Houston's bike scene is.  We had a few drinks and chatted with new people. Petted tons of dogs (Heaven for me) and returned the bike. Late lunch with our friend J at Doc's Motorworks was delicious. I ordered the Pork Carnitas Taco and was soooo close on ordering seconds. I mean, the carnitas were perfect and the CORN tortillas!! Emphasis on the corn because most places serve flour and that's just not cool with pork carnitas.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Currently Reading | Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Today I'm sharing this fantastical new book I'm reading, Big Magic (affiliate) by Elizabeth Gilbert. This book came out September 22nd and it has srsly taken over my Facebook feed. I know she's published other books, but the only other book I've read was Eat, Pray, Love. I've read it twice and even bought Mama Carrizo a copy of it in Spanish. <3 And we watched the movie because we adore Julia Roberts.

So yeah... For the last few weeks, I've seen this book pop up on my Facebook feed a lot. Along with the book on my feed, I also see her podcast, Magic Lessons, which apparently has been around for months. The excitement was growing and I thought about giving the podcast a try. Now, I'm not a podcast person per se but since I have a 45min to an hour commute to and from work I figured I'd give it a shot. That day was Tuesday. I listened to three episodes and really felt what was being said. It convinced me that I needed to get this book.. so I did.