Monday, February 29, 2016

Weekend Snapshots | 9

Today's Weekend Snapshots is brought to you by the Finnashit. As the baby of the family, he truly does what he wants. Not without consequences, though. I mean, the other day I caught him eating my hamburger pencil case and I almost beat his ass. Don't worry, the pencil case survived! He knows when he's gone too far though because he rushes to his crate with the I didn't do it face. Smart little shit.

Saturday- I picked up my Mac from being serviced. I swear it felt like it took foreverrrr but it was really only 5 days. I'm still trying to get it right since the HD was replaced. Thank goodness for warranty. The rest of the day was dedicated to errands and house chores because I'm required to be a responsible adult and shit.

I bought this deck of cards, Affirmators! by Suzi Barratt, a while back from Paper Source and haven't really used it. Why did I buy it, you ask? Because paper, duh! And because it's cute as hell! The drawings and the text are pretty on point with how I would describe some of the words. I like the idea of pulling one out once or twice a day to help bring some peace to my crazy mind.

Sunday- Woke up early to pick up the blogger bestie, Connie, to go to our second HLB Mentorship meeting. We hit up a taqueria for some amazing breakfast tacos.. because food! The HLB Mentorship program is something we set up for new bloggers. It's a great way to mingle and learn with some fantastical ladies! This meeting was held at Val's work and they hooked us up with pizza. #winning We also had Lisa join us to discuss custom domains and such. Lisa is a fountain of knowledge & she's so freaking nice!! HLB hasn't been around that long but we're already a great group of ladies who not only work hard (day jobs & blog jobs) but are also great at working together. Can't wait to see what else is in store for this fantastical group of ladies!

After the HLB meeting, I accompanied Connie to NRG to work on the Houston Rodeo Carnival tickets. Connie's a hardcore Rodeo volunteer and has been doing this for the last 8 years. I seriously admire her hustle. Not just at work, but on all of her side hustles.. and momma duties. She worked her ass off to reach her goal and received a belt buckle for all of her hard work! After dropping Connie off at home, I went to Petsmart to buy the kiddos some grub and saw some CHI goodies that I had to take a picture of. After Petsmart, I hit up Target for some goodies and, of course, the dollar spot. More on that later. 

As you can see, I've been using a fisheye lens. I bought a set from Amazon (different than the one I gifted at my workshop) and totally regret it. But, I still have the magnetic fisheye lens I ordered from Photojojo years ago. So I used the clip from the new one for the Photojojo lens. I don't use the magnet circle for this lens because I don't like having to remove my case to use the lens. With the clip, I can remove the lens from the front or back of my phone with no problems. Really need to invest in a better system, though.

Two more things..

Annnnnd, don't forget to join the Weekend Snapshots link up with Jessica and I at the end of this post! If you join us, please make sure you add your new posts link AND make sure that you mention you linked up with us somewhere on your post so that others can link up, too.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Sponsored | Plantronics Voyager Pro HD Giveaway

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received this product from AT&T. All opinions are my own.

I'm back with another great Bluetooth headset and the generous folks at AT&T hooked me up with one to giveaway to one lucky winner! Before we get into that, let me tell you a bit about this headset.

This headset is made by Plantronics and it's called Voyager Pro HD (similar product). This is one of the smartest headsets I've ever had the pleasure of testing out. It automatically answers your phone or transfers calls back and forth between your phone and headset simply by placing it on your ear. The mic and earpiece rotate very easily You can stream music, podcasts, GPS directions (Siri is British on my iPhone, haha!) and any other audio you may have. The headset battery meter shows onscreen for iPhone® and iPad®. Download the MyHeadset™ app to enable the battery meter on Android™ 3.0 tablets, and Android 4.0 phones and tablets. Oh, and the HD streaming very natural and clean calls is amazing!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Paper Files | 4 - Giveaway Winner

The Paper Files first homie giveaway has come to an end and now the paper goodies must be awarded to the winner. Before I announce the winner, I'd like to thank Bre for joining me in this giveaway and all of you who entered to win and shared the giveaway. Please come back next month when I team up with Momma of Dos for The Paper Files third giveaway installment! Annnnnd if you'd like to partner up with me and do a homie paper giveaway, please shoot me an email at ariana@3twentysix.com! Visit the blog manana for another a gadget giveaway from AT&T!

Samantha Foster!!

I'll be emailing you shortly for your address! Thank you so much for entering!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Weekend Snapshots | 8

Today's Weekend Snapshots features a very colorful building belonging to Reeve Antiques. No, I didn't go in because food was a priority at the time but I look forward to checking it out sometime in the future. This weekend was an exciting one for Shankasaurus. I taught an Instagram workshop at the Thinking Girl's Boutique on Saturday. It was my first class so I'm sure you can imagine how nervous I was, but the attendees were all so awesome that I felt comfortable from the start. More on that this week in a separate post, but here's a few pictures until then.

Check out this amazing fruit plate that Sharon from The Bitchy Business Briefs purchased for my class. This custom and delicious plate came from Yumi's Decorations and it put the biggest smile on my face!! So grateful for all of the folks that came out to my class and all of those who sent me a message wishing me luck or congratulating me!! Love you guys mucho!!

Jessica from the Reinvention of Jessica (she's part of this link up, yanno) attended my class and it was soooo good to see her after like two years, LOL! It's funny how you live in the same city but hardly see each other. We don't live very close to each other but I hope to be riding trails with her, her husband and Jack very soon! The blogging bestie, Connie, came with her youngest dos and were very supportive and helpful. She also took pictures for me so I'll have those in the workshop recap! Jihane and her son came to support me, too! I swear I'm so freaking blessed!!

After the class, it was celebration time. A few friends, E and I went to Bar Boheme where they have my all time favorite fries. Vietnamese Fries. E ordered the Bangkok fries which were tasty too! After the grub, I met Mama Carrizo (who now has an Instagram, LOL) and my sisters at the Outlets in Cypress. Not sure why I didn't take pictures there. Guess I was too exhausted from all the feels that day -shrugs- But I did score a sweet purse and some badass white Chucks that my sister hooked me up with! #winning

Sunday was house chores catch up day. I've been majoring slacking and even though E doesn't give me shit for it.. I really dislike it when my casa isn't clean. I wanted to get some riding time in but there just wasn't enough time for it especially since E wanted to go out to eat. Once we eat lunch or Sunday's, we're basically comatose the rest of the day. This Sunday was no different.

Stay tuned for my workshop recap, don't forget to enter #ThePaperFiles giveaway with Bre that ends on Wednesday, and look out for another giveaway this week! As always, don't forget to add your link to the bottom so that you can join in on the networking link up that Jessica and I have going on every Monday!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Paper Files | 3 - Paper+Giveaway w/ Bre

Last week I met up with Bre at the Paper Source and we went crazy in there. I'm pretty sure we walked the store 10+ times and couldn't focus on what we needed. Yes, I said needed because paper is not a want. It will forever be a need with paperheads like us. Paperheads? Is that a thing? Once we figured out our theme, Photography, and picked what we needed personally in our lives.. we began the search for The Paper Files February paper giveaway!

Another thing we did on our paper date was hit up Sweets, which is around the corner from the Paper Source. You can read more about our adventure here. Bre told me the macarons from Sweets would change my life so I was very nervous and excitamated. I mean, think about it. I love food and not having sampled too many macarons in my 31 years of life.. I was really concerned and yet very giggly when it was time to order. Check out the pictures after the jump of Bre and me at Sweets. Photos were taken by Bre, of course :) Incase you didn't know, Bre is a natural light photographer right here in Houston. You can check out her work at Eighty Two Photography. This is another reason why we picked photography for this month's theme. I have paper homies lined up until April so if you are a paperhead, too, please let me know so we can work on a paper giveaway together!

Back to the giveaway, we picked four fantastical things that included paper and photography. First up is the Kate Spade photo album (affiliate) that holds 80 photos. We picked this because it's Kate Spade, duh, and because we want to encourage you to print your photos. These days people don't print them as much as they used to & the memories are stuck on a flash drive or external hard drive. Being a paper lover/scrapbooker, I like the idea of filling up a photo album with pictures of a certain event to look back at later.

Numbero Dos:Respect your Selfie letterpress notebook by 1973. Based in Brighton, U.K., 1973 bought their first Heidelberg press over a year ago and are now in full production with many different designs. Coming in at 4.76" x 6.69" with 48 unlined pages, this little notebook is ready for your text and doodles!

Numbero Tres:mini clothespin photo holder by Kikkerland (affiliate). There are 10 mini clothespins with a weighted high strength steel cable measuring at 59" so that you can display your printed photos, cards, memos or notes around your casa or workplace.

Numbero Cuatro:medium Poppin notebook in GOLD! with a tight elastic band, a back interior pocket, a bookmark ribbon to keep your place in the 192 white lined pages. I've been admiring Poppin for a few months now and I'm kind of bummed I didn't hook myself up with one. But this one is freaking metallic gold, y'all! Hard as shit to photograph, but it's such a gorgeous color for a notebook! Might go back for the Cobalt blue soon!

To finish off ThePaperfiles February giveaway, you'll receive a Thanks card with none other than Tom Hanks. I considered purchasing the entire set of Mr. Hanks, T. Hanks cards, but thankfully I had Bre there to knock some sense into me so we bought a single instead.

Check out the Rafflecopter below to enter to win & muchos thanks for stopping by!

Disclosure: Photo heavy post

Monday, February 15, 2016

Weekend Snapshots | 7

Today's Weekend Snapshots features E reppin' FYHA (cause we love small business) while on our bike ride Saturday afternoon! Just so you know, 20% of each of these shirts is donated to the Center for Hearing and Speech! E's bike crew got a new parking area so they celebrated with a tasty BBQ on Saturday. I wasn't invited to the ride because it's a trail ride and neither of my bikes can handle it. But my husband was smart enough to invite me to eat haha! After the mingling, the two of us went on our own ride through the trails but on a paved sidewalk. This was the first ride I've done with my new-to-me bike that we purchased a few months back.

Let's go back to Friday, though. You know that I typically don't add Fridays in my Weekend Snapshots but that's not the case with this week. You'll be happy to know that I met Bre from Brewrites at City Center on Friday and we hit up the Paper Source for the #ThePaperFiles February giveaway!!!!!! February's theme is photography because the homie giveaway is with a photographer., duh! Oh yeah, did you know Bre is a photographer and she has spots available? Yeah, go ahead and check her photography site Eighty Two Photography. Bre also took me to a store called Sweets that I've walked by a ton of times, but never knew it was there. The store is full of SWEETS, duh! She was kind enough to treat me to four delicious macarons & I made the mistake of not eating them right away. I say I made the mistake because E ate the Nutella one so now I have to go back for it. I mean, Bre told me it would be life changing so I felt I needed to come to terms with that before I ate these. She wasn't lying, y'all! I mean, the three I did get to eat.. Strawberry, S'mores and Cookies N' Cream were freaking LEGIT! I've told her multiple times that we must go back for a paper and sweets date asap, hopefully, my eagerness didn't freak her out haha!

Saturday we went bike riding and E surprised me with the FYHA stickers on both sides of my bike. Pretty proud of that, if you haven't already noticed! When he bought me the bike I wasn't all that excitamated cause it's red and red has never been my color, but I'm slowly growing into loving it. While on our bike ride we came across what seemed like a semi-abandoned cemetery. I say semi-abandoned because there weren't too my headstones and some were broken -sadface- The area wasn't very secure either so I'm sure badass kids sneak in there and disrespect the poor folks resting. We did go in though and we made sure to not step where we thought the bodies might be. Respect, yanno! I wanted to know how old the headstones were and we were both shocked to see 1800 and 1900's on headstones. Looked like most of them were last name Woods or Williams. Made me pretty sad to see that no one had showed them love in a long time. This is also another reason why I'd rather be cremated than buried.. but let's move on to happier things, shall we?

When E told me to bring my camera, I didn't think he meant an actual camera so of course I brought my cell and a film camera. (Yeah, I'm thinking of starting a film series. More on that later.. like maybe next week LOL!) So with my phone and my film camera, I took pictures of my boo going up and down crazy trails. By this time, I was getting hungry and you probably understand my frustration when hungry so I won't explain LOL! After the bike ride, we hit up our fav Mexican joint. Don't mind the bird my husband through in there, haha!

Sunday was Valentine's day and we spent the morning sleeping and I hit up our CPA to do our taxes. Yeah, I know. Who does their taxes on Valentine's... ME! It's the only day he had available before he went on vacation and I wasn't ready to wait for him to come back. I want my monies!! Before I went to get our taxes done we planned to eat at Bernie's Burger Bus at their recently new location in Katy, but it was packed so we hit up Zoe's Kitchen instead. The day was BEAUTIFUL so of course I snuck in a panoramic picture of the beautiful sky! I also made a little graphic for Valentine's Day for those who don't have a SO. Valentine's Day is really about spreading love and joy, not just for couples yanno.

Best gift I've ever received for Valentine's Day? A glorious Nintendo from our younger days. I swear I almost tackled my husband when he gave it to me. We've been wanting one foreverrrrr and on his last trip to Austin for his MPL, he found one and hooked it up. We decided that Valentine's Day would be just for greeting cards with no gift because ten days later is our wedding anniversary. But he couldn't contain his excitement and I really don't blame him, haha!

So that was my weekend, how was yours? Will you be doing a weekend post? Link up with Jessica and I and add your link to the bottom so we can all mingle!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Sponsored | Business Advancement Conference

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

The Houston Latina Bloggers have partnered up with the Business Advancement Conference to bring you an amazing conference full of developmental growth and business networking with great business people right here in Houston.

This conference is for entrepreneurs, small businesses, medium-sized businesses, bloggers, business-oriented individuals, career-driven individuals trying to take their brand to the next level and college students looking to brand themselves for their perfect career. This conference will help you take your business and brand to the next level with its workshop-style format. At the Business Advancement Conference (BAC) we will educate, elevate, empower and excite entrepreneurs, bloggers, business-oriented individuals, and strong career-minded individuals about their business/brand!!

I had the pleasure of meeting Kiersten Kindred, the creator of BAC and CEO of Kindred Communications, at our first Houston Latina Bloggers mentorship program a few weeks ago and she truly is an amazing and inspiring individual. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Sam Houston State University, graduating with honors as magna cum laude with a major in Mass Communication and minor in History. Kindred Communications, is a full service communications/media firm specialized in communications, marketing, branding, entertainment, community engagement, consulting, career services and media relations for individuals, small and medium-sized businesses. She's been featured in national publications such as Cosmopolitan Magazine, Seventeen Magazine, InTouch Weekly, Life & Style Magazine, and had her own weekly entertainment column in the Fort Bend Herald Newspaper. Kiersten is also a Public Speaker and Author of the comprehensive marketing book, Five Steps to Marketing Success: A Small Business Guide. She specializes in communications, media, marketing and defining brands. 

Kiersten created The Business Advancement Conference, to assist businesses and individuals take their brand to the next level. The workshop-style/interactive conference will be a one-of-kind event and because of the diversity we have in Houston is one of the best places to do this in. You can reach Kiersten at info@kcfirm.com.

Early bird tickets for this conference are $59.95 and the deadline is Monday the 15th. Buy yours now or get them at the regular price of $100. Get your tickets at the official BAC website here. Visit this page to check out the mentors for this event, three of which are the Houston Latina Bloggers (Connie, Jihane and me), and I bet you'll see some other familiar faces there too!

For more information on this conference and the agenda, please visit the official BAC website here and check the official BAC hashtag, #BACHou16 on social media.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Workshop | Instagram for your Brand by Ari

I swear I've been meaning to share this because I'm super excitamated but saying work has been crazy would be a major understatement. Real quick so you know.. Payroll was last week and that always kicks my ass and I hired a new chick for our office so training her and answering her questions has also kept me busy. But here I am about to break it all down for ya...

I've been taking pictures since I was a kid. Back then we didn't have the fancy digital cameras we have now. It was only analogue photography which meant you didn't have a screen that showed what the image looked like. It was a nice surprise when you picked up the developed pictures (or an upsetting surprise if all of your pictures are of the floor LOL). Now I'm in no way a professional photographer and it's definitely not something I love to do because it's popular. I love it because pictures are the best way to save memories from fantastic adventures with family or friends. Not to mention I'm a huge paper lover so printing my pictures for my scrapbook or Project Life (which I haven't really decided if I want to do this year) is a big thing for me.

I love my two DSLR's but they aren't the most compact or lightweight gadgets so I don't carry them around all the time. Thankfully, we live in a digital world and our cell phones allow us to take gorgeous pictures whenever we want. There are so many editing apps now that you can pretty much do whatever you want to the photos you take. These apps can be overwhelming sometimes and you don't want to waste your money, right?

This is what I'll be teaching in my workshop. I'll teach you some basics on how to use Instagram and which apps I've tried that are worth the $.99+ and which free apps are better to have. I'll show you what it is that I do to gain likes and followers so that you can apply it to your account. I'll show you the things you should be doing and the things that your followers really don't care to see. I'll also show you how to get the best lighting for your pictures.

You could win one of these!
My workshop will be at the fabulous Thinking Girls Boutique hosted by the beautiful Alicia who will provide drinks and snacks for all of the guests. The date is Feb. 20th between 12-2! It's a Saturday so you should definitely come out! Not to mention you get a 10% discount on anything in Alicia's store from around the world by amazing artists. This workshop has a fee of $35 and will not only provide you with materials but you also have the chance to win goodies to help you take these amazing pictures for your Instagram account. This class isn't just for Instagram newbies, it's a great refresher for those who have a ton of followers. Plus, you might learn something new and you get to mingle with new folks!

In other words.. If you're having a little trouble with your Instagram, join my workshop. If you know of someone who needs a little help, tell them to join my workshop (I'll totally love you forever, too). If you want to have some fun while learning and mingling, join my workshop. There really isn't a reason NOT to join my workshop. I mean, I'm super cool and hilarious. No really, ask my friends and they'll tell you that I'm crazy hilarious. They'll also tell you that I'm fun and easy-going and that this class is so worth your time.

So please, join the fun and follow the link below to RSVP for my workshop. I promise you won't regret it. I don't want to hear you say that you saw the pictures of the workshop and totally missed out and how you wish you would have gone. I want you to be there so we can become homies and live happily ever after! LOL! No, but really.. I'm so excited to do this workshop and can't wait to see familiar faces and, of course, some new ones! If you're attending, let me know so we can start mingling!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Weekend Snapshots | 6

Today's Weekend Snapshots features my new Texas earrings and my husband's Athena wedding band replacement #1 from James Avery, the jeweler not Uncle Phil y'all! I numbered it because I know my husband and expect there to be a lot of replacements. He almost made it two years with the first one.. here's hoping for another two years with the second one Haha!

I surprised E with a dinner on Friday at BJ's with some of his homies in celebration of passing his Master Plumber test. I'm a bit bummed I didn't take any pictures but it wasn't the best experience we've had at BJ's. None of us had actually been to this particular BJ's so when E and I arrived and saw our homies.. we definitely didn't expect the seating arrangements. The table was mad crowded and I was forced to sit on a chair at the end of a six person booth so that was awkward as hell, LOL! The service was definitely not BJ's material and we tried not to be dicks about it. I mean, we're never rude to our waiters unless it's completely obvious that they're being dicks. Thankfully, we had a lot to talk about and when the food finally arrived we were too busy stuffing our faces to bitch. This dinner is also where E realized he lost his ring. -shakes fist-

I'm doggy sitting for family members till the weekend so I made sure to go visit those kiddos Saturday. I played with them for a bit and then passed out on the couch. I felt like crap Saturday and was pretty sure it was a cold sneaking up on me. E went on his usual bike ride and then got called in to work. We ended up arriving at home around the same time and since I felt like crap, he hooked me up with my fav.. potstickers! We laid around the house the rest of the evening, kids included.

On Sunday, we went to Mama Carrizo's casa to hook up a gas fireplace she bought from Amazon and I tried taking selfies with the youngest kiddo, Chupis short for Sweety LOL, but she wasn't having it. Like my shirt? Its barely visible but as usual I'm repping my city. Visit FYHA for Houston attire!

After all that, we stopped at James Avery to pick up the new wedding band and I bought myself an early Valentine's Day gift. I shared these earrings on IG two weeks ago and love how cute and small they are. Still not sure what to do with the husband for Valentine's Day. We decided last year to do a simple card for Valentine's and then an actual gift for our wedding anniversary, ten days later. We shall see.

The rest of Sunday was pretty lazy as we watched the Broncos and Panthers take each other out. We ordered a pizza from Pizza Hut that arrived 40 minutes early because we live right behind one, LOL! and we drank some tasty bourbon with coke! Muchos congratulations to the Broncos and Manning for winning Superbowl 50. E & I wanted the Broncos to win and it seemed like so did everyone else but then they'd say something like "Yeah, but the Panthers are going to take it." What a freaking surprise to see the Broncos playing so well and the look on Cam's face towards the end. What a disappointed guy. Welp, there's always next year. If you want more laughs, definitely look up the memes.

Also, big Congratulations to Gary Kubiak for not only winning Superbowl 50 but for also winning for the team he used to play for. Wish the Texans would have kept him cause we all know he wasn't the problem.

Hope you had a great weekend!
Don't forget to join the link up with Jessica and me at the end of this post!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Weekend Snapshots | 5

Today's Weekend Snapshots is brought to you by Remidog's big nose. This is him sleeping on the floor next to me in one of our rooms while I play Destiny. I swear I can never be alone in my house. There's always a little pack following me. What's funny to me is that while I'm playing in one of the rooms, my husband is in the Living Room playing with me as well.. yet all the kiddos like to hang out with me. Not Leana Little though. She has to be in the same room as her daddy at all times. Spoiled hooker!

Saturday morning was like any other morning with the kid's face all in my grill. I think if he wasn't soo stinking cute that I'd probably have a fit. But how can I say no to that face, yanno? He does shit that he knows he's not supposed to do because he knows he's cute and momma will allow it. SMH. Saturday night was Artopia and the husband and I attended and met up with some HLB ladies.

Now y'all know I love art and I love supporting local artists even more. This is why we attended. I knew the art would be amazing.. the food, drinks and fashion show were just a bonus for us. What we didn't expect were the massive crowds. I honestly don't think we were able to see all of the art due to the amount of people there. BUT, the art we saw was amazing and definitely going to be a part of our home soon. We made sure to grab business cards from those we really liked or took pictures of the signs that had their info. Below are a few that we really liked. After the show we went to IHOP because I take the crepe life too seriously, haha!

Roofus & Kilo's calendar is a major piece in our Kitchen. We make sure to write in whatever plans we make and to cross out the days. Duh! So this is what January looked like for us. Not really much going on -shrugs- Sunday we did some homeowner errands at Home Depot and Best Buy. Saying stuff like this always reminds me of Frank the Tank in Old School (affiliate) when he's telling the pledges about maybe not having enough time to get his errands done. ROFL!! After the errands, we had an early dinner at our usual weekend spot. We sat at the bar and watched the ProBowl that is held in Hawaii. I didn't realize the ProBowl was on until after I got my drink. A Bahama Mama that was so strong, I had to water it down a bit. Laugh all you want.. but I'm not a drinker so alcohol sometimes is too damn strong for me. Plus, this was the first time I had this drink. It was tasty but the Malibu was massively overpowering. After dinner, we went home and worked our individual stuff until it was play time. The last snapshot is of Finnashit relaxing behind me while I played Destiny. What you can't see is Jay to the left of him snoring her head off and Chula to his right under some blankets, also snoring. In front of me is where Remidog was (top picture). And that's about all for this weekend!

Did you write a Weekend Snapshots or plan to? Join me and Jessica in the link up at the very end. Put your blog posts link, visit other links and show some love!