Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Paper Files 6 | Fries & Giveaway Winner

Today's The Paper Files is brought to you by fries before guys because fries. I was at H&M with Jessica on my little trip to Austin earlier this month and fell in love with this bag the moment I saw it. Jess was in the fitting room and I was checking out some superhero underwear when I saw this bag. It was one of those moments where I thought to myself that it didn't matter how much it was because I needed it in my life. My purse needed it in its life. I can't remember how much it was but I do remember it being cheap. I bought some socks, too, and now I'm wondering if the bag was cheap or if I'm just cheap 😂 

The Paper Files March giveaway with my paper head friend, Connie, has come to an end and we have a winner! Muchos thanks to Connie & Camila for joining me in this giveaway and mucho thanks to everyone who entered and shared! Please come back next month when I team up with my friend Yoyo for April's The Paper Files giveaway!


Email has been sent, hope to hear from you soon!

If you'd like to partner up with me and do a homie paper giveaway, please shoot me an email at ariana@3twentysix.com or hit me up on any of my social networks!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Weekend Snapshots | 13

Today's Weekend Snapshots is brought to you by the lovely fries from Whataburger that I picked up Sunday thanks to a fantastical friend who gifted me a Whataburger gift card! You can do no wrong when gifting a Whataburger gift card! Muchos thanks, Susana! 😂 I also got an Amazon and Starbucks gift card! See, gift cards are definitely the way to go with me!

SATURDAY, BIRTHDAY | The plan was to get to Saint Arnold's Brewery early so we could get good tables. Our alarm went off but the process of getting out of bed was a lot slower than we anticipated. So we definitely were not the first of our crew there. We were still early enough to get good tables and await the delicious empanadas Mama Carrizo would be bringing for my birthday celebration. We drank, we ate, we played games and we took hilarious photo booth pictures! Thanks to it actually being my birthday on Saturday, Saint Arnold's hooked me up with a special Happy BeerthDay pint. It'll be cherished forever and ever! E bought a Texas Indepence Day pint because TEXAS! I played Cards against Humanity (affiliate) for the first time and Mama Carrizo did, too. It was hilarious to watch everyone's faces on the ridiculous shit we'd pick. After beer, we went to Coco's Crepes with a few of those who didn't have plans. I ate an amazing banana & cinnamon crepe. We chatted a bit and then we all went home. E and I spent what felt like foreverrrrrr trying to play some Borderlands, but the PS4 kept acting a fool. An hour later we finally got it working so we played a bit but then we truly showed our age by going to bed early. It's that time of the year where E and I are both 32. It lasts a month and two days, but he's still an old ass and I make sure to tell him everyday 😂

Before I move on to Sunday, I want to thank everyone for coming out. For some, it's been a while since we've seen each other and seeing them again on my birthday made the day incredibly special! Muchos thanks E, Vince, Becca, Amanda, Susana, Jihane (& Sean), Dante, John, Julian, Stephanie, and most of all Mama Carrizo and my sister! You guys made my birthday amazing & I'm truly thankful!

SUNDAY | When you're over 27, you don't recover from drinking the same way. I mean, sometimes it takes a full day to recover. Thankfully, that's not what happened in my case. Whew! But it was a super chill day for me. I caught up on some chores at Casa de Reed and also played with some new Studio Calico goodies I gifted myself for my birthday. It arrived Thursday but I was so busy that I didn't get a chance to open it until Sunday.Gasp! I know, so weird. I lost my creative paper bug and now I'm on the lookout for it again. I am starting Project Life again but I chose to start on my birthday month and there's some changes to this years Project Life. Stay tuned for that.


ONE | Link up with Jessica and me on our #WeekendSnapshots
link up below by entering this weeks post link!

TWO | Don't forget to enter #ThePaperFiles giveaway with
Connie here, it ends Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Paper Files | 5 - Giveaway W/ Momma of Dos

I met up with Connie & her smallest dos, Camila, to pick out The Paper Files March giveaway. See, not only is it my birthday on the 26th, it's Cami's 5th birthday on the 25th! We went back and forth on a theme and finally picked the theme parties & birthdays. What this means is we bought some birthday goodies & some party stuff. Don't get too excited, we didn't buy a pinata or anything. Although that probably would have been a good idea since it's paper. Hmm..

Monday, March 21, 2016

Weekend Snapshots | 12

Today's Weekend Snapshots is brought to you by the tasty & addicting Ferrero Rocher (affiliate) chocolate goodies. Jessica came down from Austin this weekend and gifted me with this lovely rabbit shaped chocolate protector! Not only does she know I love chocolate, but she knew the chocolate needed to be protected 😂

Friday- I rarely add Friday's but Finnashit got a bath and he always looks funny afterwards. His pre-pubescent mane is my favorite thing about him. E and Mama Carrizo have mentioned taking him to the groomers for a trim, but he'll lose his mane and all the hair that makes him my little weirdo.  😍  

Saturday- Jessica came down to visit from Austin. The plan was to wake up early and clean up anything I had forgotten the night before. Yeah, that didn't happen. Jessica was on her way to the H way before I even cracked my eyelids open. Once she got here, we ran some errands with E (translation: boring) and then it was time for food. Jessica is a big fan of Chuy's and actually introduced me to their nomtastic creamy jalapeno dip a few years ago. Off to Chuy's the three of us went where we drank, grubbed and told stories about random shit.

We went home and watched Point Break, yeah the new crappy one, until it was time to meet some homies at Bar Boheme. Bar Boheme, in case you're new to my blog, has the best Vietnamese fries in the H. Ok, so maybe I can't really say in all of Houston because technically I've only had Vietnamese fries here 😛  But they're so good that Jessica sent me a text before she arrived asking if we could visit that place with the yummy fries. If you live in Houston, definitely check them out! Speaking of Bar Boheme, we switched tables four times because it was cold and then it wasn't enough room for our party and then some of us were uncomfortable and then the last one we sort of mean mugged the folks so they would finish up and leave haha! Note: If Dos X is your type of beer, don't visit Bar Boheme because they do not carry it.

Sunday- Jessica and I picked up Whataburger for breakfast. The three of us shot the shit during breakfast and then Jessica drove back up to Austin. I had plans with Mama Carrizo and E went to a baby shower (enter giggle here). The picture below of the trees is a shot E captured at his mom's casa. I thought it was lovely so I played with it a bit and now I'm thinking of making it my lock screen on my phone. Not my wallpaper because that's a picture of my order at Whataburger. This is a judgment free zone so shut it 😏  Plans with Mama Carrizo were to shop & eat as we usually do. We tried convincing my sister but she had plans to work on some things at home. So off we went to our most favorite place, IKEA! We ate the usual hotdogs that we later regret and went upstairs to cause some damage. The real damage happens when we're downstairs, though. There are so many things to choose from but we kind of had an idea of what we were looking for. 

After IKEA I thought we were done until Mama Carrizo mentioned going to Best Buy because my sister had seen something $100 cheaper. See, I've been joking about wanting an Apple watch ever since I bought E the Fitbit Surge (affiliate) for our anniversary. I mean, I was joking but I totally wanted one. Then again, the price seemed so outrageous that it wasn't something I felt I should spend money on. So the $100 off that my sister told us about was for the Apple watch. That made it seem feasible to purchase. Still pricey for a watch. Hell, the one I've been wearing was like a $30 one that I'm pretty sure Mama Carrizo or my sister bought me. We talked to the Best Buy dude for a bit and did a lot of googling. Mama Carrizo and me inside the Best Buy and my sister at home on her Mac helping 😆  I ended up with an early birthday gift from my sister and E (I turn 32 on Saturday, eek!). Apple watch sport & a sweet Nomad stand (affiliate) that lets me attach the charger to. I mean, if we're going to be fancy then let's go all out, right? HAHA!

It's all pretty fresh and I haven't done too much with the watch, but I can tell you that it scared the hell out of me this morning on my drive to work. I got a text or some type of message and my wrist vibrated and pinged. I use my watches on my left wrist and also drive with my left hand. Imagine holding the steering wheel and some weird vibration (that could totally be confused with an electrical shock) goes off on your left wrist. You'd freak out to if you were new to these smart watches, man. #firstworldproblems 

The second to last picture is of Mama Carrizo setting up her new IKEA desk lamp that my sister and I thought was funny. She typically has us do all the "labor" work for her. Like how I had to build the bookshelf she bought at IKEA and how my sister tightened some of her existing furniture. We always joke that we could start a three-person moving and designing crew cause Mama Carrizo has had us doing shit forever 🙄

This Weekend Snapshots and pretty much all of them this year are hosted by Jessica and I. We'd love it if you joined us by linking up your weekend snapshots too!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sponsored | AT&T NCAA Final Four

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

Are you a fan of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship (aka Final Four), one of the biggest sporting events arriving in Houston next month? AT&T is a corporate partner and is going to make some lucky fans a chance to attend by giving them two (2) FREE tickets to attend!

Visit "Pay it Fourward" and nominate a friend/relative/mentor/coworker that you consider a special person who deserves your thanks. Tell them your story and cross your fingers that you win the FREE pair of tickets. The contest is live now and ends March 24th so definitely hurry to enter. AT&T will be judging the entries and awarding 16 winners with a FREE pair of tickets to watch the Final Four (the National Semifinal games or National Final) at an exclusive suite in NRG Stadium.

Along with the 16 Final Four winners, four (4) secondary winners will receive tickets to a Houston Rockets home game!

This tournament will be in Houston April 2-4 and is completely SOLD OUT, it has been for a while now. That's what makes this giveaway super special so please share with your friends!

Visit the "Pay it Fourward" site for game rules and more details! Good luck!

Sponsored | HLB+Farouk Systems, Inc.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Farouk Systems & Lopez Marketing. All opinions are my own.

Farouk Systems, Inc. factory tour? Yeah, that's right! I was part of a group of fabulous ladies who were given the opportunity to visit the Farouk Systems, Inc. factory! What's crazier is how close it is to home. I had no idea it was on the North side of Houston near Bush Intercontinental airport at 880 E Richey Road/77073. The fabulous ladies I had the pleasure of attending with were the Houston Latina Bloggers & the folks at Lopez Marketing.

When I think of CHI® ™, I think about the BioSilk®™ silk therapy serum that I used as a kid. When I told my mom about this tour, she immediately asked me if it was the place where they make las gotitas para el pelo. See when I was a kid, that's what we called it. It translates to little drops for your hair. I've always had straight hair with a bit of waves here and there so these gotitas were important for my pelo. I mean, I live in Houston where it's hot and humid the majority of the year. You might know CHI® ™ by their super famous straight iron but this is just one product and the rest are just as amazing!

The ladies and I were given a tour of the factory where all the products are made and stored and we also got a chance to see the production line which was so impressive. Not only is this facility equipped to produce amazing, eco-friendly products but it's almost fully staffed by Latinos with approximately 2,000 employees. That definitely blew us away. I think it's cause we are so used to buying products and not really following through on their background. This got me thinking, if we knew a bit more about the backgrounds of certain products, would we still use them? 

After our facility tour, we sat down for a presentation on a few current products and all of the new ones to come. I for one am waiting patiently for two of the new products because I know my pelo will love me for it. The ladies who did the presentation gave us some Farouk Systems, Inc. goodies and even though I'm not big on dry shampoo and conditioner, I most definitely used them a few times since our tour. Oh, and the Tea Tree Oil will love me for it. The ladies who did the presentation gave us some Farouk Systems, Inc. goodies and even though I'm not big on dry shampoo and conditioner, I most definitely have used them a few times. Oh, and the Tea Tree Oil traveling kit we got with the scalp massager has done wonders for me and I am deeply in love with the aroma it leaves in my hair.

After our tour we sat down with Basim Farouk, CEO & son of Farouk Shami, to eat lunch and chit chat about the wonderful things that Farouk Systems, Inc. does for not only our Houston community but nationwide. He told us about the Lone Star College next door that helps those who are majoring in a Cosmetology degree receive their associates degree as well. He told us about the $1 million donation in CHI® ™ and BioSilk®™ products to salon owners devastated by the destructive forces of Hurricane Sandy. The impression we got from talking with Basim is that although he is in charge of a huge company known all over the world, he's a down to earth guy who didn't just take over his dad's company but went to school first so that he'd know the ins and outs of a company this size. 

I leave you with a few things I learned while on the tour, speaking to Basim & some I researched later. Also, stick around after the text for pictures of the facility and HLB!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Weekend Snapshots | 11

Today's Weekend Snapshots is brought to you by this super sketchy dock that Jessica and I peeped (with our significant others and Jack) on Sunday after Sunday Streets. Yes! Sunday Streets is back and we are super pumped for the next one! Jessica and I have been trying to get together to ride some Houston trails but the weather has been crap. The weather is typically glorious after crazy rain storms and since we had mucho rain last week, the weekend was fantastical!

This is a super duper heavy picture post & completely worth the view!
As usual, you can click the pictures to enlarge them :D

Saturday- The Houston Latina Bloggers hosted a Wellness & Beauty Networking Event and it was the shizzle! We had three amazing speakers and so many giveaways by our fantastic sponsors. Oh, and the snacks were oh, so good! We had a ton of help but I can't tell you how proud I am of the three of us (Connie, Jihane and I) for pulling this off! With each event, we learn something new and we realize how much we appreciate each other. It's an amazing feeling and one that I am incredibly grateful for. I'll do a separate post for the event but below are a few sneak peaks of the food, the ladies, and our professional headshot photographer Bre! I think I may have a part-time with her as an assistant LOL!  I told her I can help her anytime as long as she pays me in food. This goes for just about any part-time gig with me! Food is always a priority!

The rest of Saturday is a blur. I think it's cause I've been thinking about our event for a while and after all the stress of getting it together and actually setting shit up, it was time to turn off my brain. I did get into some Borderlands (affiliate) with the husband Saturday night though. Having two PS4's is fantastical! 

Sunday- I went thrifting at Playto's Closet Friday to get me a nice shirt for Saturday. Totally scored with two jeans, two sets of sunglasses and four shirts for me and a shirt and a Polo jacket for E. One of the shirts I scored was one I've wanted for a while but wasn't ready to pay $20+ for, a Kelly Kapowski shirt for $5! I pimped the hell out of it on Sunday with my new shades 8)

We met up with Jessica, her husband Dennis and their awesome son Jack at Sunday Streets. We ate from two food trucks because duh! The Modular, this is where the pulled pork sammich came from, and the Chocolate Wasted Ice Cream truck, where we ate a pineapple and cantaloupe popsciles. Sunday Streets is about three hours and we didn't really get to ride much so we decided to find a bike trail and go for it. I didn't realize the trail we were going to ride was an up and down thang. E has his light-weight bike in the shop so he used my fixie while I was forced to use the heavyass beach cruiser with no gears. :( So as you can imagine, I did a lot of walking up the hills cause my legs were not having it. But, we all got to explore areas of our city that we've been wanting to and overall we had a fantastical time. Jessica and I made sure to have our selfie sticks and we took a TON of pictures, hence the super duper heavy picture post! I finally got a chance to see "Explore" in person since I've seen so many people take pictures of random words at the parks. Jessica and I are thinking of exploring some more of these words and maybe do a series on them. No promises though LOL! We saw ducks and little ducklings to which E made sure to yell at us not to touch them. It's always been said that if you touch baby birds, your scent will make the mama not want her kids anymore. Whether or not that's true, who knows, but it's better safe than sorry. It did worry me at how trusting these ducks are, it's the same feeling I get with homeless dogs. I know they are trusting because they want food or attention, but not all humans are nice so of course it pulls at my feels. Houston's graffiti is the best on the East side so we took advantage and took lots of pics. 

After the ride, E and I hit up the Mexican joint we love for some much needed ritas. It's always a must after bike rides! After grubbing it was time for a shower. It's crazy how much crap we had on our legs, arms and face when we were done with our ride. We played some more Borderlands and then passed out hard.

This Weekend Snapshots and pretty much all of them this year are hosted by Jessica and I and we'd love it if you joined us by linking up your weekend snapshots too!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Workshop | Instagram Workshop Recap 2016

Today I'm sharing a recap on my Instagram for your Brand workshop held on February 20th! I want to thank Alicia for hosting my workshop at her beautiful place, the Thinking Girls Boutique. And all the ladies that showed up to support me and learn fun tips to help their brand! :D

I've been to a lot of workshops and networking events and I typically don't leave with a lot of learned information. Nothing against the folks that teach these because since I started working with HLB, I've learned that it takes a lot of time, energy and patience to get these events together. It's just mostly me agreeing with what is said because I've already tried it or I know about it. So when I was teaching the ladies things that I feel were important to know, my intentions were for them to learn at least one new thing. Boy was I surprised when I heard them say things like "OMG, I had no clue" or "Wow, it's that easy?" What was even better was hearing them say how much they enjoyed the class and how they hope I teach another one so they can tell their friends.

This was my first workshop and saying I was nervous or scared doesn't even cut it. Especially since the place I made my copies at messed up my prints and because of it I was running late to my own class :| Some of the ladies were running late so that helped calm my nerves a bit. 

I loved how well we all interacted with each other and how some ladies spoke on what works for them in a specific situation. It not only helped me learn more of what these ladies were doing with their brands but also get an idea of more things to put in my next class. Yes, I will for sure have another workshop I'll make sure to share that info once it's set in stone.

I want to thank Crowdsigns.com (affiliate) for the lovely Instagram frame prop they made for me. My procrastination got the best of me and I was worried that it wouldn't arrive in time but they totally made sure I'd have it before my class. By the way, the buying process was soooo easy! You pick your sign, add the wording and pay. Super duper easy! The hardest part for me was figuring out what caption I wanted.

Also, thanks to Sharon for hooking the class up with the spectacular fruit plate you see at the top of this post made by Yumi's Decorations. Yumi has some amazing and creative skills!

Lastly, I want to thank two ladies from my #LatinaTribe (Connie & Jihane) for not only showing up at my class, but for supporting me and pushing me to make this happen. You two motivate the hell out of me and I'm forever grateful for y'all's friendship!!

Check out some more pictures after the jump and for more pictures from this workshop -> visit the Flickr album. All photo credit goes to the lovely Momma of Dos.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Weekend Snapshots | 10

Today's Weekend Snapshots is brought to you by Austin Cake Ball! If you follow me on Instagram, you know I was in Austin this weekend visiting my very good friend Jessica! It wasn't something we had been planning but it worked out really well since E had to take a Business class to accompany his new Master Plumber license. 

Saturday- E left early Friday morning for his class and stayed the night at Jessica's. I didn't get there until the afternoon on Saturday. A lot of it had to do with getting a really slow start to my Saturday morning due to feeling super congested. I expected to be coughing up a lung by today, but thankfully I'm still fighting the "start" of a cold. I haven't been sick in about a year and a half and I'm really hoping that if I do get a full on cold, it won't be too bad. I'm taking random meds though so there's that.

On my way to Austin, I sent Jess a text and asked if we could go to In-N-Out burger when I arrived. I love to eat but when I feel sick/congested, I'm definitely a lot hungrier and this trip was a perfect excuse to inhale a double patty. Which is a new thing for me because my go to is a regular hamburger with animal style fries. My stomach wasn't playing though and the double patty burger had no chance of survival. Come to find out it was Jessica's first visit and since her burger was almost all gone, I'd say she enjoyed it as well! After lunch, we went on a thrifting adventure. A thrifting adventure that ended with nothing in our hands. It was such a disappointment, but I blame myself for not doing my research. You can't just go to a new city and expect to hit gold when it comes to thrifting. So, my bad. I'll do better next time. See that eraser of a chili dog? Yeah, that was probably the best thing we saw LMAO!

After the thrifting fail, E finished up his class and we met him at Moontown Saloon which is this awesome outdoor-ish bar where you can bring your dogs. I immediately started missing my turds which then turned into me wanting to squeeze on every dog I saw. Don't worry, I didn't haha! This bar is owned by a friend of Jessica's and the whole set up is amazing. There are two food trucks, lots of random games like Volleyball & Cornhole, plus so many places to sit. And, there was a live band that sounded super legit! I don't go anywhere without my FYHA koozie so of course I made sure to pull it out for my beer! There's a black & white picture of the three of us that I added to my snapshots because of how funny my teeth look, plus Jess has a genuine laugh going on haha!

Sunday- E went to his class super early and Jessica made me breakfast. She is the best freaking house host ever! We grubbed, got ready and headed over to the Domain which reminded me a lot of City Centre here in Houston. Lots of stores and restaurants with apartments above them. She popped my MAC cherry and bought me some red lipstick. Yes, RED! She mentioned that every female should own a red lipstick so I thought why not, right? No, I didn't take any pictures of it BUT I did receive a few compliments from strangers which totally made me nervous LOL Something else that received a lot of attention was my FYHA shirt. Once again, Shankasaurus reppin' her city! The FYHA shirt I was wearing was the nickname shirt which is my all time favorite. We weren't hungry, but we wanted something sweet and dessert like so we hit up the directory for sweets and found Austin Cake Ball. Neither of us were familiar with the place, but we loved the atmosphere! We ordered six cake balls and grabbed a seat at the bar for mimosas from the restaurant also inside the Austin Cake Ball store called Copper Restaurant. Our mimosas were amazing and just $10 for a tableside bottle of champagne and three artisan juices of our choice. We picked strawberry basil, blueberry lemonade and my favorite honey watermelon. Needless to say, we were feeling mighty good afterwards. We hit up H&M and bought some goodies and on the way back to her house we went. By the time we arrived at her house, E had already made it back to Houston and was probably in his jammies watching TV.

My drive home was as easy as it usually is.. until I get close to Houston and it's like all the idiots come out of the woodwork LMAO! The only bad thing was my sunglasses broke but it wasn't that big a deal because the sun was behind me. Enter super sad face here The last picture doesn't show how pretty the sunset was but you get the idea!

This Weekend Snapshot and pretty much all of them this year are hosted by Jessica and I and we'd love it if you joined us by linking up your weekend snapshots too!