Wednesday, May 25, 2016

{#WordlessWednesday} Spirits, #Wine, and Daffodils in the Garden! {#WineWednesday}


Remember when I posted about Daffodil Celebration and Wine Weekend happening on Earth Day Weekend at the New York Botanical Garden? If you forgot, here is a link to the original post.

The event was as awesome as I knew it would be and I thought Wordless Wednesday would be a perfect opportunity to share the photo highlights.

I will never be totally 'Wordless' on Wordless Wednesday (unless I just don't post!), but since this is the day to showcase our Photography Skills I promise this post won't disappoint.

What I got experience, in no particular order:

Above: I had to start with the Daffodils. They were the star of the show!  The Daffodils were so pretty, and signs of Spring were much needed at that point. Winters can feel never-ending around here!

Above: This Artisan Cabernet Savignon was a pleasant surprise. You guys know I am still getting my feet wet when it comes to reds, but this one was very well balanced.

Above: Artisan's offerings were actually all pretty well balanced, but for me finding a red I like is rare, so when I hit tastings I always make it a point to take a 'stand out' shot so I can have it for reference. This way when I am shopping and preparing for parties - whether I am hosting or looking for a hostess gift for a party I am attending I can refer to my stand out shots to find the perfect wine for any occasion.

Above: OK, back to white, this 2015 'Cayuga White' Premium White Wine by Brimstone Hill was another standout. (Pretty sweet shot right?)

Above: Couldn't resist nabbing a shot of the tasting menu from Brotherhood Winery.

Above:  There wasn't a bad one in the bunch and I am thinking of the summer nights ahead that their Sangria would be perfect for! (Remember never wonder what to do with stray fruit, chop it up and put in a pitcher with your sangria! LOL) - and remember the best life hack ever - freeze your grapes and use those in your wine instead of ice cubes. YAS!!!!

Above: I love 'miniatures' and I was living for this mini wine barrel - I so wanted it as a souvenir!

Above: This Brotherhood Riesling was definitely their standout for me. I love how patiently all the winery reps posed for my 'standout wine' photos and for my famous 'pour shots'.

While poking around their site I just noticed they have an ice wine, I am going to have to try that one next time. I LOVE Ice Wines!

Above: Yep, had to get that pour shot! Are you starting to feel like you were there?

Above: Got to capture another pour in action by City Winery! (By the way I am linking you to their NYC site, you can press on the upper left where it reads 'Change Your City' if you are not based here)

Above: My City Winery tasting standouts were: The 2015 'Local R' California Rose and the 2014 'sohovignon blanc' (noticed what they do there, SOHOvignon instead of sauvignon!) I love their hashtag #DrinkLocal

Above: This year's tastings have really expanded my palate, and my two standouts from Palaia Winery were actually their Meads! 'Smead' and 'Magical Mead' were my two standouts. Go figure, the two things that don't really use Grapes, the Magical Mead is a honey wine, made from honey with no Grapes at all and the Smead is a Strawberry Mead made with the Mead and Strawberries.

Above: Had to get my pour shot! I enjoyed tasting through with Palaia but was very surprised to have my standouts be the ones that didn't use Grapes. That's a new one on me. And it's really fun to find something that's unique and different.

Above: If you remember my press trip to BrandyWine Valley I made several surprising discoveries - an apple wine I really enjoyed and I discovered a 'Bourbon Street Margarita' Signature Drink that amped up my Margarita game, I had no idea that what my Margaritas were missing was a splash of bourbon in addition to the Tequila. I know right? Well when Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery whipped out the Black Dirt Distillery Apple Jack it was quite a surprise! They were actually smart and brought an assortment of spirits, not just wine which was great and needless to say the men folk were gravitating here! (Too bad I didn't find any single ones! #LeSigh) This bourbon was really, really, really GOOD!

Above: My dry palate was obviously off that day as I was digging stuff way sweeter than my normal! The American Fruits Apple Liquer and Black Current Cordial were also standouts for me. And that my butterflies, surprised even ME!

Above: I would be remiss not to include Warwick Gin which was another pleasant surprise to find at a wine tasting!

Above: And another perfect pour shot with Whitecliff Vineyards!

Above: If the backdrop of a Botanical Garden isn't enough for a stellar wine tasting experience, there was live music by performed by Milton.  (Bluegrass and Folk Tunes)

MY TAKE:

The New York Botanical Garden turns 125 years old in 2016 and to celebrate that milestone they began an expansion of the Narcissus plants at Daffodil Hill in November 2015, the goal is one million daffodils and they are looking for donations to help make that happen, you can learn more about the initiative and ways to help HERE.

The Daffodil Celebration and Wine Weekend was a great way to spend Earth Day Weekend, outdoors with perfect weather with great company listening to music and sampling great wine, life just doesn't get much better than this.

Readers Sound Off: Which of my tasting finds appeal to you most? Which one would you want to try first?

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FTC Disclosure:  This is NOT a compensated Post, and as always ALL opinions are 100% my own! Press Passes were provided for Editorial Consideration. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure.


Monday, May 16, 2016

Highlights: Glambition Women Think BIG #IMANxglambition #Imanalterego event in #NYC #MotivationMonday #MakeupMonday

Glambition WomenThinkBIG #IMANxglambition #Imanalterego event in #NYC, Flowers, Cupcakes
I am still in catch up mode and plotting something special for summer for my butterflies for being so patient this year!

During 2016 Women's History Month in March I attended a very special event called "GLAMBITION Women Think Big". An event intended to help empower and inspire and explore the many roles we play both in life and in business.

#Imanalterego
One of the sponsors was Iman Cosmetics who presented their newest collection #IMANAlterEgo - a collection that helps women to celebrate all of our 'moods' - they were providing makeovers and a photo booth opp. I am obsessed with their lipsticks. But as usual, they didn't change my lips. It is very rare that any makeup person changes my lipstick. Probably because I custom blend my color myself! But it's always flattering! I am digging this collection and there will be more to come soon (If I dive into the collection here, it will certainly overshadow the event recap).

There is a reason, putting on makeup is called 'putting on your face', We feel like two different people at times when we are wearing makeup - more 'in control' and ready for whatever comes your way, and when you are not wearing any makeup, I'll bet you feel a bit different.

It's OK to explore your 'alter ego', it's OK to celebrate all the different roles that make you who you are - both in life and in business.

Alter Ego - The Many Roles Women Play Panel
Above: Alter Ego - The Many Roles Women Play Panel at GLAMBITION Women Think Big event in New York City. Speakers Included: Desiree Reid, EVP of IMAN Cosmetics, Robert Willis of Universal Beauty, Sharon Nelson of National Woman Caucus, Sarah Perez Jarrett, CEO of SPT Wellness and Elizabeth Carrion of Ogilvy & Mather.

There were panel sessions that helped to empower entrepreneurs - both men and women in business who are doing big things and were willing to share the journey! 

WOMANITY Women in the Work Place Panel
Photo Credit: Dee & Co Group
Photo Highlights of the Sponsors and Exhibitors in Attendance:

Above: You may remember seeing Murphs Famous Bloody Mary Mix on these pages before, but check this post out for a refresher - Bloody Mary Mussels and cocktail (I used Murph's Famous Hot & Spicy Bloody Mary Mix to make both the cocktail and as a base for the red sauce for the mussels as well!)

SweeTess CreationZ Cupcakes
Above: Swee Tess CreationZ had such a pretty display I photographed it in separate vignettes instead of just the whole table so the details wouldn't get lost! (The first photo all the way on top of this post is from their display as well.)

SweeTess CreationZ Chocolate Covered Oreos and Sugar Cookies
Above: The Chocolate Covered Oreos and Sugar Cookies were event branded! Smart!

SweeTess CreationZ Cakepops
Above: Cakepops are awesome, delicious goodness in an easier to eat, party friendly format. I still haven't mastered the art of eating a frosted cupcake 'neatly' with cakepops I get the same goodness in a smaller bite size package.

Dr Jose Rigoberto Perez Diaz Salud Para Todos featured at Glambition WomenThinkBIG NYC event
Above: Dr Jose Rigoberto Perez Diaz Salud Para Todos featured at Glambition WomenThinkBIG NYC event. I certainly appreciate the reference to Psalm 46 on the bag! (I linked you to it if you are interested in reading it!) We were provided with health supplements that I will share more about in another post.

Limation Organic Drinks
Above: I love when events present me with brands that are 'new to me'. I greatly enjoyed Limation Organic Drinks and am happy I got the chance to try them out. Infused into a traditional limeaid you will find pure organics - lavender, exotic passion fruit, watermelon - and with summer swiftly approaching I can tell you that you *NEED* these in your life. Whether your summer beverage includes 'spirits' or not, this will be summer cocktail enhancer for sure!

Spadet Olive Oil Soap
Above: You guessed it, all natural and made with Pure Olive Oil! Spadet has a wide range of product offerings and area also great on even the most sensitve skin!

Universal Beauty Products Inc Jamaican Mango & Lime Haircare Products
Above: Universal Beauty Products Inc presented products from their Jamaican Mango & Lime line - the products are coconut milk and honey. I can't wait to try these out!

Paychex
Above: Paychex was on hand to let business owners know they don't have to go it alone when it comes to HR services including Payroll, Retirement and Insurance.

MY TAKE:

Taking your business - whatever your business may be, to the next level requires a balance of smarts/knowledge/'know-how' and inspiration/creativity. You need a bit of both, and there certainly is no reason you can't look beautiful doing it! 

Readers Sound Off: What is YOUR Alter Ego? How do Cosmetics and Beauty Products alter your mood?

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FTC Disclosure:  This is NOT a monetarily compensated Post, this is an event recap and passes were provided for Editorial Consideration. All opinions are 100% my own! I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Springing into #Beauty with these picks from @beautypress #SpotlightDay! #BBloggers

I swear this 'Butterfly-in-Chief' hasn't gone into hiding, but it's been a stress-filled Quarter 1 of 2016 so far, and things have been so nuts I haven't even felt like blogging about it. Not like me I know. #LeSigh

While I try to work my way to back to the inspirational posts you know me for, I thought I'd get caught up on some Event Recaps that are very much long overdue.

I have been attending BeautyPress Spotlight Days since 2012 (in fact here is my recap of the first one I attended in October 2012), they never fail to impress, they curate fab beauty brands/products and introduce them to Press in an informal yet surprisingly well organized format.

Here is the event in Pictures:

Above: The team behind Caolion (natural Korean Cosmetics - Korea's first pure hypoallergenic products) were super welcoming and just like we focus often on 'farm-to-table' on these pages, Caolion believes in the power of 'edible skincare' - gentle on even the most sensitive skin.

Above: This part of their collection focuses on Pores and I am definitely looking forward to trying these! (Been feeling like I could play 'connect the dots' with mine lately!)

Above: I loved the display, and I definitely love a simple to understand ingredient list! When you can pronounce each ingredient, you know you are safe!

Above: CAOLION Cosmetics Stands for [Culture + Association + Originality + LION]

Above: CoTZ has impressed me greatly since meeting them for the first time awhile back at Beauty Press Spotlight Day, they are one of my favorite Tinted Moisturizers with SPF to wear daily because of the soft, sheer matte finish. (Remember butterflies, this is a tinted moisturizer, not a full on foundation so don't expect full coverage, it's a sheer coverage but with such a great feel to the finish and a Balanced Mineral Complex. We keep inviting them to collaborate with us for a Twitter Party so I can bring them to not only our readers but all consumers in a fun, viral way. You guys really respond well to Twitter Parties, so hopefully I will bring them on board for one soon. (Feel free to comment on this post if you are interested in having CoTZ come on board for a Twitter Party)

Above: A little 'How it Began?' - Tish & Snooky's Manic Panic was born on 7/7/77 when two N.Y.C.-born sisters, Tish and Snooky, added some extra ambition to their rock 'n' roll lifestyle. Specifically catering to the punk rock and alternative crowd with hipsters coming from all over the world to shop and to see and be seen. Read More About Their Story HERE.

Above: I did a double take when I noticed many of the lipsticks matched the hair dyes - YAS!!!!!!
Above: Mitchell Black Candles lit the venue and we were given candles to take home as well. I am a candle junkie (incense as well) and I lit one of these in my Foyer and it literally enveloped the room with such a pleasant scent and warm feel. If you have any candle snobs on your gift list, give them these!

Above: Grove, Hearth, Loren and Corsica Scented Fragrance Candles by Mitchell Black


Above: In addition to Candles, Mitchell Black offers Fine Stationery, appetizer plates (I would also use these as catchalls for jewelry, keys, rings, etc)


Above: Shaffali Skincare is where Ayurveda and Aromatherapy meet, utilizing Indian herbs and spices to bring out your glow and fruit and flower essences to uplift your mood and skin.


Above: Shaffali Miglani, Founder of Shaffali Organic Skincare

Editors in attendance were treated to a wonderful experience of having our pores steamed and then a facial using Shaffali Organic Skincare Products. There is a meditation and empowering mantra for each product so that the line addresses mind, body, skin and soul. I loved getting an 'on-the-spot' introduction to the range of products, the facial allowed Editors to take a moment away from 'talking business' and focus on the pampering aspect that facials provide. I loved the experience and enjoyed the products! I know I am not going to be happy when I run out of these.

Above: SmoothSkin Gold is an IPL Hair Removal Device. We did not come home with these, so I am mentioning that I did meet them at BeautyPress Spotlight Day, however I cannot provide a recommendation/endorsement as I have not personally tested the device. 

Above: Being the smart butterfly that I am, I wore my Bodipure Glove as I was getting the facial treatment from Shaffali Skincare, when I was done, I not only had a glowing face, I also had baby smooth hands too! I LOVE these!


Above: I was also happy to see a brand I know well Twisted Sista, because you know the saying is 'curly hair don't care', but girl it does care! Curls need moisture my friends! And for my fellow fine/thin hair types don't be intimidated by curly hair products, they actually are great for adding volume and NOT weighing hair down which is exactly what we all want to achieve.


Above: Freixenet is one of my favorite 'bubblies', I have a super dry palate and their Cordon Negro Brut is one of my all time faves!


Above: Mionetto Gran Rose Extra Dry is one I hadn't tried before and definitely enjoyed, most Rose's are sweet, I liked that this one had a good balance.


MY TAKE:

I can't even begin to pick a favorite with this Spotlight Day, they definitely curated a great collection of brands and I look forward to sharing individual product reviews as time permits.

Readers Sound Off: Which Product would you most like to try and why?

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FTC Disclosure:  This is NOT a compensated Post, it is an event recap and as always ALL opinions are 100% my own! I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure.

Friday, April 22, 2016

This weekend I plan on finding my thrill on 'Daffodil Hill' care to join me? @NYBG #EarthDay

Photo Courtesy of New York Botanical Garden
Happy Earth Day Butterflies! I hope today finds you outdoors enjoying the sun and doing stuff to leave our Earth better than you found it.

Want to turn Earth Day into a weekend?

Join me at Daffodil Hill at New York Botanical Garden for Daffodil Celebration and Wine Weekend!

With 150,000 Daffodil Bulbs planted in November 2015, the display of flowering trees, the historic daffodil display at Daffodil Hill and New York State Vintners offering a wide variety of palate-pleasing local wines, and experts on winemaking and viticulture hosting demonstrations and discussions I can't imagine anywhere I'd rather be this weekend!

This weekend is going to be a great weekend to be out and about and enjoying all New York Botanical Garden has to offer!

Photo Courtesy of New York Botanical Garden
I plan to check out Daffodil Celebration and Wine Weekend and hope you will too, Visit New York Botanical Garden's website to learn more and purchase your tickets!

How do you plan to celebrate Earth Day this weekend?

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FTC Disclosure:  This is NOT a compensated Post, and as always ALL opinions are 100% my own! I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure.