Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hey YOU Hang In There It's Almost Friday!

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I was a Walmart Choice Steak Challenge Judge!

Welcome to my Not so Wordless Wednesday!

On May 22nd Walmart, Kingsford and Coca-Cola put me to the challenge, the Walmart Choice Steak Challenge as a Judge - Eight top chefs had a chance to compete and put their skills and meat grills to the test!

The challenge began at various Walmart's where shoppers tasted the steaks prepared by the chefs and and selected favorites, ultimately 8 chef finalists from cities including Tampa, Miami, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, St. Louis, Nashville and Atlanta were selected to compete in New York City for best seared steak honors, (as well as a check for $5,000 for themselves and another check for their preferred charity), in a contest judged by champion pit master Chris Lilly and other food luminaries (including yours truly!).

The Chefs who competed for the title included:

Richard Chamberlain of Richard Chamberlain's Steak and Chop House of Dallas who prepared a Grilled Filet Mignon with Smoky Spice Rub and Grilled Salad with Tomato-Basil Vinaigrette. His Charity of Choice is Bridge Builders. His Grilling Tip:

"Flare ups are a big part of grilling. As a kid I used to help my dad avoid them by standing over the grill with a squirt gun." ~ Chef Richard Chamberlain

Ronald (Ronnie) Killen of Killen's Steakhouse of Houston who prepared Grilled Rib Eyes with Garlic Pepper Dry Rub and Grilled Corn with Herbed Butter. His Charity of Choice is Recipe for Success. His Grilling Tip:

"Be sure that when you take your steaks off the grill that you allow them to rest before cutting. This will ensure that all of the juices stay in." ~ Chef Ronald Killen

Eric Lackey of Flamestone American Grill in Tampa who prepared Grilled Rib Eye with Everglades Rub, Coca-Cola Balsamic Marinated Bermuda Onion and Grilled Beefsteak Tomato with Himalayan Pink Rock Salt Crust. (We talked about our mutual love of Himalayan Pink Rock Salt as I use it too!). His Charity of Choice is The Abilities Foundation. His Grilling Tip:

"The key is using Kingsford Charcoal, which you should light in chimneys prior to grilling. Also, it's important to set two stage fire zones for searing and cooking." ~ Chef Eric Lackey

David Larkworthy of 5 Seasons Brewing in Atlanta who prepared Cherry Cola Chili Smoked Rib Eye and Avocado Mashed Potatoes. His Charity of Choice: Alzheimer's Association. (By the way, in my opinion he is the chef with the most awesome smile, which I think my photo really does capture! I always say happy chefs impart extra love and flavor in the food!). His Grilling Tip:

"Don't be afraid of the grill. Grill anything and everything. Work with your fire and most imporantly, have fun!" ~ Chef David Larkworthy

Daniel Nemec of Kirby's Steakhouse in San Antonio who prepared Grilled Rib Eye with Coca-Cola Reduction and Grilled Potato Salad. His Charity of Choice is: The Huntington Disease Foundation. His Grilling Tip:

"Your coals need to be bright red with a thin white ash coating. You also need a clean grill grate that has been thoroughly oiled with canola oil (do not use olive oil - it will smoke too much and give a bitter flavor to whatever you're grilling). Once you have followed these steps you are ready to grill and enjoy!"

Note: I wasn't able to capture an individual shot of Chef Nemec, but I do have him in several group shots, refer to group shots after the individual chef profiles.

David Rook of Copia Restaurant & Wine Garden in St. Louis who prepared Grilled Rib Eyes with Horseradish Garlic Butter Sauce and Grilled Mixed Vegetable Salad. (This one definitely had a kick to it!) His Charity of Choice: The American Diabetes Association. His Grilling Tip:

"Always wait for the grill to reach a medium heat as opposed to a high heat to avoid charring your meat." ~ Chef David Rook

Erik Sierra of the Red Fish Grill in Miami who prepared Grilled Rib Eye with Red Wine Glaze and Char-grilled Vegetables with Arugala-Orange Pesto. (This one also had a very robust flavor! and I'm also fond of using Wine in my cooking!). His Charity of Choice: ASPCA. His Grilling Tip:

"I like my steak to be medium-rare so I recommend using a meat thermometer to obtain your preferred doneness." ~ Chef Erik Sierra

Willy Thomas of Park Cafe in Nashville who prepared Coffee Rubbed Steak with Grilled Onion and Bleu Cheese Dressing as well as Grilled Corn on the Cob with Lime Chipotle Mayonnaise. (The meat had a strong flavor with the Bleu Cheese, and the Lime Chipotle Mayo on the Grilled Corn on the Cob was fantastic!). His Charity of Choice: Vanderbilt University Department of Child Neurology Epilepsy Research.  His Grilling Tip:

"Like a good golfer, pull out a blade of grass and throw it up in the air to determine which way the wind is blowing so you don't get smoke in your face - works perfectly" (I have to admit this one made me smile, as I used to organize charity golf tournaments many moons ago!)

Note: I wasn't able to capture an individual shot of Chef Thomas, but I do have him in several group shots, refer to group shots after the individual chef profiles.

Left: Chef Daniel Nemec (see above in his profile for his quote) Very Right: Chef Willy Thomas (see above for his quote)

And the winner:

@2012 Photo Courtesy of Kingsford Charcoal

Congratulations to Chef Richard Chamberlain who won the challenge!

Winning Chef Richard Chamberlain Center and the Ascending Butterfly Team

As you can he was super personable, here is a photo of team Ascending Butterfly with the winning Chef! Congrats to the Chef and his charity of choice, Bridge Builders! You know Ascending Butterfly loves covering stories with HEART! 

Team Butterfly had a great time at the Walmart Steak Challenge, feel free to grab recipes and learn more about the great selection of Steaks Walmart has to offer, you can also get social with them on Facebook! Butterflies did you know that only 1 out of 5 steaks is good enough to be called Walmart Choice Premium Beef? Look for the seal my friends and don't accept anything less for your family! The quality of any cut of meat greatly determines the result of the flavor of the dish, so choose carefully butterfly!

Above: I just had to brag a bit about the group shot above, apparently a hot shot photographer on the scene who apparently felt he had priority over everyone taking a photo, told me quite loudly to MOVE out HIS way. And I said no, my shot is already set up, and when I did the chefs looked my way and smiled (I think a few were quite pleased with my *gumption*)

Did you grill some great Steaks over Memorial Day Weekend? Do you have a Father's Day BBQ planned?

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. This post is non-compensated. This is an event recap of a Walmart, Kingsford and Coca-Cola sponsored event, all opinions are 100% my own.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I'm an Influenster Can you guess what's in my Spring Beauty VoxBox? + Twitter Party Wednesday, May 30th!

I'm an Influenster and you can be too! 

The 411 is:


Exclusive community of trendsetters using their influential power to qualify for complimentary product shipments, rewards and deals fit for their lifestyles.

Company Overview

Influenster is the go-to destination for trendsetters who want to be rewarded for their influence. Qualified members gain access to the latest products, share their expert opinions and spread the word on their favorite discoveries.

This month I received a box full of goodies to get me in the mood for summer! Take a peek:

 Influenster May 2012 Spring Beauty VoxBox


Sheer Cover Duo Concealer: I love that the duo shades container allows you to blend it and match it to your skin tone. This concealer is ideal for hiding blemishes, age spots, redness and scars without heavy or cakey coverage.

 Influenster May 2012 Spring Beauty VoxBox

AVEENO Daily Moisturizing Body Wash: I'm a long time AVEENO lover, I find that it keeps heat rash under control, and can prevent it if you begin using it just before you would normally start breaking out. I have always found AVEENO to be gentle and soothing for my skin. This one has a light fragrance, it's soap free, dye-free and hypoallergenic so it's safe for sensitive skin.

Dr. Scholl's For Her Ball of Foot Cushions: For some odd reason, my favorite sandals all gave me ball of foot pain last summer. Not my heels, but my sandals. Sandals which I wore because I didn't want to wear heels those days so I could be comfortable, and I got back home in pain. Well not this summer! These are going into my sandals so I can actually enjoy them and having cool, comfortable feet during this intense summer heat. These also help prevent that annoying toe scrunch thing when your foot slips forward in the shoe (which is what causes the ball of foot pain). And like all Dr. Scholl's products these are removable without damage to the shoe! Now I don't have to toss my favorite leather sandals in this cool green that I have a handbag in the matching color to go with it, that's a WIN/WIN!!!!

 Influenster May 2012 Spring Beauty VoxBox

ChapStick Lip SHIELD 365: While it provides year round protection and moisturization, with an SPF 50+, you want to make sure to take this with you everywhere you go this summer! You'll get protection from UVA/UVB rays and soft lips, total win/win!

Sally Hansen Salon Effects: Can you say nail polish with NO drying time? Ka-Ching! It wears like nail polish because it is nail polish, apply and you are ready to go with no drying time, is that cool or what?

 Influenster May 2012 Spring Beauty VoxBox

SOYJOY Bar: Real fruit and whole soy = energy sustaining deliciousness!

Bath & Body Works Fine Fragrance Mist: OK, no pun intended but when I saw this it made me misty because my dad's nickname for me as a baby was Sweet Pea, so when I saw the name of the scent it kinda made me a little nostalgic! I mean of all the scents they could have sent, they sent ME Sweet Pea. This is so yummy for after bath that I am nervous I'm going to run out super quick!

Twitter Party

Please Note: I am NOT hosting or co-hosting this party, so please do not direct any questions regarding RSVP's or prizing to me, I am planning to attend, but I'm NOT the host!

When:  Wednesday, May 30th  4pm-5:30pm EST
Hashtag: #beautyvoxbox

Get Social With It

You can follow Influenster on Facebook and Twitter, don't forget to tell them that Ascending Butterfly sent you!

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FTC Disclosure: I am an Influenster member and all items were sent to me free of charge for editorial consideration, however all opinions are 100% my own. Questions about our Disclosure? Please visit:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Horse Haven Facebook Application by Ubisoft {#Review}

The first summer my family visited a Dude Ranch in Pennsylvania I fell in love with Horses. I was still pretty young and was going to take my first beginner ride, I was supposed to take it on a Pony, but somehow I convinced them I was ready for a 'real horse' because I was a 'big girl'.

It worked (more than likely with a lot of help from my mom), and all weekend I rode 'real horses'. I followed the ranch hands like a shadow and I got to brush the horses, feed them apples, and form a life long fascination with the most amazing animals out there. How they carry so much weight on the most delicate legs and ankles has always amazed me.

The feeling the first time I rode fast on a horse is the closest a person can get to understanding how a bird feels when they take flight. Fast, wild, free and un-tamed, it's the best feeling ever. I still love to ride and it's become the most unique part of my vacations. I look for a stable or a ranch wherever I go, and one of my most memorable rides was through ancient ruins and then on the beach in an ecological park in Mexico.

Would I love to own a Ranch someday? YES!

Can I afford to? Not just yet!

But thanks to Ubisoft I can own a virtual horse ranch AND do something to actually help an animal rescue. I have a longtime love/hate relationship with my facebook friends, for years they have spent time sending me invites to their farms, sororities, vampires, mobs and more. I declined each and every one. There is only one facebook application of the game variety I ever tried and that was Willy's Sweet Shop which helped to benefit one of my favorite charitable organizations ever, St. Jude's Children Research Hospital. I would check in with it daily. And of course I invited my facebook friends, and very few opted to 'play' along with me. Which did bum me out, but perhaps it was a bit of revenge because I showed no interest in their mobs or farms. That's OK, I still love them *smiles*.

So after a year of being a UbiChamp, this is sadly only my second time around sharing some fun Ubisoft news, you might remember my first share which was a review of  Abba You can Dance for Wii. Not that I don't love being a UbiChamp, but my schedule hasn't quite allowed for a lot of free time lately. I did feel a strong draw to try out this Facebook App because of the charitable component tied into playing the game and my life long love of horses.


Horse Haven is a new Facebook social network game allowing you to raise, nurture, and breed horses. Experience the thrill of being a horse ranch owner—maintain buildings and stables, care for horses, compete against friends in special horse competitions, and much more!

As the sole inheritor of a once champion horse ranch now fallen into disrepair, you must find a way to return it to its former ...glory. With just a few rundown buildings—a stable, a farmstead, and some deteriorated drinking troughs and hayracks—you will only have a short amount of time to turn the horse ranch around. With only one lonely foal to start with you’ll need to expand your stable through a combination of breeding and nurturing. In Horse Haven you will experience the excitement and hardships of owning and running your very own horse ranch!

The Game


Build a unique stable of horses through Horse Haven’s distinct breeding mechanics. Choose from five unique American horse breeds and more than 20 skin patterns, 20 body markings, and 10 facial markings, create hundreds of different types of horses, and then show them off to friends!


Develop a close personal connection with your horses through a variety of nurturing and caring tasks. As you spend more time feeding, watering, petting, and brushing your horses, they will progress to competing with other horses on Facebook. Find out whose horse is the best!


When the game begins, your ranch consists of only a few run-down buildings—a stable, a farmstead, and some deteriorating drinking troughs and hay racks. Fix up the ranch up and return it to its former glory! Then, add new assets and expand your property. Erect buildings that allow horses to earn money, enhance their training, or broaden their breeding insights. You can even customize your ranch and its surrounding land with decorations to match your horses and their needs.


At the end of each care cycle your stable of horses will go on adventures and participate in competitions! Whether it’s barrel racing, show jumping, or jump racing, make sure your horses are prepared to go for the gold!

How YOU give back by playing

Playing Horse Haven allows players to give to an actual Horse Rescue that is working to save America's Horses, Angel Acres Horse Rescue, which is a Non-Profit Organization. Instead of spending 10 minutes reading status updates, give up just a few of those and add Horse Haven to your daily Facebook routine. Doing so my butterflies would be a double win/win, playing the game is a fun way to de-stress between online activities (think after a long photo intensive blog post that got you all stressed out, or a long spreadsheet, or powerpoint presentation), and that simple 'game' also benefits a real life horse rescue. Talk about win/win.

My Take:

I've always loved finding ways that are totally do-able to give back. Giving to me has always been more than just taking out a checkbook and writing a check, I share and give with time as well as money, and with my competitive personality I knew I'd want to progress along as fast as possible with the game, the more achievements I unlock the better I feel about playing because I know my efforts with this game go beyond bragging rights, they really mean something. And that's exactly what being an Ascending Butterfly means to ME.

So any of my butterflies who decide to give Horse Haven a go, have a ranch friend in me, feel free to reach out here and we can become Horse Haven friends, we can help  make each other's Dude Ranch' fantastic and give back in the process!

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Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this blog post. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this blog post sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own. #UbiChamps - Questions about Ascending Butterfly Disclosure? Please visit:

Friday, May 25, 2012

Men in Black 3 #Movie {Review}

@Columbia Pictures Men in Black 3

I attended a special advance screening of Men in Black earlier this week and just thought I'd share my un-biased, spoiler free review with my butterflies as I'm sure many of you will be heading to the theaters for Memorial Day Weekend!


English Summary: In Men In Black™ 3, Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are back... in time. J has seen some inexplicable things in his 15 years with the Men in Black, but nothing, not even aliens, perplexes him as much as his wry, reticent partner. But when K's life and the fate of the planet are put at stake, Agent J will have to travel back in time to put things right. J discovers that there are secrets to the universe that K never told him --secrets that will reveal themselves as he teams up with the young Agent K (Josh Brolin) to save his partner, the agency, and the future of human kind.

Spanish Summary/En Espanol: En Men In Black™ 3, los agentes J (Will Smith) y K (Tommy Lee Jones) han vuelto... al pasado. Durante los quince años que trabajó con los Hombres de Negro, J se enfrentó a fenómenos inexplicables, pero nada — ni siquiera los extra terrestres — lo deja tan desconcertado como su sardónico y reservado compañero. Cuando la vida de K y el destino del planeta se encuentren en peligro, el agente J tendrá que viajar al pasado para arreglar las cosas. Allí, descubrirá que existen secretos sobre el universo que K nunca le contó, secretos que se revelarán cuando J empiece a trabajar con el joven agente K (Josh Brolin) para poder salvar a su compañero, la agencia y el futuro de la humanidad.

@Columbia Pictures Men in Black 3

My Take:

First and foremost, I have to share that I always have doubts in the back of my mind lately when I learn  any release will be in 3D, for me, as of late, 3D movies tend to be so special effects heavy that they lose an important element, the plot. I am super happy to report that while this is a 3D release, the plot does not get lost in the special effects. There are some great plot twists that really tie the storyline of the partnership between Agents J and K. I never give out spoilers here, but you will be pleasantly surprised.

Of course I have to share that there is a butterfly sighting, so be on the look out for it, and if you do go see the film this weekend and spot the scene, please come back here and share about it!

I also have to admit I did kind of set out to not like Josh Brolin as a young agent K, but he totally surprised me and I enjoyed his potrayal of a young Tommy Lee Jones. He totally nailed it!

The movie is fun, upbeat, action-packed and well cast, and I definitely recommend it!

More Action Shots from the film:

@Columbia Pictures Men in Black 3

@Columbia Pictures Men in Black 3

@Columbia Pictures Men in Black 3

@Columbia Pictures Men in Black 3

If you are a PussyCat Dolls Fan, you are sure to recognize the lady on the left who portrays Boris the Animal's girlfriend!

Here is the trailer:

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. I attended an Advance Screening as a member of the Digital Press, I have received no compensation to share my review of this film.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Not so Wordless Wednesday: Fitness Magazine #FitBlogNYC Event - Ascending Butterfly meets Mia Hamm!

I have been a super busy Butterfly lately, so I thought I'd recap an Amaze Balls event I attended last week as a Not So Wordless Wednesday Post today. In 2011 I set out to amp up my fitness, not just to loose weight so much as to totally change my  lifestyle over for the better with a mind, body and soul approach. And I was doing great at it. I started out with recipe substitutions, I learned some amazing tricks and recipes thanks to a cooking class I attended at the International Culinary Council in New York City thanks to Fage Greek Yogurt! (You can read about that event HERE, and some of the recipes HERE (delicious lemon yogurt coleslaw) and a totally YUMMO Mac N Cheese recipe HERE and totally check out the super yum Tandoori Chicken Recipe HERE). I picked up a ton of fitness games for my Wii, and slowly but surely dropped 26 pounds and 3 dress sizes. Awesome stuff right? Then in 2012 a medical setback hit me like a lightening bolt, and after a series of exploratory surgeries and biopsies, and bed rest, the weight slowly came back on. Even though I'm not eating more (in fact sometimes I haven't had much of an appetite, I haven't been able to work out much).

Keeping still is not easy on a Butterfly. Butterflies like to move, well, they like to fly, and I'm no different. While I'm still not at 100% yet, I'm dying to get my fitness routine back! I had the chance to attend a Fitness Magazine event last week in New York City and it totally got me motivated again! The invite told us to wear workout wear and I put on my favorite new, fresh, just ripped off the tags Macy's Ideology Workout Gear (You can read my review of the line whose ambassador is Cheryl Burke from Dancing With The Stars, HERE), and even just putting my gear on made me feel like my old self again!

Here is the sign welcoming us to the #FitBlogNYC Meet & Tweet in NYC

The event had a very unique premise, we were given a 'passport' at the start of the event, and vendor tables were set up with products, product samples, demos or try on opportunities and at each table our passport was 'stamped' at the end of the event once you were completely stamped you were able to pick up a very neat swag bag. I didn't really need the passport as a motivator to visit with each brand, I definitely would have done so anyway, the chance to be able to learn so much about each product and brand one on one was fantastic! I visited booths such as Oakley, Birkenstock, Vichy, Reebok, Camelbak, V8, Schick Hydro, Kiwi Sweat, and the Grain Foods Foundation where I got the chance to meet Mia Hamm and she also signed a mini soccer ball for me!

Reebok challenged us to consider why Fitness is so important to us!

I got to try the Reebok RealFlex Transition Sneaker, the technology behind the shoe helps promote the natural movement of your foot, the 'nodes' are flex friendly and help the shoe to move and flex with you as you train and thanks to the reinforcements at the heel and toe they provide added stability. They are lightweight, and ideal for runners, but I can tell you whether you are running a marathon or just running to catch a train or bus, these are fantastic! I LOVE them! (I promise to post some photos of them in action soon, but if you'd like a shot at a pair of your own, or a giveaway here, you might want to hit up Reebok on Facebook and let them know you saw the Transition Sneaker featured on Ascending Butterfly and would love for them to host a giveaway with us!)

I also got the chance to try out and take home the Birkenstock Madrid Fitness Sandal which tones the foot and calf muscles while improving circulation. Much like Reebok, I was already familiar with and own a pair of Birks that I love that are quite well worn, so I am happy to have a new pair, in a very fun color for summer. (Again, I promise to post some photos of them in action soon, but if you'd like a shot at a pair of your own, or a giveaway here, you might want to hit up Birkenstock on Facebook and let them know you saw the Madrid Sandal featured on Ascending Butterfly and would love for them to host a giveaway with us!)

I also got a new pair of Oakley Sunglasses, I tried on the Oakley Urgency™ Polarized Urgency Sunglasses Oakley’s Three-Point Fit holds lenses in precise optical alignment and patented hydrophilic Unobtainium® earpads and nosepads ensure a secure fit. These really stay put and are definitely a runners/joggers dream pair of shades! (Again, I promise to post some photos of them in action soon, but if you'd like a shot at a pair of your own, or a giveaway here, you might want to hit up Oakley Sunglasses on Facebook and let them know you saw the Oakley Urgency™ Polarized Urgency Sunglasses featured on Ascending Butterfly and would love for them to host a giveaway with us!)

Some healthy snacks like the Fiber One® Chocolate Bars, and the delish V8 smoothies and the Frosty Chocolate Protein Shakes from Pure Protein were fantastic and definitely will be added to my shopping list!

Below: Here is a picture of Ascending Butterfly with Mia Hamm <-Linking you to her Foundation so you can keep up with what's new with Mia!

Left: Ascending Butterfly rocking her Macy's Ideology Fitness Gear Right: Women's Best All Around Soccer Player Mia Hamm!
I asked her to sign it to 'Ascending Butterfly' but she signed it out to 'Butterfly' which I thought was cooler!
Everytime I'm feeling down in the dumps about not being able to get my routine back on track yet, I look at my signed ball, and keep telling myself I'll get 'back on the ball very soon' and it's been keeping me motivated.

I loved that the event stressed the importance of a mind, body, soul, overall approach to wellness, which is exactly how I've been speaking it from DAY ONE! When the importance of meditation was discussed I nearly jumped out of my chair with excitement and enthusiasm for the topic! YES!

What I also Loved about this event it was the anti-thesis of a NYC event, especially at the Metropolitan Pavilion, those in the know, know it as the home Fashion Week shows, but there were ZERO high heels, cocktail dresses, runway fashions and not even a cocktail to be found. We were all in fitness clothes, a great equalizer, and a great way to feel part of an energized group of dynamic writers, fitness enthusiasts and experts, and brands that gear products to those who want to lead a healthy lifestyle. There were panels on makeup by Laura Geller, on keeping fashion gear fun and fashionable, and even a panel session on monetization and making a profit from your blog, with helpful do's and don'ts for bloggers to keep in mind when approaching brands.

Great Brands? Check.
Great Venue? Check.
Well Organized? Check.
Comprehensive? Check.
Super rocking awesome swag? Check, Plus, Plus.

But leaving with a feeling of motivation to get back to ME again? PRICELESS.

The me that lost 3 dress sizes, in a slow, sustainable and healthy way last year is now back to reclaim her life again. Until my medical nightmare is fully behind me I will have to start very slowly. Some physical therapy first, and then slowly start the process of changing what I eat and getting back to moving again.

Left: Ascending Butterfly, Right: Ms. New York Belleza Latina 2011

I don't think there really is a way to thank Fitness Magazine who put this all together in words that will actually express the depth of my gratitude for inviting me to this event. It's not just the 'stuff', and not just what I learned during the panels, and not just the great people sharing the journey I met along the way. Somewhere during that day I realized that no matter how hard this year has been, there is absolutely nothing standing in the way of me not only replicating last year's results, but actually surpassing them with perseverance, motivation and determination.

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FTC Disclosure: I was invited to attend this event as a member of the digital press and fitness blogging community, this is NOT a sponsored post, as no monetary incentive has been provided to share my recap of this experience. All opinions regarding the brands in attendance, sponsors and products are 100% my own. Gift Bags were provided to event attendees.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What to Expect When You're Expecting Hollywood Movie Money #Giveaway

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This giveaway is now CLOSED. Thanks so much to our wonderful sponsor @SafeConBritax! We look forward to working with you again. Congratulations to our winner, Joy F. There are great giveaways active on the upper right hand side of the page!
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This weekend I got the chance to check out the new movie What to Expect When You're Expecting, (I am sure the movie title reference is familiar to anyone who has the read the book with the same name, which some consider to be a 'pregnancy bible' of sorts.), it's a celeb studded cast that follows parenthood at different stages in life for various couples (as well as how their paths and lives intertwine) and includes the perspective of 'the dudes', a group of dads who come together to provide each other support and a 'judgement free' comfort zone. So if you are looking for a fun movie to take Dad to see on Father's Day, I would definitely recommend this one!

The movie features products, including strollers, car seats and baby carriers by Britax and B.O.B (which is owned by Britax). As a member of Britax’s Hispanic Digital and Social Media Outreach program, Ascending Butterfly will get the chance to bring you exclusive giveaways, product info, un-biased product reviews, and info on all things Britax every month. So don't forget to show some love on their Facebook and Twitter page and let them know that Ascending Butterfly sent you.

Our friends at Britax want you to check out their products in action, so @SafeConBritax and Ascending Butterfly are giving you Hollywood Movie Money so you can see the movie too! Don't you just  Britax USA? I know I do! (The first entry is super easy, just give us your email, the passes will be emailed to the winner so we need your email to send you your prize!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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FTC Disclosure: The Britax Hispanic Digital and Social Media Outreach is in partnership with Mami Innovative Media, a communications and digital marketing company that pairs multicultural and Latino bloggers with influential brands and blogging campaigns. I am a blogger brand ambassador for Britax and  I am part of a long term campaign that does provide additional incentives for my participation. However all opinions are 100% my own. My movie pass and the movie money being used for this giveaway was provided by Britax USA. Questions about our Disclosure? Please visit:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Table Thursday: Ham, Garden Veggie and BowTie Pasta Salad

Today is Table Thursday! What's for dinner? How about a Ham, Garden Veggie and Bow Tie Pasta Salad? I had some left over baked ham, a bag of veggies and a box of Bow Tie Pasta and a mission to jazz it up using the NEW Knorr® Homestyle Stock.


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - The most carefully selected ingredients slowly simmered to perfection.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Versatility for a multitude of dishes, from soups to skillets to sides.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - A better value than cartons or cans – each tub makes 3-1/2 cups of broth.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Two great varieties for adding rich flavor to dishes with either the chicken or beef flavors.


Since I had left over Baked Ham (and pre-cooked bow tie pasta), this is of course faster to prep than it would normally be if I had to prepare the meat first and then cook the pasta. I cubed enough ham to feed 4 (I wanted to have leftovers and some for lunch the next day), and added a tub of the concentrated chicken stock and about 2.5 cups of water to the ham in my favorite greenpan frying pan!

I then added frozen garden veggies and once those were almost done I added the pasta and simmered everything all together for a few minutes.

So feel free to substitute with whatever meat you have at hand and you don't have to use bowtie pasta either!

I added some parmesan cheese to it when I served it, feel free to omit if you don't like it or are allergic. And this is equally delish served warm as it is cold! YUM

So Butterfly, What's on Your Table Today?

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FTC Disclosure: I was provided with a sample of Knorr® Homestyle Stock by Smiley360 for my evaluation. This is a non-sponsored post and no monetary compensation has been received. Questions about our disclosure policy? Please visit:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Birthday Cuz!

Happy Birthday to Cousin Butterfly (as you know I don't name my family here for privacy reasons), my cousin and I were born two weeks apart, here is a picture of us celebrating his birthday this year!

Feel free to list your Wordless Wednesday links as a comment, I look forward to seeing your pictures!

Happy Wordless Wednesday Butterflies!

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Active Giveaway:

Don't forget to enter our Featured Monthly Handbag in the Spotlight/Mother's Day Giveaway for a $200 Gift Card to Wilson's Leather:

Please Note: Wilsons Leather also carries mens and childrens items, so this giveaway is truly open to all!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Day as a Not So Mystery Shopper in New York City!

Years ago when the 'Mystery Shopper' idea became popular and people were looking for a way to supplement their income, programs cropped up like wildfire, some reputable, others not so much. I won't say the idea didn't intrigue me, but I never had time to pursue it.

The opportunity finally presented itself, well kind of!

As many of you know, I am now a Duane Reade VIP Blogger, it all began with my entry essay blog post where I shared a bit about what Duane Reade meant to me on a personal level which you can check out HERE. When I found I got selected it made that week's Moment of Gratitude, which you can check out HERE.

Here is a Group Shot of myself and fellow fabulous Duane Reade VIP Bloggers:

Can you spot the butterfly?

Being a part of this program has given me the opportunity to take on shopping missions and share with you a bit about my purchase experience, from how I selected what I was going to buy, the path to purchase and then the products getting used at home. It's like being a mystery shopper except without all the mystery!

For me my first shopping 'mission' was all about a lazy weekend and movie night. I knew I didn't feel like cooking, and wanted my favorite snacks at hand for my Movie Night, so I checked out the online  Duane Reader Circular to find out what was on sale before heading out to the store! (Prices in this reader are available through June 2, 2012). I was excited that right on page 1, I spotted my favorite treat, Haagen Daaz (2 pints for $7 which is a super deal) and I circled that, I already knew I'd be doing a bit of cheating on my diet that day, a better choice probably would have been the Good & Delish Veggie Corn with Flaxseed Tortilla Chips and the Good & Delish Organic Salsa. I'll probably pick those up on my next trip to the store (along with the sour cream and onion Pop Chips)!  I had already stocked up on another Duane Reader sales item The Dr. Browns Soda 6 Pack, 2 for $5 (I love the Dark Cherry and Cream Soda's from Dr. Brown's). and the last thing I needed was some eats, so I picked up a DiGiorno Pizza that was also on sale. Making movie night eats and treats complete! All my movie night picks were also on sale which made me extra happy.

During my last few trips to my local store, it was being renovated, and I was happy to see that it had been completed during my recent trip, the aisles are wider and brighter, and it's so much easier to find everything which is a big time saver!

Here are some shots of me on the way to the store, it's a busy shopping district, so it's not so easy to get shots of it without someone invariably passing by and getting in the shot!

Here's me finally inside!

Below: And as soon as I walk in, I find a super friendly employee wearing a Duane Reader tee shirt in one of my favorite colors purple, she agreed to let me take a picture of her!

I wanted to look around and see the renovations so I didn't quite go straight to my aisles.

Of course I got distracted by Beauty Brands, Products and items.

Latina Bella, beauty products made with Latina Skin tones in mind, FAB!

Finally made it to the eats!


Then it was on to the treats!

Ice Cream plus warm day means I'll have to run home so it doesn't melt.

Movie Night was a blast, here are my purchases in use:

Eats + Treats = Fun Movie Night!

There are more photos of this shopping experience on Ascending Butterfly's Google+ Page, and you can connect with Duane Reade online, Twitter and Facebook. (Check out the VIP Bloggers Tab on Duane Reade's Facebook Page and you'll see a picture of me! Yay!)

Happy Shopping Butterfly!

If you purchased any specials in the Duane Reader, please be sure to come back here and let us know!

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FTC Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a special social shopper insights study for CollectiveBias. #CBias #DReade #DReadeVIP - However all opinions expressed are 100% my own. Being part of the Duane Reade VIP Blogger Program offers additional incentives for my participation. Questions about Ascending Butterfly's Disclosure Policy? Please visit: