Monday, July 24, 2017

#OnTheBlog @Influenster @Smashbox Cover Shot Eye Palette and Be Legendary Liquid Lip + my #RevitaliftChallenge #MailMondays

Disclosure: I received all products at no cost to me as a member of Influenster.

How has summer been treating you so far my butterflies? - what can I say, I have been so busy living my life that it's left me with less time than usual to blog about it. A very good problem to have.

I am a long standing member of Influenster, and normally get to dive into my Influenster 'Vox Box', the moment they arrive, but these last two were a bit different.

The first one literally got lost in the mail, but luckily I have a great Mail Carrier and was able to enlist his help, the box was beat up, but thankfully the contents weren't destroyed and finally arrived safely, sadly quite a bit after deadline. While you all know I am diametrically opposed to doing free work on my blog and then be given a deadline to boot, I do try my best to keep campaign goals in mind, especially for Influenster as they have always been really good to me!

The second box required a 14 day testing period, so I am coming at you with TWO Influenster boxes today instead of one.

The first contained Smashbox Cover Shot Eye Palette (Metallics) and Be Legendary Liquid Lip (Crimson) and the second contained L'Oreal's Revitalift Triple Power Deep Acting Moisturizer. They are combined below:


























MY TAKE:

So here is the scoop:

I have to start with the lippie, This liquid lip formula glides on with the full coverage of a lipstick and the high shine of a gloss in a single coat. If you are a long time reader you know that I wear red or a variation of it DAILY but I normally customize it myself - it is a mix of two lipsticks and a particular gloss (Duwop's Lip Venom) which I enjoy taking time with to get the blend that compliments my Latina skin tone. The Be Legendary Liquid Lip is what I would consider the 'night' version of my custom lip blend as it's more high gloss with a unique sheen that is perfect! While I wear reds, wines or crimson daily it might be too strong a color choice for most by day, but it gives me the look that I spend a lot of time customizing myself right out the tube, so SCORE! YES! YAS! and PERK! (Note: If you read the reviews, many find this too sticky - they are going for a very high gloss look with this one, it is not a full on lipstick nor is it a matte). If this lipgloss were a person, she would be vampy, very life of the party, heads will turn. This lipgloss is a 'boss b*tch' and she is leaving the party with a purse full of digits, just saying.

The Smashbox Cover Eye Palette quickly became a fave for the unique optical illusion which doesn't photograph well, maybe I should have done a quick video so you can see it, but you stay for the adaptable colors and thankfully their site offers some daytime vs night time looks created with the very same palette I received. I wish I would have gotten it in 'Smoky' because I have gotten way better at a smoky eye, but the metallic grey in the palette I received is worth the price of admission as far as I'm concerned. I also greatly appreciate the size of this palette as a travel lover, this eye palette is perfectly portable - not too big, not too small.

We are no stranger to Smashbox on Ascending Butterfly, I am a big fan, their products are always perfectly pigmented, I get great wear and they rarely ever 'melt off' - girls you know what I mean, the struggle is real, especially right now in summer, especially if your skin type leans toward oily.

Skincare: The L'Oreal Revitalift Challenge was a fun one, this moisturizer definitely lives up to it's name, it is called "Triple Hydration" and it certainly delivered. It is thick, so a LITTLE goes a long way. You are getting great value with this moisturizer because you really don't need to use much per application. I was reading up on the reviews on this and I did like some of the ideas that for those who found this too thick they used it as a night cream instead of by day and that is what made most sense to me as I already have BB Creams or light foundations with SPF I use by day (or often use Mineral Makeup Foundation) so I don't want a day cream that is going to fight with the skin care and makeup routine I already use. I also thought the reviewer that mentioned that she not only used it at night instead of by day, but also waited at least fifteen minutes before letting her head touch the pillow also made sense.

There is a good reason why I have been with Influenster so long (I think they actually pre-date my blogging), their boxes always contain quality products and their site is full of honest reviews from folks from all walks of life, and to answer that million dollar question, Influenster "Vox Boxes" are NOT just for bloggers, you can NOT be a blogger and still sign up for Influenster and get boxes, I was before I started blogging and after all these years still get that same 'kid at Christmas' time rush when a signature Influenster Box shows up at my door.

Influenster is also a community, so you can ask questions on their forums which is helpful, and I can tell you the reviews are brutally honest, no one holds back, and it gives you great buying guidance, which I hope I am also doing for you!

Just remember, you don't get every box program they offer, and you can go a long period with a dry spell where you don't qualify for a campaign. I want to say it's 'nothing personal' but to a degree it is, the brand is looking for a particular demographic and Influenster then vets their database against a client's criteria. Some demographics are based on age, so you aren't going to get a "College Vox Box" if you are well past College age. I know, many adults are in College too, but those boxes usually have a specific age range in mind.

And then when you least expect it, you qualify for three campaigns back to back like I did this summer, I have another box I am dying to tell you about! But this one is in it's own category and definitely needs its own day in the sun.

My best way to give you an idea of how much I like a product, would I re-buy them all if they weren't 'gifted'? Yes I would. But I put 'gifted' in quotes because product reviews are HARD work, they are time consuming and can sometimes feel very much like a labor of love. When you work with a brand like Influenster that takes time to get to know your preferences and what you are jazzed about it makes things a whole lot easier. And when a box knocks it out out the park, even better!

Remember Influenster is not a subscription service, you can't "BUY" an Influenster Box, you have to 'earn' them by filling out an accurate profile and following the campaign guidelines.

So tell me butterflies how are you keeping your skin hydrated this summer and what makeup is part of your summer routine?

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FTC Disclosure: Products were sent to Ascending Butterfly at no cost as a member of the Influenster Network, and all opinions are 100% my own!  This is NOT a compensated post. 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, June 30, 2017

#FoodieFriday with #Wine - @degustibusnyc Cooking School @Macys with #ChefErikRamirez of #llamaInnNYC paired with @ViasWine

Note: This is NOT a Compensated Post - I WON this experience!

I won the De Gustibus + What Should We Do?! Contest and learned a ton! (The post I am linking you to is a sponsored post, that is the contest I entered.)

While I have a ton of events I literally HAVE to recap, I am being naughty and sharing an experience I won access to today. I couldn't resist, this is #FoodieFriday on the interwebs, how could I NOT put up something foodie fabulous? Especially when that something is being paired with WINE!

























My mom has been taking me to Macy's Flagship Store in New York City since I was a child and I literally had no idea that there was a cooking school inside the store!

























The Peruvian Demo and Dinner with Chef Erik Ramirez of LLAMA INN in Brooklyn, New York included Exotic Food Destinations: Persia, Argentina and Peru with wine pairings provided by Vias Imports and water provided by Acqua Panna S. Pelligrino (a butterfly has gotta stay hydrated!).

















THE MENU:

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Gooseberry Leche,Chef Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn NYC, De Gustibus Cooking School, Macys
















Above: Menu Starter: Gooseberry Leche - this was such a delicious, refreshing starter paired with the Camps D'Estels Cava Brut Rosé - off to a GREAT start in my opinion!

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Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese, Muña, Gooseberry, Cancha, Chef Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn NYC, De Gustibus Cooking School, Macys
















Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese, Muña, Gooseberry, Cancha, Chef Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn NYC, De Gustibus Cooking School, Macys


















Above: Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese, Muña, Gooseberry, Cancha - just in case you are wondering, yes that is the same salad, in the bottom photo it was plated on custom plates for Chef Erik's Restaurant. I can't begin to describe how delicious this salad was. One of the ingredients used Muña, is good for folks with arthritis, aches and pains as it has anti-inflammatory properties. Cancha is a peruvian corn nut - I had never tried either one before and it had been ages since I last had beets. I live for salads in the summer and this one is definitely going into rotation on my summer menu planning. The flavors literally burst in my mouth! The creaminess of the cheese and the crunch of the corn nut were such a pleasant contrast!

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Chef Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn NYC, De Gustibus Cooking School, Macys



Chef Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn NYC, De Gustibus Cooking School, Macys

Fluke Ceviche, Dashi, Banana, Aji Dulce paired with a glass of Finca La Emperatriz Viura Cepas Viejas 2012 (RIOJA) White Wine, Chef Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn NYC, De Gustibus Cooking School, Macys





















Above: Fluke Ceviche, Dashi, Banana, Aji Dulce paired with a glass of Finca La Emperatriz Viura Cepas Viejas 2012 (RIOJA) White Wine

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Duck Sausage, Cilantro, Jasmine Rice, Beer, Spinach paired with a glass of Fince La Emperatriz Terruño 2010 (RIOJA) red wine, Chef Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn NYC, De Gustibus Cooking School, Macys






















Above: Duck Sausage, Cilantro, Jasmine Rice, Beer, Spinach paired with a glass of Fince La Emperatriz Terruño 2010 (RIOJA) red wine. I wish I had moved the Spinach a bit so you could actually see the rice and duck a bit better. I did like this one, and I am a cilantro lover, but I would personally dial the cilantro back just slightly on this one when I prepare it, just personal preference, and the Chef did mention that because he uses the stem instead of the leaf in his dishes the Cilantro flavor comes through a bit bolder. I would also remove any raisins in the duck rice. I love raisins but for some reason, just raw, not as ingredients in my cooking. For example I am Puerto Rican and many Puerto Ricans use raisins in their pasteles, and I do not like mine with raisins. So this recipe would get a few changes to make it my own but I would definitely re-make it as I love rice and sausage and the duck sausage was a nice surprise.

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Dessert: Black Carob, Banana, Peanut, Chocolate, Chef Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn NYC, De Gustibus Cooking School, Macys
















Above: Dessert: Black Carob, Banana, Peanut, Chocolate - I have to apologize here, at this point I was not cleaning the silverware with my napkin and the placemat was looking 'lived in' by this point, but that's a good sign right?

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THE WINES:

Camps D'Estels Cava Brut Rosé, Vias Wine, Vias Wines, Vias Imports, Finca La Emperatriz Viura Cepas Viejas 2012 (RIOJA), Finca La Emperatriz Terruño 2010 (RIOJA)


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Middle: Camps D'Estels Cava Brut Rosé (SPAIN) Suggested Retail $19 (ALL the folks at my table all wanted seconds on this one, including me! And for good reason! I love my sparkling stuff and I have a dry palate and this really knocked it out the park on both fronts for me!) - and see what I tell you all the time about wine, it doesn't have to cost a million to taste like a million! The grapes are 100% Pinot Noir, harvested by hand, with hints of ripe berries and strawberry jam. Alcohol: 11.9%

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Far Right: Finca La Emperatriz Viura Cepas Viejas 2012 (RIOJA) Suggested Retail: $45 This white wine is from a 70 year old vineyard produced in Spain that gives you a bit of white fruit, honeysuckle flowers, bananas and pastry notes and was paired with the Fluke Ceviche during our meal.  This is a young wine, No Aging with Alcohol coming in at 12.8%

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Far Left: Finca La Emperatriz Terruño 2010 (RIOJA) Suggested Retail: $39 This 100% Tempranillo from Spain was paired with our Duck Sausage dish during the meal. 100% Tempranillo Grapes aged for 16 months in 80% French and 20% American Oak Barrels coming in with the highest Alcohol content of the wines featured at 14.7%

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Chef Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn NYC, De Gustibus Cooking School, Macys


About Chef Erik Ramirez

His bio on starchefs is so good I am actually linking you there! You can find Chef Erik at Llama Inn which is located at 50 Withers Street in Brooklyn, New York - after this tasting I definitely want to try out the restaurant!

Above: Chef Erik was nice enough to take time to talk to attendees who wanted to thank him or had additional questions and I couldn't resist this candid shot!

Chef Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn NYC, De Gustibus Cooking School, Macys























Above: One thing I needed to point out is that this was NOT a press event, I was seated in the back and instructed expressly not to use Flash, now I don't have one of those huge paparazzi type of lenses and I didn't bring the tripod, which was for the best there would have been no way to set that up and really be able to enjoy the class and not have the equipment in someone's way, so I have to say I was quite proud of my DSLR camera. I think I'm getting better and it's definitely time to upgrade my Camera and my lenses! Chef Erik was nice enough to let me take this shot at a much closer range than I had the opportunity to take all night which was great!

About DeGustibus Cooking School:

De Gustibus Cooking School by Miele was founded in 1980 and is currently owned by Salvatore Rizzo and was founded by Arlene Sailhac.

Chef Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn NYC, De Gustibus Cooking School, Macys


Chef Erik Ramirez, Llama Inn NYC, De Gustibus Cooking School, Macys













Above: Owner and class emcee, Salvatore Rizzo is in the middle of both shots above. I couldn't resist nabbing a shot of him nabbing a shot of the team! I love shots better when folks aren't looking directly at my camera!

There is literally only three things to remember about De Gustibus:

You will:

- Meet and Learn From World-Class Chefs
- Eat Delicious Food
- Taste Exquisite Wines

MY TAKE:

Retail therapy as the school is located within Macy's Herald Square and a great dinner paired with great wines, SCORE!!!

YES and YAS to that!

As a single gal in the city I highly recommend this for a date night for so many reasons. It's not a dark movie theater, there is no pressure of 'am I ordering something too expensive from the menu', it is more of a demo where you watch the chef and not hands on, so no worries about getting some strange stain on your favorite outfit either. It's fun and pressure free - literally the making of a perfect first date. Works just as well for a girlfriends night out, a gift to a friend for their birthday (there was a birthday girl who attended the class in fact!) an anniversary gift, literally you name it, and it works!

Chef Erik's demo was well paced, his food was flavorful and bold, the wine pairings were great and I will definitely be re-creating these dishes at home, with my own spin of course! It was great to attend a Cooking School experience where I just got to enjoy as well. Most of the Cooking School Experiences I have had so far, many of which I have shared here, were totally hands on - which has it's merits as well don't get me wrong, but sometimes a tired butterfly just wants the meal to be prepared for her by someone else! It was nice having the courses and wine pairings selected for me so all I had to do was enjoy.

And I would definitely throw it out there that they might want to consider a Press Only Event/Class. Only other Editors and Food Influencers get each other when we stop to take a ton of photos, help each other with staging, shine our cellphone flashlights on a fellow Editor's plate to give them better light, having to clean the cutlery ourselves between each course, stuff that I can see how easily it would distract someone who doesn't get it. And you guys know I love my 'pour shots', but that is one thing I couldn't quite capture because that took place before the glasses were brought out.

School is out for summer but classes pick back up in the Fall - hopefully I can pair up with De Gustibus to do something special for my butterflies when classes resume in the Fall!

Let's use this as a fun focus group, butterflies what would your dream dinner be and who would the chef be?  What master class chef would be YOUR choice for an upcoming cooking class? Would you add a favorite wine or go with spirits/cocktails? I personally would love to see a class that paired a good bourbon with the meal as I have been obsessed with Bourbon's lately.

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FTC Disclosure: I won my seat at this event, this is neither sponsored nor is it compensated and 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.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Coming Strong this #ShoeSaturday with @AttrentiShoes New York City Shoe Launch held @GansevoortMPD Plunge Bar + Lounge

How has summer been treating you so far my butterflies?

For me it's been a bit of something I have backed far, far away from lately. Blog Events. You know those things we attend and cover that don't mostly pay us, you know 'free commercials'.

I haven't been about them for awhile now. There I said it.

It's been a rare event to get me out of hiding. I have attended more this summer than my usual, just slower than my normal getting them posted.

Then one day TWO events that for the most part overlapped time wise, lured me out of hiding, so like any NYC smarty pants I attended the one closest to me first, then scrambled like a maniac to get to the second one.

I haven't yet covered the first one, mums the word on that one because I want to work on something special for YOU too, so I am sort of covering that day out of order (you will find that happening a lot this year - what I can say, I have been so busy living my life that it's left me with less time than usual to blog about it.)

I arrived too late to enter a great raffle that was drawing literally when I got there, here is a shot of the CEO drawing the lucky winner:

Moraima DiMare CEO of Attrenti Shoes, Attrenti Shoe Launch Gaansevort Hotel Meat Packing District Plunge Bar and Lounge, New York City, Rooftop Lounge
About Attrenti

Attrenti is a comfort high heel shoe developed for socially active and fashion minded women. It's an adaptable and adjustable high heel shoe that combines comfort and style. Their patent-pending clip and rail system allows straps to shape around a woman’s individual foot to provide a superior fit. Their removable and adjustable straps give women the ability to change their look throughout the day. Each shoe is able to be transformed into countless combinations on one shoe base.  Attrenti's heel also features interchangeable 4 inch heels that utilize a simple push button system. The shoe comes in a variety of colors, designs and themed specialty heels, and women are able to switch from stiletto to block heels with just a click of a button.

Here is a  video that describes the shoes in much better detail and lets you see the system in action:




This was my second rooftop event of the day which was nice, those views are an amazing reminder of just what it is I love about this city. Those moments above the hustle and bustle of the city are so peaceful and when they align with sunset the view is even more spectacular.

Sadly,  we didn't get to try them on personally so I borrowed the PR rep and asked if she would mind if I took some 'shoe cam' and she was kind enough to comply:

Attrenti Shoes Black Base with White Wraps Shoe Cam Shot



















Here is a Lifestyle Video of the shoes:



That Shoe Jewelry Box for the heels and crystals in that video though! YAS and YES to that!

THE GIFT BAG:

Gift Bag from Attrenti Shoe Launch























This is the first time a gift bag completely knocked it out the park for me, it was literally as if someone had personalized it to me specifically, the contents included:

- The show stopper was the POET+JOY Wrist Wrap Clutch.  Mine is called "Graphite Pop w/Bag Swag" (which is the dangles!). I love the metallic accent and tassel on this one. I am a handbag freak. I may have let out a squeal when I saw this! But it is the hand-written note that made my day. It's an art that I thought was slowly dying.

The note said:

"We hope you enjoy wearing your Wrist Wrap Clutch as much as we love designing them. It is designed to keep your hands free to mix, mingle, & be your fabulous self!

Slip it on your wrist, climb into your happy shoes, & join us on the adventure we call Poet + Joy" ~ Mel Poet & Joy Chapman

CLASSY!

The Nude Bon Bon and Merlot Fizz colors from Poet + Joy are next on my hit list!

- The "If You Feel Like Dancing Earrings in Turquoise and Gold" by Ettika made me smile - I love Turquoise, especially in summer, these earrings will get so much use!

- The silver "Spring Bracelet" by Durrah Jewellery with the magnetic travel closure, sterling silver plated in rhodium is also going to get a ton of use. It pairs perfectly with the Wrap Bag by Poet + Joy too.

- Repairing Essence Daily Moisturizing Lotion by Deity - This is actually for HAIR, not face and I can't wait to try it out with Amino Acids, Herbs, Collagen, Jojoba and Vitamins I am sure my hair is going to drink it in.

- So Cozy Splash Swim Leave-In Treatment + Detangler is a lightweight conditioning treatment that protects, repairs and restores damage caused by pool chemicals, salt water and the sun. Spray on dry or damp hair, spray a bit on BEFORE your fun in the sun to protect against sun exposure, as it contains high doses of Vitamins A, D, E as well as UVA/UVB filters and antioxidants and vitamins.

- Suitable You was actually the tote bag all these goodies were contained in, I am not familiar with them but look forward to learning more! They help you build a work wardrobe that fits your style and budget. and having the clothes come to me so I can try them on at home instead of a dressing room sounds like a total SCORE to me!

- There was a cute high heel shoe necklace in there too which is on the right side of the Wrap Clutch in the photo above.

MY TAKE:

I love that you can buy the base for your normal shoe size, but if you have issues like a high instep or are wide width you can size up the strap, you can place the front strap where you need to in case you have a bunion, they are literally conforming to YOUR particular foot. Check out the Product Builder page, The Attrenti Shoe Kit comes with a shoe base pair, 3 different heel widths and a pair of Swarovski Crystals for $299.95 (regularly $399.95) during pre-order only and straps are sold separately. I also love the different widths of the heel, I have never been a stiletto girl and like a wider heel thickness.

And if anyone has 'problem child' feet like me and have had to go custom, you know just how sky high custom shoes can be, I can assure you it's WAY more than this and they are no where near as cute.

The swag bag was literally all that, but didn't include the shoes because they are still in pre-order.

I definitely need a pair of review units in my life as soon as they are available. I already hit the product builder and built my dream pair, being a New Yorker I will start with Black of course, with criss cross toe strap, criss cross wide ankle strap and since I am an April Baby, the Swarovski Crystal has to be 'Diamond' for me of course! I am also living for the Ruby Crystal, as Red is an Aries color.  I see some cute Instagram posts in my foot future!

Get Social with Attrenti:

Twitter -  https://twitter.com/AttrentiShoes
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/attrentishoes/
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/attrentishoes/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Attrenti-1094175377346623/

Might not hurt to post on their social that you heard about the Attrenti Shoe launch on Ascending Butterfly and would like to see a giveaway too! Wink, Wink, Hint, Hint! :-)

So tell me butterflies what would your custom Attrenti Shoes look like? Tell us what Color (Black, Nude, Pewter), Strap type and Crystal Color you would choose?

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FTC Disclosure: This was a press event for Editorial Consideration, and all opinions are 100% my own!  This is NOT a compensated post. However if they would like to bribe with me shoes as a Thank You I will rock them hard! 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, June 14, 2017

Not your mama's #WordlessWednesday a #WineWednesday with @VivancoWines - today YOU play #sommelier! #spon

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.

Delicious Decisions!

You know I am never quite capable of going completely Wordless on Wordless Wednesday, so I thought today I would come strong with a Wine Wednesday sponsored by Vivanco Wines and let YOU play Sommelier.

Which wine would YOU select?

The Vivanco Viura Tempranillo Blanco Maturana Blanca Rioja - (Much like me) Tempranillo, thrive with cool nights and slow ripening. Pale-yellow with green hues; clean and bright. Expressive, intense and complex (again much like me!) with aromas of citrus fruit, green apples and white peaches, underscored by elegant floral hints.

OR

The Vivanco Crianza 2013 Rioja - Bright cherry-red in color. Intense aromas of fresh, ripe red fruit, with spicy and licorice notes, accompanied by elegant toasty and smoky hints. (Being obsessed with Bourbon's as of late so I can definitely appreciate smoky notes!)

I LOVE their motto:

"Wine Sustains Us. It Empowers Us. It is Who We Are. " ~Vivanco Family Vineyards
Vivanco Viura Tempranillo Blanco Maturana Blanca Rioja, Vivanco Crianza 2013 Rioja, White Wine, Red Wine, Rioja, #WineWednesday, Wine, Wine Glasses,

Above: Left: Vivanco Viura Tempranillo Blanco Maturana Blanca Rioja and Right: Vivanco Crianza 2013 Rioja - Don't you just love my bling-blingy Wine Glasses?

My Take:

I hope someday soon to be able to take a tour of the vineyards and do a tasting as well as visit The Vivanco Cultural Museum! The Museum houses modern and functional collections that the family has acquired over the years. The collection includes everything from wine labels, to tools, manifestos and fine works of art by masters like Juan Gris and Pablo Picasso. The museum is an enterprising and ambitious initiative, and has become an international point of reference about wine, its history, production techniques, research and all cultural and artistic events that revolve around it.

The weather here in New York City has been sweltering! A nice glass of wine and a spot under the Air Conditioner where I can write in peace sounds perfect for Wine Wednesday!

So tell me butterfly which wine would you select the red or the white, and what would you pair it with?

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FTC Disclosure: Wines were provided to Ascending Butterfly for Editorial Consideration, and 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 24, 2017

When your outfit inadvertently matches the art exhibit! #ChihulyNYBG + winner of our @NYBG #CHIHULYNIGHTS Giveaway Announced!

Remember when I told you I took WAY too many pictures at the Media Day of the Preview of the Dale Chihuly Exhibit at Botanical Garden?

Did I also mention I sort of inadvertently matched one of the installations in the exhibit?

OK so THIS happened:

Above: I didn't get the memo, but I did sort of match the Dale Chihuly Niijima Floats Installation

Above: Sunglasses: Foster & Grant, Jacket: Wilson's Leather, Blouse: Calvin Jeans, Jeans: Silver Jeans, Earrings: Let's just say they are 'Vintage' :-)

AboveNiijima Floats, spheres of intricate color inspired by Japanese glass fishing floats from the island of Niijima

Above: Niijima Floats, six-foot spheres of intricate color inspired by Japanese glass fishing floats from the island of Niijima

Above: I love that this boat just literally free floats, so the spheres catch different light and cast different shadows depending upon where the boat is when you photograph it. The day I was there it was super overcast, thankfully it didn't rain!

Above: These Butterfly picks were in the Gift Shop, and again they are kind of matching my outfit!

Above: OK so I may have been a bit 'Orange' obsessed that day!

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT: I know you all entered my giveaway for a set of passes to Chihuly Nights at Botanical Gardens right? (see giveaway post HERE) - well drumroll please because we have a winner, Congratulations to Laura F.

There are definitely way more photos, I'll break them up!

My Take:

If you haven't checked out the exhibit, what are you waiting for?

Be sure to put the New York Botanical and this exhibit on your summer to do list!

If you are a blogger feel free to leave a link to your Wordless Wednesday Post this week so we can show you some love. NO GIVEAWAY LINKS PLEASE! (I do moderate comments but an angel and butterfly will lose its wings if you break this rule! And I know you wouldn't want that to happen.)

Mention Worthy (Please SHARE with a Military Vet!):

The New York Botanical Garden announces free admission for U.S. veterans to CHIHULY Nights on four select dates between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

U.S. veterans of any military service branch will receive free admission to CHIHULY Nights on Saturdays, May 27 and June 24, and Thursdays, July 6 and August 31.

CHIHULY, the major new exhibition at The New York Botanical Garden, presented by Bank of America, features more than 20 installations by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly.

What are YOUR Memorial Day Weekend Plans Butterflies?

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FTC Disclosure: No monetary compensation has been received, and all opinions are 100% my own! I covered the Media Day as press and the giveaway was sponsored by NYBG but NOT compensated. 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, May 12, 2017

@goldiehawn & @amyschumer  in @Snatched_Movie - Press Screening + Q&A sponsored by @OrvillePopcorn #SnatchedMoms

In Theaters Starting May 12, 2017 - SNATCHED
 
With Mother's Day swiftly approaching, I have the perfect movie to put on your radar. The MOMS hosted Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn for a Mamaraazzi event for their new film Snatched. Select Press were invited to a screening of the movie complete with Orville Redenbacher's popcorn, followed by a Q&A. The actresses sat down with The MOMS to dish on the film and during the interview Amy admitted “her uterus remains empty for now, but she would like to have kids someday.” (That makes one of us Amy, that makes one of us, LOL)

Above: Bloggers were treated to Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn for a Special Screening of Snatched



Above: Bloggers and their moms pose for a group shot during Special Press Screening of Snatched in New York City



Above: Mama Butterfly and ME doing our 'step and repeat' thang! LOL

Far Left (to right): Producer Paul Feig, Denise Albert, Goldie Hawn, Amy Schumer, Melissa Musen, Director Jonathan Levine

Far Left (to right): Goldie Hawn, Amy Schumer, Melissa Musen, Director Jonathan Levine
























Above: Left: Goldie Hawn and Right: Amy Schumer


Above: Everyone 'Getting Down and Dropping it like it's hot" in honor of the #DanceForBreastCancerChallenge

Movie Synopsis:

After her boyfriend dumps her on the eve of their exotic vacation, impetuous dreamer Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) persuades her ultra-cautious mother, Linda (Goldie Hawn) to travel with her to paradise. Polar opposites, Emily and Linda realize that working through their differences as mother and daughter - in unpredictable, hilarious fashion - is the only way to escape the wildly outrageous jungle adventure they have fallen into.

Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn star in the new comedy adventure SNATCHED, which also features Ike Barinholtz ("Neighbors"), Wanda Sykes ("Bad Moms") and Joan Cusack ("Working Girl").

Here is a Video of the Talk Back with Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn:


Snatched | A Special Mother’s Day Message from Amy & Goldie | 20th Century FOX  



MY TAKE:

It was fun attending this BYOM (Bring Your Own Mom) event with Mama Butterfly. Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusak are a great addition and are definite scene stealers. It was great to see Goldie on the big screen again after such a long hiatus and Amy confessed that the movie is both an apology AND a thank you to her own mom.

This is NOT a compensated post in any way, Orville Redenbacher sponsored the screening. (Full Disclosure Butterflies). Let's face it, a movie is just not complete without popcorn. Orville and Snatched went together like a hand to a glove!

For all those times she took you to see cartoons when she would have rather watched something else, take her out for some Mother's Day laughs and take her to see Snatched.

No spoilers here, but props for real 'island hair', real bathing suit bodies and some good laughs.

Happy Mother's Day Butterflies!

Readers Sound Off: What is the biggest adventure you shared with your mom, or if you are a mom, what is the biggest adventure you've had with your child? Do you like to gift your mom handmade/sentimental gifts (or receive them if you are a mome) or take her out somewhere special?

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FTC Disclosure: Access to special screening with talk balk was granted to Ascending Butterfly for Editorial Consideration and all thoughts and opinions are my own. This is NOT a compensated post. 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 see our  Disclosure Page for additional information.

Things that lure Ascending Butterfly out of her butterfly cocoon of fabulosity: Electronics/Technology (yes I am a Gadget Geek first!), Fashion, Jewelry, Bubbly/Spirits, Foodie/Restaurants, Photography and Travel. And remember Ascending Butterfly does NOT have children, please do not pitch her toys (at least not those that are intended for children).

Unless it's charity related, If a campaign doesn't pay, this butterfly won't want to play.

Smile if you got this far, twirl around twice and sing Mariah Carey's Butterfly. Still here? Now go make someone happy today.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

{#WineWednesday} @euwinetreasures Bulgarian #Wine Tasting and luncheon @huntandfishnyc with Sommelier @Marika_Vida

The National Wine & Vine Chamber Degustation for European Wines and Luncheon at Hunt and Fish Club with Sommelier Marika Vida Arnold in New York City


As a New Yorker and journalist who has served as a Media Partner to quite a few New York City based Wine Festivals, I definitely have had the chance to attend some stellar Wine Tastings, but I have to say this one was pretty fantastic and I knew it would make for a perfect Wine Wednesday.

One thing I have greatly enjoyed about the tastings I have experienced is the chance to try international wines and expand my palate beyond 'Napa'.

Let me take you through this experience:


THE SPACE:




Above: Chandelier, Hunt and Fish Club, NYC






































I must admit I am no stranger to The Hunt and Fish Club in New York City, they host very upscale events!

THE FOCUS:




Bulgarian Wine has such a rich and deep history, one I wasn't very familiar with, and much like a sponge I was fascinated and wanted to 'soak it all in', ok, so no pun intended!

THE HISTORY:




Above: Bulgaria is actually one of the oldest wine producing countries whose prominence rose and fell with each ruling class and whose Golden Age was during the 12th Century. In the 80's Bulgaria was the second largest wine producing country!

Above: Principal Regional Highlights: Bulgaria's Five Major Regions for Wine Production include: Danube River Plains, Black Sea Costal, Sofia, The Valley of the Roses/Thracian Valley and Struma Valley
THE WINES:





































Above: Cabernet Sauvignon Special Reserve Vintage: 2010

Vinal AD, Lovech is a modern winery located in one of the oldest Bulgarian cities

Classic 10-month aging in French and American oak barrels and subsequent aging in a bottle.

Notes on taste: Cabernet Sauvignon Special Reserve has a rich granite color, an intense flavor with a well-formed bouquet and preserved fruitiness, hints of blackberry and minerals. The taste is soft, harmonious, well-structured and balanced.

Food pairings: Fat meats, dishes with a lot of spices, heavy cheeses.

Awards: Silver medal from Vinaria 2011, 2013, Plovdiv, Bulgaria; Gold medal from Vinalies Internationales 2014 – Paris FR
 


Above: ELENOVO Mavrud, Vintage: 2013

Grapes: 100% Mavrud.

Colour: Intense red colour with brownish hues.

Aroma: Attractive nose, rich in ripe cherries, with hints of mushrooms, dry leaves, walnuts and smoke.

Taste: The body is full and supple, rich in soft tannins. Excellent structure and complexity, long and memorable finish.

Ageing: 18 months in 225 l French oak barriques

Serving suggestion: Pizza, pasta, red meat casseroles, steaks (underdone). In order to fully enjoy this product, it is recommended to open the bottle in advance or to decant it.

Best serving temperature:
18° - 20° C.





































Above: EM Brut "Edoardo Miroglio" Series

GRAPES: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

COLOUR: Light and clear, with greenish and golden nuances

AROMA: Delicate nose of fresh white mulberries and incense.

TASTE: Fresh, dry, mouth-filling, with a tickling sensation, soft and inviting. Honey, bread crust, and raisin flavors, complemented by incense and mastic nuances.

AGEING: 
Minimum 18 months on the lees.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: 
To be served as an aperitif, with fish dishes, white and yellow cheeses

You know this butterfly loves her Champagne, Sparking Wines, Bruts and all thing 'bubbly'.





































Above: Merlot Special Reserve Produced from high quality grapes grown in vineyards in the Lovech Region

Grape variety: 100% Merlot

Vintage: 2010

Production: The wine was produced by a classic technology and matured for 8 months in French oak barrels with subsequent aging in a bottle.   6) Notes on taste: Merlot Special Reserve2010 captivates with its rich, well preserved, deep purple color. The flavor is a powerful multilayer bouquet of pleasantly interwoven nuances of ripe plum, forest fruit and discrete vanilla, unique for this region. The taste is thick, voluminous and warm.

Food pairings: Grilled or broiled dark meats, game, lasagna with meat or   type of pasta roasted with cheese and mushrooms.

Awards:Gold medal at Vinaria 2013, Plovdiv, Bulgaria;Diploma from Wine Challenge 2011






































Above: Pixels Sauvignon Blanc, Dry white wine, 100 % Sauvignon Blanc

VINTAGE: 2016 REGION: Thracian Valley, Bulgaria

Vineyards:  Vineyards, where grapes are grown, are located in the heart of the Thracian region – Naiden Gerovo village. This region is characterized with fertile black cotton soil. The climate is transitional-continental with long spells of sunshine and more than 102 sunny days throughout the year and with a mild warm Autumn, which results in uniform ripening of the grapes with excellent ratio of sugars and acids. The average annual air temperature is 12 С° and the average annual rainfall is 539 mm

Tasting notes: Bright color with green hints. Delicate nose with hints of green apple and ripe citrus fruit. The acidity is medium high and has roundness and fruit. It will pair perfectly with shrimps or white cheese.






































Above: VERSION, PLAISIR DIVIN MAVRUD

Vintage: 2016

Alcohol: 14.5%

I can see why this one has won so many awards!

Tasting Notes: Wine with sparkling, deep, ruby-red color. Complex brand aroma, which reminds of a ripe wild blackberry, sweet dark cherry, and fresh forest fruits. In taste it is a juicy, fruity, mature with pleasant unostentatious freshness, soft tannins and long elegant aftertaste.





































Above: Villa Yambol Reserve

Vintage: 2013

Alcohol: 13.5%

Taste: This wine carries the spicy nature of Cabernet in a rustic, but delicate body texture. Our advice: aerate before consumption.

Aroma: A fascinating blend of red berries, cherries and oak overtones with hints of vanilla, clove, smoke taint and spices.

Origin: Thracian Plain


The Eats and Tasting:










Above: The Hunt and Fish Club put together quite a menu!


Above: You guys know I love my 'pour shots'







Above: We had a choice of Appetizers and I chose the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, that slaw and the sauce were delish by the way! (I wasn't fast enough to nab a shot of the salad that was the alternate appetizer/starter)


Above: We had choice of Entrée and I chose seafood (Artic Char) yet again! I am always team seafood.


Above: The other option was Filet Mignon! Talk about difficult decisions! (both were DELICIOUS) I didn't get a photo of the Roasted Cauliflower Steak



Above: Another Pour Shot! Would a wine blogger consider this 'the money shot' or is that just a tad 'too cheeky'? :-)

Above: Deep Chocolate Cake with Espresso Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache. Needless to say this was my choice and it tasted every bit as decadent and delightful as it looks!

Above: Carrot Cake with Candied Walnuts, Caramel Rum and Bayou Rum Ice Cream (I was lucky enough to have a blogging buddy sitting next to me who let me photograph her Filet Mignon and taste it! and I photographed her Carrot Cake although I didn't taste it, I'm taking her word for how delish it was because at this point I was STUFFED!)





































Above: Ivaylo Shotev, BWC Imports.

Totally Funny Sidebar: I was not fast enough to nab shots of "The Sides" which were: Truffle Tater Tos, Grilled Asparagus and Roasted Root Vegetables - ALL were insanely delicious by the way.

Above: I spot cute Swag Bags/Wine Totes!






MY TAKE:

Some standouts I thought I should share:

- Marika Vida Arnold, wine director of The Ritz-Carlton New York was our Sommelier and emcee, sadly my direct photos of her did not come out clearly, but she is seated in one of the photos above and I have linked you to her web page. She did a phenomenal job of sharing her knowledge of the wines and best pairings, I hope to attend more events with her, I feel like I learned way more in this tasting than many conferences/tradeshows I have attended. And kudos to the PR team FMG NYC for keeping this event so intimate and inviting such a diverse and fun guest list!

- Alcohol Content on these are a bit higher than I am used to in wine, so they definitely pack a punch, in a GOOD way

- I LOVED the reds! That's notable because I usually go for sparkling first, then white wines, with the REDS in most tastings coming in dead last. This time it's the opposite, the MAVRUDS were simply outstanding, memorable and notable and you will definitely impress your guests without breaking your budget.

- The price points are super budget friendly without tasting like they are budget friendly!

- Hunt and Fish Club is always consistent, I haven't had a meal there I didn't like and the service is always impeccable. It's warm, never aloof, fancy but without being stuffy.

This was an amazing introduction to Bulgarian Wine and I am looking forward to learning more about Bulgarian Wines and hopefully visiting some of these amazing wineries for myself someday.

Readers Sound Off: How/Where do you learn about International Wines? Do you have a favorite Wine Region?

NOTE: Don't forget to enter to win a pair of passes to #CHIHULYNIGHTS - The Dale Chihuly Exhibition at New York Botanical Garden Here

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FTC DisclosureThis is NOT a compensated post, press access was granted for Editorial Consideration. All thoughts and opinions are 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 see our  Disclosure Page for additional information.

Things that lure Ascending Butterfly out of her butterfly cocoon of fabulosity: Electronics/Technology (yes I am a Gadget Geek first!), Fashion, Jewelry, Bubbly/Spirits, Foodie/Restaurants, Photography and Travel. And remember Ascending Butterfly does NOT have children, please do not pitch her toys (at least not those that are intended for children).

Unless it's charity related, If a campaign doesn't pay, this butterfly won't want to play.

Smile if you got this far, twirl around twice and sing Mariah Carey's Butterfly. Still here? Now go make someone happy today.