Tuesday, September 12, 2017

#ad: Going through @NBCThisIsUs Withdrawal? Would Winning #ThisIsUsMusic from the Series help? #Giveaway

AD: This is a Compensated Post Sponsored by One2One Network and UMe

This Is Us (Music From The Series)

Fall is upon us and along with cozy sweaters, boots, and for those who indulge, Pumpkin Spice Latte's, also comes the joys of Fall TV.

With most people hitting the road in the summer, summer TV tends to feel like the filler it is, and we await the return of Fall shows with baited breathe, wondering how those cliff hangers will be resolved.

I have a select few shows I am waiting for (what can I tell you 'spare time' is as elusive as a Unicorn for me as of late) - there are very shows I watch during live airing (I usually watch 'on demand' so for me to watch a show during it's live airing is saying it all about how much that show means to me) - one of the shows I can't wait to see return is NBC Television's This Is Us.

This Is Us Season 2 Premieres Tuesday, September 26 at 9pm on NBC. If you haven't watched Season 1, you need to get on that. Like NOW.

Be sure to have your snacks and beverages handy - you are NOT going to want to move, and be sure to have Kleenex on hand butterflies, this show will literally give you ALL the feels. Not some feels, but literally: ALL. THE. FEELS.

Above: Cast of NBC Television's Hit Series This Is Us
About the Show:

Chosen by the American Film Institute as one of the top ten television programs of 2016 and nominated for 10 Emmy Awards including Outstanding Drama Series, "This Is Us" chronicles the Pearson family across the decades: from Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) as young parents in the 1980s and 1990s to their now adult kids Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) searching for love, fulfillment and healing in the present day. This grounded, life-affirming dramedy reveals how the events in our lives – both big and small – impact who we become, and how the connections we share with each other can transcend time, distance and even death. Chris Sullivan, Susan Kelechi Watson and Ron Cephas Jones (who is AMAZING!) also star.

Ron Cephas Jones as William Hill in NBC Television's This Is Us
Music From The Series:

This Is Us (Music from the Series), a companion to the show America loves, is available September 15 via UMe. This Is Us: The Complete First Season will be available on DVD three days earlier so fans can relive all the moments along with the music from the hit show. With instantly recognizable hits and classics, an original song and a compelling score, the soundtrack features 20 songs curated by “This Is Us” Creator/Executive Producer Dan Fogelman and his team, music supervisor Jennifer Pyken and composer/musician Siddhartha Khosla. Each musical element is carefully woven throughout the series, with the songs clearly defining a moment or serving as a gentle guide through the complex emotional journey.


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 1.  Death With Dignity - Sufjan Stevens
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 2.  You Can Call Me Al - Paul Simon
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 3.  Willin’ – Mandy Moore - Song on YouTube here
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 4.  Can’t Find My Way Home - Blind Faith
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 5. Uptight (Everything’s Alright) – Stevie Wonder
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 6.  The Calvary Cross – Richard Thompson & Linda Thompson
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 7.  Watch Me – Labi Siffre
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 8.  The Wind – Cat Stevens
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 9.  Come Talk To Me – Goldspot
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 10. Blues Run The Game – Jackson C. Frank
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 11. If Only – Maria Taylor (featuring Conor Oberst)
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 12. Northern Sky - Nick Drake
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 13. If I Ever Was A Child - Wilco
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 14. Because Of You - Gene Clark
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 15. Evergreen Cassette (Tape Mix) – Goldspot
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 16. Without You – Badfinger
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 17. The World’s Smiling Now - Jim James
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 18. Photograph – Ringo Starr
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 19. We Can Always Come Back To This - Brian Tyree Henry
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 20. This Is Us Score Suite - Siddhartha Khosla

Mandy Moore as Rebecca Pearson in NBC Television's Hit Series, This Is Us
I am going to keep this post spoiler free because if you haven't seen the show I don't want to spoil it. One of the plotlines includes Rebecca Pearson, played by Mandy Moore, a mother with dreams of a career as a professional singer who eventually does attempt to live out this dream and we see her sing Little Feat's "Willin'" in one episode, the track is also included on This Is Us (Music From The Series).

Mandy does a great job with the song "Willin'", other notable tracks include:

"Death With Dignity" by Sufjan Stevens which fans will recognize from the series' debut episode.

A rare cover of Peter Gabriel's "Come Talk To Me" by Goldspot, praised by Gabriel himself! (not sure there is any other stronger endorsement than that!)

Above: We Can Always Come Back To This from Memphis Episode, NBC This Is Us
"We Can Always Come Back To This" a song that was part of Season 1's pivotal "Memphis" Episode - this soulful, Stax-Inspired song must have really resonated with the show's audience as it topped Billboard's Blues Singles chart at No.1 for FOUR consecutive weeks and reached No. 12 on iTune's Top 100 chart.

And in keeping with the show's theme of family and family relationships, not to be missed is Goldspot's "Evergreen Cassette (Tape Mix), drawing on Siddhartha Khosla's personal experience of living in India with his Grandparents while his parents were working in the United States and attending Graduate School. His sole method of being able to communicate with his parents at the time was with a evergreen-colored cassette tapes by his mother, who would speak to him, sing songs and tell him stories.

and the tracklisting concludes with the "This Is Us Score Suite"


If you are anything like me and can mark pivotal moments in your own life with music, then you need to win a copy of This Is Us (Music From The Series)!

Winners choice of physical CD or Digital Download, you're welcome!

Can't wait to see if you've won,  Preorder This Is Us (Music from the Series):  https://UMe.lnk.to/ThisIsUs

Follow the instructions in the rafflecopter widget below so you can be in it to win it

I would not survive my commute into the city each day without music. Literally.

And right now in the midst of  New York Fashion Week, Fashion Shows are putting tons of songs in my head.

My ride home consists of good tunes and trying my best to tune out the many sounds of New York City (I am a public transportation commuter so trust when I tell you there are A LOT of sounds to tune out!).

Relationships are the crux of the show, but what NBC This Is Us does is make 'real life' not just relatable but instead of the theme being something you want to escape (we all have familial relationships right), they make it something you literally can't wait to come back to each week.

The entire cast is amazing but Ron Cephas Jones as William is the show standout from Season 1 and for those who watch regularly Toby and Kate played by Chris Sullivan and Chrissy Metz were giving everyone relationship goals, and I can't wait to see how they develop in Season 2. (Season 2 and Season 3 of the show have been given the green light).

There are literally only four shows that get my FULL attention, I mean no laptop/phone and I go entirely device free - This Is Us, Game of Thrones, Ray Donovan and Shameless. They are wildly different, yet technically they aren't - doesn't EVERYTHING revolve around relationships in some form or another?

Happy to be partnering with One2One Network and UMe to put these tunes in your library and share my love for This Is Us. (My favorite music collaboration posts on Ascending Butterfly have been in conjunction with One2One Network, this is one influencer network I have been with the longest, and we definitely share music vibes!)

READERS SOUND OFF: What show are you most looking forward to seeing return? If you watch This Is Us who is your favorite and why? And for true show die-hards, lets challenge you a bit more: Do you remember which scenes go with each song?

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FTC Disclosure: This is a compensated post sponsored by One2One Network and UMe, 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, September 6, 2017

#WomanCrushWednesday Challenging the misconceptions of #Latina #Beauty moderated by @EmeraudeToubia #WeAreOrgullosa


You know how every month has an official 'something' day?

September has a quite a few, notable ones including:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Self-Care Awareness + International Self-Awareness Month
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Self Improvement Month
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Healthy Aging Month
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - National Preparedness Month (ironic in the wake of Hurricane Harvey + Hurricane Irma)
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Shameless Promotion Month (I thought this was a joke!)
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Save Your Photos Month
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Save Your Koala Month
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - International Strategic Thinking Month
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Superior Relationships Month
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Women's Friendship Month
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - and National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 - October 15th

Earlier this summer (well actually just a little before summer) I attended a launch event in New York City hosted by P&G's (Procter & Gamble) #WeAreOrgullosa Initiative where a frank panel discussion was hosted to challenge the misconceptions of Latina Beauty.

If the name sounds familiar it is because I have written about the program before in a post that was a writing challenge where bloggers/blogueras were asked to share their 'orgullosa' moments - moments we were most proud of. I look back on that post fondly as I still LOVE my list, if you missed that post, check it out HERE, but be sure to come back to this post!

The Orgullosa program is one of the largest platforms for Latinas by Latinas that provides tips and resources in the beauty, home and lifestyle categories.

In partnership with Crest, Herbal Essences, Olay, Pantene, Secret and Venus a panel conversation which was moderated by Mexican-Lebanese actress Emeraude Toubia (she portrays Isabelle Lightwood on the freeform fantasy series Shadowhunters) revealed a three step approach to breaking Latina Stereotypes that included:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Digital Lookbook - featuring P&G brands and offering readers product savings, style tips and inspiration for feeling confident, beautiful and orgullosa.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Photo Gallery - that offers free downloadable photos - anyone looking to represent Latinas will now have more diverse and inclusive options

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Docu-style Video - includes live interviews with Latinas capturing cultural stories aimed to inspire other women to embrace the beauty of their own identity

The Video:

Latinas are often stereotyped as sex symbols and boxed in as having one hair color, skin tone and body type, and are sorely under-represented and inaccurately portrayed by media. Challenging these misconceptions and showing that Latinas are multi-dimensional and certainly not 'one-size fits all' is what fueled Orgullosa to put the power of social media to work and partner with Latina Fashion, Beauty, and Lifestyle Influencers to share tips from their daily beauty routines as well as more personal cultural testimonials.

"I was honored to have the opportunity to moderate this inspiring panel; each story reignited passion to celebrate the beauty and diversity of Latinas" ~ Emeraude Toubia

Above: Actress Emeraude Toubia unveils a docu-style video launched by P&G's Orgullosa to celebrate the diversity of Latina Beauty at the #WeAreOrgullosa Event in New York City

Above: Left to Right: Georgina Morillo, Hiliana Devila and Ada Rojas, Far Right Moderator Actress Emeraude Toubia

These ladies are the participants of the Docu-Style Video. I love seeing brands partner with people to tell real stories. 

Above: Had to nab this Product Shot as many of these items were in our gift boxes.

Above: Treat Table with make your own treat mason jars to take home, NICE!

Above: This was during the day so there were no cocktails, but oddly enough this event gets my beverage of the summer award for introducing me to these, there were assorted varieties available for attendees, but these were my favorites with the prickly pear and orange variety (left) being my absolute favorite. I seriously need to find out if they need an Ambassador because I have not been able to stop talking about these!

Above: I  never pass up a flowers shot. Nothing brings more beauty to a space than flowers in my opinion.

Above: You all know I much prefer being behind the camera, so enjoy this rare butterfly sighting of me on the pink carpet 'step and repeat'!


More of these frank conversations need to happen to shatter and bust the definition of 'Beauty' wide open, for Latinas and all women.

There are a myriad of ways we can all be part of the solution, whether it's on Social Media or offline, let's celebrate one another, not bash or bully, not criticize photos or videos of other women. It's super easy to use the anonymity of the internet to join the 'mean girls' society, but it is just as easy to say something kind and WAY more empowering.

Ascending Butterfly has always taken a mind, body and soul approach to overall wellbeing AND beauty. and since I'm always listening to music while I write I am going to quote Lauryn Hill:

"How you gon' win when you ain't right within' ~Lauryn Hill (Doo Wop (That Thing)

I have decided to put my usual #WineWednesday to the side for this month and focus on a #WomanCrushWednesday instead, this week I am making all the ladies including the moderator, Emeraude Toubia, my Women Crush Wednesday.

I am also going to focus on various Women Entrepreneurs in this series.

Many will be the amazing women I met at the NYNOW tradeshow this summer. So be on the lookout for upcoming Women Entrepreneurs in my #WomenCrushWednesday series.

Remember Orgullosa is a COMMUNITY, so please head over and join to keep track of future campaigns and to nab great discounts on those Procter & Gamble household and beauty favorites!

READERS SOUND OFF: How do YOU define Beauty? What makes YOU feel most beautiful? Who is your #WomenCrushWednesday this week? Leave a comment here or tag us on social using the hashtag. And for my Latina Beauties also include #WeAreOrgullosa in your social posts so we all can participate in the ongoing conversation.

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FTC Disclosure: This was a private event for Media, Editors and Influencers, and all opinions are 100% my own!  This is NOT a compensated post although it certainly should be. There were gift bags. 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.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

@MotorolaUS Moto Z2 Force Edition held one of the hottest parties in NYC this summer! #HelloMotoWorld #TechThursday


I have attended some really fun events this summer, and if you already follow our social you have probably seen live tweets from many of the events I had a chance to attend this summer, those are the best way to get news out fast, but I also like to take the time to recap events fully when I can.

Now that summer is winding down and Fall is nearly here I can't really say I am winding down as September brings New York Fashion Week Insanity and of course a ton of tourism boards that hit NYC around the same time as NYFW events are happening to complicate my already insane schedule just a bit more.

I did tell you my event recaps aren't quite coming to you in the order I actually attended the events.

Oddly enough one of the hottest events of the summer, one can that came with a very secretive event invite that didn't reveal much (which of course makes Editors speculate even more), was actually held for a Phone!

Not just any phone, but the launch of the Motorola Moto Z2 Force Edition. That day I had two amazing events to choose from that just happened to overlap a bit but for the most part were going on at the same time. A very 'New York Predicament' to be in I assure you.

Now I have to preface this post by telling you that for the most part this is NOT a product review, I have requested a review unit but have not received one, so I can only speak on the actual feature demos I did get to see while at the event. (Being the gadget geek I am I don't give my seal of approval to any gadget I haven't put through its paces personally for OVER 30 days. Don't you just love that when electronics opt to break down it's always that day right after they are already off warranty?)

That being said, back to the hot party!

Above: Beverages of all kinds were flowing!

Appetizers were also in full effect, but getting a picture of them wasn't happening, hungry New Yorkers were pouncing on those apps so fast I couldn't nab one single shot!

Above: You know I live for my DJ shots. As #TheOfficialTwitterPartyDJ it's become my job to nab a shot of the DJ at every event, and it's a double perk for me when the DJ is female! DJ Vashtie kept the vibe flowing with great tunes in such a super wide range of genres and styles that I almost thought it was ME spinning for a minute. YAS!!!!

Above: oh, and did I mention the drinks were flowing?

This was everyone's favorite bartender, she had this knack for recommending really cool cocktail selections based on what I can only call your drink pattern, she'd get to know it and make spot on recommendations for cool drinks I hadn't actually already tried yet, and for a New York City gal that alone is pretty rare.

Above: The most impactful demo of the night, and the one no one could get enough of, DJ Va$htie at the #HelloMotoWorld launch party showcasing Motorola's new Moto Z2 Force Edition - it really is SHATTERPROOF-  July 25, 2017 in New York City. Photo Credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images North America. This is the one shot of the night you will see here that isn't mine.

The PR rep also did this demo for me, they encouraged me to try it for myself, but as badly as I need a new phone right now, I could not stand the idea of purposely chucking a brand new phone on the floor!

Above: Nabbed a shot of the PR rep showing us the moto mod moto gamepad console module which is compatible with any phone in the Moto Z family.

Above: moto style shell + wireless charging which is also compatible with any phone in the Moto Z family and requires a compatible wireless charging pad which is sold separately.

Above: And 'the mod de resistance' the one I really need them to send me so I can actually test it and try it out the HASSELBAD TRUE ZOOM MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY X10 - 10X Optical Zoom and Xenon Flash and (inserts my best tim the toolman taylor grunts here) shoots in RAW format! ME NEED AND ME WANTEEEeeeeeEEEEE!

If this lives up to it's hype and I can actually stop lugging heavy camera equipment everywhere it would be worth it's weight in GOLD for me! This is a feature I did not get to test personally or see in action.

I am super curious how this mod compares to the SONY Cybershot DSC-QX10 cell phone attachment I reviewed awhile back, if you missed that post, check it out HERE.


I did try to reach out to Motorola before this went live as I would have preferred for this to be a real review, like when I covered the Global Launch of the LG G2, (if you missed that, you can check out that post HERE), they did send me the phone to put through it's paces, and that phone was honestly one of my favorite smartphones to date. It replaced a Palm Treo that I was sad to part with.

I haven't tried any of the Moto Z series phones personally, but I do like the idea of the mods that serve so many purposes, obviously the ones that pique my interest include the HASSELBAD I am an avid photographer and of course in that realm the moto 360 mod to capture immersive Ultra HD Video, JBL Soundboost 2 (tunes are my life), and the offgrid PowerPack as well. and I am sure the gamepad console mod would keep the niece and nephew units happy and score me cool auntie vibes when they are over! There is even a moto insta share projector to project and stream movies, photos and shows!


Are you inventor at heart? Would you like to design your own Moto Mod? - Learn more and take the challenge HERE (there are 10 lucky developers already pitching their ideas in Chicago to Motorola and they are on the look out for MORE!)

There are a number of summer deals to be had, you can check them all out HERE

I am hoping I can twist Motorola's arm on a review unit and of course nab an extra for you guys so I can host a giveaway and give one lucky reader the chance to win a Moto Z of their very own.

READERS SOUND OFF: Are you currently in the market for a new phone? If so, which brands are you considering and why? Do you currently own a smartphone you LOVE? Please tell me what it is as I am definitely in the market for a new phone myself!

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FTC Disclosure: This was a private event for Media, Editors and Influencers, and all opinions are 100% my own!  This is NOT a compensated post although it certainly should be. This is NOT a sponsored post as I have not received product nor were there gift bags. 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, August 14, 2017

Find out why @Influenster + @KATVONDBEAUTY has me embracing my inner #SAINTANDSINNER #THERESURRECTIONISREAL #spon

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

Above: #SAINTANDSINNER Influenster Vox Box

After a long dry spell, me and Influenster have reunited and it feels so good, my last two Vox Boxes included goodies from L'Oreal and Smashbox respectively (if you missed it, check out that post HERE) and then I got a beautifully packaged surprise for the trifecta - the much coveted recently re-launched fan favorites of Kat Von D's Saint and Sinner perfumes!

The perfumes were off the market for eight years and recently re-launched due to fan demand with beautifully re-designed bottles. I wish we had been sent the full size bottles so I could show you all the intricate design. And because they smelled so great on me.



Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Top Notes: Clary Sage, Mirabelle Plum,

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Middle Notes: Jasmine, Almond Blossom, Lily of the Valley

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Base Notes: Vanilla, Cedar, Peach, Musk Tiare flower, heart of Mandarin, Caramel, Sparkling

This gourmand scent with heart of mandarin and caramel, is a candied floral, that represents Kat's (or any woman's for that matter) dreamy, romantic and alluring side.



Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Top Notes: Mandarin Orange, Orange Blossom, Plum

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Middle Notes: Jasmine, White Flowers, Cinnamon

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Base Notes: Vetiver, Patchouli, Vanilla, Musk

This gourmand scent that is a part sweet and part spicy represents Kat's (or any woman's) dark, sultry, and empowering side. A 'fragrant embodiment of the edgy, unapologetic and outspoken side of Kat Von D.

So SAINT + SINNER is a world of complementary contradiction:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - light + dark
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - vulnerable + empowered

and it is VEGAN and NOT tested on Animals!

Above: I thought I would feature other Kat Von D goodies I have been digging including the tattoo liner and Shade+Light Eye Contour Kit, the makeup items are mine and were not included in the Vox Box, the Vox Box solely contained the perfume samples, the animal print cosmetics case is also my own and is not sold via Kat Von D Beauty, just some fun staging!

Another Closeup of my Kat Von D Beauty Faves:

Above: The Saint Perfume is playfully resting on the box for the Shade+Light Contour Brush

Fun+Flirty Testing Ideas for YOU:

Test them both!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Hit your nearest Sephora and spray Saint on one wrist and Sinner on the other (these fade a bit quickly and take a bit to fully project) and find out for yourself whether or not you are 'Saint' or 'Sinner' or a bit of both.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Of course you can go the traditional wear Saint by Day and Sinner by Night route.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Him Test: Put a little "Saint" on your neck behind one ear and a little "Sinner" on the other and let your significant other tell you which one he likes best. No guarantee that these gourmand scent's won't inspire him to nibble a little! :-)


Influenster definitely matched me with the right campaign on this one, I love playing with Scent, and always tend to throw traditional rules out the window, if I want to wear a 'light as air' scent in the winter and a spicy, warm scent in the summer then that's what I will do. I also love wearing some men's colognes over women's perfumes.

So am I #TeamSaint or #TeamSinner - color me BOTH and not just in the sense of wearing one or the other, but I really loved mixing them both together, it gave them a bit more complexity.

On the whole in terms of longevity and projection they did leave me wanting a bit more, I found that both faded on me fast and I had to re-apply a bit sooner than I am used to. Saint is way more subtle than Sinner obviously. I consider it a perfect after shower, as an a.m./morning post-shower scent, it won't linger long and takes awhile to project so when you walk into the office you won't be offending anyone's nose or triggering allergies. Once you find yourself putting your nose to wrist because you can't detect it, you may want to re-apply.

Sinner is also not overly spicy, it's way warmer than Saint, but not super spicy, and because of it's shorter projection and longevity the beauty of it is having your special someone detect it mostly when they are closer to you which can certainly be nice.

I love reading the reviews that are out there particularly on fragrance reseller sites, they are wildly mixed with most complaining that Saint was too sweet and Sinner wasn't Spicy enough, but remember my butterflies, scent and beauty are both very much SUBJECTIVE. Scent works differently with our body chemistry, something can smell one way on someone and entirely different on somebody else, so try these on first, and then decide.

I do not find Saint 'toothache sweet' and thought Sinner was just right on the warmth and spice, a few reviews equate Kat Von D Beauty's "Sinner" to being "Opium" reminiscent. I do not find Sinner nearly as warm and spicy as Opium, but for those of you who have smelled both Opium and Opium's scented body powder, (which smell just slightly different from each other to my nose) Sinner can be reminiscent to Opium POWDER on it's drydown.

Overall: I did like both Saint and Sinner - match them to your mood on a given day, or do what I did and mix them both together!

So tell me butterflies have you tried Saint or Sinner yet, if so, which scent are you? What is your favorite scent - do you rotate but that have that particular favorite you keep reaching for more than others? Which is it? What are the notes?

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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 although it certainly should be. 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. If Kat Von D would like to send over the full sizes of Saint and Sinner so I could use the smaller bottles when they are empty as the place to create my alchemy mixing saint and sinner together using perfume funnels and taking them with me in my handbag/clutch everyday I would be more than happy too! :-)

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:


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!).



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!


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!


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


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.


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?



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)


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%


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%


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%


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


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.