Sunday, June 30, 2013

Weekly Moment of #Gratitude + Winner Announcement!

What I am grateful for:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Twitter Parties! - I hadn't had much of a chance to participate in any in the past few weeks because I have had so many events, but on Thursday I had a chance to participate in the #LivingBeautifully twitter party and I won one of the party prizes.  It's no surprise how much I love Twitter Parties, that's why I'm 'The Official #TwitterPartyDJ', but since I host so many and when you host you can't win the prizes, people sometimes forget I like to sometimes just attend them and have fun too!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - My Disconnect Time! - I wasn't as good with this for this week as I worked through the weekend, so I'm going to have to factor in some down time or maybe a long weekend soon. How were YOU at disconnecting this weekend?

I have been keeping my own daily list of things I am grateful for and taking time to acknowledge my blessings daily. A bit of concentrated focus on what you do have, instead of on what you lack or need, can make a huge shift in your life!

What are YOU most grateful for today Butterfly?

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What are you grateful for today? I'd love for you to write in and share what you are grateful for this week. The more you say it, the more you speak it, and the more you live in gratitude, the more you will find reasons to be grateful for, and the more reasons that the universe will send you to be grateful for. So join me on this journey of gratitude and inspiration. And you can post here daily (even though my list will be posted weekly).

Remember, attitude really does determine altitude.

It is OK to *Re-Tweet* the link to this post and You can find me on Twitter here (@Tracy_Iglesias) Twitter love: re*tweet by copying and pasting the following into your update field at Twitter:

OK to RT: @Tracy_Iglesias This Week's 'Moment of Gratitude' and Active Giveaways!  -

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Winners Announcement:

BuDhaGirl Core Cuff Bracelet
BuDhaGirl Core Cuff Bracelet

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Congratulations to 'Big Fat Happy Buddha' (we post our winner usernames instead of full names, this is why it's in quotes) the winner of Ascending Butterfly's BuDhaGirl Core Cuff Bracelet Giveaway! (ARV $395), the winning entry was #10, and it was a Facebook Extra Credit Entry, for writing on the sponsors wall, so see folks, extra credit entries really can pay off! Join me in congratulating our latest winner!

Please Note: Just a reminder to giveaway entrants, please follow mandatory entry instructions very carefully, some of you are not doing the mandatory entry which means you are not entered in the final draw. We eliminate the entries that do not follow the mandatory entry instructions BEFORE we go to draw the winner which means that those going into the final draw have followed all the entry instructions! (We like to keep things fair!)

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Our next giveaway is going to be another pick your prize promotion from one of our favorite intimate brand partners, so stay tuned!

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Gratitude Journal Reco:

For those of you who are interested in keeping a gratitude journal this year, here is my recommendation and where to purchase it (I love that it gives you writing prompts for when you feel stuck on what to say!):

Make this Your Best Day ever, Bless and Be Blessed!

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post, all opinions are 100% my own. Journal Recommendation uses an Amazon Affiliate Link. Questions about our Disclosure? Please visit:

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Taking care of your #skin summer & beyond + @ask_drgraf #DermDL Soiree! @Glytoneusa @Aveneusa @KOandAssociates #skincare #beauty

Ask Dr. Graf, Dr. Jeannette Graf, #DermDL
Dr. Jeannette Graf

During my visit to the fun Coney Island event that I shared with you guys, I got my first ever sunburn. I mean first ever in my life. All things considered that may not sound bad to you, but it was actually so bad it was pretty much Sun Poisoning. I alternated between fever and chills, pain, tingling, redness, blistering, nausea, dizziness, headache, upset stomach and dehydration Not a pretty picture! The sad part is that I did use sunscreen before leaving the house, but what I neglected to do was re-apply and I was out in the sun all day.

Because I lost my Aunt/Godmother to skin cancer, I'm normally hyper-vigilant and super careful when it comes to being out in the sun. Too bad this event wasn't held BEFORE that fateful day out in the sun!

New York City, City Scapes, Views, Urban
Our view from the outdoor terrace on a perfect summer evening in New York City!

I got to attend a lovely evening summer soiree on a beautiful outdoor terrace where Dr. Jeannette Graf - who you may know from either her skincare line via HSN, her popular book 'stop aging, start living The Revolutionary 2-Week pH Diet That Erases Wrinkles, Beautifies Skin, and Makes You Feel Fantastic' or you may have had a consultation with her as she is also the Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. (Yes the same hospital where I spent my third long term hospitalization last year!). She is a board-certified clinical and research dermatologist who has been recognized for excellence in education with the 2011 Mount Sinai Medical Center Teacher of the Year Award. In addition she received an award for Outstanding Achievement from the National Institutes of Health and obtained an NIH patent for her research on peptides, which is how she was fondly dubbed "Doctor Peptide".

It was a perfect summer evening in New York City, it wasn't too hot or too cold, the weather held out and we started out with the chance to put our face into a device that would assess our sun damage, if you haven't done this, you really should, it definitely opens your eyes to making you want to take better care of your skin.  And I don't just mean that in the superficial way with cosmetics, I mean down deep quality skincare that takes care of your skin from within so you can can radiate your inner beauty naturally!

We all know diet plays a major role in beauty, so I had to take a moment to snap a picture of these great eats:

Buffet Table at Ask Dr. Graf #DermDL Event in New York City
A beautiful buffet spread was accompanied by a lovely rosé or white wine of choice!

I don't know about you, but I personally could live on Seafood alone, those Shrimps were delish!

Starting with Circadian Rhythms (learning how to take proper care of our skin day and night) I learned that Day time is Protective Mode, our skin has a higher pH level and experiences Increased Sebum Production . Daytime Essentials include: Broad-spectrum protection, UVA & UVB, SPF 50+ in the summer and Antioxidants. 

Your sunscreen should be thing you apply daily before your makeup, even if the makeup contains an SPF! According to Total Beauty Media Group, one in five women between the ages of 18 to 24 does not apply sunscreen regularly or understand the severity of melanoma.

Night Time is Renewal Mode, our skin has a lower pH level, it is experiencing increased microcirculation and increased transepidermal water loss. Dr. Graf also reminded us that there is real power in 'Beauty Sleep' getting enough rest helps regulate your weight and offers anti-aging benefits. This is definitely one area where I know I need to improve, I don't get nearly enough sleep! One of the evening essentials that was recommended to us was Retinol/Vitamin A, as it regulates skin repair on a molecular level. Retinol targets Acne, Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Hyperpigmentation, as well as loss of Collagen and Elasticity. Retinol based products should be applied at night while the skin is in renewal mode since sunlight can destabilize the effectiveness of retinol. Apply retinol on DRY SKIN as applying it to damp skin increases the risk of sensitivity. Let it sink in before applying any other moisturizer or serum on top of it and be sure to apply sunscreen during the day, especially when using products with retinol at night.

One of things that resonated greatly with all the attendees was a Myth vs Facts quiz, I can tell you that not one person got every question right, which means we all have a lot to learn when it comes to better overall skincare and wellness!

Dr. Jeannette Graf, Ask Dr. Graf New York City Event, #DermDL
"Darker Skin is more Vitamin D3 Deficient, Get your D3 levels checked! UVB is what aids in D3 production, but since it causes skin cancer, we don't want people to get Vitamin D3 from UVB exposure." ~ Dr. Graf


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - All skin types require sunscreen - FACT

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Dark skin does NOT require sunscreen since it doesn't burn - MYTH (I learned this one the hard way!)

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Dark skin is not susceptible to sun damage or skin cancer - MYTH

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Melanoma rates are increasing in Hispanic and African American Women - FACT (We need to face that reality and if you spot something suspicious ladies get your primary to give you a referral for a Dermatologist appointment.)

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - The Stats: In a survey, respondents reported that they had experienced greater than 4 sunburns in the preceding year and this is how the percentages were broken down by demographic:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - American Indian/Alaskan Natives, 19.6%,
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Asian/Pacific Islander, 15.5%,
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Hispanics, 19.1% (YIKES, I wasn't expecting that!)
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - African Americans at 12.3%.

Butterflies the numbers DON'T lie, and the report also broke down the percentages by male and female respondents! Both of us (both men AND women) need to get real and get serious about our skincare!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Vitamin D3 Facts: Vitamin D3 levels are often LOWER in darker-skinned people, causing a Vitamin D3 deficiency, while it is known as the 'Sunshine Vitamin' Sun exposure is NOT recommended as a source of Vitamin D3. (Needless to say during my next visit to my primary I will be specifically asking to have my D3 level checked!). It is readily available in food (like one of my personal faves Salmon) and is easily supplemented.

Sunscreen in the Summer:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - UVA - While it's considered Low Energy, it has a Long Wavelength and causes Sun-induced Skin Aging that is the same all year round

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - UVB - Is High Energy with a Medium Wavelength, it causes sunburn with higher levels in the summer

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Use a Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Product with at least an SPF of 50, DAILY! (and yes even in winter, your skin still needs UVA/UVB protection and if you are using retinol products at night, you must remember to apply sunscreen during the day to protect your skin against increased irritation and sensitivity.) And remember to RE-APPLY it throughout the day.

My Take:

This event was not only fun, it was informative, getting an assessment of where my skin stands now and how best to protect it was a great post sunburn reminder to make sure I NEVER let that happen again! I appreciate Dr. Graf taking the time out of her super busy schedule to educate us on the importance of keeping our skin protected. We were able to ask her everything and anything about skincare, and the part where common myths were addressed was an eye opener for us all that's for sure, but as a Latina it made me especially sad to know that the myth that darker skin can't burn is still so prevalent.

Gift Bags on Display at Ask Dr. Graf #DermDL Skincare Event in New York City
Gift Bags on Display at Ask Dr. Graf #DermDL Skincare Event in New York City

What's in the Bags?

We were sent home with great products to add to our Beauty and Skincare arsenal including:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ -Rétrinal EYES - by Eau Thermale Avène which reduces the appearance of deep lines, puffiness and dark circles. It also contains "soft focus" powders which camouflage irregularities and reduce shine.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ -Thermal Spring Water - by Eau Thermale Avène has a pH of 7.5 is bacteriologically pure, preservative free, Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic and has been used since 1743 in the Hydrotherapy Center to treat serious dermatological conditions such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - High Protection Tinted Compact - by Eau Thermale Avène is a Broad Spectrum 50 SPF Tinted Compact 100% Mineral Sunscreen with powerful antioxidant protection that is formulated with Avenè Thermal Spring Water.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Sunscreen Ltion SPF 30 - by Glytone Skincare. A PABA-free, mineral based lotion that provides UVA/UVB protection to guard against sunburn and premature aging.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - enhance night renewal cream - by Glytone Skincare. A nighttime cream formulated with Free Glycolic Acid and Retinaldeyde to help clarify, smooth and firm skin.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - stop aging, start living - Dr. Graf gave us a copy of her book 'stop aging, start living The Revolutionary 2-Week pH Diet' which I can't wait to dive into!

Left: Tracy from Ascending Butterfly, Right: Dr. Jeannette Graf

Get Social With it:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Follow @ask_drgraf on twitter
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Like Ask Dr Graf on Facebook
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Follow Glytoneusa on twitter
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Like Glytone on Facebook
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Follow @Aveneusa on twitter
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Like Avène USA on Facebook

LeftMaria Gutierrez of Glytone, Center: Dr. Jeannette Graf, RightLaurent Saffré of Pierre Fabre USA

So tell us Butterfly, how do you keep your skin safe from the sun's harmful rays? What is your favorite sun skincare product or products?

*Bottom two photos are courtesy of Karen Oliver and Associates who provided us with permission to use these photos.

**Style Shout Out: The Black Suit I am wearing is by IGIGI.

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post, no monetary compensation has been received to share our event recap coverage and all opinions expressed herein are 100% my own. Gift Bags were provided to attendees. I really do take Skin Cancer prevention VERY seriously!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

#sponsored Get your #SocialGood on, 1 view = 1 meal donation! Watch @Toyota #MealsPerHour SHORT Documentary and help support @FoodBank4NYC

Sponsored: "This post was written as part of a sponsored partnership via Stiletto Media Blogger Network.”

Ascending Butterfly began as a small empowerment community with a simple mission statement: To seek out and share the best sources of inspiration on and off the web. To empower and inspire a mind, body and soul approach to wellness and wellbeing. We started with simple daily breathing affirmational excercises and inspirational quotes. We encouraged you to bring out the best within yourself first, because much like an Airline Stewardess warns you to put the oxygen mask over your own face first, you can't inspire others if you  yourself are not living inspired and empowered. It's been a super long journey since those humble beginings in 2009. But the first thing I learned about my Ascending Butterflies is that you all celebrate the importance of Social Good. You all made it clear that if the community was going to open it's doors to brands, and I very much made readers a part of that decision, you all mentioned that we should start with brands giving back and doing good. And I love each and every single one of you for reaching out to me with that stipulation. I have certainly stuck to it!

And just like many years ago you all called me to action about making sure our collaborations made sense and were truly an organic fit to the community, I now call YOU all to action today. I have a simple but very powerful call to action for each and every single one of you reading this today!

Toyota partnered with Food Bank for New York City to bring food to areas that were impacted by Superstorm Sandy. The program which is called Meals Per Hour, galvanized a team from the Toyota Production System Support Center (TSSC) to share Toyota know-how on how to do more with less.

Toyota in their wisdom sought to INCREASE the number of meals given out per hour. Through small changes, the team was able to increase the number of emergency meal boxes from 25 to 450 per hour! Providing 250,000 meals in the process. They proved that small changes can have a HUGE impact!

Watch Supermarché's documentary to see what changes Toyota made and why these changes matter.:

Toyota will also donate one meal to Food Bank For New York City, up to 1,000,000 meals by July 19, for each video watched in it's entirety.


Spread this via twitter, facebook, google plus and pinterest! How many places can you share this important message with your online friends? Try sending this message: "#sponsored @Toyota #MealsPerHour Supermarche Filmmakers @henryandrel 1 view = 1 meal for @foodbank4NYC"" or even re-tweeting our post or any post in the twitter feed using #MealsPerHour as the hashtag will really help this great cause! Let's make getting a friend to get a friend to watch this our Mitzvah of the day!

I try to do something good for someone each day, be it hold a door open for someone, help someone upstairs with heavy bags, just simple deeds that mean alot to the person who is on the receiving end, yet takes so little time out of my day to do. I try for three things a day everyday!

Butterflies, How many people did YOU inspire to watch this video today?

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Disclosure: “This post was written as part of a sponsored partnership with the Stiletto Media Blogger Network.” This post also entitles me to extra incentives and a chance to win a gift card.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Just Checking in from Stonehenge! {#Photos) #HumanNature

Tracy from Ascending Butterfly poses in front of one of the Stone Figures in the Human Nature Exhibit at Rockefeller Center in New York City

Left: Mama Butterfly and Right: Ascending Butterfly pose in front of the Human Nature Exhibit at Rockefeller Center in New York City

OK so technically I'm not really at Stonehenge, but it was fun taking these shots at Rockefeller Center in New York City!

Ugo Rondinone, a Swiss-born, New York Based artist has created a major work of public art for Rockefeller Center, the exhibit, called Human Nature, includes nine colossal stone figures that range in height from 16 to 20 feet and weigh 30,000 pounds EACH. He used rough hewn slabs of bluestone from a quarry in Northern Pennsylvania and gave each figure a distinctive personality. It's like a 'Stonehenge Forest of Giants' whose immovable legs form gateways through which visitors may pass. They run the full length of Rockefeller Plaza in New York City between 49th and 50th Streets. Mostly everyone is familiar with the location because they have watched the annual Christmas Lighting from this very location each holiday. This exhibition is free to the public from April 23rd through July 7th, 2013, so if you are coming into the city anyway for the annual Fourth of July Fireworks you should also take a quick trip here to see the Human Nature Exhibit! Human Nature is presented and sponsored by Nespresso and Tishman Speyer and organized by the Public Art Fund.

By the way, this is NOT a sponsored post and as usual for me, not entirely wordless! I happened upon it by accident between events in the city and thought it would make a fun Wordless Wednesday! Bloggers feel free to link to us to your photos as a comment below!

REMINDERS: Don't forget about super awesome Jewelry Giveway for all Fab Fashionistas of an Intention Cuff Bracelet by BuDhagirl. The Bracelet retails for $395 and there will be ONE winner, it closes SOON so if you haven't already done so, enter HERE. And I could certainly use your help on two contests I am in the final running for so if you can spare a second for a one time only quick click vote HERE and a daily quick click vote HERE I would definitely appreciate it!

Happy Wordless Wednesday Butterflies! Find something fun to do today in YOUR city!

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 FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a Sponsored Post!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Showing Some Sweet #Tuesday Love + Great Giveaway for #Jewelry #Fashion #Accessories Lovers!

And A Great Giveaway Reminder, Don't forget to enter our BuDhaGirl Core Cuff Bracelet Giveaway! Their jewelry is where Fashion and Intention meet, they are all about making life better by the use of intention, and that is definitely what being an Ascending Butterfly is all about!
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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a Sponsored Post!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Are YOU Ready to "Give a Girl a BREAK"? + We asked a Life Coach the 'big 3' life questions! @Always @maria_marin #Empowerment

#ad: This post is brought to you by Always, a Procter & Gamble Product however no monetary compensation has been received!

Each and every single day women are trying to pursue their dreams and realize their passions. Unfortunately, oftentimes, they are held back by other women which is way more hurtful. This year when I attended the #StrongMomsEmpower summit we were asked to take the StrongMoms Pledge and promise to help one another, not criticize, judge or hold each other down or back. So when P&G shared their current "Give a Girl a Break" initiative with me I knew I had to share it with all of you!

Research shows that helping others and being in the supporting company of other women actually reduces stress and makes women healthier, not to mention happier. We all know the rush that we get when donating or doing something good. That feeling is actually due to the release of oxytocin. So physiologically you actually feel good by DOING good!

P&G and their products are definitely a household staple for us, and I'm sure it's the same with you! So I had to admit that I found it very fitting that one of their brands that is there for women during a time they feel pretty vulnerable, hormonal and many times downright crummy, would partner with three teams of passionate female filmmakers who created short films showing how support from other women can make a difference!

About "Give a Girl a Break" and Always:

P&G's leading feminine protection brand, has been empowering women through it's products and education programs for 30 years. Always champions women who support each other and they will carry out this mission via the "Give a Girl a Break" program which encourages women to lend a supportive hand to other women and help support them in realizing their dreams.

You can join "Give a Girl a Break" to support other women at

A Life Coach gets to 'Ask the Coach'

Many moons ago I was an IT recruiter, and it eventually led to Career Counseling, (which I love) and then Life Coaching just organically followed. As a Life Coach, there are three questions that come up quite often, and P&G gave me the chance to pose any questions I wanted to motivational guru and life coach Maria Marin. (Fellow Subscribers to Latina Magazine may already know who she is!) But for those who don't, Maria is one of 25 most powerful women selected by top publication People in Español in 2012. She was also recently named one of the most influential women in radio by Radio Ink Magazine (2013). Maria's mission is very similar to my own: 'To help others believe in themselves'.

María partnered with P&G to film her answers to my questions! Want to get answers to the biggest three questions most women beat their heads against the wall to figure out? Then WATCH:

Get Social With It:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - "Like" Always on Facebook
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Follow @Always on Twitter
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Follow @maria_marin on Twitter

My Take:

If you are old enough to remember life before wings you know just how far we've come! Thanks Always! I think this is a fantastic initiative and I'm happy to see Always doing something so creative to empower young women to achieve their dreams and pursue their passions. And a very special thanks to Maria Marin for being brave enough to let a fellow Life Coach give her the hard questions!

Butterflies, visit the initiative on Facebook and come back and tell us which team got YOUR vote!

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FTC Disclsosure: No monetary compensation has been received to share this Social Good Initiative with our readers, product samples were sent to us and all opinions expressed herein are 100% my own!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Find out why @BryantParkNYC made this week's #Gratitude list + Active Amazing #Fashion/#Jewelry #Giveaway + I need YOU!

What I am grateful for:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - YOU! - Thanks for all of you that have taken a moment of your time to help us in the voting contests we are in the running for! In case you missed them:

I need your vote on two contests I am in the running for

(1) This is a ONE time only, super quick click, vote HERE

(2) This one is a super quick click daily vote HERE

and You won't get emails for voting by the way!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Finding a moment to Decompress in an un-expected place! - In between events during the week I wandered into Bryant Park and they have a games area, there are tables set up with games you can play already on them (like Chess, Scrabble, Jenga and more) and the young lady that works the tables was super helpful and encouraging and I got to play a game of scrabble in the park and our table was in view of the carousel and it was just this un-expected simple pleasure that I greatly enjoyed. It made me realize I don't stop and de-compress nearly often enough. I think I actually enjoyed that time spent in the park a bit more than the events I attended that day! I actually did something I never do, I totally lost track of time! So thanks Bryant Park! (And NO this isn't sponsored, they actually have no idea I was so inspired by my time there!)

What are YOU most grateful for today Butterfly?

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What are you grateful for today? I'd love for you to write in and share what you are grateful for this week. The more you say it, the more you speak it, and the more you live in gratitude, the more you will find reasons to be grateful for, and the more reasons that the universe will send you to be grateful for. So join me on this journey of gratitude and inspiration. And you can post here daily (even though my list will be posted weekly).

Remember, attitude really does determine altitude.

It is OK to *Re-Tweet* the link to this post and You can find me on Twitter here (@Tracy_Iglesias) Twitter love: re*tweet by copying and pasting the following into your update field at Twitter:

OK to RT: @Tracy_Iglesias This Week's 'Moment of Gratitude' and Active Giveaways!  -

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Your bracelet can be as unique as YOU are with these beautiful inserts!
BuDhaGirl Core Cuff Bracelet
BuDhaGirl Core Cuff Bracelet

Current Giveaway:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - As promised our amazing accessories giveaway has launched, and it's a beauty! One lucky butterfly will have their fashion socks knocked off when they get this beautiful statement bracelet, to win it, you've got to be in it! So enter to win the BuDhaGirl Core Cuff Bracelet today! (Did I mention the ARV on this one is $395?) With the main entry being easy peasy (as with all of our giveaways), why not take a chance?

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Gratitude Journal Reco:

For those of you who are interested in keeping a gratitude journal this year, here is my recommendation and where to purchase it (I love that it gives you writing prompts for when you feel stuck on what to say!):

Make this Your Best Day ever, Bless and Be Blessed!

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post, all opinions are 100% my own. Journal Recommendation uses an Amazon Affiliate Link. Questions about our Disclosure? Please visit:

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Some @NeoStrataSkin #Beauty Products to put on your radar! #BBloggers

When summer hits the last thing I want to wear is foundation, yet I often have to. BB and CC Creams are great, but they provide super light coverage and if you have acne scarring and discoloration you want a bit more coverage, but you don't want it to feel like you are plastering your face with cake. In summer the worst feeling is when foundation or sunscreen get into your eyes and makes them sting because you are sweating.

I had the chance to try out a few products from NeoStrata and I wanted to share my experience with them with you.

For day to day errands or for casual outings, BB or CC Cream is just fine, but for certain events especially in the evening I like full coverage, and I had actually made the switch to powder foundations years ago so I thought it would be a challenge for me to go back to liquid foundation again, but I was definitely pleasantly surprised by the Exuviance Skin Caring Foundation with SPF 15 (the color I used is called 'Desert Sand').

Exuviance Skin Caring Foundation SPF 15
Exuviance Skin Caring Foundation SPF 15

About Exuviance Skin Caring Foundation with SPF 15:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - It offers a light to medium coverage

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Anti-Aging formulation helps build skin health

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Water Based, Oil-Free Formulation, Non-Comedogenic and Paba-Free

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Safe on Sensitive Skin (and lately my skin has been a bit sensitive so this has been perfect)

CoverBlend Anti-Aging Finishing Powder
CoverBlend Anti-Aging Finishing Powder

About CoverBlend Anti-Aging Finishing Powder:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Subtly tinted loose powder that helps create a flawless complexion (I tried this in the color 'Sand')

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Smudge resistant finish

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Unique anti-aging powder blended with Gluconolactone to treat and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while helping to conceal skin imperfections

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Fragrance and Paba Free

CoverBlend Multi-Function Concealer
CoverBlend Multi-Function Concealer

About CoverBlend Multi-Function Concealer:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Ophthalmologist tested medical makeup that provides coverage of skin imperfections such as age spots, acne scars, dark under-eye circles and blemishes

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Fragrance and Paba Free

My Take:

I love the Foundation and the Finishing Powder, but sadly the Concealer really didn't work well for me, I'm wondering if it is because the shade I received was Beige instead of Sand like the rest of the products were? But I find that the concealer actually doesn't conceal for me, just lighten the color where it's applied so even applying it first and letting sink it in and then putting the foundation over it didn't work. 

The foundation can be easily applied with your fingers just like a BB or CC cream and it gives you a medium coverage and evens out your skintone the way foundation should. It's easy to apply and when combined with the Finishing Powder it's a perfect combination! I have to say this is one my favorite Finishing Powders by far! It even helps keep me from sweating through the way a Pore Minimizer would for me, so it gives me extra benefits and less product to achieve it, SCORE!

These should definitely be on your radar for summer and beyond! A foundation that goes on easy like a liquid and dries with the feel of a powder, lightweight feel on your skin, good coverage and an SPF, YES PLEASE! And it's matching finishing powder which you can apply with the sponge included or your own brush is the perfect finishing touch.

If you have tried NeoStrata, share with us what product is your personal favorite (or which one you would most like to try)?

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a compensated post. Sponsor provided products for editorial consideration only. All opinions are 100% my own.

Friday, June 21, 2013

#photos from the @coneyislandusa @ConeyIslandFun #ConeyComeback of @LunaParkNYC, @WonderWheelPark, & @NewYorkAquarium

As you know my butterflies, I am a Bronx Zoo Blogger Brand Ambassador, and I was recently invited to check out the New York Aquarium which is also operated by the Wildlife Conservation Society. And I have  to thank them because they allowed me to invite some of my favorite blogger buddies to join in the fun as well. And you know more bloggers means more fun right? :)

Fun Fact: Coney Island is home to the only aquarium in New York City: the New York Aquarium

We have definitely featured both the Zoo and Aquarium before, in fact the Bronx Zoo, The New York Aquarium and Coney Island made our top 10 list of family friendly things to do in New York City last year, we thank you for all the positive feedback we received on that post, in case you missed it, press HERE to check that one out.

As you may remember, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc and the Aquarium was very badly damaged in it's wake, but you know nothing can keep New Yorkers down, and thanks to donations and very hard work on the part of the staff, the Aquarium is in the process of re-building, they are under-going a 3 year construction project to bring it back bigger and better than ever, but they are very much open for business! So if visiting Coney Island and the Aquarium is a part of your summer ritual as it has always been for my family, you can keep the tradition alive!

Our morning started out with a great breakfast:

Chocolate French Toast with Whipped Cream, Yes Please! Add chocolate chip pancakes, eggs, sausages and bacon to the mix and of course a glass of Orange Juice and you've got a very filling breakfast.

We then heard from The Alliance for Coney Island which is a nonprofit organization that brings together businesses, community organizations and residents dedicated to continuing the transformation of Coney Island into a year-round, recreational oceanfront destination and improve the quality of life for visitors, businesses and residents alike. As visiting Coney Island has been a fun tradition for me since childhood I'm so glad to see the Alliance working hard to make it better and better and safer and safer too.

They had some fun trivia raffles and my friend Laura from the blog My 3 Ring Circus won a Luna Park Beach Ball:

Laura from My 3 Ring Circus Blog

I had to catch a shot of her hamming it up! Here is one of us both hamming it up inside the Aquarium:

Left: Tracy from Ascending Butterfly and Right: Laura from My 3 Ring Circus

Then it was off to the Sea Lion Celebration at the newly renovated Aquatheater at The New York Aquarium:

They use three different Sea Lions during the performance, and they each have their own personalities, they are all total hams!

This shot below is one of my favorite moments from the show, he is just totally enjoying the love:

I took WAY too many pictures of the Sea Lions so please check out our Pinterest Page and check out additional photos from the Sea Lion Show that didn't make this post for lack of space!

At the end you get the chance to get up close and personal!

Don't be scared, he is just saying HELLO! (really loud!) :)

After the show we walked through the Aquarium to check out some of the fish, check out this 'little guy':

Again, I took a lot of shots, so check out our Coney Island/New York Aquarium board on Pinterest for more fun photos!

and then we hit the famous Boardwalk:

Left: Ascending Butterfly and Right: Mama Butterfly

Had I had more time I would have looked for a picture of us when I was little for #ThrowbackThursday, but that could take awhile so here is the photo we took together from this trip! (Hey bloggers who attended the BlogHer Conference last year, do you recognize that bag I'm carrying?)

I also had to ham it up with my blogger friend Issa from Single Mama NYC who I met at the first BlogHer conference I ever attended! Who knew that one night sitting at the same table during a blogging conference would lead to a friendship? So bloggers when you wonder what the most valuable thing you gain from conferences are, it's friendships, a network of great friends you can rely on!

It was time for my blogging buds to feed their little ones (I don't have little butterflies of my own), so we all split up for lunch, some of us hit Nathan's, and me and mama butterfly hit up a boardwalk spot for some rawbar deliciousness as we love Clams and Oysters! Then it was time for some fun on the rides! Gotta stop and get these first:

One of the first rides we tackled was Wild River at Luna Park!

That's Ascending Butterfly taking the front seat on Wild River at Luna Park NYC at Coney Island!

With the infamous Coney Island Mermaid Parade coming up this Saturday, I just had to capture this shot where the seahorse is holding the sign that reads "Mermaid Parade".

Thankfully the historic B&B Carousell has returned to Coney Island's Luna Park. For me, the Central Park Carousel and the B&B Carousell are cherished parts of my childhood!

To say I had fun would be an understatement! And if you are wondering what weekend would be a good one to visit? How about THIS one! With Fireworks on Friday Night and The Mermaid Parade this Saturday there couldn't possibly be a better weekend to hit Coney Island and The New Aquarium too! (Just remember butterflies, these are NOT your mama's mermaids so use your discretion as to whether or not you want to bring little ones with you for the Parade). And of course you can't miss Deno's Wonder Wheel while you are there!

What is YOUR favorite Coney Island Memory?

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post, no monetary compensation has been received to share our event recap coverage. We were fed, entertained, got to ride the rides and were given a gift bag! All opinions expressed herein are 100% my own. I ♥ Coney Island!  :-)