Friday, May 26, 2023

Gardens & Works by Ebony G. Patterson …things come to thrive…in the shedding…in the molting…begins May 27 at New York Botanical Garden #EbonyGPatterson #EbonyGPattersonNYBG

Happy Memorial Day Weekend Butterflies!

For my New York City Butterflies, here is a memorial day weekend recommendation for you!

Visual Artist Ebony G. Patterson, Courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago; Photo: Frank Isman

Contemporary Visual Artist and winner of the 2023 David C. Driskell Prize, Ebony G. Patterson's latest exhibition "things come to thrive…in the shedding…in the molting…" is set to open to the public starting May 27 and run through September 17th, 2023. 

New York Botanical is showcasing creative women of color twice in a row, first with this year's Orchid Show with designer Lily Kwong and now with this exhibition by Ebony G. Patterson - and I am entirely here for it!

Ms. Patterson is the first visual artist ever to embed within the institution for an immersive residency. She worked directly with NYBG's gardens and collections to form a new body of work that brings her unique perspective on formal gardens to life within the 250-acre National Historic Landmark Landscape.

Visual Artist Ebony G. Patterson, Courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago; Photo: Frank Isman

Gardens tend to be celebrated when they are in full bloom, when they are fragrant and colorful. They don't get the same love when they are dormant or worse still decaying. But they are nonetheless an important part of the process and life, and this is what is explored in this new exhibition.

The exhibition reflects a deep engagement with the concept of gardens as human-made interventions in nature while shedding new light on the Botanical Garden. It aims to provide new pathways for engagement with the garden and the natural world. It explores that the processes of molting, shedding and decaying are actually revelatory processes that give way to healing, regeneration and ultimately beauty. Are gardens really burial grounds for history?

Outside of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory there are hundreds of vulture sculptures each doing something different but many are focused on flowers, flowers that include zinnias, sunflowers, and cosmos rendered in blood-red hues, with ruptures that are being tended to by the vultures.Vultures remove dead and decaying animals from the environment. Patterson reveals that while they don't have the most glamorous job in nature, their work is nonetheless important. She refers to their essential ecosystem service as an "act of care".


In addition to the glitter encrusted vultures, there is also a monumental peacock sculpture! Patterson's work explores the entanglements of race, gender and colonialism while inviting visitors to contemplate their own relationships with gardens and the natural world.


Adults: $35

Students (with Valid ID) and Seniors (65+): $31

Children (2-12 years of age): $15

Children under 2: FREE

Patrons/Members: FREE

Wednesdays all day grounds access pass is FREE to NYC residents! Remember that Grounds Admission does not include admission to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Special Exhibitions or Tram Tour. Visit for more information on event calendar and ticket pricing.


As a butterfly lover I have always marveled at Nature's ability to transform itself. A butterfly starts out as a caterpillar. Not the prettiest creature, but it transforms itself into a thing of delicate and graceful beauty. As you explore, make it a mindful meditation on ways you can shed what no longer serves you to emerge into a more beautiful version of yourself. (inner beauty and grace, not just outer!)

Readers Sound Off: What are your weekend plans?

Also, are you NYC central or will be this summer? If you would like me to host a giveaway for tickets to this exhibition, let us know in the comments and I will try my best to make it happen!

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored/compensated post. 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, check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure. 

If you like this article treat me to a coffee, a caffeinated writer is a happy writer! or$ascendingbutterfly or Venmo: Ascending1

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

#ad May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Let's explore ways to elevate mood and enhance mental health! #PureAmbassador #DollSquad

Mental Health Awareness Month!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month (MAHM). Some people are calling it *Mood Awareness Month* as well. I strongly believe our Mental Health greatly affects our Physical Health. While it is certainly not as simple as 'mind over matter', our mental health is as important to our well-being as our physical health.

Are you the strong one in your social circle? The one who everyone relies on, looks towards for solutions or help? Is anyone checking in on you?

The weight of caring for others can greatly affect our mood and our mood correlates with our mental health. I just want you to know I see you! I am that person in my circles, and over the past few years where my chronic pain has reached higher levels than I could handle, I often mentioned that I was not OK, and sadly was never met with the sympathy/empathy I have shown others. I had one person on Facebook that I have known for years tell me "Do you think that you are the only person in the world with problems?" I thought I felt alone in 2011 when I was in a hospital bed deathly ill and no one seemed to care, but having someone say that to me so pointedly cut to the quick. Not only was it a painful revelation but also one that made me turn inwards and become even more stoic than I already am. Bottling things up is never good!

*Self Care* has been my New Year's Focus Phrase/Intention for a number of years now. Do you know why? Because I haven't been doing the best job of it. Not a lack of knowledge but a set of catch 22 circumstances that hasn't made it easy to be kind enough to myself.

There are three sets of circumstances that share something in common, weight loss, developing healthy eating habits and mental health - people can shove pat answers and platitudes down your throat but until you yourself take the reins, nothing changes. They all also need to start directly with seeking the right Doctor to rule out organic issues for the problem. Provided you have already done that, let's explore ways to improve mood and mental health, not just in May, but everyday! That is exactly what the Ascending Butterfly Empowerment Community is all about.

Which heart are you today?

Before I delve into some ways I am using to improve my mood, I have to start by reminding you that if you are in a dark place, if you are feeling suicidal reach out! Pick up your phone and dial 988, it is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week. You matter. You are not alone. Tomorrow is a fresh start - but you

Money is NOT your identity - if you are experiencing financial insecurities there are ways out, if you are experiencing food insecurities apply to the supplemental nutrition assistance program to help get you and your family meals until things turn around. If money is not your issue but too much time is or loneliness has you feeling down, there are tons of not-for-profit organizations who still need volunteers. Look into community organizations in your neighborhood to make an impact on your community!

I am a long time mushroom lover and have been exploring finding more ways to incorporate mushrooms into my daily routine - I do cook with them but was never sure if I was getting enough of their benefits that way.

Here are some mood boosters I have been greatly enjoying!

🦋 If you spend too many hours in front of a digital device - computer, phone, laptop, you are going to be interested in this product! I am currently trying the ScreenProtect Gummy from Pure Encapsulations - I spend all day in front of digital devices. I do have my laptop on the setting that protects me from blue light but since I am in front of a screen literally all day long I thought I could use more help! These papaya flavored gummies are a nootropic blend that support mental endurance and visual function during extended computer use. These support visual acuity & comfort with lutein + zeaxanthin.
They promote mental endurance, support mental alertness for up to 5 hours, and they contain EnXtra Alpinia galanga extract for a caffeine-free mental endurance support. They are indicated for individuals with 3+ hours of screen use daily and are also over 18 years of age! I just started with these so I will report back in a bit on how they are working for me once I have had more time taking them. This is my first nootropic supplement ever so I feel like I have so much to learn. I am trying to get better at taking care of my eye health. I put way too much strain on my eyes both writing and doing photography editing.
🦋 This one says it all in the product's name: Daily Pure Pack - Mood Balance - I felt a difference in three days, and considering I am in constant chronic pain - currently having a Rheumatoid Arthritis inflammation pain flare that my Rheumatologist described as 'the worst I have ever seen and I have been doing this for a very long time' for this supplement to help me balance my mood this quickly is nothing short of amazing. This product helps to: promote positive mood, moderate occasional stress, maintain healthy eating behavior, and support emotional and mental well-being. Results will vary, but I am very optimistic about these for myself so far. I also really like Pure Encapsulations SAMe which I have featured here before.
🦋 Mushrooms are also appearing in beauty products and I have one that belongs on your radar! Doll Skin Genius Hyaluronic & Reishi Mushroom Repairing Serum. This hydrating and repairing serum with reishi mushroom and five weights of hyaluronic acid penetrates deeply and fills skin with hydration for a visibly plump effect. This bottle of serum is definitely vanity worthy and pairs perfectly with my next reco:
🦋 Yes you can apply any serum with your hand, but how about a method of application that in and of itself has multiple benefits? I am obsessed with my new A&G Stone Gua Sha Facial Massage Tool that I purchased at World Market (yes, I bought this one, it was not gifted!) Gua Sha has origins in Chinese Medicine, the smooth edge of the Gua Sha is used to lightly scrape the face and neck to stimulate blood circulation and lymphatic drainage and is thought to lift and tone the skin. It is recommended to use it with you favorite skincare, I prefer using it with serums. Rose quartz is considered the love stone so I selected this stone to help enhance my self-care and self-love healing vibes for 2023! They also have this one in Jade if welcoming in prosperity as you manage your self care is more your vibe. Either way, you can't go wrong. Just remember, be gentle, don't tug at your face!
🦋 Scent, Rest and Sleep - I have recommended a few CBD, Melatonin and Teas on these pages that help with sleep. As well as aromatherapy options like lavender that help with relaxation. I don't get enough sleep and I am actively working on getting better with this aspect of my self-care.
🦋 Music - A cheap and easy way to elevate your mood! Have you updated your playlist lately? Try making mood playlists. You don't have to listen to the playlist that reflects your current mood you can listen to the one that reflects the mood you *want* to be in.
🦋 Pets - The benefits to your mood from welcoming a pet into your life are numerous. Pets will return your love and affection ten fold.
🦋 Pay it forward/Good deeds. Pay for coffee for the person behind you on line, or a fast food meal, or for gas, etc. Knowing you are bringing someone unexpected joy will bring you joy as well. And you never know when that good karma will come back to you. More than likely it will be when you least expect it and most need it. 
If you are in the mood for a more comprehensive read on this topic, check out this great article on Food Revolution Network entitled "How Mushrooms Can Help with Depression, Anxiety, and Your Overall Mental Health" published June 22, 2022.
So many things can affect our mood positively or negatively, but actively working on what triggers your bad mood and learning to adjust how you react to those stressors will go a long way to preserving a more balanced mood and ultimately your mental health and well-being. Just like with weight loss and developing healthy eating habits, you have to start with small steps and build so those positive new behaviors become a new habit. A new *healthier* behavior!
I am trying every avenue I can to improve my mood and my mental health and being more aware of my mood, of my need to take breaks, and my need to be more disciplined with healthy habits. It's a process and journey, not a silver bullet or an overnight fix.
And yes butterflies, we all just have blah days - those days where we can't put a name to why we are less than our usual selves. It's OK. Take that mental health day. Give yourself permission to rest, to put off the things that can wait until tomorrow, to talk it out with a friend, a therapist, a family member - there are so many ways to elevate your mood.
So don't let that HBO show turn you off to the power of mushrooms! And remember with a supplement you don't have to worry about taste issues for those of you who would like the benefits of mushrooms but don't care for the taste. No, you don't burp up a mushroom taste in your mouth with any of these supplements! 🍄☺
Readers Sound Off: How do you elevate your mood? What heart are you today from the Mental Health Check In Graphic?

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. There is no financial remuneration in the making of this post, some products were provided for Editorial Consideration others were purchased. 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, check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure. 

If you like this article treat me to a coffee, a caffeinated writer is a happy writer!$ascendingbutterfly

Venmo: Ascending1

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Beautiful Mother's Day Wishes from your friends at Ascending Butterfly! #MothersDay #MothersDay2023

Happy Mother's Day Butterflies!

Happy Mother's Day Butterfly, whether you are:

🦋 A Mother of one or many!

🦋 A mother who has lost her children.

🦋 An adoptive mom who brought a child who needed love into her home!

🦋 A grandmother

🦋 A great-grandmother

🦋 A pet mom!

🦋 A plant Mom!

🦋 Someone who wants to be a mom.

🦋A Godmother!

🦋An Aunt who is raising a niece or nephew


Me and mom weren't in the mood for crowds this year so I took her to dinner on Friday and plan to cook today, and I also surprised her with a card from Fresh Cut Paper called 'Pink Tulips' I love how they look like an actual bouquet of flowers, her last name 'rosado' translates to pink in English. The bouquet comes with a note card, but inside the notecard I put in an Asian Money Envelope for this year - the year of the rabbit - because my mom was born in the year of the rabbit and in the money envelope I put money in the exact amount of the years I have walked this earth - I knew that would make her smile. She actually made me laugh by saying she can't wait until I turn $100! I ordered her favorite cake but sadly it won't be here on time.

Here is the card:

(And NO dolls this is not sponsored, they have no idea I am featuring them today!) 

I am sending one out to my Lawyer soon as a thank you for her efforts in my case in a different style!

I love this idea so much! They truly make thoughtful gifts and the notecard is perfect for writing your sentiments and also slipping in a gift card should you choose to add something additional. And they only take four forever stamps so you don't have to run to the post office provided you have stamps on hand of course!

I always try to put together thoughtful and fun ways to make my mom feel celebrated and appreciated.

Readers Sound Off: How are you spending Mother's Day this year?

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. 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, check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure. 

If you like this article treat me to a coffee, a caffeinated writer is a happy writer!$ascendingbutterfly

Venmo: Ascending1