Friday, July 22, 2011

Robert Pierre I'm All In Album Review!

For Robert Pierre latest album 'I’m All In' is more than the name of his third studio album, it has become Robert’s life motto as he responds to God’s calling to live fully committed to Him. The album, being released on July 26 from thinkaboutit records is a collection of songs that enthusiastically and energetically worship God while wrestling with what it means to be a Christian in a world full of difficulty as well as joy, and anxieties as well as excitement.
 “All of the songs have something to do with things I was going through my senior year while preparing to say goodbye to friends and not really knowing what would come next, but finding comfort and peace in the Lord’s plan for my life." ~ Robert Pierre

The Bible talks about how the eyes of the Lord are searching to and fro throughout the earth, searching for someone whose heart is wholly His, someone he can strongly support. This CD is me saying, "I’m all in."

Creating I’m All In was a powerfully personal experience for Robert, who teamed with veteran songwriter Jason Ingram (Tenth Avenue North, Sanctus Real, Bebo Norman) and legendary producer Matt Bronleewe (Jars of Clay, Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman) on the album and it shows! In addition to writing and recording 'I’m All In' and playing on a summer tour, Robertʼs weekly residency as worship director at Harvest Bible Church Orlando; the church his family helped launch just a few years ago, now welcomes upwards of 1,000 worshippers every week, keeps him extremely busy. And he’s done it all as a high school senior!

My Take:

It's hard to beleive Robert is so young! The music has a decidedly pop influence to it, and if you didn't know it was worship music, I could see where you could confuse it for a radio pop song, but not in a trite way by any means. I love that the message is in the words, delivered in an upbeat and relatable way!

Hold on to your teenage daughters, because his looks are a cross between Michael Buble and Elvis, with a cute mischievious gleam in his eyes and in his smile. I'm sure young girls are going to find him hard to resist! Nothing against 'the beebs', but if I were a teen, I'd much rather go to the prom with Robert than Justin Bieber, just saying! (Ok, so bad boy looks, but a good boy at heart? C'mon Ladies,you can't tell me I'm alone on that one!)

I can definitely see Producer's Matt Bronleewe's influence and get the Jars of Clay and Steven Curtis Chapman (one of my personal faves) influence. I like all the tracks, but stand outs include: I'm All In (Title Track), Sing For Joy, Dead to Sin, and Maker of the Stars.

You can stay up to date on all things Robert Pierre on Facebook or on Twitter!

I have always beleived that everything we hear, listen to, watch and expose ourselves to strongly influence our thoughts. Worship music has always filled my spirit and I'm proud to add Robert Pierre's 'I'm All In' to my collection! I know we live in a digital world, and I do add my CD's to my iPod in my 'uplifting' playlist, but I still like to have actual CD's! And this one will definitely remain in rotation!

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. No monetary compensation has been received. I received Robert's Pierre's 'I'm All In' CD for editorial consideration and to facilitate my review. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” An Amazon Affiliate link to Robert Pierre's CD has been placed in this post.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Today's Words of Inspiration: Keep The Dream Alive + Owe you some names!

@Greeting Card Universe

Today's Quote:

Your key to success today is to "keep the dream alive" no matter what obstacles you face. You may want to check in with yourself to see if you want to keep moving forward in the same direction, and if you have to change that direction, but don't give up if you feel challenged. Your feeling of your purpose or mission is likely to be stronger than usual today; heed that feeling.

Today's Challenge: Keep the Faith. The Faith in yourself, in your abilities, and in your Dreams. Let those dreams be the motivator to make the changes you need to make, to get what you want and deserve!

Today's Breathing Affirmation: Close your eyes, take a deep, slow breath in through your nose, and affirm "Today I will take action to move closer to making my dreams come true."

My apologies for the delay, but all the Dads N Grads Buying Guide Giveaways have finally been closed out, and winners have been drawn and notified. Once all winners confirm, I will post an official winners list for the ShenZhen Knives, SodaStream Genesis Soda Maker, Joya Shoes (5 winners!), as well as the Smooth Jazz NY Smooth Cruise Winners (2 winners!) Giveaways! If you haven't already done so, don't forget to enter our active giveaway for an Elliott Lucca Drawsting Crossbody Handbag in YOUR choice of color HERE.

If you haven't had a chance to read it, please make sure you check out the NY Women's Empowerment Summit 2011 Recap HERE. This is 16 of the most powerful and successful women in their fields who took time out of their busy schedules to help the Make A Wish Foundation who received the proceeds of the ticket sales, and to share their insights, wisdom and what inspires them! It was like having access to high power mentors, and the beauty of it is, that by reading the recap, you can get motivated to push aside your excuses to living the life you both want AND deserve.

I want all my Ascending Butterflies to feel empowered to reach for the stars! No matter what your goal is, I want you to come here everyday and find a new inspiration that helps you reach it!

What is your Dream? What star are you reaching for?

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

NYC Women's Empowerment Summit 2011 Recap!

As you know on Saturday I attended the NYC Women's Empowerment Summit, which I wrote a preview about HERE. I also wanted to share a recap of the actual event! Ascending Butterfly began because I wanted to seek out and share the best of inspiration I found both on and offline (and yes my love of butterflies and all that they symbolize in my life). I began sharing daily breathing affirmational excercises, and they seemed to really resonate with readers of all ages, sexes and religions, which is why as soon as I heard about this event, I knew it was perfectly in line with what being an 'Ascending Butterfly' means to me!

A very well chosen group of Women who have achieved success in their respective fields took time out of their very busy schedules to come together and share how they got to where they are, how they've STAYED there, the bumps along the way and what they've learned. They shared inspirations that empowered them, so in turn they could help empower us! I left the event energized, it was a great reminder how important it is, particularly as women to enable and empower one another. And the fact that the proceeds of the event went to the Make A Wish Foundation made it even that much sweeter!

I am not going to reprint all the speaker bios here, you can read those at the Empowerment Summit Link I provided above, what I am going to do, is recap some key take aways and key inspirations from their talks! The event emcee, Radio Personality, Valerie Smaldone, asked us to 'think deeper, and take away one nugget of incremental change', here are my nuggets:

Abby Ellin, Journalist

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - My favorite Abby Ellin quote:
"If you don't know where to go, stand still. Be Tenacious. Be Brave. Be Fearless"

- She proved this by blind pitching a story to the Business Editor of the New York Times. And when you read her full bio, you'll see the rest is history!

How many times in your life have you found that the only way to truly move forward was by standing still? Doing just that has helped me at every single cross road in my life. It's an important reminder, just how much moments of stillness actually serve to help us!

Abby has said,

“Famous people are swell and all, but I am especially interested in giving voice to the underdog, in telling the stories others can’t tell for themselves.”

I personally couldn't agree more, I prefer to only feature celebrities on Ascending Butterfly who are doing something to give back, it was very empowering to see my sentiments affirmed by a successful journalist!

Abiola Abrams, Media Personality

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - My favorite Abiola Abrams quote:
SO WHAT! (Yes as an exclamation, NOT a question)

Yes that's right, her words of empowerment were super simple, but probably the most profound! She began with an excercise asking us all to stand up. Then she began asking questions where if you couldn't answer them with a yes, you were asked to sit down, at the end of her questions only FOUR, yes four women in that room were left standing.  How could it be possible that in a room full of dynamic, fearless women that only four were left standing. That only four weren't letting excuses hold them back and they were in the places they were meant to be and doing just what they were meant to be doing, and leading fulfilled lives. Say WHAT? Certainly I am fulfilled right?

And now you ask, where does the 'So What!' come in? The So What, was symbolic of our excuses. The negative self talk we give ourselves to justify NOT moving forward. I realized that I have a few 'So Whats' to move past myself so I can in fact move forward.

I can tell you ladies that Abiola is empowerment personified! And I'd love to connect with her and see if we can make her upcoming book, The Passionista Playbook for Rockstar Living, an upcoming Ascending Butterfly Monthly Book Club Pick!

Chelsea Krost, Media Personality

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - My favorite Chelsea Krost quote

"Charity is my drug of choice"

While the theme of giving back in some way was a big theme with most of the speakers, Chelsea's passion for giving back definitely did shine through! Please be sure to take time to read her bio on the Empowerment Summit's main site to see her amazing body of work!

Chelsea started out in radio at the age of 16, became the youngest AM radio host when her show, Teen Talk Live with Chelsea Krost debuted on WBZT 1230 AM, establishing the tagline, “Our voice. Our opinions. Our time to talk.” her goal is to be the voice of our generation, 'the millenials'. She is currently working on a television pilot, “Positively Ernie” featuring Ernie Anastos, the Emmy Award-winning New York City Fox News anchor.

She closed her talk by reminding us all that:

"You can achieve your goals with dedication, persistence, and a good support system"

Fran Kirmser, Producer

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - My favorite Fran Kirmser quotes:

"Really Find Time For Your Passion"

"Transition from 'Asking' to 'Telling' people what you want"

Fran began her professional career at the age of 14 as a dancer. In the 90's she co-founded, Manhattan Theatre Source, a theater and arts service organization still in operation in Greenwich Village that rarely has a dark night. Her new play, Magic Bird tells the story of the rivalry and friendship between Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird and is being crafted based on conversations with the two Hall of Fame players. Seating for this special and unique event is limited to only 100 tickets available to the public, all Proceeds from the event go towards The Make A Wish Foundation.

I loved the reminder that no one knows what you want better than YOU, you must use your voice, you must tell people what you want, and don't expect them to guess! What are you passionate about? Are you giving that passion the time and energy it deserves?

Left to Right: Fran Kirmser, Valerie Smaldone, Chelsea Krost, Pat Addiss
After the morning session of speakers, there was a brief Q & A where the speakers answered questions from the audience and also shared wisdom given to them by others!

Best Quotes taken from the Questions and Answers Session included:

"You are the only person truly looking out for you" ~ Fran Kirmser

"Persistence, Persistence, Persistence" ~ Chelsea Krost as told to her by Kelly Ripa

"When things happen, just let it go" ~ Pat Addiss as told her to her by actress Chita Rivera

"Visualize Yourself on the other side of the Plate glass Window. Everyday make at least 3 Phone calls to make something happen" ~ Valerie Smaldone

What are the best words of wisdom you've ever received? Who did they come from?

Gala Darling, Internet Personality

A lot of women in the audience seemed to relate to Gala, from her description of her beginings working in the New Zealand Post Office, to her takes on her life and life at large, Gala has an enthusiasm that's definitely very infectious!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - My favorite Gala Darling quote:

"Take Yourself Out on Dates So You Can Get Comfortable With Yourself And Your Own Company"

And she did not mean those times where friends or a date bailed and you stayed at the movie or restaurant, it's meant for you to do this on purpose. And trust me, it's a very empowering excercise. I've done this one already, but I'm long overdue for another 'date' and may just have to do this one again sometime soon. Not only is it empowering, its an incredible reminder of learning what YOU like and don't like. I'm sure you know just what movie, restaurant, etc that your BFF or DH would like, but what about what YOU like?

Gala believes in pink lingerie, sequins, stardust & candy-coloured Cadillacs. She believes in making mischief & the triumph of magic over the brute. She believes in short skirts & lip gloss & bringing about the radical self love revolution. She believes life doesn’t have to be serious, that you create your own reality & that beauty is all around us. <-while this is from her bio, I thought it was so fab I had to share it here!

Her Things I Love Thursday lists, and her Radical Self Love Bible (where she places good things/compliments paid to her) were my favorite take aways from her very empowered talk!

Judith Glaser, Executive Coach, Motivational Speaker

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - My favorite Judith Glaser Quote:

"Your Instincts Will Tell You Who To Trust"

She started a folder called "Reclaiming My Purpose" and much like Gala's Self Love Bible, she refers to it when she's told 'No' or that she 'can't'. I love both ideas, a place where you place all the good things about you, your triumphs, successes, moments of joy, a scrapbook of success! My gratitude journal does the same for me, I placed a folder in all of mine that contains stubs, copies of special photos if the gratitude post was regarding an event or moment and I love referring back to mine.

On 9/11, during the world trade center attack, Judith will never forget where she was. She was at the Doctor's office being told she had Breast Cancer that would require very aggressive treatment. Did Judith let that moment become her 'no more'? NO! Much like Abiola reminded us, she made it her 'So What'! She is the author of 3 best selling business books on leadership. Her first two books Creating WE: Change I-Thinking to We-Thinking & Build a Healthy Thriving Organization and The DNA of Leadership (Platinum Press, an imprint of Adams Media), made Amazon Business Book Best Seller Lists in 2005 and 2006. (OK, I'm once again thinking Ascending Butterfly Book Club!)

Judith R. King, the lead partner and co-principal of The Morris + King Company
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - My favorite Judith King Quotes:

"Be Yourself, But Take the Council of Others"

"Be Fearless, But NOT Reckless"

"Study, And Associate Yourself With Successful People"

"Always Challenge Yourself, And Push Yourself Further"

While I don't see it anywhere in her bio, her delivery was part stand up comedienne and I truly think she's missing her calling and should give an open mic night a try one of these days.  She's savvy, smart and successful, but all at once down to earth and approachable. She couldn't be more spot on about studying successful people, seeking out mentors in your life, and filling your life with the people who raise you up, be it mentally, spiritually or emotionally! Oddly enough yesterday a friend of mine cleared out her facebook list of what she felt was 'dead weight', and it brought Judith's talk right back to me! Eliminate that which doesn't empower you from your life. You will be all the better for it!

Laura Fredricks, Fundraiser, Motivational Speaker, Author

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - My favorite Laura Fredricks Quote:

"You Won Because You Asked"

Laura outlined a plan of attack for fundraising that included:

(1) Plan
(2) Ask - Early and Often
(3) Quantify It - How Much? How Many? How Often? and Why?
(4) Follow Up
(5) WHEN do you want it?

This plan of attack is brilliant, and you can pretty much translate these steps to anything, fundraising, sales, bloggers and more can benefit from organizing and making a dedicated plan of attack. Thanks to her, I'm more motivated than ever to continue seeking out a sponsorship for the next Blogging Conference, Never Say NEVER! I also hope we can have her come back with her book 'The Ask' for our Ascending Butterfly Monthly Book Club!

Lubna Dajani, VP of Mobility and Digital Engagement, The Fresh Diet

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - My favorite Lubna Dajani Quotes:

"You can't give well if you don't know how to receive" - Ladies, can I get AMEN?

"It's not really change, it's transformation"

"Learn to Step Out of Your Own Way"- How true is that?

Lubna started by telling us all that she 'is an Arab, with a grandma that's Jewish, raised in the Middle East.' Like most of our speakers, this wasn't her excuse, it was just another 'So What'!

I found her reminder that the only way to give well was to allow yourself to fully receive incredibly empowering! Women for the most part have a hard time even receiving a compliment. Someone tells us 'nice outfit' we usually say 'this old thing'? Women need to remember to allow themselves to receive, permit themselves to prosper and certainly step out of our own way and stop being the roadblocks to our own success! I would love to see if we could have Lubna return and share The Fresh Diet with Ascending Butterfly readers!

Pat Addiss, Theatre Producer

Before becoming so heavily involved in theatre, Pat Addiss ran her own promotions company for 30 years called Pat Addiss Enterprises and then gave it to her daughter. She is now is one of the most prominent female producers in Theatre! If anyone on the roster could speak about Change, it was certainly Pat!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - My favorite Pat Addiss Quotes:

"Embrace Change" - "If you start something and it's not going the way you want - CHANGE - don't be afraid to change."

and because I'm a former IT recruiter, one of my second favorite quotes from Pat was:

"I was born to connect people"

I could certainly relate to Pat, I've made a number of changes, some by force, other's by choice and like a Phoenix I keep rising and taking my career to different levels, I also naturally enjoy connecting people, and at first took it as a by product of my recruiting days, but it's something I still do quite naturally and really enjoy doing. And several stories and anecdotes Pat shared about her life and natural love of bringing people together truly resonated with me.

Sibrena Stowe, La Chic Media
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - My favorite Sibrena Stowe Quotes:

"Don't be afraid to be an opportunist" (and she does mean opportunist in an empowered way!)

"Thank the Universe For What You Have" (I personally keep a gratitude journal and highly recommend this!)

"Visualize What You Want to do in Your Head" (That's exactly why I offer breathing affirmational and visualization excercises on Ascending Butterfly!)

"Nurture Your Contacts" (note she says NURTURE folks, not just 'use' or 'utilize' be prepared to do favors, check in just because and nurture your contacts, they are important!)

Sibrena, lost her mom and then had to face the challenges of being a young mom herself, not her excuse, but again her 'So What', via loans she became a Media Buyer before she even knew what the title meant and a business was born! She has gone on to do way more than her original goal of providing for herself and her child, she was able to succeed and transition her career into so much more. I hope you are now feeling way more empowered to do the same!

Left to Right: Valerie Smaldone, Vivica A. Fox
So I don't think I need to introduce the NAACP Image Award winner, Prism Award for Best Actress in a television series—drama, and one of People Magazine’s 50 most beautiful people Vivica A. Fox! (I was pretty psyched that she was seated pretty close to me before she took the stage! ) Vivica was as excited and empowered by the other speakers as we were!

Vikki S. Ziegler, Esq.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - My favorite Vikki S. Zieglar Quotes:

"You Have To Be Down and Out To Be Able To Shoot For the Stars" (I have found this to be true, personally and professionally some of my best progress came from having to re-invent myself, I agree with Vikki wholeheartedly there!)

"Gods Delays Are Not Gods Denials" (Patience really is a virtue!)

"Be The Change You Wish to See in the World" (We have definitely used this one before here on Ascending Butterfly!)

"Know Your Worth" (There were alot of reminders of this theme, ladies, what you do has VALUE, make sure you are getting exactly what you are worth!)

While you may know her as a legal powerhouse, Vikki is currently awaiting publication of two books, a work of fiction and movie entitled “Love, Lies and Litigation” a chick-lit legal thriller and non-fiction work entitled “The All-Star Divorce” in which she details her “divorce management” approach to as well as a self help guide detailing the experts needed to empower people before, during and after a divorce. Her current published book “Premarital Survival Guide” for those approaching marriage to stay in it for the long haul which is available on her website and on She also has co-authored legal articles for NY Divorce Magazine and the New Jersey Law Journal, titled “How Can I Keep My Legal Fees Down During My Divorce?” and “Know Your Limits,” respectively.

Charitable causes always have been an important aspect of Ziegler’s life. As a volunteer with Make a Wish Foundation – which grants wishes for terminally ill children – she ran the gift giving and charity events for the Passaic County Chapter for four years and met with families and helped plan wishes. She also volunteers at soup kitchens in New York City, collects for Toys for Tots each year, donates clothes for women in business, collects prom dresses and gowns for Catherine’s Closet, contributes to Chai Life Line – a Jewish organization that gives guidance to single mothers – and participates in food drives for the underprivileged with A Brand New Day every year. Her pro bono work with Partners for Women and Justice – an organization for indigent and battered women – continually exceeds her yearly requirement for New Jersey.

While I thought I kept 'busy' even I wonder how she finds the time!

Wendi Caplan-Carroll, Social Media and Digital Marketing expert

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - My favorite Wendi Caplan-Carroll Quotes:

"Keep Focused On What You Want Your Business and Your Customers To Look Like" - I agree, Visualization is an incrediby powerful tool. If you need help doing that create an attraction board and help that bring vision to life!

Wendi didn't let discouragements stop her, her own dad discouraged her from coming to NYC. Does it get more powerful than parental disapproval? Sometimes the people who love us most, are the same ones that can hold us back and deter us from our dreams, but as empowered women, we can't AND wont let them!

One day at work Wendi suffered from what's known as 'Hysterical Paralysis' - I think you could hear a pin drop at that point, life can get THAT stressful that our body can only shut down to force us to stop. You do NOT want that to happen! This caused an internal shift in her that forced her to make powerful changes in her life including opening the door to love and adopting a child.

"Red Thread Theory" we are all connected. - We are all connected, and when we spend time actively finding ways to empower one another, we create an energy that transforms into power, and that power can do anything!

Let's end things with a nugget I collected from Alycia Kaback, event organizer:
"Everyday I'm Constantly Renewing Myself" ~ Alycia Kaback
While I couldn't take you all with me physically, I hope you now feel a bit like you were there in spirit. Go out and be empowered today!

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FTC Disclosure Info: This is NOT a sponsored Post, I attended the NYC Women's Empowerment Summit and was under no obligation to write about it. All experiences shared here are solely my own perspectives of the event.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Back to School with Staples - Deals for YOU and a way to give back!

Last week I attended a Staples Back-to-school event hosted by Moms And the City, Melissa Gerstein, Denise Albert and Raina Seitel. A midtown Manhattan Staples store played host to a group of mom and dad bloggers who were divided into groups and taken to three different learning stations around the store.

The first station was for learning all about the ways that Staples is giving back. You know I love featuring 'Shopping with a Conscience' opportunities! If you can do something good for you, at a good price AND give back, that's shopping nirvana as far as I'm concerned.  Staples partnered with the organization,,  to design new products and also for their 4th Annual Staple for Students School Supply Drive where Students are encouraged to collect school supplies for children in need and drop them off at Staples.

The second station is where we got to learn about the laptops, service plans and easy comparison checker that you can use to compare and contrast features from different laptops at the display just by pulling them up on one without having to walk all around and read all those cards. Me being in the market for a new laptop after the back to back lemon experiences I have had with HP, made this demo one of the highlights for me! I'll be going back to Staples soon and checking out the laptops, although I'm kind of leaning toward an iPad 2 instead of a standard laptop this time around.

The third station is where we learned all about the Staples Savings Pass, a $10 discount card where you can get everything for back to school every day through September 17th at 15% off. (Think about the savings if you have to buy a laptop or other electronic items! And for larger families, this savings pass certainly pays for itself!).

Melissa, Denise and Raina then showed us all their favorite new back to school items. That's where I noticed this cute notebook!

I didn't realize it until I got home, but this cute Butterfly Notebook is by our friends at Carolina Pad, how butterfly perfect was that? Everywhere I go I ALWAYS have a butterfly sighting!

You know how I feel about new notebooks right? They are like perfect blank slates, and I'm dying to grab my colored pencils and draw on the first page! I have so far managed restraint, but I'm sure it won't be long before I start drawing butterflies all over the first and last page!

We also had the opportunity to make fun photo bookmarks with the folks at Photo Op NYC

It was fun posing for these pictures, the results are a way hipper, way cooler photo booth type picture! PhotoOp was recently named the Best Children's Family Photo Studio in New York by New York Magazine in their "Best of New York" issue and I could see why by the looks of my own and other bookmarks I got to see, they are very easy to work with and have a way of bringing out the best in their subjects! I'd highly recommend them. I hope my scan is doing it justice!

Our Staples visit ended with a 'Staples Bingo' Game with fun prizes and we left with goodie bags (but shh, let's keep that our secret, unlike last year, I didn't tell my niece and nephew about this one, I am NOT giving up my butterfly notebook! But I'm definitely not called the 'cool aunt' for nothing, I'll end up taking them to Staples to buy some fun Back-to-School supplies of their own very soon).

Check out your local Staples weekly ads for sales, don't forget the 1 cent specials to help you REALLY stock up, sign up for your Staples Rewards card for great rebates, and up your cool factor by sharing the fun videos made by Modern Family's television show co-star, Rico Rodriguez, who shares what kids need for Back-to-School in a series of funny videos HERE.

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a compensated post. No monetary compensation has been received. I attended a local event and was under no obligation to write about it. I did receive a gift bag after the event, and lunch was provided during the event however the opinions expressed are solely my own. I really do beleive in featuring corporations with a conscience that give back to the community and world at large!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What would you do with the savings if someone paid your grocery bill this week? You have the chance to get your bill paid with Maseca!

If someone paid my grocery bill, I could think of tons to do with the money saved, what about you? It seems like even with careful coupon cutting and sitting at a table with all the local circulars trying to find the best deals, it's not always easy to find ways to cut the grocery bill down to a manageable size.

With an economy still very much in a recession, finding ways to save has pretty much become a necessity! And this summer while 'staycations' have replaced vacations, families are pretty much pinching a penny until it screams 'ouch'.

I for one would definitely put some money toward a 'real' vacation if my someone covered my grocery bill this week!  What would you do?

Well if you live in North Carolina, South California, Dallas or Houston you have the chance to find out exactly what you would do if someone paid your grocery bill this week thanks to

How it Works:

With their newest promotion, 'Maseca Te Paga La Cuenta' or 'Maseca Pays Your Bill', if you have a Maseca product in your grocery cart while you are in the process of checking out and the Maseca team identifies you as a winner, Maseca will pay your entire grocery store bill! (while the promotion page is written in Spanish, the rest of the site can be loaded in Spanish or English! Make sure you check out the great recipes too while you are there!)

Once the winner has been selected, the Maseca team will begin the festivities and gather all those that are present. After the crowd gathers, the Maseca team will pay for ALL of the products that the winner has in their cart. The Maseca team will take photos and videos with the winner, which will be made public on the website and social media sites. The contest runs from June 27th--August 8th, 2011.

Participating Supermarkets Include:

From Left to Right: Top Left North Carolina, Top Right South Carolina, Lower Left Dallas and Lower Right Houston Participating Supermarkets

I know I'd be ready to celebrate if someone wanted to pick up my grocery bill this week! I have a lot of re-stocking to do during my next shopping trip!

Follow Maseca on Facebook HERE, and on twitter HERE
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FTC Disclosure Info: I am participating in a paid campaign for Latina Bloggers Connect and Mi Maseca. While this is a Sponsored Post, I am a blog with integrity blogger, and the opinions expressed and text are solely my own and have not been edited or influenced in any way.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Are you team Potter or team Pooh?

As you know today is P vs P, Potter vs Pooh, both movies are out today and while you can certainly go see both, which will you see FIRST?

I had the chance to catch the NYC screening of Winnie the Pooh last weekend, and was so happy to see that the cartoon very much kept to its roots with classic hand drawn animation, and a clean family friendly story line. It's a movie you can feel comfortable taking the little ones to see, it's truly family friendly!

If you are a Disney Rewards Club Member, make sure you save your ticket stubs!

I will admit I did get a kick out of Owl being voiced by Late Night's own Craig Ferguson, anyone who watches his late night show knows that his 'adult' oriented humor is probably as opposite of 'Disney' family values as you can get.

Winnie and the gang seem to be taking the face off with a sense of humor, check out the video below:

So is your family Team Potter, or Team Pooh this weekend?

Either way, wishing you a weekend filled with fun, sun and great memories!

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Christmas in July with @Storkie Express!

I have had pen-pals since elementary school, I remember being very nervous when the teacher described the pen-pal program, while we were never obligated to participate, she was my favorite teacher and since she thought it was a neat idea, I couldn't help but try it.

Thankfully the other school had to 'go first' (because I'm not sure I would have known how to start or what to say). I got a letter from a girl my age, we had so much in common and some major differences too, but we both loved stationery and stickers, and even after the school participation part was over, we remained in touch.

To this day it's still a love of mine, I'm a stationery hound (still collect stickers, but shhhh, let's keep that our little secret), and like kids in a candy store, I can 'browse' in a Hallmark store all day (to the point where I kinda creeped out management, until they realized I had a better idea of their stock and trends then they did and then they'd offer me jobs! This also happened to me visiting massage chairs at my local (to the office) Brookstone Store, but that's a story for another post!).

Stationery is the one thing where I've experienced great trepidation about going digital, like photography purists who hate digital cameras, I love *touching* my stationery and paper and stickers! But my schedule doesn't exactly afford me the luxury of just browsing in stationery stores anymore, and as my Christmas Card List just keeps growing, and is an even mixture of clients and personal, I've been slowly embracing the idea of going digital with it. So this year, I'm thinking Christmas in July because I like to order my cards early. (yes I know there are services now that mail the cards for you, but who will put my favorite cute stickers on the envelopes?)

Finding ways to mix things up with my pen friends since elementary school is NOT an easy task! But I have a funny feeling I'll be ahead of the curve this year, with a great online discovery, Storkie (now here is where I invite you to read carefully, this has nothing to do with babies, so don't go getting my mom excited please, I'm no where near ready to make her a grandma!). sells custom party invitations, save the date cards, holiday cards, photo Christmas cards and my personal favorite CUSTOM CANDY!

Before I delve into Christmas options, I just couldn't resist sharing this photo:

Tri-Fold Off-White Shimmer Card with Butterfly Closure

This card has a matching Butterfly Personalized Cookie that I am in LOVE with! I love the idea of ordering the Butterfly Personalized Cookies as corporate gifts and presenting them in a tin that can be re-purposed after the cookies are gone! And while storkies is listing these as ideas for a birth announcement, invitation or baptism customization, you can have them say anything you want, making them perfect for any reason and any season!

But for those Christmas purists who don't think of butterflies when they think of Christmas like I do, check out their holiday tab to see some neat holiday card ideas (my personal favorite is the Christmas invites with high heel shoes!).

If you are looking for a jump start on your holidays this year, I'd highly recommend trying, I'd definitely love to have them host a review and giveaway with Ascending Butterfly soon, and if you would too, feel free to let them know by posting on their facebook wall (you can post right on the the thread I post to their wall sharing this article so we don't flood their page) or by sending them a tweet!

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FTC Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Global Influence and while I have been compensated for my participation, I am a Blog With Integrity blogger, and the text and opinions are solely my own.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This Saturday I'm Getting Empowered, And So Can you! At the NYC Women's Empowerment Summit!

NYC Women's Empowerment Summit 2011

This Saturday I'm attending the NYC Women's Empowerment Summit headlined by Vivica A. Fox, and you can too! Let's start with the 'Who, What, When, Where and Why':

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Who: Anyone seeking a bit more 'empowerment' in their lives, that means YOU!

 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - What: The 1st Annual NYC Women’s Empowerment Summit

 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - When: July 16th 2011

 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Where: Bennett Media Studios 723 Washington Street New York City, New York

 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Why: The NYC Women’s Empowerment Summit is a one-day conference designed for all women, young and old, to meet and share best practices, stories of success, and experiences both personal and professional. The goal of the summit is to create new bridges and a wider awareness of political, social and economic causes, in order to help other women reach their full potential in life. The panel of speakers includes a variety of successful women from all genres of business, workforces and life. Proceeds from the day’s events will be donated to the Make a Wish Foundation®.

 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Summit Speakers Include: The following women will be honored for their work in their respective fields:

 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  - Vivica A. Fox
 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  - Pat Addiss
 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  - Wendi Caplan-Carroll
 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  - Lubna Dajani
 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  - Gala Darling
 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  - Laura Fredricks
 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  - Judith E. Glaser
 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  - Abiola Abrams
 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  - Judith R. King
 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  - Vikki S. Ziegler, Esq.
 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  - Valerie Smaldone
 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  - Sibrena Stowe
 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  - Tamsen Fadal
 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  - Chelsea Krost
 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  - Abby Ellin
 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ  - Fran Kirmser

Special Performance by Brandon Hines

Get Your Tickets: Last Chance Seating for this special and unique event is still available! Only 100 tickets available to the public! Tickets include a catered lunch and a VIP Pass to the full day’s events which include opening ceremonies, guest lectures and a meet and greet following the day’s events. All Proceeds from the event go towards The Make A Wish Foundation.

I love the idea of paying it forward, and that by supporting this event, you are also empowering The Make A Wish Foundation to help support wishes for children! If that's not being an 'Ascending Butterfly' then I don't know what is!

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FTC Disclosure Information: I have been granted access to this event as a member of the digital press, this is not a sponsored post, nor has any monetary compensation been received. I do beleive in helping support the efforts of not-for-profit organizations and charitable events.