Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Day as a Not So Mystery Shopper in New York City!

Years ago when the 'Mystery Shopper' idea became popular and people were looking for a way to supplement their income, programs cropped up like wildfire, some reputable, others not so much. I won't say the idea didn't intrigue me, but I never had time to pursue it.

The opportunity finally presented itself, well kind of!

As many of you know, I am now a Duane Reade VIP Blogger, it all began with my entry essay blog post where I shared a bit about what Duane Reade meant to me on a personal level which you can check out HERE. When I found I got selected it made that week's Moment of Gratitude, which you can check out HERE.

Here is a Group Shot of myself and fellow fabulous Duane Reade VIP Bloggers:

Can you spot the butterfly?

Being a part of this program has given me the opportunity to take on shopping missions and share with you a bit about my purchase experience, from how I selected what I was going to buy, the path to purchase and then the products getting used at home. It's like being a mystery shopper except without all the mystery!

For me my first shopping 'mission' was all about a lazy weekend and movie night. I knew I didn't feel like cooking, and wanted my favorite snacks at hand for my Movie Night, so I checked out the online  Duane Reader Circular to find out what was on sale before heading out to the store! (Prices in this reader are available through June 2, 2012). I was excited that right on page 1, I spotted my favorite treat, Haagen Daaz (2 pints for $7 which is a super deal) and I circled that, I already knew I'd be doing a bit of cheating on my diet that day, a better choice probably would have been the Good & Delish Veggie Corn with Flaxseed Tortilla Chips and the Good & Delish Organic Salsa. I'll probably pick those up on my next trip to the store (along with the sour cream and onion Pop Chips)!  I had already stocked up on another Duane Reader sales item The Dr. Browns Soda 6 Pack, 2 for $5 (I love the Dark Cherry and Cream Soda's from Dr. Brown's). and the last thing I needed was some eats, so I picked up a DiGiorno Pizza that was also on sale. Making movie night eats and treats complete! All my movie night picks were also on sale which made me extra happy.

During my last few trips to my local store, it was being renovated, and I was happy to see that it had been completed during my recent trip, the aisles are wider and brighter, and it's so much easier to find everything which is a big time saver!

Here are some shots of me on the way to the store, it's a busy shopping district, so it's not so easy to get shots of it without someone invariably passing by and getting in the shot!

Here's me finally inside!

Below: And as soon as I walk in, I find a super friendly employee wearing a Duane Reader tee shirt in one of my favorite colors purple, she agreed to let me take a picture of her!

I wanted to look around and see the renovations so I didn't quite go straight to my aisles.

Of course I got distracted by Beauty Brands, Products and items.

Latina Bella, beauty products made with Latina Skin tones in mind, FAB!

Finally made it to the eats!


Then it was on to the treats!

Ice Cream plus warm day means I'll have to run home so it doesn't melt.

Movie Night was a blast, here are my purchases in use:

Eats + Treats = Fun Movie Night!

There are more photos of this shopping experience on Ascending Butterfly's Google+ Page, and you can connect with Duane Reade online, Twitter and Facebook. (Check out the VIP Bloggers Tab on Duane Reade's Facebook Page and you'll see a picture of me! Yay!)

Happy Shopping Butterfly!

If you purchased any specials in the Duane Reader, please be sure to come back here and let us know!

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FTC Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a special social shopper insights study for CollectiveBias. #CBias #DReade #DReadeVIP - However all opinions expressed are 100% my own. Being part of the Duane Reade VIP Blogger Program offers additional incentives for my participation. Questions about Ascending Butterfly's Disclosure Policy? Please visit: http://www.ascendingbutterfly.com/p/disclosure-policy.html

Monday, May 14, 2012

Motivation Monday - Things with wings!

Hope all my Butterflies are having a magical Monday!

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Weekly Moment of Gratitude - Happy Mother's Day Butterfly!

Happy Mother's Day Butterfly!

What I am grateful for:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ My Mom -  She is the most amazing woman I know! And she has spent this year helping me through a very dark time and two very difficult hospital stays this year. I am filled with gratitude that God blessed with a mom AND a best friend.

I have been blessed with many strong women in my life, some who are now passed including my Grandmother, my Great-Grandmother, and my Godmother who is also my Great Aunt.

And a special thanks to my Aunt Butterfly who has also been with me during my difficult hospital stays this year along with my mom!

I had a great weekend with my Mama Butterfly this weekend, and I hope you did something special for your mom too!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - SAYING NO - I'm sure that sounds odd, but one of the things my health scare this year has taught me is to truly value my time and efforts, and if someone or something isn't a good investment of my time, energies and strength, I now will immediately and unequivocally say no. I'm grateful for this lesson learned. It's certainly helped to reduce my stress!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Thank YOU: Just wanted to thank everyone who voted for me in the Swag Mom contest, while I did not win, in addition to votes, there were so many messages and comments that were super encouraging, and others who shared their own stories or a prayer and those messages meant as much to me as the votes of support do! And for those of you who have emailed me and shared your own health battles that have been fought and won, thank you. I'm inspired by not only your bravery, but the generosity of your spirit by sharing your personal stories with me.

Happy Gratitude Sunday 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!  - http://tiny.cc/n4Thx

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Active Giveaway

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Because our opening Mother's Day Giveaway also encompasses this month's Featured Handbag in the Spotlight, this one closes on May 30th like our normal handbag feature would, enter to win a $200 Wilson's Leather Gift Card HERE

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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:

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

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FTC Disclosure: Journal Recommendation uses an Amazon Affiliate Link. Questions about our Disclosure? Please visit: http://www.ascendingbutterfly.com/p/disclosure-policy.html

Friday, May 11, 2012

{Movie Reviews} Girl in Progress - in Theatres NOW!

It is Mother's Day Weekend Butterflies! Wishing all my butterfly mamas a very happy Mother's Day! I hope you made your restaurant reservations early, but if you didn't or are planning something more low key like a Movie, what better than a movie themed with Moms in mind!

I had the pleasure of attending a very intimate special screening of Girl in Progress, giving me the chance to catch up with some bloggers and editors that I know and meet some new ones and also check out a release that is hitting a theatre near you this weekend.


Grace (Eva Mendes) in GIRL IN PROGRESS. Photo credit ©2011 Pantelion Films/Bob Akester

Grace (played by Eva Mendes) is a single mom. She is too busy juggling work,  bills, and the very married Dr. Hartford (played by Matthew Modine), to give  her daughter, Ansiedad (played by Cierra Ramirez) the attention she desperately needs. When Ansiedad's English teacher, Ms. Armstrong (played by Patricia Arquette), introduces her students to classic coming-of-age stories,  Ansiedad is inspired to skip adolescence and jump-start her life without mom. While Grace becomes preoccupied with the increasing affections of her co-worker (played by Eugenio Derbez), Ansiedad enlists the help of her loyal friend, Tavita (played by Raini Rodriguez), to plot her  shortcut to "adulthood". But as her misguided plan unravels, Ansiedad and Grace must learn that sometimes growing-up means acting your age.

Grace (Eva Mendes) and Ansiedad (Cierra Ramirez) in GIRL IN PROGRESS. Photo credit ©2011 Pantelion Films/Bob Akester

Distributor: Pantelion Films 
Cast: Eva Mendes, Matthew Modine, Cierra Ramirez, Raini Rodriguez
Director: Patricia Riggen 
Running time: 90 Minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic elements, sexual content including crude references, and drinking – all involving teens.
Release Date: May 11, 2012

Dr. Hartford (Matthew Modine) and Grace (Eva Mendes) in GIRL IN PROGRESS. Photo credit ©2011 Pantelion Films/Bob Akester

My Take:

The relationship between a Mother and Daughter is a complex one, it evolves with each stage of your child's life and growing up. The movie delves into those critical years where a young teen is struggling with her identity, struggling to be the total opposite of her mom (because at that age, no one thinks it's cool to be like their parents), and the process of learning that life is really in the journey and not the destination so don't try so hard to move it ahead too quickly.

There are some cons for me, the main one is that Eva's character Grace is having an affair with a married man. I don't condone it, and as a Latina I of course wonder why this was put in there. Couldn't Grace be a bit immature, or a struggling single mom of a teenage daughter without having to have an affair with a Married Man? It just felt to stereotypical for me. Yes I know women of all races are capable of this behavior, but why did it have to be this one?

Second, the underage drinking which I also know is really happening out there, so if you want to look at it as a reflection of what is going on in some homes, then it's accurate, but I personally didn't feel so comfortable with that. If you are going to see this with a teen, use that scene as a discussion point after the movie and use it as an opportunity to re-iterate to your child what your stance is on drinking as a whole and on under-age drinking especially.

Now that being said, it was well cast and the daughter, Ansiedad, portrayed by Cierra Ramirez was definitely a stand out first performance from a break out young star in the making! Her best friend Tavita played by Raini Rodriguez (sister of Rico Rodriguez, who portrays Manny on the popular ABC Television Series Modern Family), was also a dynamic performance.

Ansiedad (Cierra Ramirez) and Mission Impossible (Eugenio Derbez) in GIRL IN PROGRESS. Photo credit ©2011 Pantelion Films/Bob Akester

Eugenio Derbez, who plays Grace's co-worker, called 'Mission Impossible' by his co-workers at the restaurant where they work also gave a great performance in this movie, if you haven't already seen it, he was also fantastic in the movie 'Under the Same Moon', He was also in Adam Sandler's Jack and Jill, he is unquestionably one of Mexico's best-known actors, the most recognized actor among the Spanish-speaking population in the United States and I'm happy to see him breaking ground in the mainstream US market too.

If you decide to take in this movie, please come back here and let us know what YOU think!

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FTC Disclosure: I was invited to attend a private screening of Girl in Progress, food & beverages and a lovely gift bag were provided to guests. However, all opinions regarding this film are 100% my own. Questions about our Disclosure? Please visit: http://www.ascendingbutterfly.com/p/disclosure-policy.html

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Win a $200 Gift Card to Wilsons Leather

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This giveaway is now CLOSED. Thanks so much to our wonderful sponsor Wilson's Leather! We look forward to working with you again. Winner has been notified, and upon confirmation, follower name will be posted both here and on our homepage. Remember: There are great giveaways active on the upper right hand side of the page!
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We have a promo so big it actually fits into TWO of our Guides! This promo serves as this month's 'Featured Handbag in the Spotlight' and our first giveaway in our annual Mother's Day Buying Guide! This one is especially for moms who like to travel in style! Wilsons Leather is no stranger to Ascending Butterfly readers, they've hosted a few Featured Handbag in the Spotlights for us (see HERE and HERE for reminders). Wilson's Leather has been my go-to for my handbags, jackets and leather accessories like Leather Gloves for years now. The leather is buttery soft, incredibly durable and the in store (brick and mortar) as well as online service is always top notch.

We are getting dangerously close to June, Is it just me or is this year starting to move way too fast! While everyone likes to harp on the Spring Flowers and the chirping birds and the butterflies (or maybe that's just me), to get there, we get rain. A lot of rain. So a day that may start cool, then get warm goes back to cold at night, which means you don't want to wear a winter coat, but still need something to keep you warm for the mornings and evenings when the temperature drops or it's raining out.

This is where our friends at Wilson's Leather come in, despite the title, they are NOT just leather! And if you are in the market for a great Spring Trenchcoat or a new Travel Bag, check out Wilson's first! If you are a fab frugalista who wants to look spot on and not spend more than you have to doing so, then the current sales will knock your socks off, right now you can get 60-80% off designer jackets, and there is also a sale running where if you buy one business bag you get the second at half off, and that will apply AUTOMATICALLY in cart during checkout, how awesome and fab is that?

Many of you know that it's been a challenging year for me this year to say the least, but the challenges I've faced have forced me to come out of my comfort zone in so many ways. I've been embracing things I normally wouldn't, and forcing myself to do things and wear things I probably never would have. I was a late comer to the 'animal print' trend and now I can't stop wearing it! I must share my newest obsession!

Black Rivet Asymmetrical Zip Front Jacket

Isn't this trench absolutely fantastic? Here is a shot of me wearing it (notice my super cute over-sized butterfly earrings):

I always thought animal prints were just too bold for me, and now I can't get enough! And as Blogging has gotten me more into travel I love that this coat is lightweight enough to be able to pack it easily, but fully lined so I'm not freezing when it gets nippy at night. Traveling in style also requires the right bag, I did tell you that this was also a 'Featured Handbag in the Spotlight' Promo too right? I'm sure by opening with a Trench you were begining to wonder if I had forgotten the Handbag, I have not my friends. I never forget the Handbag, it's a monthly feature for us since 2009!

In fact, this is no ordinary handbag, it's a wheeled briefcase with a sleek style, it's airport easy as it fits in the overhead or slides easily under the seat in front of you, has a padded compartment for your laptop, iPad, or Kindle, and an organizational compartment in the front. The wheel system is totally removable so if you just want throw it over your shoulders for your daily commute you can do so with or without the wheels. It slides on or off easily, but stays on and stays put when you need it!

McKlein USA Roseville 96646 Fly-Through Checkpoint-Friendly 2-in-1 Removable-Wheeled Ladies' Laptop Case

I love to travel, but hate to lug heavy bags, or bags that aren't well organized. Let's face it, airport security checkpoints are not fun. You are already harried, frazzled, and then standing in a super long line with someone right in front of you and directly behind you so have no room to move, then suddenly you have to get your jacket, jewelry and shoes off, take your laptop or portable tablet OUT of your bag and get all this in a bin. Then you are being scanned while worrying about your stuff, and by the time you are done, your bins are already at the end of the aisle and you have to get everything back on and back in your bag in half a second because there are tons of folks behind you. Not so simple right?

The buttery soft Italian Leather had me at Hello and I will now never travel without this bag, it comes with a removable protector for your laptop/tablet that slides easily in and out and protects your device while in the bin. It has great organizational pockets, you can remove the wheel system if you prefer and use the shoulder strap. This trench and this bag together are a KILLER travel combo! You will breeze through the airport cool, confident and in style!

Now butterflies, you all know what Buying Guides mean right? You know I always look out for you butterfly! How would you like to win Trenchcoat and amazing travel briefcase too?

I thought so!

I can even do one better for you, how about a $200 Gift Card to Wilsons Leather so you can buy the trench and bag of YOUR choice? Who loves you butterfly?

Use the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win a $200 gift card to Wilsons Leather, do the mandatory entry to unlock the bonus entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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FTC Disclosure: Ascending Butterfly received the products mentioned above free of charge for editorial consideration, no additional incentives have been received. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commisions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Our full Giveaway Rules and Disclosure Policy can be found HERE.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: The sometimes you have to leave home so you can miss it travel edition!

As promised, here are the photos that should have accompanied Monday's Post, Happy Wordless Wednesday Butterflies!

Remember, you can press on any individual photo to make it larger, and then hit the backspace on the top of your browser to come back to this page!

Above: I am a Latina Advisory Board Blogger/Britax Hispanic and Digital Outreach Blogger and this is the sign that welcomed me and the other amazing bloggers that were selected for this campaign and invited to Britax USA's Headquarters!

Above: Here is a group shot of the first group of bloggers, call us group 'A'. Bloggers and Team Britax are all smiles, it was a beautiful sunny day. The bloggers were given Headquarter Tours in two segments so they could give us time and really answer everyone's questions. Can you spot Ascending Butterfly?

Above: Another Group A Group Shot. There are a lot of these at different angles, this one is a little closer so I thought I'd include both. To see the list of the bloggers pictured, press on the link above that will take you straight to Monday's post where everyone's name and URL are listed!

Above: Both Group A and Group B were finally united at a Group Dinner for all the bloggers in the campaign at Harry's Grille & Tavern in Charlotte, North Carolina. By the way the next time you are in Charlotte, you need to check this place out, the food was FAB and the service was great, great atmosphere. Poor Harry's, Latina Bloggers from all across the USA descended on them during a weekday! The 'locals' put up with us, promise we didn't make too much noise...well...maybe.......

Since most of the group shots are going to start looking the same to you after awhile, I won't post anymore to this post! I am truly honored to be a part of this campaign, Britax was transparent, welcoming and wonderful hosts, and being amongst this group of dynamic, driven and super smart Latina Bloggers left me so motivated.

Happy Wordless Wednesday Butterflies - Remember sometimes you need to get away from home to realize just how much you miss it! Hope you enjoyed this brief sneakpeak into my Britax USA Headquarters, Charlotte, North Carolina Press trip!

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FTC Disclosure: The Britax Hispanic Digital and Social Media Outreach is in partnership with Mami Innovative Media, a communications and digital marketing company that pairs multicultural and Latino bloggers with influential brands and blogging campaigns. I am a blogger brand ambassador for Britax and while this post is NOT sponsored and NO monetary compensation has been received for sharing this experience, I am part of a long term campaign that does provide additional incentives for my participation. However all opinions are 100% my own. My press trip was sponsored by Britax USA. Questions about our Disclosure? Please visit: http://www.ascendingbutterfly.com/p/disclosure-policy.html

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Todays Inspiration Tuesday Edition: Put A Little Zen in Your Day!

Just thought I'd put a little ZEN in your Tuesday Butterfly!

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Weekly Moment of Gratitude: Life Journey's Travel Edition - Happy Motivation Monday!

Where in the world is Ascending Butterfly?

Happy Monday Butterfly! There is so much to catch up on that I am combining my Weekly Moments of Gratitude, with a special Motivation Monday this week to share with you what I've been up to this past week! First of all, thank you all for the emails expressing concern, you are all amazing, you all know I try to post daily and when I don't I always get emails from readers checking in to make sure that I am OK. That means so much more to me than you could ever know. I have tried to answer as many of you as I can individually. Please know I am just fine, I was on an amazing trip and my devices don't always play so nice with the available WiFi. (and my flights did not have WiFi both ways!)

What I am grateful for

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Travel -  Against the better judgement of my team of Doctors (and my family quite frankly), I set out on my first airplane trip this year. I didn't quite have my Doctor's blessing, but my heart felt it was important to set out on this journey, and I am infinitely grateful that I did.

I have always loved travel, among my career path transitions I briefly worked for an Airline in their Caribbean Sales Department selling tickets and trips directly to Travel Agencies instead of to individuals. I landed that job right after College because I was bi-lingual and speaking Spanish was a huge part of the job. While I ironically traveled much less during my time working for an Airline than I have since then, travel has always changed me. I'm probably the only person smiling all throughout check in, and I guess that's why I have met so many great people at the airport or gate during my travels, I am totally open to the process and actually welcome every step of the way.

From the moment I hit the airport I'm filled with the excitement of the journey. The rush of taking to the skies and being somewhere entirely new. This time I did it with a sense of nervousness and trepidation I had never known before because of my health. While I'll admit I may have overdid it a bit and I'm a bit sore now, I have no regrets!

As many of you remember I shared that I was selected to be a Britax Hispanic Digital and Social Media Outreach Blogger and my collaboration with Britax USA and Mami Innovative Media has sent me on a recent adventure to North Carolina along with 25 other amazing, talented and passionate Latina Bloggers!

All the bloggers selected for this campaign include:

Take a moment and check out the sites of all the bloggers selected, there are amazing women behind each and every one of the blogs chosen to participate and I feel blessed to have met them all and been given the opportunity to collaborate with such dedicated and passionate writers!

Alba Garza: www.independentmami.com
Amanda Diaz:
Amber Ortega:
Chantilly Patiño:
Clauyda Martinez:
Cristina Duffy:
Dariela Cruz:
Denisse Icaza:
Divina Rodriguez:
Eliana Tardio:
Helena Osorio:
Jennifer Hutcheson:
Laura Tellado:
Lilian Hurn:
Liz Cerezo:
Mirna Arce:
Myrah Duque:
Oriana Romero:
Pattie Cordova:
Sara Patterson:
Silvia Martinez:
Taty Padilla:
Tracy Iglesias:
www.ascendingbutterfly.com <-YAY ME! :)
Vanessa Martinez Bell:
Yadira Ambert:
Yolanda Machado:

We were flown to North Carolina to get a behind the scenes look at Britax USA's Headquarters, we got to tour the factory, get detailed product demonstrations, and an  unforgettable safety demonstration (I will share about this demo in an upcoming post!) and the chance to break bread together at a wonderful Dinner hosted at Harry's Grille & Tavern. Britax couldn't have been a better host. They couldn't have been more transparent. They take infant and child safety seriously. Very seriously. And it's that passion that has made them the leader in the market. They are innovative. There is technology behind the safety features that so many of us take for granted. Not all baby products are alike! There are touches and well considered details that make product usage safer and much more convenient for moms to use. They truly opened my eyes to things I took for granted. As a loving Aunt and God-mother I have always taken my purchases seriously and researched them carefully, but this trip helped me to see how much we really take for granted and how important the installation of child car seats really are. For me to truly take on an Ambassadorship Collaboration with any brand, I have to be able to honestly say I can stand behind the products. I have no doubt in my mind that going forward none of the little ones in my life will have anything less than Britax. I am eternally grateful for this experience and I have learned so much more than I ever imagined.

In all my years of blogging I never really thought much about what being a 'Latina Blogger' really meant. I'm a Latina and I blog. I haven't always stopped to consider that my voice truly is a unique one. I've always known that my heritage and culture profoundly impacts who I am and my choices, but never stopped until this experience to think about what that means as a blogger. Last year I co-hosted my first bi-lingual twitter party for PBS's iconic children's television series Curious George with a group of amazing Latinas who I greatly admire, and a year later I went from co-hosting a bi-lingual party to directly hosting my first bi-lingual twitter party with Helping Hands Milk Bank (along with my phenomenal co-host Jessie Nuez) and it began a journey that eventually led me on an adventure in North Carolina with a Brand that is making major strides in not just 'translating to' the Hispanic Community, but embracing the Hispanic Market in a truly collaborative way. I could probably go on and on about my experience, so I promise I'll space it all out a bit! (Look for the pictures that go along with this amazing adventure in this week's Wordless Wednesday!)

What does my adventure have to do with YOU?

I am so glad you asked. My collaboration with Britax USA means I will be bringing you product reviews and great giveaways, twitter parties, and all the information you need when it's time to purchase a carseat, stroller or carrier for your little one. I am going to help you make the un-biased decisions you have come to know and trust from Ascending Butterfly. If you have any questions about Britax that you can't find an answer to on their site (which I pretty much doubt), feel free to send it to me and I'll be sure to forward it to the right person and get you an answer! Butterflies this is as much about YOU and the safety of all children as it is about me!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Being Open - I made a concerted effort to be open to this experience, and met wonderful people at the gate while waiting for both of my planes, normally at the gate I would dive straight into a book, or put on my music, or get on a device and try and look for a signal, but this time around, I stopped to smell the roses more and engaged in conversations with total strangers which is not like me at all. And I met so many fun and warm people. There was a woman on my return flight, 96 years of age traveling to her great grand-daughter's first communion. The flight attendants and gate personnel all asked if she'd like to pre-board and when she replied simply 'No Thank You. I have no health issues or medical reason that would necessitate me to pre-board. I am sure there are others here that really need your help.' Everyone was blown away, but I totally saw myself in her, that's who I want to be, I want to travel until I can't do it, and even then my head will still be in the clouds!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Discovering Inner Strengths - It took a concerted effort on my part to make this trip on many levels, but doing so allowed me to discover so many inner strengths and foster my independent spirit in ways that change, forward motion and travel can only do. Whether it's around the corner or around the globe butterflies, TRAVEL, MOVE, SEE, DO. When I thought my life was being taken from me this year, the only real regret that instantly rose to the surface was not seeing nearly enough of this beautiful world. Time is too short butterfly. Don't use any excuses to NOT do something. Working hard is great, but that money can't come with you, and that time spent not making new memories is time you will regret squandering!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Annual Mother's Day Buying Guide: Our annual Mother's Day Buying Guide this year, opened with a product review and buying suggestion, the CEVIA Pro 80 Digital Frame and PicturePlan Photo Delivery Service, and will move forward this week with a chance to win a gift card you can use to purchase a new spring trench and fab handbag, this is going to be SWEET. And guys, even though it is a Mother's Day Buying Guide, you are NOT being left out on this one, as this company also sells Menswear and Mens Accessories as well. So our first Mother's Day buying guide giveaway promotion will be from a brand that sells great products for Women, Men and Children so there is something for everyone! (I wanted to have it posted today, but I still need a bit to get caught up, I promise it will be posted SOON).

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - PLEASE ROCK THE VOTE: I could really use your vote on my Swag Mom contest entry! (If you are in a voting contest and need a return vote, please leave a comment on this post, I'd be happy to return the vote!) The essay forced me to be very concise, but it expresses what I have been through this year in a very raw, open, emotional and honest way, I hope you will read it even if you are not a swagbucks member. Those who vote however will receive swagbucks just for voting and the shot at winning the same prize to Las Vegas as the Grand Prize Winner, those who vote will also be put in a special prize draw to win the same prize! (You know I love win/win opportunities!) If you do vote, please comment here and let me know, I'd love to say Thanks! - bit.ly/HGRmzN

Happy Motivation Monday Butterfly, May this be a week filled with exploration and discovery!

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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!  - http://tiny.cc/n4Thx

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Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - All Winners in our #HHMilkBank Twitter Party have been notified, and many have sent lovely tweets and even pictures of their swag to us on Twitter. Thanks again butterflies for your participation, and in case you missed this last week, here are the winners to our Twitter Party:

Door Prize: @LLLSummer

Party Prize Packs: @SecretsofKristi, @EileenCCampos, @soulfliesfree, @Shihtzuation, @candacki, @abbebrown,@kymnasium, @SweetmatchaJail

Grand Prize Winner: @Paramedic_Mom2

All prize packs will include an Amazon Gift Card and will also include some fun branded merchandise from our wonderful sponsor, Prolacta Bioscience's Helping Hands Milk Bank! As a reminder, the door prize winner received a $50 Amazon Gift Card with their prize pack, the Party Prize Pack Winners received a $25 Amazon Gift Card with their prize packs, and the Grand Prize winner's prize pack will include a $100 Amazon Gift Card!

I want to personally thank all my butterflies for your participation, by joining in this party, your participation has helped spread the word about how Helping Hands is working to save the lives of preemies everywhere, thank you! Stay tuned for our next twitter party!

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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:

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

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FTC Disclosure: Journal Recommendation uses an Amazon Affiliate Link. The Britax Hispanic Digital and Social Media Outreach is in partnership with Mami Innovative Media, a communications and digital marketing company that pairs multicultural and Latino bloggers with influential brands and blogging campaigns. I am a blogger brand ambassador for Britax and while this post is NOT sponsored and NO monetary compensation has been received for sharing this experience, I am part of a long term campaign that does provide additional incentives for my participation. However all opinions are 100% my own. My press trip was sponsored by Britax USA. Questions about our Disclosure? Please visit: http://www.ascendingbutterfly.com/p/disclosure-policy.html

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Let's Be Honest: Where coming clean about life could be VERY rewarding! cc @Purex #PurexLetsBeHonest

Do you and your pals like to dish about life? Maybe share some laundry woes or funny laundry mishaps? Did you know all that 'dishing' you were doing for free could instead have been getting you something for it?

Whether you are paying too much for "Premium Detergent" or uncovering the truth about skinny jeans, the folks at Purex Let's Be Honest - http://www.purex.com/lets-be-honest - is shedding some light on everyday absurdities with a series of new videos and the chance to win free Purex for a year. You can check out each video every time you enter the daily giveaway to win Purex detergent for a year.

This summer we will see the resurgence of  'Neon', yes that's right, NEON as a Fashion Trend, you are already going to be easy to spot and bright, the last thing you want on your new neon shirt or outfit is a big ole stain!

But in case you do get a stain on your new neon fashion statement this summer,   from NOW through July 24th, you could win a year's supply of Purex detergent simply by registering at http://www.purex.com/lets-be-honest

I'm getting horrible 80's flashback's in my head, although I do remember one really cool pink neon belt that paired nicely with my favorite Little Black Dresses back then as well as my black skinny jeans with the zippered ankles and high heel boots! (alas, where did the adventurous me go? where is my rebel yell? - I guess she is too busy doing laundry this weekend!)

Check out the cute animated 'Judy Let's Be Honest' character who is part of the campaign:

I think she's working her wash day outfit too, that's quite an ensemble she has there, love how her headband matches her pink shoes too!

Check out this campaign on Facebook or Twitter and get social with it!

So for my butterfly fashionista, frugalista, fabulista and mom washing Divas out there, let's get to coming clean for a chance to 'win clean' for a year!

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FTC Disclosure: This is not a compensated post, no monetary compensation has been exchanged. I am however, a Purex Blogger Brand Ambassador Insider and my participation in this long term campaign does come with additional perks and opportunities to sample various products for the purpose of facilitating honest reviews. Questions about our Disclosure? Please visit: http://www.ascendingbutterfly.com/p/disclosure-policy.html

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mother's Day Buying Guide Gift Recommendation #1 - Help Mom Store Cherished Memories in Style!

Happy May Day Butterflies! Today is the first day of May and our annual Mother's Day Buying Guide is now in swing!

If you haven't today, go KISS your mom, and if you are too far right now, please CALL her immediately. Tell her you love her and thank her for the gift of life, for being there when you were sick, for every warm meal, for every hug, for being your nurse and doctor and for all the wonderful memories of your childhood.

In fact, why not also give her a way to preserve her memories in style?

As you may remember we featured a digital photo frame as our holidays 2010 gift buying guide recommendation (and you even scored a chance to win one for yourself), the CEIVA Pro80 with one year picture plan photo delivery service. Read my original review and first impression of the Ceiva Pro80 HERE.

I fell in love with my CEIVA, and in fact so has everyone who sees it when they come visit, and I still love it, it's simple to set up, and gives me instant gratification when I can send a picture from an event or party while I'm still there, right to my frame and have it already loaded into the frame when I get back!


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Connect by telephone line or by Wifi and receive photos sent from anyone you invite as your guest – from anywhere in the world!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Send pictures to your frame via smartphones, iPhone, email and sites like Flickr and Facebook

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ -Lifetime warranty – as long as you have an active PicturePlanCEIVA will replace or repair the product for free.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Memory Card Slots - Insert a memory card into the back and enjoy an instant slideshow

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Use a media server application to show photos over your home network

Set Up:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Register Your Frame

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Upload Photos

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Connect the frame to your wifi and sync

Nab A Deal!
Mother's Day Sale (Deals Valid through May 7th)

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - CEIVA Pro80 Starter Pack (includes one-year PicturePlan Photo Delivery Service and WiFi adapter)- $119.95

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - CEIVAshare Starter Pack (includes one-year PicturePlan Photo Delivery Service)- $99.95 (Wifi adapter optional)

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Place an order totalling $99 or more in the CEIVA Store and get FREE economy shipping! Not valid on standard, 3-day, 2-day or overnight shipping.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Purchase any two frames and receive 10% off, Buy 3 or more and get 20% off! (Think, one for your mom, aunt, grandma, Men should add an extra one on for their wife too!)

My Take:

I really love the CEIVA Pro80 Starter Pack! I highly recommend it across the board for anyone on your list. There is nothing more personal or more thoughtful. Whether you and your mom are in the same city or are miles away from each other, imagine her delight when you send this to her, and in 3 simple steps she can not only enjoy the pictures she chooses to put on the frame, but you can instantly send her pictures anywhere, anytime. The grandkids can send grandma pictures right from their phones! Mom never feels like she misses a single moment. And with this frame, everyday feels like Christmas because you can send mom, or your Aunt or your Grandma, a new photo each day and no one misses a milestone.

This year mama butterfly is getting one! (But shhh, don't tell her!)

While I wasn't able to nab an extra one this time for a giveaway, CEIVA is awesome about throwing great giveaways and promotions on their Facebook page and you can also get social with them on twitter too! And don't forget to tell them Ascending Butterfly sent you, maybe we can arm twist them a bit to come back with us again next time! :)

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FTC Disclosure: I received a CEIVA frame and a picture plan for the purposes of this review, all opinions regarding the product are expressly my own experiences. Our full giveaway and disclosure policy can be found at: http://www.ascendingbutterfly.com/p/disclosure-policy.html