Monday, October 8, 2012

Could you use a $200 Visa Gift Card?



Remember when I shared my 'My Not So Dirty Little Conference Secret!'? Conferences are usually super long hours and require a lot of stamina. As I don't drink coffee or tea, and when I do drink soda, it's the caffeine free version, during Conferences, Red-Eye Flights and those days where work requires me to be 'on-point' for more hours than I'm used to, I rely on 5-hour ENERGY®   I met their street team last year where they were handing out samples on the way in to the convention center. I ended up trying one of them that same day and since then it's the only energy product I personally buy and continue to use.

I get great results with them, it takes effect relatively quickly, lasts as promised, I don't get jitters or nervous and I have never experienced a crash with it later. Where as with Soda sometimes I do!

Another thing I really love about 5-hour ENERGY® is that they really want to be YOUR number one choice when reaching for an Energy Product, enough so, that they want to check in and see how YOU feel about 5-hour ENERGY®!

5-hour ENERGY® in conjuntion with our friends at Smiley360, are offering you the chance to win a $200 Visa Gift Card (and who couldn't use that right about now?), just for completing a super short survey to share your opinions!

I don't know about you, but I'm thinking that would pretty much cover Halloween costs, or make for a great head start for holiday shopping!

And while you are here, don't forget to enter our Nicole Miller 'Addison' Designer Handbag Giveaway (ARV $295), this bicycle chain crossbody bag is a true stunner!

Go Ahead Butterfly, Tell them what you think and gain entry to win a $200 Visa Gift Card, you've got a lot to gain, and absolutely nothing to lose!


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FTC Disclosure: I received a free sample of 5-hour ENERGY® courtesy of Smiley360 for editorial consideration. This is not a compensated post, no monetary compensation has been received and all opinions are 100% my own. If you win the Visa Gift Card for taking the survey, I win one too! This is my preferred energy drink, but we recommend checking in with your doctor before taking this or any other energy drink. Please use these products as recommended only!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

BOO AT THE ZOO! - Prepare for some family #Halloween themed fun @TheBronxZoo


http://www.bronxzoo.com/



My family loved finding unique ways to keep us all entertained and oftentimes wanted an alternative to throwing a party in the house. Let's face it children's parties especially can get super messy, and who has time for that?

Looking to do something fun with the kiddos this Halloween? Why not try BOO AT THE ZOO? Would you be able to host a party at home that included:

A Creepy Hollows HayRide
A Haunted Mansion
Creature Chats
Hay Maze
Children's Theater

Costume Parade

Magic Shows
Pumpkin Carving
Creepy Crafts Workshops
Treat Stations
Live Music
And oh so cute Animals!

I don't know about you, but I'd rather let the Zoo do all the hard work! Buy 4 or more tickets and receive an exclusive, limited-edition Boo at the Zoo Snake Hat Free when you visit during Boo at the Zoo, weekends now through October 28th. Children 12 and under wearing a Halloween costume will receive free general admission with one paid adult general admission. With loads of free scores and great deals, what's not to love?  It's all Treats and No Tricks this Halloween!

So Butterfly, will it be TRICK or TREAT this year?

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Disclaimer: Ascending Butterfly is participating in a sponsored ambassador program from the Bronx Zoo/NY Aquarium. As a part of this program we have received paid advertising compensation, a premium family membership and merchandise for placement of digital advertisements and specific postings related to programming. However all opinions are 100% my own. And I have been visiting this particular zoo since my childhood!

Friday, October 5, 2012

The @Dove Self-Esteem Weekend 2012 - Start the Conversation! #DoveInspired




Statistics show that women have trouble taking a compliment. When you tell a woman her dress is beautiful, she is prone to say 'This Old Thing?'. Why is that?

I have always wondered why this was so, and so does Dove. If you do too, you can participate in a Nationwide Conversation where you can join women across the country from October 5-7th, when Dove will be holding a nationwide rally to talk about Beauty, Confidence and Self-Esteem. Use this weekend as the impetus to commit to talking to the girl in your life during this weekend and beyond about both Inner and Outer Beauty. It all starts with a simple conversation and it all starts with you!

Anxiety About Looks Begins at an Early Age and holds girls back from reaching their full potential

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 72 percent of girls (ages 10-17) feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Only 11 percent of girls (ages 10-17) are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - When girls feel bad about their looks more than 60 percent globally (age 15 to 17) avoid normal daily activities such as attending school, going to the doctor, or even giving their opinion

Aren't those statistics sad and shocking? Don't know how to begin the talk? Download the Guide HERE, it gives you great starting points and questions you can ask to help you learn what your daughter, god-daughter, or niece feels about herself and about Beauty. The initiative is also available in Spanish, where it is titled 'Vive Mejor Hablemos' or "Let's Talk". As a Latina, I am super happy to see that the initiative is being done in Spanish as well as English! Empowering our girls before society can knock down their self-esteem is essential! They still won't find enough faces they can relate to in mainstream media, so raising confident young women and instilling that within them while they are still young is very important!

The initiative can be found on Facebook in both English and Spanish and you can follow the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag @Dove #DoveInspired as well.

My family was great at instilling Self-Esteem, which was important because the school system as well as other students when I was younger certainly tried to knock it down, and having that strong foundation made it easier for me to remain confident even when the world told me I shouldn't be, even when the television really didn't have any faces I recognized or could relate to. Even though I was born here, my mother was and my maternal Grand-Mother was too, and we spoke 'perfect' English, I was pulled out of an honors class and put into an ESL class WITHOUT my parents consent. That day I told my mother and the next morning she was at the school correcting the situation. But it was scary and was a confidence shaker, and even though it was quickly corrected it was just a reminder that I was 'different' somehow from everyone else.

But the things that rob young girls of confidence are universal issues, bullies, boys who don't know how to be respectful, and more, it's up to us to make sure we keep up with the pulse of what that young girl in our life is going through. For me as a lifelong music lover I keep track of all things music and videos, and the highly sexualized lyrics and videos of much of today's popular music is actually having a very detrimental effect on the Self-Esteem of young girls. We need to be sure they understand that being objectified isn't beautiful and they should NOT feel like that is how they need to act or look to be beautiful, to be confident, or to be accepted.

When one of my nieces was younger, she accompanied me and another of her Aunts to a popular department store and we were swimsuit shopping for an upcoming family vacation. She picked up the skimpiest bikini on the rack much to my dismay and ran to a mirror and held it up to herself and said she wanted it. I knew that was my opening. I did not want her thinking that was appropriate or acceptable, she was way too young for a bikini, but most importantly I wanted to understand why she felt that swimsuit was important to her. What made her think it would make her more beautiful?

Me being the youngest Aunt there is an automatic assumption I will be the 'fun Aunt', but being fun and allowing them to get away with murder are two very different things. I always turn out to be 'tougher' than they expect. But for me it's teaching them life lessons in a way that makes them understand how to make the right choices, not just for the adults in their lives to make it for them.

In my family Inner Beauty was given the importance many place in outer beauty, we were taught one of the most beautiful things you could do was share with others less fortunate. Achievements were recognized not with bribes for doing the right thing, but acknowledgement for a job well done.

Teenage actress and singer KeKe Palmer, a voice of inspiration for girls, will kick off the weekend with a march to Times Square in New York to call for a national discussion on girls' self-esteem. Dove is committed to inspiring all women and girls to reach their full potential, and the weekend is one of the many ways in which the brand brings to life its vision to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety.

KeKe Palmer will join 250 members of Girls Scouts of the U.S.A., Girls Inc., Boys & Girls Clubs of America and The Young Women's Leadership Schools (TYWLS) as they march alongside their moms and mentors. The girls will carry signs saying "Let's Talk," in an effort to ask women everywhere to start a conversation on beauty anxiety that girls experience and how it impacts their self-esteem. My mom actually brought the First Girl Scout Troop to our borough, and I remember all the struggles she went through back then trying to find space, trying to rally the parents to take the organization and what it could do seriously and not just use it for a free after-school child sitting service.

"Like most girls there have been times when I have felt insecure about my looks," says KeKe Palmer.  "I am lucky enough to have a mom that I can turn to in these moments. She helps me feel more confident, and I know girls everywhere need and value that kind of encouragement. The Dove Self-Esteem Weekend is all about starting a conversation and helping girls develop a more positive relationship with beauty."   ~ Keke Palmer
Even the Award Winning Keke Palmer has experienced being bullied on twitter, she recently confided in a Huffington Post Interview. Even celebrity does not shield girls from attacks to their self-esteem. Empower your girls today!

Amazing Things can Happen When We Come Together – in English AND in Spanish

Dove Self-Esteem Weekend events will take place in cities across the nation, including New YorkMiami, and Los Angeles.  Boys & Girls Club of Venice, Calif., will host an event for 1,000 people on Saturday, October 6th. Teen singer Jessica Jarrell, who joined the brand earlier this year as an ambassador for the "Women Who Should be Famous" program, will perform.  In Miami, parenting expert, People en Espanol columnist Jeannette Torres-Alvarez will host a parenting workshop about helping girls develop a positive relationship with beauty.  Look online at www.Dove.com/self-esteem for further details about an event near you. 

The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem aims to reach 15 million girls globally with self-esteem programming by 2015. Together with experts and key partners, the brand has reached more than 9 million girls. The commitment to this goal is underscored with a Spanish-language web platform that will house self-esteem resources and reach countless more girls. Women who wish to access these materials in Spanish can visit www.vivemejor.com.

Your Purchase Counts - Discover the Dove® Difference

Dove is committed to inspiring all women and girls to reach their full potential. The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem invites all women to join us in creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. Each time you buy Dove you are helping them and their charitable partners provide inspiring self-esteem programming for girls. They have reached more than 9 million girls so far and with your help they can reach their target of 15 million by 2015. Your day to day purchases can help to empower so many!

As for me, I never felt more beautiful than when I presented my College Diploma to my Mother, it was her dream for me because she didn't get to finish, and I think we BOTH shined that day, check out our happy faces below:




Achievement is beautiful, Honesty is beautiful, teaching your daughter she's beautiful, letting her get that positive feedback from YOU will shield her from a world of hurt later on!


Butterfly Do you KNOW you are beautiful? You ARE!


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FTC Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored campaign via Latina Bloggers Connect and Dove. However, all opinions expressed are my 100% own.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: My First Mammogram!





I recently posted about the P&G GIVE Hope Do It For the Girls Day of Action in conjunction with the #GIVEHope Campaign, where I participated live in a celebrity hosted twitter party that was hosted by E! News Anchor, Fashion Police Co-Host, Breast Cancer Survivor and New Mom Giuliana Rancic! If you missed that post, check it out HERE! The photo above is myself and a roundtable of bloggers that were invited to participate in a special roundtable and twitter party about Breast Cancer Awareness. (Ascending Butterfly is second from the left, Center is Giuliana Rancic and far right is Allison Maxwell, a P&G employee and the youngest survivor on the panel).

Last month I had my doctor give me a referral for my first ever Mammogram. but I got super busy and never went. I had to see my primary today for a routine check up and flu shot, and he was none to happy I let my referral lapse. His office was super pro-active and got me a SAME DAY appointment to get my first ever Mammogram done at the only Hospital in Manhattan to acquire the new ImageChecker Computer Aided Detection (CAD) system for use in breast cancer screening to assist radiologists in minimizing false negative readings during mammograms.

Because of the Medical Nightmare of a year I have already been contending with, to say I was 'nervous' is probably a HUGE understatement!

But from reception to the technician everything went really smoothly. And while I'm being pitched right now by every brand under the sun who slapped 'pink' on something and want you buy it, I thought the best way to truly inspire anyone is to be open, honest and truly up front about my own experience.




Giuliana was my inspiration to follow through, she is young and she discovered a tumor during a mammogram while undergoing another round of in-vitro fertilization in an effort to get pregnant. And even though I didn't want to deal with anymore imaging this year after all the tests I have been subjected to, her story, and then meeting in her person where she shared her story and allowed us all to ask her questions, any questions, and was so open and honest, her courage pushed me to move forward and stop putting it off.

I won't have the results for a few days, but I wasn't asked to wait which I take as a good sign, and it wasn't as horrible an experience as others had led me to believe. Is it fun? No, it's a bit uncomfortable, especially if you are well-endowed like I am, think of the pressure a bit like the blood pressure cuff they place on your arm when taking your vitals, except the pressure is being applied to an area a lot more sensitve to the pressure!

My technician was very patient and really did care enough to make sure I knew what to expect and felt comfortable every step of the way.

After getting the chance to interview survivors like Giuliana Rancic, Janelle Hail, chief executive officer and founder National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., and Allison Maxwell, breast cancer survivor and P&G employee (who was actually the youngest survivor on the panel that day) they made it clear that Breast Cancer does NOT discriminate. Youth does not protect you, neither does no family history of the disease, so ladies please do your self exams monthly, make sure your primary is doing an exam even if you are, and be PRO-ACTIVE and ASK your Doctor about when you should have your first exam. While normally the first one is scheduled for women 40 and over, if there is history in your family, if you find a lump you will need to have one sooner. Your survival rate increases with early detection, so ladies, do it for 'The Girls' AND do it for YOU!


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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post, no monetary compensation has been received to share information regarding my Mammogram experience.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Who DAT Dog? #NewOrleans #NOLA #Travel

Blue Dog by George Rodrigue


Back to our New Orleans themed Wordless Wednesdays! These were taken during my August trip to the Niche Mommy 2012 Blogging Conference in New Orleans!

Blue Dog by George Rodrigue


Who DAT Dog?

Look carefully to the right of the Red Dog, see my hand and watch in the reflection of the glass as I snapped this picture?


I got to snap quite a few photos of the famous dog while I was out and about in New Orleans, but I was always curious about this dog and did a little research, The Blue Dog by George Rodrigue was inspired by the myth of the 'Loup-Garou', inspired by a book of Cajun Ghost Stories (Bayou, Inkwell, 1984). Described as a 'werewolf-type' dog, the artist familiar with the legend as he had heard it often as a boy, could find no specific image for the loup-garou and he set out to create it. Using photos of his studio dog Tiffany, who had died years earlier, he painted an image under a blue night sky of a grey blue dog with red eyes. Over time the dog's eyes were changed to yellow to make it a bit friendlier to audiences, but The Blue Dog (there is even a Cafe with the same name in New Orleans) is known not just in Louisiana but everywhere! As horror and mystery are my favorite genres and vampire and werewolf lore are favorite reads (and movies) of mine, I was fascinated to learn the history behind this iconic dog!

The Red Dog Sign Rotated and became Blue Dog Again! There's my reflection in the Glass again!

Unfortunately this shot captured too much 'noise' I think I was still zooming when it snapped.

Happy Wordless Wednesday Butterflies! Feel free to link up your WW photos in the comments below!


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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. I am under no obligation to share my photos from my trip to New Orleans for the Niche Mommy Blogging Conference!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Nicole Miller Addison Crossbody Handbag Giveaway!


Nicole Miller Logo


Monthly Featured Handbag In The Spotlight Is Back! 

Butterflies my apologies, this is one of our longest standing regular Features (monthly since 2009) and because of my back-to-back hospitalizations the feature took a hiatus during the summer this year and this is the longest time that has ever elapsed without us featuring a new Handbag of the Month. I am super excited to be bringing this feature back! A HUGE Thank You to Nicole Miller, the bags sent to me for review arrived quite awhile ago, but with me being in the hospital I had to push back the Feature, so I thank them AND YOU so much for your respective patience.

I can tell you that it is going to be so worth the wait! Nicole Miller's team totally surprised me, when they sent me not one, but 5 bags! And because I made you guys wait so long, I'm giving you the Featured Bag which you will see after the review bags. Here is what I received:

Nicole Miller Lexi Techno Metal Clutch:

Top Left: Lexi Techno Metal Clutch in Black closed, Top Right: Nicole Miller Lexi Techno Metal Clutch in Black Open to show organizational components and strap. Above: Nicole Miller Lexi Techno Metal Clutch in Teal - Don't you just love the rouching detail?


As a public transportation commuter here in New York City, I have always featured crossbody handbags and owned no clutches. I normally carry so much with me that clutches have never been truly practical for my lifestyle. But now as a blogger with many event invites and many of them cocktail evening events, I had been needing a clutch and was in the market for one when the amazing package arrived from Nicole Miller. The Lexi Techno Metal Clutches are fantastic, they have the chain strap which allows me to have my hands free when I need to, and they have a sophisticated styling that allows them to be paired with almost any evening outfit in your closet. A good clutch really is an Accessories Wardrobe Staple. Oddly enough my Grandmother and Mom both have an assortment of great clutches, and it's one thing I didn't have in my wardrobe until now. And I think Nicole Miller may have created a Monster, because now I find myself seriously looking at clutches!

The Nicole Miller Lexi Techno Metal Clutch is a Structured techno metal box clutch with rouching detail and an 18” drop down chain shoulder strap, distressed nickel hardware finish and a Clasp Closure.

Product Specifications:

Dimensions: 6.6" x 4" x 1.8"
Strap Drop Length: 18"
Weight: 13 oz
Material: Fabric/Polyester/Metallic Nylon/Elastane
Warranty: This manufacturer does not have a warranty
Linear Inches: 12.40"
SKU: NM200T
Catalog Number: CT38-208519

Nicole Miller Lexi Sting Ray Clutch

Lexi Stingray Clutch in Black and bronze, Top: Inner Organizational Lining


Black Stingray with Black Lamb Leather, It is a structured Box Clutch with Optional Drop Down Jewelry Shoulder Strap, this super snazzy clutch is all blinged out for evening! Its the one you wear when you are making a statement with not only your Fashion Tastes but your Fashion Accessories as well. If any clutch can call itself A Statement Clutch, Nicole Millers Lexi Sting Ray Clutch certainly can.

And if you think its pretty in Black, check her out in Bronze!

Isn't  she a total chic showoff? ;)


The girl with no clutches, now has 4, and not just any four, four amazing wardrobe boosters in the Nicole Miller Lexi! Both the Lexi Techno Metal Clutch and the Lexi Stingray have received numerous compliments when Ive worn them out on the town. Im partial to the Techno Metal Clutch in the Teal, and while I love the Stingray in both colors, the Bronze really does stand out a bit more. And since my wardrobe does have a lot of dark colors, having the clutch in black is almost an essential.

Nicole Miller Handbags Addison Mini Crossbody 

Collage of Nicole Miller Addison Mini Crossbody bag with Bicycle Chain

  
And now, its time for YOU, I am giving you the bag that when Nicole Miller was asked about what are the hottest accessories shoes and bags of the season, she answered My bicycle chain bags. I love them and they look really new.

I have to admit I highly agree, there is something so punk and unexpected about the Addison Mini Crossbody bicycle chain handbag, it's that detail on the mixed strap, part bike chain, part leather, and it an almost silver and bronze color to the bag, its tough meets city chic in a way that totally works, it literally just ups the cool factor of your outfit 100%

Product Features:

  • 25" shoulder drop.
  • Bike chain crossbody strap.
  • Magnetic closure.
  • Distressed nickel hardware finish.
  • Interior lining
  • Inside features multipurpose slide pocket, slide cell phone pocket, and large zip pocket
  • Mini embossed hamovey leather crossbody with bike chain strap detail


Product Specifications
Dimensions:
9" x 5.63" x 1"
Strap Drop Length:
25"
Weight:
1 lb, 3 oz
Material:
Leather Hamovey Embossed
Warranty:
This manufacturer does not have a warranty
Linear Inches:
15.6250"
SKU:
NM104B
Catalog Number:
CT38-208514















She asked us to share the Addison Bag with our readers which leaves me with the clutch bags. The ones way out of my comfort zone. But I have been rocking them at events lately and getting tons of compliments about them! This has totally re-shaped my attitude on the clutch style! I think 2013 will be me with more clutch style bags! (even if I have to carry a little less to pull it off!)

My Take:

I have greatly enjoyed being able to try out a wide variety of Nicole Miller handbag styles, they are fashion forward, well-designed and super stylish! I know you are going to love your bag as much as I do mine! You can check out all the photos in full size on our pinterest page HERE (and feel free to re-forward the giveaway graphic by pinning it to your wall for another extra credit by leaving us the link to your pin here as a comment, see pinterest board for full details on how to get a Pinterest method of extra credit for this giveaway)

You Can Win the Addison Bicycle Chain Crossbody by Nicole Miller in the Center!


Win It:

Follow the directions carefully in the Rafflecopter Widget below to gain entry. The main entry is super simple, make sure you are following via Google Friends Direct on the upper right hand side of the page and leave your Google Friends name and your email in the widget, easy peasy! That's the only mandatory entry, then we provide some fun and simple extra credits as a way of gaining more entries! You can actually tweet twice a day, but the widget will only let you write one tweet, so you can leave the second tweet as a comment entry! For those doing the vote extra credit, in case you have trouble clicking over to the page where you need to go vote, press HERE, then come back and leave the name you commented under and how much the vote went up to after you voted.

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FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored giveaway, the sponsor, Nicole Miller, has provided handbags for review as well as providing a handbag for the giveaway. However, all opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Motivation Monday: Weekly Moment of Gratitude!





What I am grateful for:



You can vote for Ascending Butterfly here: http://www.thebigreboot.biz/entries/508

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - YOU! -  I decided not to give up after all the encouraging messages I received when I entered the last phase of The Big Reboot, they haven't announced the winner yet of that phase, but the entries do not carry over, so I wrote a new essay entry for the next phase, never say never right? I am entering for the newest phase and if you would like to show your support with a vote, I'd greatly appreciate it! PRESS HERE! (A one click daily vote, so if you voted once, you can vote again as long it wasn't today that you voted!)

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Good Stuff in the Mail! - I will admit that as a blogger, most days are great mail days, but I was really looking forward to something particular that finally arrived! During BlogHer I got the chance to attend the Getting Gorgeous Gift Suite and one of the sponsors that was there was a brand I am very well familiar with because my mom actually introduced me to them YEARS ago, Coldwater Creek. They have amazing customer service, and they were just as wonderful in person as I anticipated they would be. They were offering everyone who attended a pair of jeans of their choice, and they brought a wide variety of styles and sizes for us to try out. I selected the Trouser Jeans Style and they arrived in the mail this week!

Look at the lovely box the jeans arrived in!

The presentation was lovely and they included a personal note thanking ME for visiting their booth during Getting Gorgeous. I  mean really how super awesome and classy is that?


I will post pictures of me wearing them and a full review soon, when I tried them on I realized that when they arrived I would need to get them hemmed, so I have to visit my Tailor this week and have them hemmed before I can start wearing them.

What are YOU most grateful for this week 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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Giveaways!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - I am super happy to announce that our regular and highly anticipated 'Featured Handbag in the Spotlight' returns TOMORROW! On Tuesday come back here for an Amazing DESIGNER Handbag giveaway, you are going to LOVE it!

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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 - Please note this is not a compensated post! Our gratitude posts are NON-compensated.