Monday, October 13, 2014

Would cooking 2 dishes at 2 different temps at the SAME time cut #holidayprep time? These @BestBuy Stoves can help!

#ad: Ascending Butterfly is a member of Best Buy's WOLF Blogger Program and is also a Brand Ambassador and Blogger Advisory Board Member and this is a Sponsored Post. Compensation in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or product/services at no or reduced cost has been exchanged, as always, all opinions are my own!

As I don't own a house or a fireplace for that matter, I won't be roasting any chestnuts on an open fire this holiday season. However, as an apartment dweller in the North East United States, I can be pretty much assured that Jack Frost will be nipping at my nose!

I don't have a ton of time during the week so anything that cuts down the time I spend in the kitchen is pretty much a life saver for me. I've got my eye on some Kitchen Appliances from Best Buy that offer the latest technology and innovations to help me cut down the prep time.

Because I am a renter I'm forced to stay with Gas, but wanted to present you with more than just one option.

Frigidaire - Gallery 30" Self-Cleaning Freestanding Electric Convection Induction Range - Model: FGIF3061NF:

Press on the image above to purchase this Frigidaire Unit with Induction Technology directly at Best Buy!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Induction Cooking

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Boil water in UNDER two minutes! (I love to cook Italian and Pasta dishes, this would save me so much time!)

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Smudge Proof Stainless Steel

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Easy to wipe cooktop that does not scorch food

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - One of the racks automatically pulls out when you open the oven door (no more 'oven steam facials')

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ -  5 cooktop elements - between 100W and 3800W of power

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Keep-warm element

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Simmer element

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - True Convection Technology

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Storage Drawer

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Self-cleaning oven

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Sabbath Mode

Notable: So far this appliance has all five star ratings from consumers on Best Buy's Website! (For those of you skeptical about blog reviews, these reviews are from consumers. I personally read reviews across a variety of sites before I purchase anything, especially anything tech or appliance so I'm sure you do too!) a 3-or-4-prong power cord is required and does not come with the unit but can be purchased from Best Buy and the installers are also required to install an anti-tip bracket (they will do so at no additional charge) but if you refuse the installation of the anti-tip bracket it will result in a drop off only delivery only and no connections will be completed.

Whirlpool - 30" Self-Cleaning Freestanding Double Oven Gas Range - Stainless Steel - Model: WGG555S0BS:

Press on the image above to purchase this Whirlpool Self-Cleaning Double Oven Gas Range directly at Best Buy!
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 6.0 cu. ft total oven capacity (2.1 cu. ft upper and 3.9 cu. ft. lower oven capacity)

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Electronic Clock and Timer

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Full-width cast-iron gates - since they cover the entire cooking surface, you can place pots and pans anywhere on the cooktop

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 4 Burners - Power Burner for Quick Boiling, Searing or Frying (15,000 BTUs), two 9,200 BTU burners and a 5,000 BTU AccuSimmer burner that gives a more gentle heat for melting chocolate or simmering sauces.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - AccuBake System - Built in sensor monitors oven temperatures and controls the cooking elements for consistent results

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Keep-warm setting uses low heat to keep food from getting cold.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - For my Jewish Friends - Sabbath Mode to comply with kosher cooking practices

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - PreciseClean self-cleaning technology - cleans only as long as it needs to to save energy

Notable: Gas Connector is sold separately for this model and is NOT included.

My Take:

Since our rental unit is not wired for an electric stove, I am totally leaning toward the Whirlpool model as I'm restricted to sticking with a Gas model for now. But I love just how feature rich the Gas model is so I won't feel like I am sacrificing or giving up features I would like just because I am currently restricted to Gas.

Check out Best Buy Holiday Prep to get more ideas!

Which of the two would you select for your kitchen butterflies, and tell us why?

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FTC Disclosure: I am a Best Buy Brand Ambassador. This allows me to share information, sales, product reviews and deals on a regular basis! As a Best Buy Ambassador I receive products for editorial consideration, use affiliate links in my posts and am sometimes with compensated with Best Buy Gift Cards as well. All opinions are 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may visit our full giveaway and disclosure page for complete policy information.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fall Wardrobe Upgrade with @Macys Challenge! @polyvore #Contest Entry #fbloggers

Fall Wardrobe Upgrade with @Macys Challenge! @polyvore #Contest Entry
Fall Upgrade with Macy's Challenge - Polyvore Contest Entry

Sheath Dress, Smoking Hot Booties, Statement Necklace and Leather Jacket! I love getting high fashion at great prices with Macy's for Fall!

Butterflies you know I can't resist a good Polyvore Challenge, I love getting creative and making new Polyvore Boards, and with this contest the incentive was just too great to pass up! If you like my board, please click HERE and give it a quick heart!

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FTC Disclosure: This is a contest entry, not a compensated post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Wash away that "Frizz Halo" with @Aveda 's #AvedaNaturallyStraight #Haircare System! @SheSpeaksUp

Instead of washing that man right out of your hair, do you ever wish you could wash that curl/wave/frizz right out of your hair instead?

Fall isn't all pumpkin and cozy sweaters folks, there is rain, and GASP there is still humidity!

I recently cut off over 13 inches of hair to donate to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths Program for Women With Cancer (if you missed that post, check it out HERE), and while it doing felt great, it also left me with hair way shorter than I have ever cut mine before. The shorter my hair is, the wavier it gets, which to some would be a blessing in disguise as it's naturally thin so the curls do give it body, except my hair in addition to being very thin is also super frizz prone, so while I actually do love my natural wave pattern, I do not love the frizz that comes with it.

To keep the frizz monster at bay I tend to blow dry AND flat iron my hair regularly. This pattern is very much a 'catch 22'. I blow dry then flat iron to knock out the frizz and wear my hair straighter, but doing so does weaken the hair over time making it more split prone. Once you have split ends you tend to have to cut them off to get the hair back to a healthier place.

I may have just found an end to the cycle!

About Aveda Naturally Straight:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Progressively loosens curls every time you style

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - While Chemical Laden Straighteners also change hair's natural texture, Aveda's mixture of Pure Flower and Plant Essences do not change your hair's texture, it works from the outside, adding a surface layer to the hair that loosens curls with each use

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - A barrier of tapioca starch and maize forms a humidity barrier to help you fend off frizz in even extreme humidity

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Uplifting Aroma - features a citrus-floral blend containing bergamot, palmarosa, Turkish Rose and wild-harvested Australian Sandalwood (not to get all political on you, but in other countries the trees are un-ethically poached, Aveda gets it's Sandalwood Oil from Western Australia where the tree is actually a protected species by the Government and they use indigenous harvesters which has been an aid to the aboriginal people of Western Australia - it's another small way YOU can make a big difference and have a say about the sustainability of this planet and the living wage we all deserve to have! Put your money where your politics is butterfly!)

How to use:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Step 1: Wash hair with Aveda Smooth Infusion Shampoo, follow with Aveda Smooth Infusion Conditioner. Towel Dry Hair and Comb Through (aka de-tangle)

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Step 2: Apply Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother to damp hair, work it through from the mid-shaft through to your ends.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Step 3:  Apply Aveda Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight based on your hair's length and thickness, start by using a small coin size drop (think about a dime size) on towel-dried hair one section at a time.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Step 4: Blow Dry hair straight (the larger the brush, think a large round or paddle the straigher your results will be) Flat iron if a sleeker result is desired.

Insider Tip:

Watch this video which shows Aveda working directly on four hair types to show how the Smooth Infusion line works with hair that is naturally straight but frizzy, hair that is wavy, hair that is coily and they give you a tip on just how to measure your hair to determine the amount of product needed.

Yes count me totally jelly that I wasn't invited to get my hair done at Aveda!

My Take:

The Aveda Smooth Infusion System is working well for me, I have actually not put a flat iron to my hair since I started with this system so I'm noticing a remarkable difference with way less split ends in my hair, Blow drying it has actually been enough which for me has never happened before, since it's shorter I want motion, body and bounce, and I get just that using these products without my flat iron. I love the system as a whole, but the smooth infusion Naturally Straight was the super star of the entire line for me as it made detangling my hair a breeze and I find that the system has also cut down my time spent blow-drying my hair significantly. Anything that gets me out the door faster and keeps the frizz monster at bay is definitely aces in my book.

There are literally NO cons here for me. I would actually advise you to use a bit LESS than you may think you need which is a pro in my book as the product will last longer!

Now please remember you should still blow dry for a straighter finish especially the first few times you use it, but once it builds up depending on just how straight a final look you are looking to achieve you may even be able to skip blowing your hair every now and again.

I found myself tugging at my hair way less to get it straight, it de-tangled my hair quickly and easily and cut my drying time, TOTAL SCORE!

Have you tried Aveda before Butterflies? Which product in their line works best for YOU?

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FTC DisclosureThis is a sponsored post for Aveda in conjunction with SheSpeaks. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may check our Giveaway and Disclosure Page for additional information regarding Ascending Butterfly Disclosure.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

{#Review} @NintendoAmerica 2DS with #TomodachiLife #NintendoatBestBuy

Don't worry I haven't forgotten that there are in fact several upcoming holidays before Christmas, but this year I am planning some much needed time off which means I have to move up Holiday recommendations if I want you to see them BEFORE the actual holidays! (Yes Halloween is still one of my favorite days! and while you could technically fit this gift idea into a pumpkin, you are probably not going to want to buy one for all the kids in the neighborhood. Unless you are rich and feeling particularly generous!)

There are already a ton of reviews out there that will tell you just how great the Nintendo 2DS is for kids, but since I don't have children I can only report just how much fun I have been having with it! (and please don't tell niece and nephew butterfly about this, let's keep it between us because I am NOT sharing mine!)

Press on the image above to purchase the Nintendo 2DS directly at Best Buy!
About the Nintendo 2DS:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Dual-Core ARM Processor

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 4GB SD Card Included

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 3.5 inch, 400x240 upper display

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 3-inch, 320x240 lower display

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 1300mAH Battery, should give you about 3.5-5.5 hours of play on 3DS Titles (yep you can play 3DS titles on the 2DS) and up to 5-9 hours of battery power playing regular DS games.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Built in WiFi

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Retails for $129.99

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Early Childhood Setting if you want to lock kids out of games that may not be appropriate for them yet!

Press on the image above to purchase Tomadachi Life directly at Best Buy!
About the Tomodachi Life Game for Nintendo:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Create Mii's of your fave celebs - (Great I can be more popular on Tomodachi Life Island than I am on Manhattan Island LOL!)

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Foodie Fun - You can feed your Mii's what they love (or for fun feed them things they hate just to watch what happens!)

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Love and Marriage, then comes your Mii with a Baby Carriage - Yes you can experience love, romance, marriage, and the joys of family (this game is the closest my mom is coming to Grandchildren! LOL)

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Looks and Sound - You can create Mii's that look like you and your pals and give each their own voice and personality!

Insider Tips:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - It doesn't have a Wi-Fi Toggle button, so use the sleep switch on your device to be sure you don't burn through your battery power!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Connect your game to the Streetpass and you might experience travelers stopping by and camping out on your Island to interact with everyone!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - As it's not a clam shell design, it's not like you can close it, to put it to sleep. And you may want to buy it a protector of some sort to keep the screen scratch free and to not worry about it banging around your bag (or for kids in their backpack)

My Take:

As a daily commuter via public transportation I can tell you this is a lifesaver to kill time during the long commute, it's just sad that my virtual 'Mii' is living a more rich, dynamic life than I am right now! While this device is kid friendly I have absolutely no intention of sharing mine!

This device is perfect for children under 7 as the 3D is not recommended for the younger children, and it's non-foldable design will help prevent broken hinges if your child is accident prone (or for adult female gamers if your handbag like mine is a war zone!)

And did I mention that mine is RED!!!!

Definitely a great Holiday Gift for kids and 'kids at heart' of all ages on your shopping list this holiday season!

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FTC Disclosure: Affiliate links are used (so please shop away!). I was provided with a Nintendo 2DS and Tomodachi Life Game by Best Buy to facilitate my review. All opinions are expressly my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may visit our full giveaway and disclosure page for complete policy information.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Have you checked out the new #restaurant menu options @olivegarden? Fall into #OGTastes

Press in different cities have had the option to try out the New Menu Options at Olive Garden and the tasting was recently offered in New York City at the Olive Garden Restaurant in Times Square, I had been reading other reviews of the menu posted by blogging pals in other cities, and was pretty stoked to get the chance to try it all out too. 

There were old favorites that were re-configured and a few new noteworthy menu options for us to explore.

Menu Tasting Checklist! One hour, 9 courses + Dessert.

This is what went down:

Risotto Bites

Above: A blend of Italian Cheeses and rice that are lightly fried and served on top of Marinara Sauce.

Polenta Shrimp alla Greca

Above: Sautéed Shrimp on creamy Polenta that is topped with a fresh blend of olives, capers and tomato sauce.

Calabrian Wings

Above: Chicken Wings tossed with Garlic and chili peppers from the Italian region of Calabria served with a Gorgonzola dipping sauce. These will only be on the menu for a limited time, so catch it while you can! (These definitely have a spicy kick!)

Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad

Above: Mixed Greens, Kale, Basil. Olives, Roasted Tomato, Croutons and Fresh Mozzarella with an extra virgin olive oil drizzle, make this Salad a Stand Alone Standout!

Smashed Chicken Meatball Sandwich

Above: Chicken Meatballs, roasted bell peppers served on a Focaccia Bun. (I have to say this one is really good! Perfect for a quick lunch!)

Bucatini with Spicy Three Meat Sauce and Meatballs

Above: This dish is included as part of the current "Never Ending Pasta Bowl". From September 22nd through November 9th you can enjoy more than 150 pasta combinations, plus home-made soup or garden-fresh salad and fresh baked garlic breadsticks - unlimited. Starting at $9.99!

Chicken Abruzzi

Above: This Olive Garden Specialty Dish of Grilled Chicken Breast in a savory broth simmered with cannellini beans, kale and garden vegetables, is part of the "Lighter Italian Fare" menu and comes in at under 575 calories. (Fall comfort food at it's best!)

Grilled Chicken Butternut Squash Alfredo Fettuccine

Above: Chicken Breasts served on a bed of Fettuccine tossed with creamy roasted butternut squash alfredo and fresh spinach. This is a Fall Menu Item that will be available for a limited time only.

Pappardelle Pescatore

Above: Sautéed Shrimp, Bay Scallops, and Clams tossed with Pappardelle Pasta, fresh asparagus and tomato in a creamy red pepper seafood sauce. I am a seafood lover, and this was by far my favorite of the entire tasting menu. I will be going back for this one!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Above: Pumpkin Cheesecake topped with whipped cream, caramel sauce and ginger cookie crumbles which is available for a Limited Time Only.

Frozen Margarita


My top three menu favorites were the Pappardelle Pescatore, Smashed Chicken Meatball Sandwich, and the Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad. Sadly I'm not a 'gourd' lover so the Chicken Butternut Squash and the Pumpkin Cheesecake were my least favorite (and that breaks my heart to say as I'm a cheesecake fanatic, but just don't like pumpkin.)

I love that Olive Garden always encourages guests to try out their wines and allow you to taste any wine that catches your eye on their beverage menu, with no obligation if it doesn't appeal to you. I'm a fan of their Moscato! (The ones on the menu are actually quite different in taste, and the server will help you figure out which pairs best with what which I truly appreciate!) I wanted to hold on to the last fleeting days of warm weather. and ordered a Frozen Margarita.

Bye! Bye! Summer, Hello FALL! Cozy Sweaters, great boots and comfort food are all signs of the season!

Butterflies what is your favorite Olive Garden Dish?

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FTC Disclosure:  I was invited to experience the new menu to facilitate my review, this is NOT a compensated post/placement. All opinions are expressly my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may visit our full giveaway and disclosure page for complete policy information.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

This @BestBuyWOLF shares the 'skinny' on the @Philips Viva Collection Air fryer! #PhilipsatBestBuy

The one motto I have always held about Beauty is that it comes from within. What you put in your body is as important as what you put on your body! Every single small step you can take to lead a healthier lifestyle will pay great dividends.

However, me giving up fried foods completely is probably near impossible, but I may just be one step closer to make my favorite fried foods just a little bit 'better' for me.

Press on the image above to purchase the Philips - Viva Collection Airfryer Low-Fat Multicooker at Best Buy

The Philips Air Fryer utilizes Rapid Air Technology to allow you to fry, bake, roast and grill with a tablespoon or less of oil, allowing you to eat healthier without giving up the taste and texture of your favorite foods!


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Automatic Shut-off

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Cord Storage - Cord Hides Away!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Non-Slip Feet

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Ready Signal

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ -  Patented Rapid Air Technology

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Digital Touch Screen Interface

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Restaurant quality fries and onion rings without an oily mess or smelly kitchen! SCORE!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Easy to use, load the basket and turn it on!


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - At 15.4 pounds, this is a bulky/heavy appliance that makes sense if you have dedicated counter space for it. I am an apartment dweller and won't be leaving it out everyday so storing it is an issue when space is at already a premium in my super small kitchen. (If you have a larger kitchen, this con certainly wouldn't apply to you)

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - This is not an accelerated cooking device, it cuts the time to cook most favorites, but if you have a larger family or are cooking for a party you'll need to cook in batches.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Temperature Dial is a bit tricky as it is divided by odd numbers, it has hash marks for 360 degrees, 390 degrees (etc) as opposed to the 325, 350, 400 marks that most ovens have. A Digital Temperature Setting probably would have made more sense.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - No timer built it, while it does 'ding' when the food is done, some items need to be 'shook' at the halfway mark in the cooking process.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Chicken skin can stick to it making it hard to clean, a bit of pam should help and I have read other reviews saying to line it in aluminum foil on the bottom like a regular pan, but I haven't tried that yet. I also find Chicken took a bit more time to cook than the manual advised, but that could be because of the amount of pieces I used. Like anything there is an adjustment period to get the timing just right.


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - If you start to notice a build up of grease around the fan, you can put 3 cups of water in the bottom and then heat the unit to approximately 390 degrees for about 20 minutes. That will heat the fresh grease around the fan and then it will just drip into the heated water for easy clean up!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - While it does have 'non-slip' feet, it should be used on heat resistant surfaces. Do not set it directly on high gloss granite.


As a single gal with no kiddos this unit is definitely handy for me, as I rarely cook in large batches anyway! I like having cheese fries on demand! (Take that certain favorite fast food joint that sells cheese fries, I don't need you anymore!!!) You guys also know I am obsessed with SeaPak Spring Rolls and those Spring Rolls and this Air Fryer are certainly a match made in heaven!

I will say that finding dedicated counter space is a challenge so I'll have to store it and lug it out when I need it.

I'd say this unit gets four out of five butterflies from me with only minor 'wish list' items to have given it a total perfect score like a bigger basket, digital temp settings, a non-stick base would have been great, and a built in timer.

For those of you shopping for gifts for a College Student this holiday season or a special guy in your life, the Philips Air Fryer at Best Buy is definitely a winner as a gift idea! (And if this encourages your guy to cook indoors in the Winter after the Grill season is over, then it's a win/win all around in my opinion!)

What recipe would you make first with the Philips Air Fryer Butterfly?

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FTC Disclosure: Affiliate links are used (so please shop away!). I was provided with a Philips Air Fryer by Best Buy to facilitate my review. All opinions are expressly my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 - Guides Concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, you may visit our full giveaway and disclosure page for complete policy information.