Monday, August 5, 2019

While I get ready to cover @curvexpo 2019 #Curvexpo #CURVENY #CURVE - I leave you with beautiful images of the last one!


CURVE NEW YORK doesn't always work with my crazy schedule and while I rarely have the luxury to spend all 3 days there, I maximize the time I do spend at the show to the fullest. It is always fun getting a sneak peek at the styles and trends that are upcoming.

As this show is meant to connect brands with buyers, often times when I visit the exhibitor booths, many styles are still under embargo - meaning press can't write about them yet. And I have to spend a lot of time asking which styles I can feature and which are still in top secret mode.

As with most tradeshows (and for those who know NYC well, the Javitz can play host to an incredible number of vendors/booths), I can only hit so many booths/exhibitors/vendors. Which makes my natural tendency to go with brands I actually wear and feel I 'know'.

But I also seek out unique stories and brands with 'heart' and 'soul'.

Most trade shows are so focused on retailers/buyers that press/media can very much get lost in the shuffle which is sad, but not entirely surprising. (Not my first time at the Rodeo). So in some cases I will have only pictures, but with some brands I did get a chance to make a real 'connection'.

Body Positivity and Inclusiveness has always factored big for this show, but definitely way more so in the past few years. Women's bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Consumers expect the market to support that.

While I get the scoop at CURVEXPO/CURVE NEW YORK 2019, (check our social pages for daily photos) check out highlights of the last show here.

Here are my Photo Highlights, (in no particular order):

Vossen, world's first certified Vegan Towel and Bathrobe collection
ABOVE: Vossen - the world's first certified Vegan Towel and Bathrobe collection,  definitely caught my eye.

Normally the photo above is one I don't use, I use that as a reminder to myself that the photos that come after are from that booth and so on.

The booth number photo shot tends to be a place mark for me, but I liked this one so I thought I would use it!

Vossen, world's first certified Vegan Towel and Bathrobe collection

If you are trying to lead a 100% Plant -Based Vegan Lifestyle, you are going to want to incorporate Vossen's Towels, Bath Robes, Bath Rugs, Beach, Kids and Wellness products into your Vegan Home!

Vossen, world's first certified Vegan Towel and Bathrobe collection
ABOVE: Vossen makes everyday a 'spa day'

Playtex 18 Hour Front Close Posture Bra, Style: USE525 at CURVEXPO CURVE NEW YORK

ABOVE:  Playtex had a wide variety of styles on display, the Playtex 18 Hour Front Close Posture Bra, Style: USE525 really caught my eye! (Waiting on a press sample of it and will give you more details on how well it worked for me now that I have problems with my neck) - with this link you can buy it from Amazon at a great everyday low price (or put it in your cart or wishlist to be alerted of any price drops) Note: This is an affiliate link, if you purchase it we get a commission! For us 'well endowed' types this bra checks a lot of boxes, cushion at the shoulders, wide straps, support in a front hook style so we don't have to twist around try to hoist the girls while pulling up the straps, this style makes everyday nice and easy! And a gentle reminder to keep your shoulders back and keep your posture game on point.

@HurrayKimmay "How Retailers Can Work with the Media and Influencers" panel at CURVEXPO CURVE NEW YORK

ABOVE: @HurrayKimmay led the "How Retailers Can Work with the Media and Influencers" panel. Needless to say I made it a point to get a good seat, take notes, and make a note of which brands were there. It saves me time and energy when brands have a strong sense of how Influencer Outreach should work, and seminars like this help them do just that. This should be a required panel at most conferences and tradeshows in my humble opinion and . (her name is clickable and it will link you to her post seminar resources, including a link to the expo page's facebook video)

@HurrayKimmay "How Retailers Can Work with the Media and Influencers" panel at CURVEXPO CURVE NEW YORK Heather Patt quote slide

ABOVE: You can press on this to make it bigger, but in case you are feeling lazy and wondering what the slide says, it reads:

"Collaborate with a brand by giving the brand incentive to give your retail store credit in an editorial placement.

Also, as a PR professional of over 18 years I have never seen so many changes taking place to the Media landscape. More and more digital outlets are taking the place of print, and more freelancers are covering multiple outlets as opposed to one editor for one market. It is so important to keep up with these changes and make sure your company remains visible in a very crowded field." ~ Heather Patt

Heather Patt
Owner, Heather Patt Public Relations

I wholeheartedly agree with Heather, this is an incredibly crowded landscape and most freelancer Editors (like myself) write for a wide variety of both Print AND Digital outlets.  Many digital Editors want to present brands to readers that they trust and have actually road tested, the best relationships still take time build.

Brands do need to learn to navigate the landscape and learn to work with a wide variety of Content Producers.

I get a ton of pitches, but I would rather work with fewer brands, whose products I know and trust, brands that understand that I do test what I present and brands that understand their product is not payment for a Digital Editorial Feature. Digital Freelancers cannot pay their bills in their XYZ Product.

@HurrayKimmay "How Retailers Can Work with the Media and Influencers" panel at CURVEXPO CURVE NEW YORK Kayla Boyd quote slide

ABOVE: Just in case you do not want to press this one to make it bigger:

"I often get pitches where brands ask me to add their product to an article we already published and that isn't usually helpful because it is rare for us to go back into an article just to add another product to it.

You're much better off pitching us your product from a new or unique angle." ~ Kayla Boyd, Associate Commerce Editor at

Again, not only do I agree with Kayla completely, I can tell you I am NEVER going to go back to an old post to add any kind of link or a competitor product, I find that shady and not very ethical and I will NOT do it. I am glad this came up during the panel.

While I am sure there are some brand that are not doing this with deceptive intent, all brands need to be made aware that this is one of the biggest thorns in any Editor's side. Please stop doing this!

@HurrayKimmay "How Retailers Can Work with the Media and Influencers" panel at CURVEXPO CURVE NEW YORK Kayla Boyd quote Estelle Puleston slide

ABOVE: In case you don't want to press this one to make it bigger:

"My Blog Reviews consistently get a high volume of traffic, often for years to come after being published. Reviews have a long 'shelf life' - they're something that potential customers are always going to be searching for.

And I've been told by brands that my reviews have sent them lost of traffic and sales - even when the review itself wasn't a glowing 'this product is perfect one.' ~ Estelle Puleston, Owner of Esty Lingerie

PREACH, SISTER PREACH! My blog reviews also get consistently high numbers. And like Estelle mentions, well after they were posted. I always strive to give a very balanced review, and I feel that has helped me to build trust. I like to give both the pros and cons of any product/event experience to help readers determine what is right for them. Again, I am so glad this topic was addressed at this panel.

@HurrayKimmay "How Retailers Can Work with the Media and Influencers" panel at CURVEXPO CURVE NEW YORK Melanie Sutrathada quote slide

ABOVE: As you can tell I was a bit off to the side of the monitor, here is the text in case you can't see it:

"The biggest mistake I see retailers make when working with bloggers is not being specific, I've received hundreds of generic emails with, "Dear Blogger" as the first line and a pitch that was copied and pasted. I want to work with brands that understand my voice and who have done their research. The more specific and catered your pitch is, the better! Looking just to gift product? Want to bring on a Brand Ambassador? You have to be upfront and honest from the start. That's how a good relationship begins.

Also, never get your CC mixed with your BCC. There's nothing quite like being accidentally included on a CC to 100 other people" ~ Melanie Sutrathada, Actor and Content Creator

I am certainly in agreement with Melanie, with the exception of the use of the word "Gift" - please note you are not gifting a Digital Editor - that person is staging original photography (Pro Bloggers upgrade to strong DSLR equipment), creating content, coding HTML, promoting their posts via social media to boost engagement, monitoring all comments - and interacting and engaging with *each* one. A review post as mentioned in the slide prior to this one is evergreen content that users are constantly searching for. Please do not think for one moment that you are 'gifting' an Editor.

The honesty mentioned by Melanie is certainly a two way street, when both parties are very clear about goals and expectations, campaigns are ultimately more successful.

Curvy Couture Exhibitor Booth at CURVEXPO CURVE NEW YORK

ABOVE: Isn't this such a great teal color? I love this set by Curvy Couture!

One of my favorite is when the styles all come to us in the event lounge, as Press who can't possibly hit all the exhibitors, having the styles come to us is super convenient, so here is a 'fashion show' compilation. (I was off to the side again, so I tried to catch the models as they turned to leave the stage):

Mey lingerie and Pajamas featured in the Event Lounge Fashion Show at CURVEXPO CURVE NEW YORK

ABOVE: A visual reminder to guys that there is always something pretty hidden under those 'everyday PJ's' - I see you Polka Dots! This is from MEY's Fall/Winter 2019 Collection.

ABOVE: My zoom is doing it's job, but by the time the models turned my way, they were already lowering their signs. So it was clear shot, or super sideways with sign......You can see which option I went with! :)
Leonisa Shapewear featured in the Event Lounge Fashion Show at CURVEXPO CURVE NEW YORK

ABOVE: Now that's what I'm talking about, see how the model from Leonisa holds up her sign with a smile long enough for me to capture it. You have no idea how many photos looked good in the thumbnail but the model was in motion so I had to delete so many! (Get 15% off your first order when you sign up for their newsletter!)

Elila USA featured in the Event Lounge Fashion Show at CURVEXPO CURVE NEW YORK

ABOVE: If you have been following for awhile, and have read previous coverage I have written of Curvexpo/Curve New York, then you know just how much I love Elila. I seriously want to be their official blogger brand ambassador. They truly keep the girls 'aiming skyward', but do it in a way that is both super comfortable and super stylish! Style 2311 is my personal favorite and Amazon has select sizes on sale, so I linked you to them! Get one in EVERY color with this style, you won't regret it! (You're Welcome!)

Anita Active featured in the Event Lounge Fashion Show at CURVEXPO CURVE NEW YORK

ABOVE: I love the power pose from the Anita Active Model, amazon has select Anita Active Styles on sale, I link you to one, but you when you get there you can switch style and size, I am hoping to try out some of their styles as I haven't worn Anita yet.

Mey lingerie and Pajamas featured in the Event Lounge Fashion Show at CURVEXPO CURVE NEW YORK

ABOVE: I saw this color quite often on the tradeshow floor and oddly enough a sort of 'steel greyish' was also quite popular from a wide variety of brands. This is also from MEY's Fall/Winter 2019 Collection

Kinky Korner featured in the Event Lounge Fashion Show at CURVEXPO CURVE NEW YORK

ABOVE: Curvexpo's curated concept showroom is called the Kinky Korner.  The area featured a selection of erotic, sensual and sexy intimate apparel and accessory brands. High-quality international offerings were on display. A model showcased a few of the styles for visiting Buyers and Media.

Empreinte featured in the Event Lounge Fashion Show at CURVEXPO CURVE NEW YORK

ABOVE: Euro brand Empreinte definitely should have picked darker color for this model, I find this color looks washed out against the model's pale skin. I wish they would have put her in the style they call "Diane" in the color Magenta on their site: - this bra is FIRE!

Lingerie and Intimates Event Lounge Fashion Show at CURVEXPO CURVE NEW YORKEvent Lounge Fashion Show at CURVEXPO CURVE NEW YORK

ABOVE: This is barely even a fraction of the amount of brands/exhibitors in attendance!

The Jacob Javitz Convention Center in NYC hosts multiple events/tradeshows simultaneously per day and when you are very lucky the conferences will let attendees with one badge get into another tradeshow being held at the Convention Center.

My wanderings to another show led me to a FAB Butterfly find, check out these "butterfly-licious" shots:

Alice and Olivia by Stacey Bendet Exhibitor Booth at Accessorie at Jacob Javitz New York City, butterflies, animal print, floral, flowers
ABOVE: Needless to say this display by Alice and Olivia by Stacey Bendet stopped me in my tracks! It was a butterfly lovers delight and I spent time nabbing more photos at this booth!
Alice and Olivia by Stacey Bendet Exhibitor Booth at Accessorie at Jacob Javitz New York City, butterflies, animal print, floral, flowers

ABOVE: Animal Print AND Butterflies and turning New York's Uniform of a 'Little Black Dress' on it's head with RED, um, YES, PLEASE! (Press on this photo and make it bigger and then come back) They will be added to my all things "Ascending Butterfly Loves Butterflies" board on pinterest soon! (I link to both the board directly and my main page - if you are not already following me via Pinterest you should! Leave me a comment and let me know the handle to your pinterest account so I can follow back!)

Alice and Olivia by Stacey Bendet Exhibitor Booth at Accessorie at Jacob Javitz New York City, butterflies, animal print, floral, flowers
ABOVE: That crown of butterflies might be good for me to wear at tradeshows, you know for branding purposes! LOL


CURVEXPO is one of the few tradeshows that although it is intended for brands and buyers/retailers to connect, I consider it one of my annual three that I regularly cover (depending on me being in town of course).

Much like my obsession with Handbags, attending this tradeshow is making me a 'lingerie snob'. I am getting better at spotting high quality pieces and finding brands that help me accentuate what I've got the right way.

I will be headed to the show today so keep your eyes on our social pages for more updates, and stay tuned for a full recap of the Summer edition of Curve.

Readers, here's YOUR call to action: Which Brand Featured Above Interests YOU most? Brownie Points: If you visit their website, then come back here and share a specific style that you liked best, who knows, maybe I can have them come back and do something fun for YOU as well.

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FTC Disclosure: All opinions are 100% MY OWN. This is NOT a Compensated Post, it is an Event Recap. 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. While I can't pay my landlord with bras, this butterfly does like pretty things, and enjoys covering this tradeshow!

Friday, June 7, 2019

@NYBG Launches newest exhibit "BRAZILIAN MODERN: THE LIVING ART OF ROBERTO BURLE MARX" Saturday, July 8, 2019 #NYBG #plantlove


Roberto Burle Marx (August 4, 1909 – June 4, 1994) was a Brazilian landscape architect, painter, print maker, ecologist, naturalist, artist and musician whose designs of parks and gardens and passionate commitment to plant conservation made him world-famous. He is accredited with having introduced modernist landscape architecture to Brazil. He was known as a modern nature artist and a public urban space designer. His work had a great influence on tropical garden design in the 20th century. Water gardens were a popular theme in his work. He was deftly able to transfer traditional artistic expressions such as graphic design, tapestry and folk art into his landscape designs. He also designed fabrics, jewelery and stage sets.  He was one of the first people to call for the conservation of Brazil's rainforests. More than 50 plants bear his name. He amassed a substantial collection of plants at his home, including more than 500 philodendrons.

I had the opportunity to attend the Media Preview Day for this amazing exhibit that opens Saturday, July 8, 2019 to the public.

The exhibit brings a taste of Brazil to New York City and I couldn't resist sharing this vibrant preview video from New York Botanical Garden:

Warning: For some reason my template is smushing my photos more than usual today so please press on them to see them full size.

We started off our morning right with amazing smoothies from the Merenda Food Truck!

Above: Merenda Food Truck, New York Botanical Garden, May 2019

Above: Nabbed a quick shot of the smoothie selection before Media grabbed them all up!

Above: Close Up of my Pineapple, Banana, Mango Smoothie from Merenda Food Truck

Above: We were able to stroll to the Enid Haupt Conservatory while enjoying our smoothies and arrived to the sounds of live Brazilian Music!

Above: Opening Remarks, Media Preview Day, Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx, New York Botanical Garden, May 2019

Above: Left: Todd Forrest, Vice President for Horticulture and Living Collections at The New York Botanical Garden and Right: Raymond Jungles protégé of Roberto Burle Marx, and a Miami-based landscape designer, who was enlisted to capture the vision of his mentor and longtime friend, take Media through a walk through of the Modernist Garden where a recreated experience of strolling along the Portuguese stone mosaic of Rio's Atlântica Avenue boardwalk (which was designed by Burle Marx), which The New York Botanical Garden has recreated with painted asphalt with abstract, black and white waves.

Above: This fountain is replica of the artist's wall-sized concrete mural at the Banco Safra headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Above: I even managed to nab video! You can hear Todd Forrest giving us an overview of the exhibit in conjunction with the sound of the fountain.

Above: Triangle Palm, Native to Madagascar, artist Burle Marx planted this tree throughout his estate carefully positioning each plant as a work of art


Above: Biscayne Boulevard, Miami Florida, Built 1999 -  2004

In the New York Botanical Garden - The LuEsther T. Mertz Library you will find art and special tapestries, Guest Curator Edward J. Sullivan introduced us to the exhibition and described the collection of curated paintings, drawings and textiles.

You know just how much I love EXPERIENCES, and the events this year at the Garden have included so many engaging activities, and this one was no exception, after we experienced the collection we got the opportunity to create our own art.

Above: In the The LuEsther T. Mertz Library we got the chance to create an azulejo, a style of painted tile that originated in Islamic Spain. Azulejos became a signature of Portuguese design in the 16th and 17th centuries often covering the walls of buildings. In colonial Brazil the decorative tiles also helped shield buildings from the heat and the humidity.

Above: Of course Ascending Butterfly needed to create a 'Butterfly Azulejo' and leave a piece of my creativity on the wall too! Here is a close up of my creation.

Above: First you got the closeup, now here is my Azulejo on the wall.

Above: A shot of others creating their Azulejos

Below: Be on the look out for quotes interspersed throughout the exhibits!

"Consider how each plant, possessing its own particular color, is enriched with meaning when juxtaposed with another color or another plant. In nature these relationships are not happenstance..." ~Roberto Burle Marx "Garden and Ecology" 1969

Schedule of events:

Opening Weekend: Saturday and Sunday, June 8 - 9, 2019

Ending: Sunday, September 29, 2019

WHERE: The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York

My Take:

I have been visiting this New York City Landmark since childhood and have always been amazed at The New York Botanical Garden's amazing ability to take a space I know so well and continually transform it and reinvent it. Their exhibitions are imaginative and creative and this one is no exception.

Bringing a taste of Brazil to the Bronx was no easy feat with tropical trees arriving during a very cold and wet month of May. None died in transition, they proved to be much like the people who surround The New York Botanical Garden and live in it's surrounding community - strong and resilient!

Roberto Burle Marx led an amazing life, I was surprised to learn he started off as an Opera Singer, his journey from Opera Singer to landscape artist and ecologist is an interesting one. Much like the transition from caterpillar to butterfly don't you think? Starting off as one thing and then life turning you into that great thing you are meant to be.

I can't wait to see how this exhibition evolves and grows!

The official hashtag for The New York Botanical Garden Events this year is #plantlove so if you do attend the exhibit, please tag your photos with the official hashtag I would love to see them!

Little known trivia about me: I once worked with a VP in the Finance Industry much of his work took him to our offices in Brazil, the team there spoke both Spanish and Portuguese but very little English, and I spoke Spanish and English but very little Portuguese, over time we would teach other words and I was beginning to pick up a bit of Portuguese before I not only switched gears to a new job, but switched industries entirely.

I still have a love of Brazilian Music! I have not yet had the chance to visit Brazil and hope to remedy that soon.

READERS: Have you been to The New York Botanical Garden? Have you visited Brazil?

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a compensated post, this is an Event Recap and all opinions are 100% my own!  The love however is genuine, NYBG is one of my favorite places in New York City! 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.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Recap and most important takeaway from @DisneyMoms Disney Social Media Moms Celebration "On-the-Road" event in New York City #DisneySMC #WordlessWednesday

Note: This is NOT a compensated post. Thank You Disney Parks for inviting me to your NYC On-the-Road event. This is event recap coverage.

Unlike most bloggers, I do not get all tingly from an invite from Disney.
There is a very specific reason I feel that way.

I attended a press screening and my guest was Mama Butterfly (MY MOM), when I take her to screenings, she needs to be on a specific side of the theater to be able to see the screen properly. I always arrange in advance before taking her to screenings, usually we only need to arrive early to make that happen.

I checked in for the screening and was told that press seating was fine and we were super early.

After the theater was practically all full we were asked to move in a very rude manner. I asked to speak to the rep that said we would be fine where we were. I was told they didn't know where the rep was or even 'who it was'.

Eventually this rep tried to reach out for Mama Butterfly (the rep was closer to her than she was to me). That is an absolute no-no. My mom has health problems and even if she didn't there was no need for that rep to touch anyone. I was already blogging professionally at that point, so at that moment I knew I was representing my brand, while I did sternly warn her to keep her hands to herself, I managed to suppress my knee jerk reaction to use my various years of martial arts training, block her hand and then proceed to break it. Needless to say I am quite proud of myself for reigning it in. It takes a lot to get me there, but once I am that heated it is difficult for me not to see red, especially when it comes to my mom. Especially from a brand that touts how family friendly they are. That was NOT friendly.

Needless to say that day I emailed Disney as far up the food chain at that time as I could.

After over a week, I got an email telling me to "get over it".

And that was the end of that.

In my book they owe her and me a proper apology. I had heard so much about their customer service, that the entire experience and the very poor follow up left a very bad taste in my mouth.

I had stopped dealing with them entirely for years, even asked to never be emailed again. But they are a large organization, and different PR teams often handle different event types.

I eventually attended a press event for Maleficent in New York City. I was nervous dealing with them again for another screening especially, but this was a PR firm I had already worked with for a very long time. I was a professional film critic many moons ago for a well known newspaper, so it is rare I take on screenings now, they still feel like 'busman's holiday'.  I am happy to report that the event and the movie were great! I even ran into several celebrities, including Kevin Hart who were coming out of other screenings in the theater that night.

I guess when I covered that movie it opened the floodgates again.

There had been a few invites after Maleficent (I hadn't attended) when in early May this year an invite for Disney Social Media Moms Celebration "On-the-Road" event in New York City hit my inbox, as I had attended this event once before years ago and this focuses more on the Parks I thought I would reluctantly give it a go. As you guys know I do not have kids, and have never considered myself a 'mom blogger'. As a former Special Ed teacher I have a solid expertise  in educational products and toys, so I get that even though I do not consider myself a mom focused writer, that I do still have a strong influence in that segment.

I have never been to any Disney Park, nor have I attended the conference in Orlando. Who knows, maybe this will open up a bridge that will take me to the parks sometime soon?

This was a one day event held at Kimpton 48Ink hotel in Manhattan. As you can see from the birthday decor (check out my Instagram photo taken the day of the event HERE) they were preparing us for something BIG - Walt Disney World Resort's upcoming 50th Anniversary in 2021! That is certainly quite a milestone!

The one day roaming conference, gave attendees a mix of blogging and influencer related do's-and-dont's and an overview of what's new and upcoming.

There wasn't a dry eye in the house after they shared a video on Cheri Srour, who was a typical teen living in Brooklyn, New York until she was hit with an autoimmune neurological disorder at the age of 18 leaving her paralyzed, on a ventilator and fighting for her life. Part of her recovery included participating in the four runDisney Disney Princess Half Marathons at Walt Disney World Resort.

As someone who has dealt with a health battle of my own, I was inspired by learning of her story. I have never run a marathon before, but her story made me motivated to add this to my bucket list!

Above: I love that Cheri opted to join us on the rooftop later that day for a Photo Opp with Mickey and Minnie!

Kristyn Merkley, Founder of blog held a panel that detailed the importance of SEO. It couldn't be more timely for me as Ascending Butterfly turns 10 years old this year in June (honestly it's 11 but for some weird reason my Google Analytics are not accounting for the fact that I started BEFORE I secured the domain) so it's actually 11 but Google says 10. I am toying with either re-designing this site completely or re-branding and doing something completely new.

Disney wasn't done with the special guests, Gio Benitez, ABC News Correspondent shared with us about how one simple moment launched his career in Media. An iPhone Video he took went viral while he was working at a news agency in Miami. His emphasis on being open to possibilities, and his advice to all influencers on being 'authentic' definitely resonated with me. I think Social Media gets so caught up on an idealized version of 'perfection' that what makes the internet truly great often gets lost. I love that the internet helps folks to find their tribe. More often than not what goes 'viral' and 'trends' are those random real life moments.


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - On May 31st Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will open, the new attraction will debut on August 29, 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort.  It will include dining, shopping and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Disney Cruise Line is returning to Greece after five years, The Disney Magic will be sailing in the summer of 2020 with 9 and 12-night Greek Isle Voyages. (That is going to be a milestone year for me as well, and Greece is on my travel bucket list!)

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Back by popular demand is Star Wars Day at Sea and Marvel Day at Sea which will offer 5 and 7-night sails on the Disney Magic and Disney Fantasy, there will be character encounters, live shows and action-packed entertainment!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Coming in 2021 Adventures by Disney which offers guided group vacations around the world will soon offer a new 10-day Egypt Vacation tour. (Another Destination on my travel bucket list).

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Disney announced plans to build three new cruise ships, completing one ship every year for the years 2021, 2022, and 2023 (ships yet to be named).

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - The NBA Experience will open on August 12, 2019 at Disney Springs with 13 interactive elements and hands on activities across 44,000 square feet and two floors! (Channel your inner Kobe or LeBron!)

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - On October 01, 2019, prepare for a limited-time fireworks show called "Epcot Forever", taking you through the past, present and future of Epcot.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - In 2021 coming to Epcot for the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort is a "Guardians of the Galaxy" themed indoor roller coaster in Epcot's Future World. It is slated to be one of the world's longest enclosed roller coasters.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Disney Parks Jewelry by Rebecca Hook! Attendees received a gift bag filled with goodies including a super cute pair of Minnie Mouse earrings from the Rebecca Hook Jewelry Collection, this collection was designed exclusively for Disney Parks. Fellow New Yorkers take note her collection will be coming to the Disney Store in Time Square Manhattan for a Trunk Show on June 7th and June 8th.

Above: Nothing better than a Mickey and Minnie Mouse Meet and Greet and Photo Opp on a rooftop! This is the rooftop view from Kimpton Ink48 Hotel in Manhattan, New York City! (If you are wondering the animal print dress is by Calvin Klein purchased at Macy's and the boots are from Earth Footwear!)


I have always felt it is better to be storyteller - whether it's words on a blog - or with photos that come alive by capturing a moment. It's the authenticity that turns someone into an 'influencer'. I haven't had much time to write in the past year for so many reasons, my numbers have taken a hit because of it, but my years of authentic community building have made it so that amazing event invites still flood my inbox - many more than I could even take on if I wanted to. 

It was refreshing to hear from team Disney that brands including their own are getting better at separating those who 'buy' their influence and following from those who don't. It still feels like brands say this but are not actually there yet. But as someone who has done Public Relations and Event Management I understand that it is challenging to find someone who has that great balance between numbers, engagement and organic following. I love that brands are starting to become more aware of this.

It may sound cliche, but our biggest takeaway was to continue to be true to YOURSELF, be authentic and the opportunities will follow.

There was also great SEO advice that I need to work on implementing.

Readers Sound Off Topic: Which is your favorite Disney Park and your favorite ride?

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FTC Disclosure: This is a NON -compensated post in conjunction with Disney Parks this is an event recap (a gift bag was received) and all my 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.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

You have seen the movie about a thousand times, but have you checked out @PrettyWoman The Musical yet? #PrettyWomanTheMusical

This post is made possible by support from Pretty Woman: The Musical. All opinions are my own

Pretty Woman: The Musical, Logo

Looking for a creative gift idea for Mother's Day?

How about a night on Broadway?

If your mom (or any special lady in your life that you are gifting for Mother's Day) loves the theater like mine does or loves the movie Pretty Woman, she will definitely love Pretty Woman: The Musical playing at Nederlander Theater, 208 West 41st Street in New York City!


Pretty Woman: The Musical combines the beloved romance movie you already know and love with an original score with music and lyrics by Grammy Award Winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, and choreography by two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell.

How did it come together?

Check out this neat video:

Based on the Julia Roberts-Richard Gere movie about a star crossed meeting between a sex worker (Vivian) and a disillusioned businessman (Edward), this contemporary stage adaptation of the popular romantic comedy stars Samantha Barks as Vivian, and Andy Karl as Edward.

Samantha Barks and Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman: The Musical
Above: Left to Right, Samantha Barks and Julia Roberts (this was for the Gary Marshall Tribute Performance,  the producers announced that a seat in the back row of the theater will include a plaque in his honor)

Did you know originally (for the movie version) Vivian was slated to die of a drug overdose? I had no idea, but I am glad that was changed!

Both the movie and broadway production are based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, and in the iconic Opera Scene - both the play and the movie - the couple watch the Opera 'La Traviata' by Verdi, which tells the story of a Parisian Courtesan who falls in love with an older, wealthy man.

True to the movie is the signature red dress, and presentation of a 'borrowed' Diamond Necklace complete with Edward snapping the box playfully and Vivian's Booming laugh! I give Samantha so much credit for making the role her own without it being an exact copy of the original.

The shopping scene is still there, and watching those snooty, bougie, department store assistants get theirs just never gets old.

The entire cast definitely deliver a high energy performance, but I will admit Orfeh who portrays Vivian's friend Kit (played by Laura San Giacomo in the movie) and Eric Anderson as concierge Mr. Thompson (played by Hector Elizondo in the film) are truly standouts! Eric plays multiple roles in the production and literally gives you *EVERYTHING* in each scene where he appears. Another scene stealer is Tommy Braco as the bellhop "Giulio" who brings a great deal of comic relief.

There are some changes, Vivian does not sing along to Prince's "Kiss" in the bath tub scene, Edward does not have a mane of sexy gray hair, and another more major change, 'Stuckey' is the one that gets slapped first! You guys have no idea how much I hated Jason Alexander after seeing the film, in the musical, Stuckey is portrayed by Jason Daniely. Edward and Stuckey are both noticeably younger in this stage version, but Stuckey is still as greedy and slimy as ever.

Above: This amazing blogger night on Broadway included a talk back and Q&A with the cast.

Center: Check out Orfeh's super cute furbaby curled up on her lap!


Want to save up to $40 on your tickets? of course you do! Use Code: MOM1

You can nab your discount tickets, easy as '1,2,3'

1. Online at using code MOM1
2. By phone at: 877.250.2929 and mention code: MOM1
3. In Person at the Box Office, Nederlander Theatre, 208 W. 41st Street and reference code: MOM1

Note: This code is valid through 09/01/19 - TicketMaster includes an additional $2 Facility Fee per ticket. The Discount Code is NOT applicable to Facility Fee or TicketMaster Service Fees. Offer is not valid on tickets that have already been purchased, new tickets only. Blackout Dates May Apply. Limit of 8 tickets per order.

Above: The empowering posters in the lobby were a hit for post play photos - you know for the gram! Red Coat is from Wallis Fashion US, top is by Calvin Klein, Jeans: Silver Jeans, Handbag from DSW and the Boots: Earth Shoes Raleigh - these 100% waterproof tall boots with lacing details up the back (allowing you to widen them or tighten them so you have a custom fit calf) a full length side zipper, are sadly now out of stock! (I have them in the Bridle Brown which I love - I wish I had nabbed them in black as well)

My Take:

Age 13 and up is recommended for Pretty Woman: The Musical and with good reason, world's oldest profession, dead prostitute scene, and a sexy scene with Vivian and Edward, I would go a bit more conservative and restrict this to older teens and leave the younger teens and defintely the littles with a sitter!

I would have liked Edward to have the silver fox hair like Richard Gere and definitely for them to have left Prince's 'Kiss' as the song in the bubble bath scene, but understandably with Bryan Adams doing the original score for the production, the music is a bit different from the movie.

And while I love the creativity and how many stage productions are going more high tech to tell their stories, I appreciated that this production was not relying solely on tech to immerse you into the story. I found it pretty upbeat considering the subject matter, it pays homage to the film without being too much of a copycat of it, and the actors bring so much energy to their performances, you definitely want to be sure to catch this one before it leaves in 2020!

Online/Get Social:

Hashtag: #PrettyWomanThe Musical

Social media profiles:

READERS: Have you seen Pretty Woman - The Movie or The Musical? What did you think of it?

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a compensated post, Show Tickets were Provided by Pivoting Media for Editorial Consideration, and all opinions are 100% my own!  The love however is genuine, Broadway Shows are among my favorite things to do in New York City! 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, May 3, 2019

@NYBG Celebrates Lilac Weekend and Plein-Air Invitational May 4-5 and this butterfly will definitely be there! #plantlove

New York Botanical Garden Celebrates Nature’s Love Letter to Spring with Lilac Weekend and Plein-Air Invitational

With its floral clusters, sweet fragrance, and heart-shaped leaves, the lilac is nature’s love letter to spring. The Burn Family Lilac Collection at New York Botanical Garden takes the spotlight as we celebrate this American garden favorite in all of its glorious forms, colors, and aromas (both spicy and sweet!) with plein-air painting, music, guided tours, and talks. 

Lilac Weekend and Plein-Air Invitational programming includes:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Fourth Annual Plein-Air Invitational Saturday, May 4 from 11 a.m.–4 p.m., various NYBG grounds locations Every year, to help mark the Garden’s rites of spring, distinguished plein-air artists from throughout the Northeast gather across the grounds in a public display of painterly talent and nature appreciation. Led by plein-air master James Gurney, participating artists work in various media while engaging with Garden visitors. Also joining will be artists affiliated with the NYC chapter of Urban Sketchers, an international nonprofit dedicated to fostering a global community of artists who practice on-location drawing. 

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Plein-Air Drop-In and Draw Saturday and Sunday, May 4 - 5, 11 a.m.–4 p.m., various NYBG grounds locations Draw inspiration from the Garden as a plein-air artist would. Drop in, grab a stool and materials and create an image of the Garden to take home. Instructors offer guided tips every half hour. 

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Lilac Garden Tours with Q&A Saturday and Sunday, May 4 -5 at 11 a.m., 12, 1, 2, & 3 p.m., at the Lilac Collection Deanna Curtis, NYBG’s Curator of Woody Plants, will be on hand to share her expertise on this historic collection. 

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Live Music among the Lilacs Sunday, May 5 at 1, 2, & 3 p.m., at the Lilac Collection String Quartet by so&so (symphony orchestra and select others) is a curating collective whose symphony-centric performances feature young professional, top-caliber musicians from all over the world. For its debut season, NY-based so&so has partnered with several organizations, including The New York Botanical Garden, to present a variety of projects such as symphony performances, opera and original ballet. 

For a complete schedule of events, visit

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, May 4 - 5, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. 

WHERE: The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York

My Take:

I am looking forward to visiting New York Botanical Garden for Lilac Weekend, this is definitely a wonderful idea as an early Mother's Day Gift for mom, make a day of it!

READERS: Are you finally seeing signs of Spring? What is your favorite flower?

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a compensated post and all opinions are 100% my own!  The love however is genuine, NYBG is one of my favorite places in New York City! 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.