Monday, September 19, 2022

Are you ready for World Heart Day? Sharing ways I'm Falling into Health! + a chance for YOU to win a year's worth of supplements!

If you are connected to this blog on our social channels you may be aware that my Mama Butterfly was rushed to the hospital the day after my birthday in cardiac arrest. This year has been a blur of hospitalizations and stress/worry.

While I have had a ton to say, the stress in my life right now has prevented from me writing much. I usually liked to write in the late night hours when the world was still and as quiet as any neighborhood in New York City can be...

But this year by the time things were 'still/quiet' I would just shut down and mostly stare at the ceiling (you all know by now I am an insomniac)...'Paralyzed from Exhaustion' would be a great title to describe my nights lately.

This year, World Heart Day - observed on September 29th, hits home for me a bit more. While there is no cookie cutter solution to heart health, I am trying out a new supplement and I wanted to put it on your radar:

Wakunaga of America sent me some of their supplements and I am sharing them in the order I started testing them! First up is Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract.

What it does NOT do: There is NO pizza breath here! This supplement will not repeat on you! - I mention this because I tried a Garlic Supplement in my teens for thinning hair and it made my breath so foul I refused to stay the course. So that was my first concern when starting with this supplement and I am happy to report that there are no bad breath issues here at all.

Instructions: Take two vegan capsules with food, preferably during or right after a meal. With food, the pH of the stomach is less acidic which allows the AGE (Aged Garlic Extracts) and its constituents to survive and go into the intestinal tract for absorption. (absorption my friends is the key with any supplement, how well it is absorbed determines how effective it will be so if your supplement bottle tells you to take it with or right after a meal, it is very important to follow those instructions).

BenefitsAged Garlic Extracts have demonstrated in numerous clinical studies to support overall cardiovascular health by reducing many risk factors for heart disease (e.g., maintaining healthy coronary arteries, supports healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels already within normal ranges, enhance circulation, etc.). Wakunaga's Aged Garlic Extracts have also been shown in clinical studies to show favorable impact in areas of immune function, gingivitis, stress and gut microbiota.

Where it is grownThe garlic used to make their Aged Garlic Extracts is organically grown in California, USA, under strictly controlled conditions without the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides.

Multiple benefits of Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract include:

  •         Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  •         Slowing the progression of coronary artery calcification
  •         Inhibiting the accumulation of “soft” unstable plaque
  •         Decreasing blood platelet adhesion and aggregation
  •         Enhancing circulation
  •         Supporting immune function
  •         Reducing the risk of gingivitis
  •         Easing stress
  •         Improving gut microbiota

I have been taking this supplement for a little under one month now and plan to add it to my routine as I oddly had to cancel my visit to my cardiologist which fell while Mama Butterfly was in the hospital. But her experience definitely has me taking my heart health more seriously and I plan to re-schedule all my appointments soon.

Ten Ways to Improve Hearth Health (suggestions from the American Heart Association):

  1. Balance calories with physical activity.
  2. Reach for a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  3. Choose whole grains.
  4. Include healthy protein sources, mostly plants and seafood.
  5. Use liquid non-tropical plant oils.
  6. Choose minimally processed foods.
  7. Subtract added sugars
  8. Cut down on salt.
  9. Limit alcohol.
  10. Do all this wherever you eat!

Register to win a year’s supply of your favorite Wakunaga supplement during Wakunaga’s 50th anniversary celebration (no purchase necessary; one winner per month during the year 2022):

My Take:

Mama Butterfly's harrowing experience this year, brought hearth health to the forefront at Casa Butterfly. I have a pretty regular supplement routine and I take quite a few supplements daily, but until now I had never taken one purely for heart health and now I can't imagine not taking one!

Readers Sound Off: Do you take Vitamins and Supplements daily? If so, which ones? Which have you found the most useful/helpful so far?

˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙

FTC Disclosure: No monetary compensation has been received. Supplements were provided for Editorial Consideration. 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. Like this article? Buy your Editor a coffee to say thanks for the read: or$ascendingbutterfly or Venmo: Ascending1

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Wines of Summer (and beyond of course especially for Seafood Lovers) and an NYC restaurant reco! #WineWednesday #WordlessWednesday

Just in time for your summer sipping pleasure, a Wine Tasting that gave this seafood lover *life* in a spectacular restaurant I also need to put on your radar!

On the eve of Romania's National Day, I had the pleasure of attending an industry trade and media event in New York City hosted at AVRA Madison Estiatorio as part of the Open The Romanian Program in conjunction with The Iconic Estate division of the Alexandrion Group and developed by French retail giant Carrefour.
The aim of the program and this event is to increase awareness and of course the availability of Romanian Wines in the U.S. marketplace and worldwide.
(There is something in this particular photo above that plays into something amazing I will be doing next fiscal quarter, won't speak on it now, but just remember I dropped this cryptic hint!) 

The well curated event featured newer wine brands, some made exclusively of its local grape varieties.

Included for our tasting pleasure:

Rhein Extra Magnifique Brut - About this wine: It is fresh, expressive, floral notes, shades of citrus and honey. long slightly spicy finish. This special sparkling wine will play nicely with appetizers, your charcuterie board, and can also nicely accompany fruit-based desserts.

Hyperion Feteasca Neagra Rose - About this wine: Fresh and Fruity with delicate aromas of strawberries and red berries, balanced acidity and the skin contact is short - only long enough to ensure color. Food Pairing Suggestions: poultry (roasted chicken!), fish (especially my personal favorite, Salmon) or spicy seafood.

La Sapata Babeasca Neagra - About this wine: It starts off giving you light and fruity, but there is a subtle aromatic intensity where you should recognize notes of chocolate and cherries. There are notes of prunes as well and a lovely ruby red color. Food pairings: seasoned pasta, white meats, and I love nothing more than pairing a quality red with a quality chocolate!

Avincis Olt de Vie Negru de Dragasani - About this wine: I always immediately recognize oak barrel aging. 30% of this wine was aged in French oak barrels for 18 months. It is a deep purple color with a powerful bouquet and a touch of spice, flavors of black fruits including black cherries and blueberries. And a surprising note of violet. Definitely intense cherry juice flavors with a subtle hint of fresh pepper. Food Pairings: Dry Duck Breast or a slow cooked meat with a wine sauce. I would definitely hit this with Oxtails! Fun fact: The winery was designed as a ship located on the top of a hill with walls plated with limestone and I hope to get a chance to visit there!

Domeniile Averesti Busuioaca de Bohotin - About this wine: This wine with identity for the region of Moldova has a specialy body with aromas of basil, rose petals, honeycomb, wild strawberry and a unique aroma of Honeysuckle (Mother of God's hand), serve well chilled. Food Pairings: Risotto with seafood, soft cheese, fine pies

Marinela Ardelean, international wine critic, author of five books about Romanian wines, served as the ambassador of the Open The Romanian Wine Program and led New York's first exploration of exclusive award-winning Romanian wines produced by top wineries.

The open tasting was followed by a Luncheon at AVRA Madison Estitario located at 14 East 60th Street in New York City. If you haven't yet visited this restaurant, RUN, GO NOW! The food was absolutely amazing and each dish perfectly accompanied the wines. Their Octopus is by far the best I have ever tasted in NYC! And for my PR and Brand friends reading this who always ask me for venue suggestions for events - you need to put AVRA on the top of your list!  


For those of you that know when Romanian Day actually is, please do not think I am nuts for holding off on this recap, I did it for a very specific reason. There is a powerful (yet NOT overpowering!) minerality to these wines that paired perfectly with the seafood dishes. When I attended this tasting I immediately thought of the summer moments these wines would pair with. I love seafood and while I eat it year round, I eat more of it during summer months.

My Take: This event literally brought me out of hiding. When things shut down in 2019, I completely stopped taking events. Oddly it was a wine tasting that was the last event I attended the week that NYC locked down and this wine tasting was my first event back in almost two years AND my literal first drink since 2019! And it was well worth it. The wines were stellar, the food was amazing and the service impeccable. Our 'somm and emcee' was knowledgeable and engaging and I literally left with my heart full. It was great to reconnect with other journalists, get the chance to learn more about Romanian Wines and for a fleeting moment enjoy the wanderlust that comes to mind when tasting wines from another region. 

Fun facts about me: I have never been to Napa. My wine experience has all been with mostly international wines. I need to do some trips focusing on USA wines (so tourism boards hit me up!)

Books and Music have always been a way to transport myself somewhere new and wine is definitely right up there as well. Since a good wine and a good book definitely go hand in hand, I will have to do a post soon on some books to put on your radar and add to your reading list.

Yes I have started curating a 'Romania and Moldova' private Pinterest Board to get travel ideas thanks to this wine tasting!

Readers Sound Off: Did this review add a new wine to your list? Which one would you most like to try first and what would you pair it with?
˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙
FTC Disclosure: I attended a Press Luncheon, no monetary compensation has been received. 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. Like this article? Buy your Editor a coffee to say thanks for the read here:

Friday, April 1, 2022

Broadway is back baby! Spring into Broadway with Paradise Square Musical!

Paradise Square - New Musical on Broadway!

Not since Les Misérables has Broadway been able to take somber subjects, turn them into a Musical and left me leaving the theater actually feeling *uplifted*.

Broadway is back and if you think New York in 1863 as the Civil War rages on, couldn't be more boring - you couldn't be more wrong!


Free Black Americans and Irish Immigrants live and love together in the unlikliest of neighborhoods - the dangerous streets and crumbling tenement houses of Lower Manhattan's notorious Five Points slum. The amalgamation between the communities took its most exuberant form with raucous dance contests on the floors of the neighborhood bars and dance halls. It is here in the Five Points where tap dancing was born. But this racial equilibrium would come to a sharp and brutal end when President Lincoln's need to institute the first Federal Draft to support the Union Army would incite the deadly NY Draft Riots of July 1863.

Within this galvanizing story of racial harmony undone by a country at war with itself, we meet the denizens of a local saloon called Paradise Square. These characters include the indomitable Black woman who owns it; her Irish-Catholic sister-in-law and her Black minister husband; a conflicted newly arrived Irish immigrant; a fearless freedom seeker; an anti-abolitionist political boss; and a penniless songwriter trying to capture it all. They have conflicting notions of what it means to be an American while living through one of the most tumultuous eras in our country's history.

With visceral and nuanced staging and choreography that captures the pulsating energy when Black and Irish cultures meet and set to a contemporary score that reimagines early American song, Paradise Square depicts an overlooked true-life moment when hope and possibility shone bright. 

*Official Trailer*

Below: "Someone to Love" from Paradise Square



Above: "Welcome Home" sung by Joaquina Kalukango


The Omicron surge had postponed it's release, it was in previews since March 15th and will open this Sunday, April 3rd. I got to see it last week and I consider it an early birthday present to me! 

Literally every cast member *BRINGS IT* but let me warn you right now that Joaquina Kalukango brings down the house and sent a full house to their feet! Her voice is so good my mom literally said a prayer of protection over it! The Tony Awards just needs to give Paradise Square it's award right now and give Joaquina her award now too!

This is a definite *TICKET* - get your tickets before all performances sell out and you are waiting months to get in. Remember summer is swiftly approaching and tourists will be snatching up those seats when they come to visit NYC.


A limited number of general rush tickets are available for each performance, subject to availability. General rush seats are $32 each and will be available when the Box Office opens for that day's performance(s). Digital lottery tickets are $32 each (plus $4 service charge per ticket) and limited to (2) tickets per person, subject to availability. Lotteries close at 3:00 PM the day before the performance. Press on the link that reads Digital Lottery - when you get there, click on a social network, social toaster will verify it and then a form will appear and you complete it to enter the Digital Lottery - remember to fill out your name EXACTLY as it reads on your photo ID - this is important if you win so you can claim your tickets. On the day of the performance have your ID at the ready, your proof of vaccination and a mask (they do have some available if you forget yours, but I always say have your own, just in case).

Just in case I don't post again before my birthday this Sunday, April 4th - I want to post a reminder that it is not too late to support my application for Sephora Squad - I would totally consider it a birthday present if you fill this out: 

Did you want to treat me to a coffee for my birthday? 

Readers Sound Off: What broadway performance are you most looking forward to catching? (is there one that is still postponed that you wanted you to see?)

˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙
FTC Disclosure: I attended Paradise Square during previews, no monetary compensation has been received. 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, March 15, 2022

The impact of Beauty in the Digital Age! Something I hope to spend more time this year exploring, I applied for #SephoraSquad 2022!

I did the thing! I applied for the 2022 #SephoraSquad I have always believed that beauty is a balance of mind, body and soul. There is more to beauty than curated images of perfection. There was a brief essay question that I thought would be fun to share with you so I could hear your answers to this question as well.

Essay Question: What Got You Into Makeup?

What got me into 'makeup' was actually *NOT* finding what I wanted off the shelf. Back in the good old days there weren't shelves full of concealer or foundation that matched my skin tone. I couldn't find the perfect shade of red lipstick, so I made that too by mixing shades from different brands I liked. And I also couldn't find a signature fragrance match as a teen (there were few places to create customized scents then) and I would also play alchemist and mix it myself. When I got asked what shade of lipstick I was wearing or what scent I was wearing I knew I did it right and it felt like the ultimate validation of my efforts.

That validation would be repeated in my blogging life when I would hit events or tradeshows and makeup artists would tell me they didn't want to change my lip color - even though that was the point for me to wear that shade the brand was selling and have it appear in my post event recaps.

Sephora has posed an interesting challenge to my readers, they would love a testimonial from you!

You can leave a testimonial in support of my application here:

As the world slowly begins to open up again I want to do more than just 'basic self care'. Not to mention Zoom conferences taught us all that a little makeup never hurts! Help support my efforts to bring you my take on hot products and #beauty trends!

Share with me, what got you into makeup?

(and if you left a testimonial thank you in advance!)

˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙

FTC Disclosure: No monetary compensation has been received. This is NOT a sponsored post. 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.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Monday Mood: Missing Hour #MondayVibes


If someone actually calls this number, let me know if someone really answers! I wish someone would return that missing hour - I want it back!

Monday, February 14, 2022

Will you be my Valentine? Whatever you do today, do it with love + my cupid name!

Happy Valentine's Day Butterflies!

Just thought I would share some random Valentine's Day goodness and humor!

 Since it is Valentine's Day, it is only appropriate to know your Cupid Name! My Cupid Name is: Noisy Kissy Face 😘

 I love this heart of butterflies:

 And lastly, a pretty butterfly reminder that Whatever You Do Today, Do It With Love!

Readers Sound Off: What is your Cupid Name and how are you celebrating Valentine's Day?

˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙

FTC Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. 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, January 11, 2022

{Your Opinion Counts!} #ontheblog @Tracy_Iglesias of @Ascending1 (Ascending Butterfly Blog) tries @warbyparker #warbyhometryon - help me pick!

My prescription changed in 2021 so it's all - New Year, New Glasses Who Dis?

Since I do not have an iPhone, I was unable to do a virtual try on with Warby Parker, but the next best thing arrived in the mail - a virtual home try on kit!

I selected five frames I liked best (and that is not an easy task as they have a vast selection of colors, styles and fits) and I got a try on kit in the mail with the five frames I selected. I picked three medium fits (which is the size they recommend for most people, especially if you are unsure of your fit), 1 wide and 1 narrow. I tried two that are definitely cat eye inspired (I have never actually worn Cat Eye Glasses before), and was surprised by how much I actually liked them.

The problem is I like all five of them equally for different reasons. I wish I had unlimited budget problems right about now so I could justify keeping all five!

I tried them all on and compiled them into a cute video below:

Please ignore Pajamas, sloppy bed head hair, and bad lighting! (I was so excited to try these on I forgot I was in my PJ's!) I tried to take shots of the glasses with my hair down and then pulled up but that magic lasted for the first two pairs and then the last three was just one look.

Readers Sound Off: Which pair do you think I should select to have my prescription put in and keep? (The video gives you the name of each pair, but you can also tell me the number of the one you liked best as well). Don't forget to also let me know by tagging me on any of my social channels as well.

˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙

FTC Disclosure: A pair of Warby Parker Glasses have been  provided for Editorial Consideration. 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.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Win the Meural Canvas II – Art, Photos & NFT Crypto-Art Display from @Ascending1 sponsored by @Netgear - Holidays Buying Guide Featured Pick!

Meural 2 Canvas Photo Frame
Meural Canvas II – Art, Photos & NFT Crypto-Art Display

How many photos are sitting in your camera right now?

If you are still searching for a meaningful holiday gift for literally anyone with a face, then I have the perfect solution for you! (It's an elegant gift not just for holidays but for birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, weddings, congrats on your new job etc)

The Merual Canvas II - Art, Photos & NFT Crypto-Art Display is the last Digital Photo Frame you'll ever need.

Three Primary reasons you need this frame:

(1) Get those Amazing Photos out of your phone and into your home! You never get tired of seeing them as you can program your frame to rotate through your photos much like a music service lets you make a playlist.

(2) Don't feel you have enough photos? Then enjoy the free art that comes with your frame or purchase an annual subscription and turn your home into an art gallery/museum! There are paintings, photography and the display also plays video.

(3) Strong off-angle viewing (not even using your TV as a photo display is going to give you off-angle viewing as slick as this frame!) and let's not even mention the ambient light detection - when the light's are out, this frame knows it and turns itself off. (Perfect for any room but you definitely want this feature if you are going to use it in your bedroom)

Notable Features:

Meural's patented 'True Art Technology' brings 16.7 million colors to life and offers rich blacks and complex hues, you can either use it on its stand, or wall mount it - they literally even include a leveler to help you hang your Canvas evenly on the wall.

You can upload your own files to your canvas from your phone's camera roll using the Meural App or an SD card. Meural supports JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, SVG, MP4, and MOV files.

Motion Gestures: The Canvas II has motion sensors beneath the bottom and side borders allowing you to swipe your hand in front of the sensors to shuffle through your images or to adjust your devices settings. This feature has worked way better for me on the Canvas II than the first one. (Makes you feel fab and futuristic while doing it - also keeps it from getting fingerprints on it)

Async Art - If you are one of the cool kids already enjoying NFT art, note that with Meural you can showcase programmable NFT artwork from Async Art. These are digital paintings designed in layers that evolve over time and update on the Meural Canvas throughout the day allowing you to experience NFT art in a way that was not possible before. (Again with the futuristic and high tech vibes!)

My Take: The Meural Canvas II - Art, Photos & NFT Crypto-Art Display is a feature rich digital frame that any photography enthusiast would love. I can't think of one person it couldn't knock off your list. And with the ability to constantly push new photos to it, think of the joy it would bring to any parent or grandparent! It also makes a thoughtful "family" gift as well. If you are gifting someone Crypto art and present it to them in this frame it will blow them away!

GIVEAWAY ALERT: Enter to win our own Meural Canvas II – Art, Photos & NFT Crypto-Art Display by using the Rafflecopter Widget Below: (if it doesn't load, please refresh your screen)

Hurry! This giveaway ends on 12/30

Readers Sound Off: How many photos are sitting in your smartphone right now? For those using DSLR cameras, how many photos have you actually printed this year? Would you keep it if you won? If not, who would you gift it to?

Can't wait to see if you win and have to have it now? Order it on Amazon here:

˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙

FTC Disclosure: I am a Netgear Blogger Brand Ambassador, the Meural Canvas II - Art, Photos, & NFT Crypto-Art Display was provided for Editorial Consideration. 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 29, 2021

Don't forget it is Giant Pumpkin Weekend at New York Botanical Garden this weekend! Here is a Video Journey with major #Fall and #Pumpkin Vibes! #HalloweenWeekend @NYBG

This month, I have been sharing my experiences at the Kusama: Cosmic Nature exhibit at New York Botanical Garden, here is the link to my last post:

and a fun one from 2017 that gives you more Halloween and Pumpkin Vibes:

The artist, Yayoi Kusama utilizes polka dots to cover and conceal people, animals, the environment and pretty much everything around. She uses the polka dots as a metaphor of giving up identity, abolishing uniqueness, and becoming one with the universe-or "self-obliteration".

One of the most striking pieces on exhibit is called "Starry Pumpkin". A 2-meter tall sculpture whose surface is composed of a shimmering mosaic of blue and white squares that are neatly aligned in parallel rows, the iridescent blue tiles sparkle and gleam and give off colors fluctuating between shades of violet, emerald, and indigo according to the available light.

As I mentioned last week I have been using the On1 Raw 2022 Photo Editing Software program to breathe new life into my photos. Travel and Photography are my passion and while I am happy to spend hours editing one photo, I know most people don't have the patience for it and want an editing software that will allow them to achieve a desired look with ease and in much less time.

Last week I posted a picture of the sculpture "I want to fly to the Universe" this is the very first piece you see when entering the garden through the main entrance (this is assuming you don't veer off to go straight to the Enid Haupt Conservatory instead). I posted my original un-edited photo and then another using On1's AI which auto formats the photo for you.

I wanted to do the same this week focusing on the piece entitled Starry Pumpkin. I compiled the shots into a video so you could view them with more ease and a bit less scrolling. I take you through the sculpture as you first see it, hidden a bit behind the plants and flowers, then as you approach it and another from a third angle. I don't want you to think you are going nuts, you will see my original photo, then one where I use the AI and Noise Removal AI on each photo and a third photo of each angle using a preset called "Golden Autumn" - I stuck with preset 'G6' for all of these - and with the exception of one where I made minor edits to the final outcome of the preset - I wanted to give you an overview of this particular piece and one very happy 'accident'! On the final slide of the video slideshow of photos I use one of my photos to make a Halloween Card. I got nit picky and wanted to edit some of the blemishes on the pumpkins where I planned to place text, apparently a slip of my clumsy hands  and not paying attention to which tool was selected, turned some of the pumpkins a bit of a teal hue - it wasn't on purpose but I really liked the result and left it in!

Also 1 of 13 children have allergies, if you see a teal pumpkin when you are taking the kids trick-or-treating it means that home is offering allergy free options that are safe for children with allergies. I'm kind of glad I ended up with some teal pumpkins in the final edit.


My Take:

Unfortunately with Covid very much still being a buzz 'kill' this exhibit didn't get the foot traffic or word of mouth it truly deserved, it was a feast for the eyes and it was fun seeing the art on exhibit in the library as well. I even met a 'camera twin' - in this age of every photo being taken on a cellphone I am always excited to see a photographer shooting with a DSLR. I met one shooting with my same exact camera (Nikon) and someone shooting with my former camera (Canon) although I hesitate a bit to say former because I still like shooting with it, it is just a bit heavy for me these days.

I wish my surgeries this summer and one this fall didn't keep me from seeing the exhibit sooner.

This is Giant Pumpkin Weekend at the New York Botanical Garden - so if your Instagram feed needs a pop of fall color and pumpkin goodness (no not just a photo of your pumpkin spice latte) then you need to hit up the Garden this weekend. And even though I didn't snap any pictures of  them (because not cool), I love seeing families taking photos of their babies with the pumpkins!

I am not the greatest with step-by-step tutorials, but I am trying to get better at it. However, I will tell you something very contrary to popular photographer opinion: "The AUTO Setting on your DSLR camera is NOT the devil". Not everyone has the luxury of setting up every shot they take, not all public spaces are easy to navigate with a tripod or don't allow them, not to mention carry full on lighting. While I am trying to get better at memorizing exposure speeds and shuffling quickly to get the light right, I want you to know getting a photo that means something to you is getting what I call 'life' from it - yes even from plants or flowers. Your technical skills can be on point but if you don't have an eye for it, they won't take you very far. And Photo Editing software is your friend. It's obviously more complex than your social filters, but I found On1's AI gives you the feeling of using a filter but with richer results with more detail and depth.

By all means continue to improve your skills, but there is nothing wrong with the Auto setting and post processing either! ;)

And stay tuned Butterflies, your chance to win your own copy of On1 Raw 2022 Photo Editing Software is coming up very soon! This year my Holiday Buying Guide will be focused on thoughtful gifts for (aspiring or pro) Photographers!  Get your photo on!

˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙

FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a compensated post. 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. On1 Photo Editing software and passes to the exhibit were provided for Editorial Purposes but no monetary compensation has been received.