McCoy’s Me-Cations: A Taste of Texas – Fall ’14

Gosh, Texas was fun.

It's been too long, my homestate!

My trip home to Dallas consisted mostly of family time, catching up with friends, hanging out by the pool, napping, eating…and more eating.
Hence, the 5-lbs that decided to come back to LA with me – and I’m not talking about in my carry-on –  but I digress.

Here is just a taste of the Texas I know and love. I am dedicating the next 3 days to my 15-day Texas fall experience.

The first thing I see when I come home is THIS. The cutest. That’s mine – Miss Ellie – in front and her brother (my mom’s) in the oh-so-festive bandana. His name is Reagan.

Meet Reagan (in back, my mom's pup & Miss Ellie's big brother). That's Miss Ellie in front, of course.

Here are a few of the highlights of the trip. And did I mention the delicious food?

First stop? Mi Cocina. And I can assure you, it won’t be the last.

Our second family home: Mi Cocina Preston Forest

I spent many an afternoon, laying out by the family pool. Mom would bring me delicious snacks when I’d been out there a while! More details (and pics) on Thursday.

Fall in Texas looks a little different.

A Dallas autumn (almost) citywide blackout calls for marshmallow soup, soufflé and wine at Rise Soufflé. Obviously.

A blackout calls for one of my favorite Dallas restaurants.

There’s Breakfast and then there’s Texfast. This is the latter at The Original Pancake House on Midway and Northwest Highway. Banana Nut crepes with coffee caramel sauce. Delish.

Almost every morning, we eat at our neighborhood's The Original Pancake House. We've been coming here for 23 years.

Next up? Lots of visits with friends.

All my exes live in Texas. Well, not all of em. But this one’ll do. We checked out some live music at Poor David’s Pub with a few other friends. I have always been in awe of the Dallas music scene.

One of my exes, who - yep! - lives in Texas.

 

We used to play hooky during our high school days to hit Bubba’s for lunch. Now, hooky is no longer necessary. Known this girl for over 18 years and so thankful for that…and for Bubba’s mashed potatoes that we demolished over our ladies’ lunch.

No more need to play hooky!

 

Sunday ladies’ brunch in full effect at The Grape on Greenville.

Mimosas & muffins to start at The Grape on Greenville in Dallas

 

Warning: Brunch and mimosas at The Grape may cause intense laughter and inappropriate conversation. Love the chance that I had the opportunity to introduce two of my friends, KellyAnn and Lori to one another on this trip home!

Warning: The Grape's mimosas may lead to intense laughter and inappropriate conversation. Um, sorry to the table sitting next to us.

 

Laughter never ages. Love these two – Tadd and Jenna . One of my favorite traditions every time I’m home – Hendrix alums & dear friends unite at Mi Cocina! (Yes, again, with the Mi Cocina).

Hendrix '00 friends at Mi Cocina!

 And I love that I timed my trip perfectly so I could attend my college friend Camille’s wedding party in Texarkana with our other college best friends, Jenna and Cathleen!

Hendrix '00 in Texarkana for Camille's wedding party

You knew this was coming. RED MEAT ALERT.

When you’re raised in Dallas, good steak and lobster only means one thing…Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. I spent almost every birthday dining here, from age 10 onward, with my family, which totally spoiled me for life. Even though the Lemmon location is gone, the deliciousness lives on on Spring Valley. My taste buds experienced a bit of nostalgic heaven that night and I am still thankful. (Thanks, Mom!)

Why, yes! As a matter of fact, we did have steak AND lobster!

 

A lighter night. Girls’ night at Cafe Istanbul with Mom.

Cafe Istanbul girls' night with Mom.

 

And the, ahem, family “food tour” continues. Sharing a fiesta omelet and French strawberry crepe with Mom at Original Pancake House, before we hit the mothership, Neiman Marcus Northpark.

The best Dallas breakfast spot..and it's right in our 'hood.

 

One piece of advice for y’all before I wrap this up: When in Texas, there is only one beer you can drink, in my opinion: Shiner Bock.

Sippin' on a Shiner Bock in Texarkana, Texas on a Friday night. Life's pretty good.

 

Yep. Texas Forever.

**
Tomorrow? The man I always fall in love with every fall in Texas. He’s the dreamiest.

xoxo,
BF

BF Asks: What are your favorite Dallas restaurants? 

 

Oh, Oscar.

Like many little girls, I originally learned about Oscar de la Renta from my beloved Barbie dolls and the fashions he so lovingly designed for them. I owned the one on the right and I dreamed of wearing his gowns one day…

I coveted these as a child: Oscar de la Renta's Barbie designs

…I still do.

Oh, Oscar. A little girl's dream turned into a grown-up girl's love.

Dreaming of Oscar tonight.

 

xoxo,
BF

BF Asks: Which Oscar gown was your favorite?

Dove Body Wash #OneShowerChallenge

My pup, Miss Ellie, is the softest thing on the planet. My skin in fall and winter? Not so much.
Until now.

Friday Faves: Dove #OneShowerChallenge

Dove challenged its users to a #OneShowerChallenge to compare their skin before showering just once with Dove Body Wash and after.
Well, challenge accepted!

Dove Body Wash’s mild formula combines their gentlest cleansers and NutriumMoisture for an improved lather that rinses cleanly and quickly from your skin, while still providing 10x more natural nourishment. The results? Smoother, softer skin after just one shower, with no annoying residue.

Before Dove Body Wash #OneShowerChallenge? My skin felt dry and tight and looked, ahem, a little on the ashy side. Don’t judge.
After? It literally GLOWED – with no moisturizer applied at all. My skin actually glistened.
And the feel? Utterly buttery soft.

I’m serious here, y’all. The before and after difference was exponential. You’ve gotta try it for yourself to believe it!

And Dove is SO sure that you’ll get addicted to the softness after just one shower, they want you to try the #OneShowerChallenge on them!
Win it or get a free sample by clicking on the below giveaway and coupon!

Win it here:
Dove Body Wash – Beauty Frosting

Get a sample here:
Image 1

 

xoxo,

BF

 

BF Asks: How does the season change affect your skin?

*This is a sponsored post by Lunchbox Media. While products or compensation were provided, the words and opinions are all my own.

Thirsty Thursday: The McCoy Girls’ Prickly Pear Cider Punch

Sometimes the simplest thing can seem the most complicated.

After serving punches for years at my own parties, I’ve noticed that a lot of people seem daunted when it comes to party punches and beverages. They taste my punches and tell me, “Oh, I’m just not as creative as you” or “I just don’t have the time to come up with punch recipes.” Yes, you do. I promise.

In actuality, punches are easy! And, like a witch’s brew, you can throw in any array of ingredients and come up with a perfectly pleasing punch.

That was exactly the case with this week’s Thirsty Thursday: Prickly Pear Cider Punch. I was craving cider when my mom and I spotted a Prickly Pear sparkling soda at Central Market in Dallas. We thought that it would be a great inspiration for a fall beverage. And it was!

And thus, a super easy new punch recipe for all was born!

The McCoy Girls’ Prickly Pear Cider Punch

Thirsty Thursday: Prickly Pear Cider Punch

1 part Apple Cider of choice

2 parts Prickly Pear Italian Soda (I prefer the Central Market Organics)

*For a little spirit in your punch, substitute 1 part champagne or sparkling wine for 1 part soda

Serve in cute flute or goblet, garnish with a colorful fall leaf and cinnamon stick and presto! A fabulous fall punch in seconds!

A pleasing fall punch in a pinch!

xoxo,

BF

BF Asks: What’s your super simple go-to punch recipe in a pinch?

From Runway to Real World: Fall/Winter Trends To Try, According to the Experts at MAC

If you’re anything like me, you love learning about all of the latest fashion trends, come runway time. But when it comes to taking them off the runway and rocking them in the real world, things can get a little confusing.

That’s why I take my fall and winter beauty cues from the experts – in this case, my friends at MAC Cosmetics.

I attended a little fall & winter trend preview last month with M·A·C Director of Makeup Artistry Gregory Arlt and Senior Artists Cynthia Rivas, John Stapleton and Caroline Donnelly, and for the first time, rather than feeling intimidated, I feel inspired! These guys just get it. As they should! They are the makeup masterminds behind many of the big fashion houses. MAC has been part of runway shows in 4 cities, over 250 fashion shows and keyed 26 of the shows and keyed nails at 30 shows. Their goal in the real world is always to make the woman look like the most precious, radiant version of herself.

The fall & winter trends are all about natural skin, working with the colors in your skin tone and edgy color placement on lips and/or eyes. And I’m here to give you the rundown before the holiday party parade begins. Consider trying out one of these trends in lieu of your standard party makeup this year.

The 4 major Fall/Winter trends, according to the Experts at MAC Cosmetics:

1)  OFF COLOUR

OFF COLOUR look #1 at Max Mara

Inspired by: Freckles and skin tone, this trend is all about deconstructing colors found naturally in your skin tone and in nature.

How it looks: For shades, think burnt reds, coppers and bronzes; muds, mushrooms and mosses. The mood is all about 90s grunge – moody and sexy like Winona Ryder in 1994.

OFF COLOUR Look #2 - mushroom hue on the eyes

How to: Focus on playing up and bolding out the eye, lip or both. Instead of firm bristle brushes, try working with soft bristle brushes for a natural, diffused effect. For a soft look, apply with a fluffier, soft bristle brush. What you wanna do is play up the colors found in skin or nature, so that they blend in easily with the skin.

Trend Tip: Rather than a standard, firm lip brush, try applying lip color with a fluffy brush to get a “washed” effect.

2) STREAMLINED

The STREAMLINED look at Kenzo

Inspired by: Tomboys. A vibe that’s grungy yet sophisticated. This look is all about sharper, statement eyebrows. They’re sharper and the use of navy blue is

How it looks: Really reminds me of Hunger Games characters in The Capitol! Super colorful and charismatic, this look was featured on the Missoni runway.

How to: Concentrate on eyeliners and eyebrows and playing with eyeliner a bit.

Trend Tip: Try creating chunky lashes from the iris out to the outer corner of the eye, and then pinching the lashes together for a doe-eyed look. For liner, try disconnecting liner by lining top and bottom but leaving a break between the liner, or applying a super thick, colorful winged liner.

3) ON REFLECTION

The ON REFLECTION look at Desigual

Inspired by: The glow of liquid gold

How it looks: Luminescence and glow; matte skin is paired with shine; hints of reflection with a golden glow

How to: Start with really shiny, glossy skin. Vaseline is your friend! The easiest way to try this trend is to sport some glossy, metallic pigment on the eye, using gold or platinum shades. Gorgeous with wine lips! And don’t forget some glossy highlighter on the upper cheekbone!

Trend Tip: Rather than keeping brows precise and polished, try messing them up a little with some clear lip gloss. Fall trend forecast palette – great staying power, not creasing

4) UNPROCESSED

The Unprocessed look at Barbara Bui

Inspired by: Ali McGraw/preppy girls. Not natural or no makeup, but real makeup.

How it looks: Start with full, messy, exaggerated brows. Think rosy cheeks and lips and highlighter.

How to: Apply clear brow gel, a creamy gilded gold with a brown undertone on the eye and a super nude face with a flash of bold copper eyeliner.

Trend Tip: For a little sheen, apply lip balm on lips and apply the rest on nose, eyes and cheeks

xoxo,
BF

BF Asks: Which trend are you most excited to try this fall/winter? 

 

Mani Monday: The Newly Refined French Mani

I love me some nail art. It’s always fun, whimsical and unexpected.

But when it came time to decide what nail design Enamel Diction would adorn me with for my annual fall trip home to Dallas, I was a little reticent.

I wanted to keep it simple and classic (so Mom would approve), showcase the natural length of my once-bitten nails (that have plagued my mom for over 30 years) and add a little LA flair (because, well – hey! – that’s me).

This is what we – @DaniJean_W and @Mairanisnails and I – at Enamel Diction came up with. I call it The Newly Refined French Mani.

Upside Down. Boy, ya turn me. Mani Monday: The Newly Refined French Mani by @DaniJean_W & @MairanisNails of Enamel Diction (Jewelry 'tails: on the right hand, A.V. Max NYC ring and bracelets & Marcia Moran rings and bracelets on the left)

I wanted a classic french manicure with a twist. So a gold diamond-centered stud on the ring finger and a chevron-defined french mani with a band of gold seemed like the perfect compromise.

Turn it up. Mani Monday: The Newly Refined French Mani, ℅ Enamel Diction (Jewelry 'tails: on the left hand, A.V. Max NYC ring and bracelets & Marcia Moran rings and bracelets on the right)

Now, what will the Enamel Diction girls and I come up with next?

xoxo,
BF

BF Asks: What mani should I get for the spoooooookiest day of the year?

McCoy’s Me-Cations: The Parker Palm Springs – The Ultimate Luxurious California Escape

Yesterday, I shared with you the announcement of my new series, McCoy’s Me-Cations – posts that encourage you, my readers, (and myself) to take more mini vacations on your own. Why? Because as Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

I don’t wanna miss it. And I don’t want you to either. Taking little holidays alone, away from the hustle and bustle of life – and even those we love, sometimes – can helps us relax, unwind and further discover the riches that lie within us as individuals. I share with you now my first official McCoy Me-Cation. May it inspire you to follow suit.

***

Where: The Parker Palm Springs
When:  July 1st-3rd, 2014  

What: Golden age of glamour + Rat pack resort = The ultimate luxurious California escape

Special thanks to Marisa Zafran & The Parker Palm Springs, Nicole Myden, George Duchannes (photography), Gabby Castro (hair), Sabrina Ginsburg (makeup), Isha Takomaki (hair assistant) and jewelry ℅ AV Max, Liv Haley, Heather Gardner and Rachel Meis Communications

Upon entering The Parker Palm Springs, there is one thing that everyone agrees upon – it feels enchanted. Haunted almost, if you will. But it’s not haunted by ghosts – but by the golden age of glamour.

Welcome to The Parker Palm Springs.

From the eager-to-please valets to the customer service kings and queens they call concierges, the swanky limestone Mini Bar to the egg swing chairs and croquet lawn, everything about it reminds you of a playland where Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Angie Dickinson would have played. It almost feels like how the fictional Overlook Hotel might have felt in its peak season pre-Shining era. But don’t let that scare you. I mean it in the best possible way.

The Jonathan Adler designed lobby. It's not that you take drugs at The Parker, it's that you feel like you're on them while there because you're just so darned blissed out. *Photo by George Duchannes

I left on a Tuesday, and the drive was a breeze at just over two hours.

Color me one happy girl. Caffeine in my hand, wind in my hair and Otis Redding on the stereo. Parker Palm Springs Me-Cation, here we go!

I LOVE this place. I can’t emphasize that enough. I went in the dead heat of early July and people thought I was crazy. “Palm Springs is an oven in the summer!” 

But they were the crazy ones.

I arrived at around 6 pm and was led by a super sweet valet to my estate room with a lanai, looking out onto the north pool.

Paint the door red. Standing in front of the door to my poolside estate room *Photo by George Duchannes

I was greeted with a fresh fruit plate and handwritten welcome card that immediately made me feel at home.

It is rare that I have been this happy. Thank you for the oh-so-warm welcome, Parker Palm Springs . Let's just call it love at first sight...or bite. *Photo by Dawn McCoy

My new home away from home! *Photo by George Duchannes

The location of my room allowed me to have solo swims with a glass of vino in the evening and early morning post-coffee dips.

Sipping coffee on the lanai of my estate room by the north pool

It was my favorite moment of the summer. And it was a moment that was stretched over 3 lavish days and 2 luxurious nights.

I spent my first evening, having a light, casual dinner of oysters and wine at the Mini Bar.

A light dinner of oysters and pinot noir at the Mini Bar, with my charming bartender, George

This place  - with its green marble walls and bar – is just luxe.

The Mini Bar - gorgeous green marble all around. *Photo by George Duchannes

The next morning, I had room service on my lanai, enjoying the delicious view of the pool and palm trees almost as much as I enjoyed my omelet.

Good morning, @parkerpalmsprings ! Day 2 of McCoy's MeCations is off to a delicious start. Enjoying this Denver-style omelet & fresh-squeezed juice on the lanai of my poolfront estate room. Heaven while fueling up for today's shoot. **p.s. Thanks @mollanderson for the tip on bringing touches of home on vacation with you to make it feel like home. I brought this lovely Vera tablecloth which just couldn't fit into the ambiance of the Parker more perfectly. *Photo by Dawn McCoy

Enjoying some oj in bed while catching up on emails before I turn the laptop off for the day! *Photo by George Duchannes

That afternoon, I spent some much-needed R&R, reading for a bit in the swinging egg chair in the lobby.

Just a swingin'. Photo by George Duchannes

Next up? Some spiked lemonade at the lemonade stand. This is when I really realized how much a mini me-cation can be as therapeutic as a long vacation.

Know what this picture says? Summer, y'all!! Come to the @parkerpalmsprings - it's the MOST fun! (Am I the only girl who still references Shag?) *Photo by Dawn McCoy

And I was plumb giddy about the lemon and vanilla-hued life-sized chess board!

Ain't life grand? Living la vida lemonade on the Parker's chessboard *Photo by George Duchannes

For dinner? Why, I had to find Mr.Parker’s, of course.

Looking for Mister Parker *Photo by George Duchannes

At Mister Parker’s, you get not only the most delectable food and top notch service, but there’s the bonus perk of the best 70s music mix ever made.

A slice of 70s. Yep. This In Bloom by Jonquil pj lounge set is what I wore to Mister Parker's for dinner. Don't judge. It just felt right. *Photo by George Duchannes

The soundtrack at Mister Parker’s is as if The Virgin Suicides was living and breathing on Spotify. Do yourself a favor and get the burrata salad. The lemon oil and champagne vinaigrette is one of the most scrumptious tastes I’ve ever tasted in my life.

That night, I got to enjoy my favorite thing in the world - nightswimming.

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night… *Photo by George Duchannes

It was just me in the pool, so I put in my earbuds, sipped some wine and listened to some Sam Cooke and Bill Withers. It was one of those moments when you nostalgize while actually in the moment, because you know it’s that good and that you’ll always remember the moment.

The next day, I hit Norma’s for breakfast, which is a must.

Norma's for Breakfast - a Palm Springs must!

Even people visiting Palm Springs, not staying at The Parker, hit Norma’s for brunch – because it’s that killing.

Just a bit of the naughtiness at Norma's. A breakfast of Norma's Benedict with a side helping of gratitude. Writing thank you notes to the incomparable concierge, John, and all the staff here at the@parkerpalmsprings . They just made this MeCation (and last minute photo shoot) a dream!*Photo by Dawn McCoy

Next up? I read for a bit in one of the hammocks.

Stop. Hammock time.

And then read some more on the lawn.

Nora Ephron + The Parker = HEAVEN *Photo by George Duchannes **Sunhat by Bungalow LA

And then visited with other Parker guests outside the lobby.

Comfy-cozy at The Parker. *Photo by George Duchannes

Then…it was spa time.

PSYC (yes, that's what it's called). I am so thankful for my life. Having said that, I would really like to be back at PSYC - the spa - at @parkerpalmsprings right now. A little slice of yacht club heaven from the Fitzgerald days. I want my house to look like this spa did. Swoon. (I swoon a lot at the Parker. Luckily, there are plenty of valets and bellboys to catch me). *Photo by Dawn McCoy

The Parker PSYC is a whole other experience to be had. A little slice of yacht club from the Fitzgerald days. The 90-minute massage took my bliss to the next level and the various baths and pools of the Parker were just what I needed to round out my trip, before heading back to LA.

When I left The Parker, I was naturally sad to leave.

Don't tear me away! *Photo by George Duchannes

But I was surprised at how rested, relaxed and revitalized I felt. And I knew my first time wouldn’t be my last. I now consider myself to be a true Parker devotee.

It's like the sun is chasing me. This is how I feel after 3 days and 2 nights@parkerpalmsprings . What's that word again? Oh, yes. HAPPY. Yep. That's the word. *Photo by Dawn McCoy

A little piece of The Parker. The talismans I brought back from my @parkerpalmsprings MeCation - hopefully, they'll bring a bit of magic back to LA with me. These are the goodies you find on your toiletries tray when you stay at the Parker. Divine.@penhaligons_uk @penhaligonsltd @hermes @bulgariofficial @loccitane

 

Your takeaway? If you want to escape the modern age and go back in time to the Gatsby era meets 70s Rat Pack days, The Parker Palm Springs is where it’s at. The resort must be how the Dirty Dancing resort felt to Baby.The accommodations, the service, the taste level, and, well, the tastes will make you want to return as often as you can. It’s like home…only elevated.

Some glamour at the glamorous Parker

**Dawn Do: I often visit The Parker Palm Springs site is the Deals section. They’re sent as they become available to my inbox – and I recommend you sign up, as well. They offer GREAT deals, including those for spa junkies and foodies – both of which I think we know I am. What kind of deals? Well, when you pay $249/night (during the week or $299/weekend), you receive a $250 credit in spa or dining amenities.  I don’t know what could be more inviting than that!

 

xoxo,
BF

BF Asks: Where should I take my NEXT McCoy’s Me-Cation? 

A New Series: McCoy’s Me-Cations – Wish You Were Here

My first official Me-Cation at The Parker. Come on inside and join me for my getaway, tomorrow! *Photo by George Duchannes

The french know best when it comes to many things. And they especially know how to holiday. How to close one door and open another, to get away from it all.
That’s why I decided to say, “Oui” to treating myself to mini me-cations on a more regular basis.
After all, I’m single, have steady income and heck, I think we all deserve a little escapism every now and then.
That’s what inspired me to create, “McCoy’s MeCations.”
The first one will go live tomorrow and I encourage you to take the trip with me to the legendary and luxurious Le Parker Meridien in Palm Springs.
And after you take the vicarious trip, I encourage you to take the real one.
I am so looking forward to exploring this new column this year in cities across America and right here at home in LA for some staycations.
**If you’re interested in us taking a McCoy’s Me-Cation to your city, hotel, bed & breakfast, resort or restaurant, please contact me at Dawn@BeautyFrosting.com.
Bon voyage, y’all!
xoxo,
BFBF Asks: Have you ever taken a me-cation? 

I’M LOVING…Just Be Your F’ing Self by Studio Mucci

I don’t curse a lot. But as with all things in life, I believe in moderation.
That’s why I’m proud to feature this pretty profanity of a shirt – even with a big ole curse word on it.

Shut my mouth! I don't curse a lot…but I'll curse for a cause.

My friend, Amina, of Studio Mucci (one of my favorite online shops on the planet) sent me this “Just Be Your F’ing Self” pink tee, along with a sweet pink card detailing the struggles she’s had in life with insecurity and body acceptance. She decided to design this shirt to celebrate this place of acceptance where she now lives.

#JBYFS by Studio Mucci

It really struck a chord with me because I, too, – as well as so many of you – have had those same struggles. In fact, I’ve found that the blogs you guys seem to respond to the most are the blogs where I talk about those struggles. I hope it’s because you can learn a little from my regrets and lessons learned from these posts and apply them to your own lives. The whole reason I do this is so we can all feel just the tiniest bit happier.

Laugh a little. With others. With yourself. At yourself. #JBYFS

I wish more than anything that I could go back in time and shake myself by the shoulders and tell myself the following things. But I can’t; so I find healing and peace in sharing them with you.

You’re enough. Just as you are. In this moment.

Don’t walk in anyone else’s shadow – you’ll only be left in the dark.

Enjoy the way you look now – it’s the only time you’ll look exactly like that.

Appreciate the beauty of the moment. 

Don’t just accept the things that make you different. Celebrate them.

Less fearful. MORE fearless.


I spent so much time in fear and not enough time in the fun and frivolity of the moment. I wish I had been less fearful and MORE fearless.
So now I try to live like that every day.
I live like I wish that kid had lived and I consider it my personal charge to help others not make the same mistake.
That’s why I love this shirt.

I hope you’ll be part of the #JBYFS movement, as well. Right now, you can buy one of these beauties for just $25. Wear it proudly and tag your pic with the #JBYFS hashtag. Let’s spread the self-love movement.
It’s the best reason to curse that you’ve ever had.

 

xoxo,
BF

BF Asks: What struggles have you had? How did you overcome them?

 

 

Travel Essentials: LAX to DFW

What are my in-flight travel essentials?
Well, they change from flight to flight, depending on what my destination is.
Here’s what my tray table looked like yesterday on Virgin America en route to Dallas from Los Angeles.

My LAX-DFW Virgin America tray table

xoxo,

BF

BF Asks: What are your in-flight essentials?