The Malibu Minimalist: The Launch of Lilah B

I LOVE a good launch party.

attends the lilah b. launch event at Ron Robinson Flagship on May 19, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Host, personality & writer, Dawn McCoy, attends the lilah b. launch event at Ron Robinson Flagship on May 19, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

And I got just that at Ron Robinson in Santa Monica last week, with the launch of Lilah B.

Got an arm-in-arm tour with Mr. Ron Robinson, himself.

Got an arm-in-arm tour with Mr. Ron Robinson, himself.

With Lilah B , I get simple yet sophisticated makeup, and my skin just looks pretty and polished.

The Malibu Minimalist…with milkmaid braid. Thanks, Lilah B!

The Malibu Minimalist…with milkmaid braid. Thanks, Lilah B!

I call it “The Malibu Minimalist” look. Details about this new line launch later today on the blog!

Pictured here on me: Lilah B Lip & Cheek Divine Duo in b.sassy ($46) & Lilah B Flawless Foundation in b.natural ($48) Makeup by: @EricPolito

xoxo,
BF

Dear 15 Me

Hey there!
Do you remember being 15? The insecurities, the peer pressure, the awkwardness?

No? Well, then consider yourself lucky.
It’s hard out there for teens, and I want to do something about it.
While there’s no time machine to take us back to 15 to correct our thinking back then, we at #Dear15Me hope our past stories and struggles, and current strengths and hindsight vision will help inspire – and make the road a little easier – for teens to walk today.
Sometimes we all just need to hear these two words: "You're Okay." Won't you share the words that encourage you?

Sometimes we all just need to hear these two little words words: “YOU’RE OKAY.”

Bonus? Those who have participated, thus far, tell me that sharing their stories has been super cathartic, and has helped boost their confidence today.

Yep. This is actually a win-win movement that changes both the lives of others, and yourself.

Here’s the scoop:
How does it work?
It’s really simple. And there are two easy choices to get involved, using the power of social media.
CHOICE A
1) Post a picture of yourself at 15 (or any teen age), with a caption saying: “Dear 15 Me…” 
2) Follow it with what  you were feeling at that age, and most importantly..
3) What do you wish you could go back and tell yourself at 15? What would help or inspire you to get through those tough years with a little grace?
4) Share on your social media channels, ask 5 of your friends to join the movement and ask them to do the same. 
Together, we can make a difference in the confidence of today’s teens. And be sure to tag @Dear15Me and @BeautyFrosting so we can share your experiences with our social media channels.
 
 
CHOICE B
1) No picture readily available of you at 15? Don’t feel like sharing 15-year-old you with the world? No problem. Just print your choice of the “Dear 15 Me…” sign pdf below.
2) Write your piece of advice on there, and tell the world what you wish you could tell 15-year-old you in the caption. What do you wish you could go back and tell yourself at 15? What would help or inspire you to get through those tough years with a little grace?
4) Share on your social media channels, ask 5 of your friends to join the movement and ask them to do the same. 
Together, we can make a difference in the confidence of today’s teens. And be sure to follow us and tag @Dear15Me and @BeautyFrosting so we can share your experiences with our social media channels.

It’s that easy.
Below, please find examples from celebs, bloggers, influencers, myself – and others who have joined the movement – so you can get an idea of what we’re all about.
xoxo,
Dawn

Actress, Sarah Jane Morris, shares her support of the #Dear15Me movement for teens everywhere – and the future of her kids, Emmett and Beau (pictured here)!

Actress Sarah Jane Morris is on board!

Actress Sarah Jane Morris is on board

Blogger, Rachel Sarnoff of Mommy Greenest, shared her story on her blog, and it was beautiful!

Blogger, Rachel Sarnoff of Mommy Greenest, shared her story on her blog, and it was beautiful!

Blogger, Rachel Sarnoff of Mommy Greenest, shared her story on her blog, and it was beautiful!

 

Actress & Thick Dumpling Skin blogger, Lynn Chen, shared how she wished she had better spent her time in her teens, and it was deeply moving.

Actress & Thick Dumpling Skin blogger, Lynn Chen, shared how she wished she had better spent her time in her teens, and it was deeply moving.

Actress & Thick Dumpling Skin blogger, Lynn Chen, shared how she wished she had better spent her time in her teens, and it was deeply moving.

What have I learned in my life of struggles and strengths? To embrace your quirkiness. It can be the very thing that sets you apart.

I  say, "Embrace your quirkiness!"

I say, “Embrace your quirkiness!”

 

BF Asks: Are you up for the Challenge? The #Dear15Me Challenge, that is. If so, post you pic and spread the word! Want to use a current picture, holding our #Dear15Me sign. Email me at Dawn@BeautyFrosting.com and we’ll send the printable pdf files your way!

Open Hearts, Can’t Lose: Goodbye, Sweet Ann!

It seems to be fate at work that my friendship with Ann started at Jan’s on Beverly, where she was my waitress 15 years ago, and ended here in America in a diner in North Hollywood, this past Saturday.

With Ann (center) and her friend, Sunny

With Ann (center) and her friend, Sunny

I met Ann when I was 22 and she was 53. I had just moved to LA that week. Ann says Buddhism saved her life in 1983 when she was in an abusive marriage and was about to commit suicide, and now she considers it her mission to spread the “magic” of Buddhism to everyone she meets so that they can share her joy.

Well I didn’t become a Buddhist today, as Ann had hoped, but I will say that she shared a chant with my mom and me 15 years ago that helps me fall asleep whenever I have a sleepless night, and calms me whenever I’m feeling restless or nervous. She also planted a huge seed of joy in my heart, that continues to grow.

I’m so grateful to have met her all those years ago, so thankful to have reconnected with her a few months ago, and am so sad for me (and happy for her) to see her go back to her native Thailand on Wednesday, where she will reunite with her husband, and retire, after working double shifts as a waitress for over 31 years.

I’m so proud that today I got to sit NEXT to Ann in a booth, and buy her and her friend Sunny lunch, instead of her bringing me my lunch. Full circle, indeed. The lesson here? Always be open. You never know the friends you will make in your day-to-day life, the lessons they will teach you, and the impact their spirits might have on you, so, keep your eyes, minds and hearts open. Always open.

Ann was one of my first friends in LA, and you know I don’t often believe in accidents. I’m a better person for knowing this angel we call Ann…better known in Thailand as Sarinya Chaimongkol.

p.s. I can’t wait to visit!

McCoy’s MeCations: I Spent New Years Alone & I LOVED It…Thanks To The Oaks At Ojai

The McCoy’s MeCation Challenge: Hey, you! Yeah, YOU. This summer, I have an assigment for you. Go somewhere  – anywhere alone – for at least 24 hours. Trust me. It’ll change your life in some miraculous little way. That’s what McCoy’s MeCations are all about.

On my way to Ojai to The Oaks at Ojai, and on the lookout for the bright light shining that is 2015.

On my way to Ojai to The Oaks at Ojai, and on the lookout for the bright light shining that is 2015.

With summer upon us, I felt that sharing my miraculous McCoy’s MeCation over this past New Years might be just the source inspiration for some of you out there. Memorial Day kicks off summer, filled with steamy weather and socializing galore, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve got to carve out time for some much-needed R&R and self-care.

That’s what took me to The Oaks at Ojai, back on December 31st this past winter.

Right when I arrived and felt like I was just in heaven. First up? I had Yoga at 4 pm. Moving healthfully and gracefully into 2015.

Right when I arrived and felt like I was just in heaven. First up? I had Yoga at 4 pm. Moving healthfully and gracefully into 2015.

My career is about as social as you can get, so when I think vacations and celebrations, I don’t think parties and clubs, I think of comfy accommodations, meaningful conversations, delicious food and drink…and there’s gotta be a pool.

Snuggling into my home of Ojai for 3 days over New Years

Snuggling into my home of Ojai for 3 days over New Years. You KNOW there’s a pool!

I asked my friends if anyone felt like traveling, and unfortunately, no one could swing it. So, I decided to find a health spa, where I could truly detox and relax, and gear up for a productive – and healthy – 2015.

Luxuriating in my spa tub at The Oaks at Ojai

Luxuriating in my spa tub at The Oaks at Ojai. Feeling utterly bubbly as I reflected and washed away what didn’t serve me and toasted to the beautiful mysteries that 2015 holds. Feeling so grateful for so many dreams coming true in 2014. So do I want more to come true this year? As AmyPoehler says…YES PLEASE!

I realize that spending New Year’s Eve alone as a 30-something female might sound a little sad to some. But I assure you it wasn’t. I dare say it was my favorite New Year’s Eve to date. And I give 100% credit for that to The Oaks At Ojai. Like many of you, I had overindulged during the holidays, and found myself plotting to be my healthiest best in 2015. Then reiki master Kelsey Patel gave me some sage advice and one piece of direction for my New Years holiday, “Be sure you celebrate midnight on New Year’s Eve doing what you’d like to be doing the rest of 2015.”

A super early morning hike was the perfect, healthy start to my 2015

A super early morning hike was the perfect, healthy start to my 2015

The first thought for me? I want to be my healthiest best. There are plenty of parties and glasses of champagne to be toasted, but I can do that anytime, so for New Years, I would detox. I researched my options and the one spa that kept coming up with a host of accolades and a bevy of rave reviews was The Oaks at Ojai.

Getting the Sweet Slumber massage at The Oaks at Ojai. Perfect way to wind down a busy 2014.

The perfect way to wrap up 2014? Getting a Sweet Slumber 75-Minute Massage at The Oaks Spa . Heaven.

 When I announced on my social media outlets where I would be going, my female friends of all ages came out of the woodwork, all saying how much they love it there and describing it as a grownup girls’ sleepaway camp or a Disney World for women. One of my friends even based the setting for a novel she wrote there. So, the bar? Yeah, that bar was set high.

 

One of the best parts about taking a vacay alone are the new friends you make. The Oaks seriously is like a healthier version of summer camp.

Sunrise hike with new friends at The Oaks at Ojai. One of the best parts about taking a vacay alone are the new friends you make. The Oaks seriously is like a healthier version of summer camp.. It was one of their Mother-Daughter weekends so I made 3 friends for the price of 1! Plus a slew of others! Here we are on the 90-minute Shelf Road hike through the hills of Ojai.

Well, The Oaks did not disappoint. With the pressures of Hollywood only an hour and a half away, you’d expect The Oaks at Ojai to be all about “fashionable fitness,” but you’d be wrong. This is a place where it’s more about feeling fit than sporting your LuluLemon, counting your fat cells or validating yourself on a scale. Here, there’s no pressure for anyone to be anything but your truest self. How many places can claim that?

Plenty of times for non-judgmental relaxing and reflecting at The Oaks at Ojai

Plenty of times for non-judgmental relaxing and reflecting at The Oaks at Ojai

As for the rates? They vary, but they are very reasonable. You can go solo and all in, and stay in the more luxe accommodation, the Double Courtyard Suite, like I did (for around $710/ night).

My super comfy, luke and relaxing Double Courtyard Cottage. Just the most heavenly place to kick off a new year…or a summer.

My super comfy, luke and relaxing, spanish-style Double Courtyard Cottage – my home for 3 days. Just the most heavenly place to kick off a new year…or a summer. Lanai? Check. Personal fountain? Check. Fireplace? Check. Huuuuge in-room sunken spa, surrounded by handcrafted Spanish Art Deco tile? Check. Heaven? Check.

Or, you can come with friends, and/or be paired with a “roommate” in a standard twin room (for as little as $250/night). All of these rates are all-inclusive, including 3 meals and snacks, as well as all the fitness classes (15 to choose from – I ended up partaking in 11!!) you could want, so it’s actually a great deal, any way you look at it! They also have spa day passes (for $130 – $185) that are super reasonable.

My FAVE class! Relaxing yoga in my pjs, right before bed.

My FAVE class! Deeply restful yoga Nidra before bedtime at The Oaks. Relaxing yoga in my pjs, right before bed.

As for the food? So healthy and SO delicious.

New Years brunch, The Oaks style.

New Years brunch, The Oaks style. No mimosas, but my conscience sure feels healthy…and no hangover in sight.

A healthy salad at lunch

A healthy salad at lunch

And…

Delicious turkey chili!

Delicious turkey chili!

As for dinner?
Healthy. Light. Delicious.

Healthy. Light. Delicious. Salmon. Shrimp. Veggies. YUM!

And my “weird” high-maintenance request, that The Oaks was kind enough to accommodate, at lunch on New Years:

 Nothin' keeps me from my annual southern New Year's tradition of blackeyed peas for prosperity. Nothin'. It's my annual good luck charm. Luckily, the@oaksspa were able to accommodate my weird request today for lunch. Yes. I was THAT girl. But, such sweet customer service here!  


Nothin’ keeps me from my annual southern New Year’s tradition of blackeyed peas for prosperity. Nothin’. It’s my annual good luck charm. Luckily, The Oaks was able to accommodate my weird request for New Years lunch. Yes. I was THAT girl. But, such sweet customer service here!

I left 12 lbs lighter and I don’t just mean physically. My skin was soft and smooth, and my mind was relaxed and ready for the year ahead.

Refreshing smoothie time! And just look at that glowing skin!

Refreshing smoothie time! And just look at that glowing skin!

Overall McCoy’s MeCations Travel Takeaway? There are many highlights of The Oaks at Ojai: the spa services, the health benefits, the new friends, the comfy accommodations that make you feel like you’re in Santa Fe, and so much more. But the real reason it’s so special? The Cluff family and THE STAFF.

I’m not being a soft-soaper when I say that every single member of the staff at The Oaks makes you feel utterly pampered and cared for. They want to know who you are, what your goals are, and what they can do for you.They are kind. They are real. They are attentive. They are downright loving. Much of the staff is part of the Cluff family (mom, Sheila Cluff, is the founder & a fitness and health icon, herself), or teachers or therapists who have been there for more than a decade, out of sheer happiness and loyalty. Just the fact that they have such loyal, attentive staffers speaks volumes of the home-away-from-home that the Cluff family and The Oaks have created for both its guests and staff.

So, if you need a healthy escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life – especially from this City of Angels that doesn’t always feel so angelic – well, have I got the place for you. Be sure to tell ’em I sent you. I’m their biggest cheerleader.

xoxo,
Dawn

The ‘tails:

The Oaks at Ojai

122 E. Ojai Avenue

Ojai, CA 93023  

805.646.5573

Editor’s Note: As per all my McCoy’s MeCations, this post was sponsored by the participating host hotel – in this case, The Oaks at Ojai (805.646.5573), 122 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai, CA 93023. All accommodations, services, fare and beverages were provided by the host hotel, and their associates.

 

Eat To Feed Others: Taste of The Nation Laguna Beach, Benefitting No Kid Hungry

At the Montage Laguna, for No Kid Hungry's Taste Of The Nation Laguna, wearing WAYF

At the Montage Laguna, for No Kid Hungry’s Taste Of The Nation Laguna, wearing WAYF

Well, I figure the best way to get y’all excited about No Kid Hungry’s Taste Of The Nation in Culver City (coming up on Sunday, June 7th) is to show you what a fun time I had at Taste of The Nation in Laguna Beach this past weekend at The Montage Laguna Beach.

Yep. Pretty much me in a  nutshell the whole night. No date? No problem. Delicious food. Wine. Friends. Good cause. And best yet? All for @NoKidHungry at @montagelaguna . Bite I'm eating right now? @FordsFillingStation Ben Ford's Seared Sea Scallop with Pea Sprout Salad, Preserved Lemon & Toasted Hazelnuts. Holy yum.

Yep. Pretty much me in a nutshell the whole night. No date? No problem. Delicious food. Wine. Friends. Good cause. And best yet? All for @NoKidHungry at @montagelaguna . Bite I’m eating right now? @FordsFillingStation Ben Ford’s Seared Sea Scallop with Pea Sprout Salad, Preserved Lemon & Toasted Hazelnuts. Holy yum.

Details are at the bottom on how you can buy your tickets to have your own foodie dreams come true, all while helping our nation’s kids get fed! But, for now, here’s my Taste of The Nation Laguna story.

As a Team No Kid Hungry member & influencer, I arrived, with a hungry belly – and a full heart – ready to eat, drink, and raise money and awareness for No Kid Hungry.

On the carpet for No Kid Hungry Laguna Beach

On the carpet for No Kid Hungry Laguna Beach

First up? Delicious Riverain Cabernet and cheeses and charcuterie from The Cellar and Center Street Cheese Shop.

The perfect first course to kick off my tastebuds! Riverain Cabernet and delicious cheeses and charcuterie from The Cellar and Center Street Cheese Shop.

The perfect first course to kick off my tastebuds! Riverain Cabernet and delicious cheeses and charcuterie from The Cellar and Center Street Cheese Shop.

Next up? The vegetarian portion of the evening. And it was surprisingly downright delicious to this Texas girl!

Beefsteak's Marcel Vigneron's Smoked Bowl with Brown Rice, Quinoa, Veggies, Spicy Sauce, Avocado and Crispies

Beefsteak’s Marcel Vigneron’s Smoked Bowl with Brown Rice, Quinoa, Veggies, Spicy Sauce, Avocado and Crispies

 

Then, it was time for the flavors of the sea with the plentiful ocean-fresh seafood options! After all, our view was all ocean, there at the beautiful Montage.

The Montage's Craig Strong's Grilled Octopus and some Sauv Blanc

The Montage’s Craig Strong’s Grilled Octopus and some Sauv Blanc

 

Twenty Eight's Shirley Chung's Chilled Noodle with Uni

Twenty Eight’s Shirley Chung’s Chilled Noodle with Uni

 

My 3 favorites of the evening? THESE GUYS.

Faith & Flower's Chef Michael Hung's Yellowfin Tuna Poke, Soy Braised Konbu, and Foie Gras Panna Cotta

Faith & Flower’s Chef Michael Hung’s Yellowfin Tuna Poke, Soy Braised Konbu, and Foie Gras Panna Cotta

Chef Ben Ford's Seared Scallops with Pea Sprout Salad, Preserved Lemon and Toasted Hazelnuts

The Filling Station’s Chef Ben Ford’s Seared Scallops with Pea Sprout Salad, Preserved Lemon and Toasted Hazelnuts

Gastropub's heavenly Venus Clams with Tabasco  Butter and Reyes Blue Mousse…and beer!! The beer would be Noble Ale Works Spicoli

Gastropub’s heavenly Venus Clams with Tabasco Butter and Reyes Blue Mousse…and beer!! The beer would be Noble Ale Works Spicoli

And, lastly, the meat options!
I started out light with Alma’s Chef Ari Taymor’s Beef Tartare with Fermented Walnuts and Blackberries. It was a divine balance of savory, nutty and sweet!

Alma's Chef Ari Taymor's Beef Tartare with Fermented Walnuts and Blackberries

Alma’s Chef Ari Taymor’s Beef Tartare with Fermented Walnuts and Blackberries

The line was out of control for this one:

Chianina's Steakhouse's Chef David Coleman's Spit Roasted Whole Chianina Beef Leg Trio, California Style BBQ Sliders, House Made Corn Tortillas, and Grilled Flatbread with Pickled Ramps

Chianina’s Steakhouse’s Chef David Coleman’s Spit Roasted Whole Chianina Beef Leg Trio, California Style BBQ Sliders, House Made Corn Tortillas, and Grilled Flatbread with Pickled Ramps

And, the eating & drinking didn’t end when the event did!

With new friends, s'moresing it up around the fire pit at the VIP reception

With new friends, s’moresing it up around the fire pit at the VIP reception

I stayed on for the special VIP reception, where I got to enjoy more of what the Montage chefs had to offer, got to meet the chefs, and eat s’mores!

Clearly excited to meet Chef Ben Ford (fun fact? He's also Harrison Ford's son)

Clearly excited to meet Chef Ben Ford (fun fact? He’s also Harrison Ford’s son)

The VIP reception eats, courtesy of The Montage:

Fried Mac & cheese balls

photo 1 copy 4

Fried Lobster

photo 2 copy 4

Grilled Cheese & Sweet Tomato Bisque

My FAVE!!

My FAVE!!

Foie Gras Cones

photo 4 copy 4

S’mores!!!

photo 5 copy 4

photo 2 copy 5

Late night antics in the photobooth with new friends:

Why yes, there WERE cigars

Why yes, there WERE cigars

So, NOW, it’s your chance. Tickets for the LA Taste of The Nation event at Media Park in Culver City are on sale now! General admission tickets are $110 and VIP tickets are $160. I say, go ahead and spend that extra $50 because it’s for my FAVORITE cause, and you get all that VIP access you’re gonna want. And talk about a romantic date!! Be sure to bring your sweetheart, because what’s better than eating, drinking and being with the one you adore?

Feed the kiddos by tasting to your heart's content!

Feed the kiddos by tasting to your heart’s content!

I’ll see YOU there!

xoxo,

Dawn

 

Red Carpet Ready: French Kiss Premiere at the Marriott Marina Del Rey

Last night, I walked the red carpet and toasted on the rooftop of the Marriott Marina Del Rey, to celebrate the premiere of French Kiss.

On the rooftop of the Marriott Marina Del Rey, for the premiere of French Kiss

On the rooftop of the Marriott Marina Del Rey, for the premiere of French Kiss. Dress is Erin Fetherston & shoes are Latigo – both available at Anthropologie now

The short film is a first venture into the world of entertainment for Marriott. Shot in Paris, French Kiss follows a seemingly magical young romance between an American man (Tyler Ritter, The McCarthys and son of the late John Ritter) and a Parisian woman (French model and actress Margot Luciarte) exploring the city outside of the four walls of the hotel.

MARINA DEL REY, CA - MAY 19:  Actors Tyler Ritter (L) and Margot Luciarte attend The Marriott Content Studio?s "French Kiss" film premiere at the Marina del Rey Marriott on May 19, 2015 in Marina del Rey, California.  (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Marriott Hotels)

MARINA DEL REY, CA – MAY 19: Actors Tyler Ritter (L) and Margot Luciarte attend The Marriott Content Studio?s “French Kiss” film premiere at the Marina del Rey Marriott on May 19, 2015 in Marina del Rey, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Marriott Hotels)

It seems that people often have a hard time grasping the idea of how influencers, like me, and advertising work. French Kiss is a good example of how subtle brand integration can work wonderfully, when orchestrated beautifully with a clear vision. Director John Gray created a work of art, with subtle pops and rare references to the Marriott Champs Élysées, without using a heavy hand.

French Kiss, directed by John Gray

French Kiss, directed by John Gray

Regardless of whether you approve of brand integration marrying with entertainment, it’s here , it’s always been here and it’s not going anywhere. We just don’t always recognize it when it’s skillfully done. And when it’s done well like this, it inspires, instigates, and gives us a life to aspire towards. The magical spell worked on me, alright. After putting off renewing my passport for the past year, I’m gonna get that done today. The first plane ticket I’m gonna book? Well, that would be Paris, of course.

So, grab the popcorn, watch the pretty picture, and be prepared to plan that trip for Paris you’re going to want afterwards.

With my fellow influencers at the premiere of French Kiss

With my fellow influencers at the premiere of French Kiss

Deserving High School Girls “Say Yes To The Prom” Thanks To TLC, BCBGeneration & JC Penney

Prom, fashion, beauty, and doing good for girls who do good all in one room???!!
Well, count me in.

 

Me, Prisila Cisneros and Say Yes To The Dress's Monte Durham. She was straight up Peaches 'n' Cream Barbie, y'all. A dream come true!

Me, Prisila Cisneros and Say Yes To The Dress’s Monte Durham. She was straight up Peaches ‘n’ Cream Barbie, y’all. A dream come true!

I was proud to join TLC, part of the Discovery Communications family, when they joined forces with BCBGeneration to bring its SAY YES TO THE PROM initiative to the west coast for the first time on Wednesday, May 6.

The program, designed to build courage and self-confidence among young women, welcomed a select group of deserving high school girls from Los Angeles School of Global Studies and Manual Arts Senior High School to the BCBG Corporate Headquarters for a day of mentoring, prom dress shopping and makeovers. Joyce Azria, Creative Director for BCBGeneration, and Edwina Findley Dickerson, star of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s IF LOVING YOU IS WRONG, also joined the fun – and confidence-boosting –  festivities.

Monte Durham, fashion director and star of TLC’s SAY YES TO THE DRESS: ATLANTA, hosted the day’s events, where each girl was paired with a mentor who served as coach, personal shopper and style assistant throughout the day. I got to witness this magic, and it was truly something special that I will never forget.

Girls selected from nearly 3,000 donated dresses as well as nearly 300 BCBGeneration dresses hand-selected by Creative Director Joyce Azria.

Girls selected from nearly 3,000 donated dresses as well as nearly 300 BCBGeneration dresses hand-selected by Creative Director Joyce Azria.

Prom dreams – and so much more – were fulfilled as each of the girls had the opportunity to select from nearly 300 BCBGeneration dresses, specifically selected by Joyce Azria for the event.

Dress selection time!

Dress selection time!

After selecting their accessories, the girls’ looks were custom-outfitted with hair styles and makeovers courtesy of JCPenney salon experts, beauty guru Cris Ordaz of Discovery Familia’s GURUS DE BELLEZA, Ruby Makeup Academy and StyleSeat. For many, it was the dream-come-true of a lifetime.

 

Primping: Makeup & hair for the girls

Primping: Makeup & hair for the girls

Makeup mayhem!  But all for a good cause!

Makeup mayhem! But all for a good cause!

Then? Why, it was time to show off the gorgeousness! The girls strutted their stuff, by showing their new prom-ready looks during a red carpet runway reveal show. They may have looked beautiful, but the inner joy these girls were radiating was just the most beautiful thing you could ever see.

Runway 3

Runway 4

Runway 1

In addition to the day’s style sessions, mentoring events and a red carpet finale, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the students with a special video message.

The Los Angeles event marked the final stop on the 2015 SAY YES TO THE PROM tour, which this year more than doubled the impact of previous years by touching the lives of deserving girls from coast to coast. The tour kicked off in NYC on March 16 and continued with additional events in Denver, Washington, D.C. and Miami before making its way to Los Angeles.

Monte, "The Fairy Godfather"  & his girls!

Monte, “The Fairy Godfather” & his girls!

xoxo,
Dawn

McCoy’s MeCations: The Orlando Hotel & West 3rd Street in Los Angeles

It was time. Time for what? A MeCation, naturally. My spring has been the busiest yet, and I was in need of a little R&R.

My week is usually filled to the brim with activities and events, all in the name of work. But this McCoy’s MeCation with The Orlando Hotel on West 3rd Street in Los Angeles, was a little different. This was the FIRST time that a number of my girlfriends actually wrote me to say they were jealous. While I don’t like anyone feeling jealous of anything I’m doing, in this case, I could certainly understand. I felt utterly treated and pampered to the best of what LA has to offer, and all right down the street from me, on my favorite street!

We started out by checking into our rooms at The Orlando Hotel on West 3rd Street.

Welcome to The Orlando!

Welcome to The Orlando!

When I found out I would be staying in their Entertainers Suite – complete with an extra room for entertaining, and a large balcony, overlooking West 3rd Street, I knew I had found my home for the next two days.

 

The balcony of The Entertainer suite at The Orlando

The balcony of The Entertainer suite at The Orlando

I was in heaven.

Heaven, overlooking West 3rd Street

Heaven, overlooking West 3rd Street. (Editor’s note: While this looks relaxing, every single girl on that balcony was SO nervous I would fall)

But, as gorgeous as the room was, I couldn’t rest on my laurels, or on the luxurious linens, in this case.

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No, we had a jam-packed agenda ahead of us, and we had places to go and people to see!

Bloggers on the loose!

Bloggers on the loose!

First up on our day of pampering?

Bedhead Pajamas, where they had champ and super comfy pjs, waiting for us.

Always the hostess with the mostest…yep, even when it's not my party. It's what I do.

Always the hostess with the mostest…yep, even when it’s not my party. It’s what I do.

We all loved the pajama party-meets-British-boho bedroom vibe of the store, so of course, we snapped a pic or two.

On the bed at, um, Bedhead

No, we don’t normally snuggle on the bed at events. On the bed at, um, Bedhead.

We shared one more toast outside in the beautiful Bedhead courtyard, but there was no time to waste.

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Next, we were off to Murad to have relaxing hand massages, and face mapping to tell us how our skin was looking!

Relaxxxxxed at Murad

I was thrilled that my skin only read a low “13” on the damage scale, so with proper skincare, my skin is aging right on time.

Fear not. It's just my face being mapped for sun damage, and (gasp!), signs of aging. Not too shabby.

Fear not. It’s just my face being mapped for sun damage, and (gasp!), signs of aging. Not too shabby.

We then headed right next door to get gorgeous blowouts at one of my favorite salons, Spoke And Weal.

Hair done? Check.

Hair done? Check.

Then, we headed back to The Orlando for dinner at The Churchill.

The food and handcrafted cocktails were delicious! And we actually got to taste EVERYTHING on this menu, as it was served family style.

Delicious possibilities at The Churchill

Delicious possibilities at The Churchill

 

But, my favorite part  was when I asked everyone to go around the table, and say what they admire about each of our dinner dates. I love doing this with my girlfriends – new and old – as everyone leaves the table, feeling uplifted. I wish all women would do this!

Happy & hungry girls.

Happy & hungry girls.

 

After dinner, we headed upstairs and changed into our Bedhead pjs, where Rachael and I were so excited about my bathtub, that we hopped right in! You know. Totally normal.

Can't have a proper me cation without bathtime!

And then, inspired by our pretty pjs, we opted for a pillow fight photo session.

Pillow fight!

Pillow fight!

As a bedtime treat, the sweet folks at Sweet E’s had left us some sweet nothings on our bedside tables. Sweet dreams, indeed.

Look at the custom BeautyFrosting cupcake and Orlando cookie! Swoon.

Look at the custom BeautyFrosting cupcake and Orlando cookie! Swoon.

Next? SLEEP. Contrary to what I’ve always thought, pampering can be exhausting.

The next morning, I kicked off the day with a little me-time meditation on my balcony.

Head in the clouds, heart in the right place

Head in the clouds, heart in the right place

Then, it was Clover Juice morning happy hour with my fellow editors and bloggers.

These robes were just as comfy as they look.

These robes were just as comfy as they look.

Followed by pool time, naturally.

Sunday Funday

Sunday Funday: Sun bathing at its best in the middle of the city

It was one of my all-time favorite weekends. But it’s not just for me! If you’re feeling a little rundown – or just in need of a break – head to West 3rd Street, and stay at The Orlando for your own little mecation. All of this pampering is merely steps away. And trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

 

xoxo,
Dawn

Editor’s Note: As per all my McCoy’s MeCations, this post was sponsored by the participating host hotel – in this case, The Orlando Hotel (8384 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles CA 90048). All accommodations, services, fare and beverages were provided by the host hotel, and their associates.

MamaFrosting

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I have looked at my mom, Clarice McCoy, with wonder like this all of my life. I remember being an itty bitty thing and just staring at her, as she rocked me to sleep, thinking how beautiful she was.

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I used to drive her crazy by telling her all day long, “You are so beautiful.” She would literally ask me to stop because it was just too much. I was her own personal cheerleader.

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My mom is my best friend…and she’s also my biggest critic. Sometimes this can be challenging, but it’s not always a bad thing.

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My mom keeps me in check, and lets me know when I’m obsessing over something that isn’t important, or something over which I don’t have control. She doesn’t really understand what I do, and my life scares her, and becoming an adult for me has meant learning to be okay with that.

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My favorite trait that I inherited from my mom? Her eye for beauty, and her need to make her home a loving, beautiful nest for herself and those she loves. Another one? She gets a little more awnry as she ages, but at the center, she always has the most loving heart, so much so that I’ve always felt like we kind of shared the same heart.

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My mom worked full time plus, and yet I never felt like I didn’t have a full-time mom. I always tell new parents – and parents of teens- that the best parenting advice they could ever receive is from my mom. At age 5, I asked her what sex was, and she answered me with the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. My father was aghast. My mom defended herself by saying to my father, “If I don’t talk to her now, she won’t talk to me later.” She was right.

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Having an open line of communication with my mom, quite frankly, kept me out of trouble. I trusted her to tell me truths, and she trusted me to tell her my truth, and thus, we’ve always had a truth-based relationship. Sometimes too truthful, I think she’d say.

On the other hand, I saw my friends, with more strict parents, smoking whenever they could, hiding alcohol in their windowseats, and sneaking out of the house with boys, just begging for mischief. I, on the other hand, shared my first glass of wine with my mom, and never smoked because she told me that if I wanted to smoke, we’d try one together. Um, no thank you.

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So, she did a lot right.  I think she forgets that when her children flounder, fall and fail.

Watching my brother learn to walk. She still watches us with that same intensity.

Watching my brother learn to walk. She still watches us with that same intensity.

She feels like our failures are hers. I only hope I can help her one day understand that our successes as adults are in thanks to her rearing,  but our failures as adults are just that…ours. And, just looking at the friends I have who consider my mom their second mom, reminds me of how right she did it.

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I still think my mom is the most beautiful woman on the planet, but now I realize that she is much more than that.

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She is strong.

She is someone who overcomes.

Someone who sets goals and achieves them.

Someone who loves to a fault.

And someone whose love knows no limits.

I realize that as much as I always wanted to look like my mother, more importantly, I have the heart of my mother.

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But getting her cheekbones didn’t hurt, either.

I love you the whole wide world and back again, Mom.

xoxo,
Dawn

The #Dear15Me Challenge

How did you feel at 15-years-old? And what do you wish you could tell yourself at 15 if you could go back now?

#Dear15Me : Helping teens tackle their teenage years with the confidence, grace, wisdom and ease we wish we’d had.

That’s what #Dear15Me is all about. Dawn McCoy (host, creator of BeautyFrosting, and lifestyle and life empowerment expert) has created a movement where we can share our stories and struggles of when we were 15-years-old – and share our hindsight vision – to encourage teens to love and accept themselves, just as they are right now at this very moment.  *Helping teens tackle their teenage years with the confidence, grace, wisdom and ease we wish we’d had.*

So many of us say, “If I had known then, what I know now….”, so why don’t we tell teens while they’re still in it? Our goal is to start a viral movement that helps ease what can be a tough time in a teen’s life. Post a picture of yourself at 15 and your #Dear15Me message, and let teens know how you felt at 15, and what you would say to yourself if you had the chance now. Because you do. You have a chance now to help them get through this challenging time, with confidence, grace and ease. No picture of you at 15? No problem. Just post a pic of you now, holding the sign “Dear 15 Me…”and write your story and what you wish you could tell 15-year-old you in the caption.

Seeing the struggles that we went through then, how we got through them, and what we know now that we wish we had known then will inspire them to live their best lives now.

****

From Dawn:

Listen. Being a teen was hard. I remember it so clearly: the insecurities, the doubts, the fickleness, the fear, the fights with friends, the crushes, trying to please your parents, trying to impress your teachers, all of it. HARD.

But, today’s teens have it even harder. They have all of that above, plus the added pressure of social media. If there had been social media when I was in high school, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have graduated, and I think my parents would agree with me on that.

I realized just how tough it is for teens these days on a recent trip to Little Rock, Arkansas. There, I talked to the mom of a 15-year-old daughter who told me about the pain she has to see her daughter go through daily when she compares herself to others on social media. Remember that party you didn’t get invited to in 9th grade? Well, imagine having to see pictures of it on Instagram the next day. Remember the guy you had a crush on who asked out your best friend? Imagine having to see pictures of them hand-in-hand on Facebook. SUPER HARD.

That next night, I drove to my Dad’s house in Hot Springs, Arkansas and saw a picture of me at 15 years old, hanging on his wall. I saw this gorgeous girl and was shocked, because that was not the girl that I remembered. The girl I remembered was chubby, with braces and filled with nervousness and insecurity. She was scared of being too much – and not enough – all at the same time.

I ended up writing a post about it, and was overwhelmed by the comments, Facebook messages, texts and emails that I received in response. My feelings of wishing I could go back and speak to 15-year-old-me really had struck a chord. Hundreds of women wrote to me, expressing that they too look back and wish they could tell their 15-year-old selves that they were perfect as is, and that everything was going to be okay. Sometimes, that’s all we need to hear: “You’re okay, you’re okay, you’re okay, you’re okay.”

So, I’ve decided to do something about it, and start a movement. It’s called the “Dear 15 Me Challenge,” or #Dear15Me for you hashtaggers out there. #Dear15Me is a movement where we can share our stories and struggles of when we were 15-years-old – and share our hindsight vision – to encourage teens to love and accept themselves, just as they are right now at this very moment.  Helping teens tackle their teenage years with the confidence, grace, wisdom and ease we wish we’d had. Here are the details. I really hope you’ll be a part of it, and that we can help make the journey a little smoother for teens out there today.

#Dear15Me : To inspire teens and women and men, at every age, I encourage you to share what you would say to yourself at 15, having the hindsight, wisdom and experience that you do now. I urge you to 1) post a picture of yourself at 15, with a caption saying: “Dear 15 Me…” and follow it with 2) what  you were feeling at that age, and most importantly, 3) what you wish you could tell yourself at 15. It’s that easy.

No picture readily available of you at 15? No problem. Any pic of you as a teen will do, or just post a pic of you now, holding the sign “Dear 15 Me…” and write your story and what you wish you could tell 15-year-old you in the caption.

While there’s no time machine to take us back to 15 to correct our thinking then, we hope our past experiences and heartfelt words will help inspire – and make the road a little easier – for teens today. Tag 5 of your friends and ask them to do the same. Together, we can make a difference in the confidence of today’s teens. And be sure to tag @Dear15Me and @BeautyFrosting so we can share your experiences with our social media channels.

“I wish you could see what you look like to me. Don’t you know you’re made of stars? You can do anything – dance, laugh and sing. You’re carried by love. All that you see will come to be. So, what will you do, beautiful you?” (Dawn McCoy)

 

xoxo,
Dawn