The Ultimate Host/Hostess Gift: A Pretty Party In A Basket

Talk about a party in a basket!

My friends, Christopher and David, are always the most lovely hosts, when I stay at their house in Palm Springs. And, lovely hosts deserve lovely host gifts!

The ultimate host gift, picked up at Joan's On Third

The ultimate host gift, picked up at Joan’s On Third

So, for the past few visits, I’ve swung by my favorite neighborhood market, Joan’s On Third, to pick up some tasty sundries.

I picked up some of Joan’s famous spiced pecans, assorted cheeses (a sharp cheddar, Humboldt Fog, sheep’s milk, and creamy goat), quince jam, a baguette, and some gluten-free crackers. I added in a few bottles of my own Club W vino from home, and carried it all car-friendly in a retro wooden crate from Marshall’s.

Tasty sundries galore...

Tasty sundries galore…

The crate is customizable with a chalkboard panel – perfect for a note of gratitude to the best hosts ever.

A customizable chalkboard makes the gift extra personalized!

A customizable chalkboard makes the gift extra personalized!

Good thing I brought this party in a basket…because we ended up hosting quite the impromptu July 4th fête!

Holiday Up Your Bakery-Bought Cakes

Few things are as sweet as old friends…but this Society Bakery-bought vanilla Christmas cake came close. I didn’t have time to bake for a holiday tea party with girlfriends, as I had planned, so I just hopped by Society, bought a cake and a gingerbread man and put that little guy right on top for a little additional holiday whimsy. Really easy way to dress up your holiday cake? Christmas cookies as toppings! #ItLooksLikeHesStuckInSnow

Fast, easy way to decorate a bakery-bought cake? Christmas cookies.




BF Asks: How do you “holiday up” your desserts?

TinyPrints Holiday

My favorite holiday event this holiday season?

The TinyPrints #TinyPrintsHoliday party, where I got to design and order 100  custom holiday cards, envelopes & liners and address labels.

The best gift of the season? TinyPrints' custom Chistmas cards at their #TinyPrintsHoliday party

I even had my own custom invitation designer, Emily, on hand. But they’re not just available to me, they’re available to you, too! A custom invitation specialist is available to all of us all year-round with TinyPrints.

A creative girl's dream. At Petit Ermitage, picking out custom @tinyprintsholiday cards, envelope liners, envelopes and address labels for the holidays 2015. Happy early birthday and very merry Christmas to me!

Bonus? The take-home swag included cute thank you cards!

I’m fairly certain Santa was involved because this was definitely a gift of an evening on this nerd’s Christmas wish list.

If it’s still on yours, head on over to today!

BF Asks: What is your holiday card like this year?

Whatcha’ Wearin’ Wednesday? The Dogeared I Am Grateful Collection

When I stopped by a press preview and spotted this Dogeared I Am Grateful collection, I may or may not have jumped for joy. Literally. Like with a herkie, from my old high school cheerleading days.

I am grateful for the I Am Grateful Dogeared collection ($58 - $154) **Manicure by NoemiHK at Enamel Diction

Why? Because, um, did you hear about this annual thing I’m doing called #BF30DaysOfGratitude?
It’s like this Dogeared collection was made for me!

In reality of course, it was made for anyone like me – anyone who realizes that gratitude is the sure-fire, fastest way to happiness – and for those who might just need a gently (and shiny) daily reminder. Well, count me in.

Perfect for a holiday gift, a hostess gift or even a “just because” gift of gratitude to someone who needs it this Thanksgiving, all of the pieces in this collection are gorgeous reminders to feel the gratitude every day.
As you wear it over your heart with the necklace ($72)…

I'm even grateful for the inspiring message card that the necklace comes with. Pictured here: the gold i am grateful small dog tag necklace, gold dipped, 18 inch ($72)

On the pulse of your wrist with the teak wood bead, gold-dipped dog tag bracelet ($64)…

The i am grateful teak wood bead dog tag bracelet, gold dipped ($64)

Or, MY FAVORITE, your finger – where you look down and see it every time you type, wash your hands or shake hands (pictured above in post).

Enough from me. Here’s what Dogeared has to say about it:
“Self expression is what great style is all about. If you want to make a statement, be yourself! Did you know that gratitude is a happiness magnet? The more you appreciate what you have, the more you will have to appreciate. The I Am Grateful dog tag necklace is a chic, modern way to celebrate all the wonderful in your life… You’re welcome.”

Welcome, indeed.

The I Am Grateful Collection by Dogeared



BF Asks: Which piece do you wanna get to remind you to be grateful? 

High-Low 2/10/14: Showtime & Expectations

With everything that happened in the last week, it felt like it was more like a month! Wednesday was one of the most challenging days I’ve ever had because literally everything that could go wrong went wrong. I had two band members who had to take their loved ones to the hospital unexpectedly for dire emergencies and there was a world of changes going on that I just was not prepared for.

But then there was so much sweetness that I thought my heart would burst. Ah, life, how you love to throw the curveballs and the cupcakes at us all at the same time. Without further ado, my weekly High-Low.

HIGH: Showtime

Beau’s Debut! Well, now that People Magazine announced it last week, I can announce that my heart just got a little bit fuller – and pinker – thanks to the birth of Beau Katherine Brower!!

HIGH: Beau's Debut!! I got to visit her on her first day at the hospital and I fell instantly in love. Swoon.

Beau was born to some of my best friends, Ned and Sarah Brower (also known as actress Sarah Jane Morris) on Saturday, March 1st and she is just gorgeous and perfect! And since they waited to find out the sex, it was the sweetest of surprises that she was a girl!!! I went to meet Miss Beau and, of course, couldn’t show up to the hospital empty-handed! So I swung by my fave baby store, Bel Bambini on Robertson and picked up some pink to properly celebrate Beau’s debut! I’m utterly smitten and am determined to spoil her rotten. As you can see, it’s already started.

Pink presents for Beau from Bel Bambini - I couldn't help myself! Girls are so fun!!


Hotel Cafe As many of you may know – and many may not – I am a singer/songwriter. I’m not full-time anymore at all but I still write and love to play my favorite venue here in LA (and my home away from home), The Hotel Cafe.

High: Hotel Cafe Show 2/8/14 - For The Lovers, Love-Hopeful, Heartbreakers & Heartbroken

I had the pleasure of playing this past Saturday and it was just the most fun! I got to play with some of my all-time favorite musicians and friends including Ben Peeler, Garrett Hanson, Joel Martin, Jon Button and Malcolm Cross. I realized it had been 10 months since I’d played there and that is 10 months too long. I love to title my shows so this Valentine’s one was called “For The Lovers, Love-Hopeful, Heartbreakers and Heartbroken.” One could argue that I was workin’ through some pretty powerful emotions up on that stage but I worked it out through singing my heart out, dancing and seeing 100 of my friends’ faces smiling at me from the audience. It was just perfect. And it’s gotta happen more often. It does my soul so much good.

This photo perfectly captures my joy of the evening. Just bliss. (*Dress is Plenty by Tracy Reese for Anthropologie and sideways cross necklace is by Flea Market Girl)


 LOW: Expectations

Low: Expectations

Let me start by saying that I am so grateful for the week I’ve had and the amazing people that I have in my life. Whenever I express the lows, it’s not to complain but rather to really experience these lows so that I might see the highs more clearly and appreciate them more richly. This week I let myself be let down by a few people. What do I mean by that? I mean that I had some expectations of people and well, they fell short. Not the people but my expectations. I was expressing my annoyance and hurt with my dear friend (and talk show host/therapist) Matt Marr and he blew my mind once again with his insight and wisdom. He said to me, “Expectations are future resentments.” Word. They sure are.

And with me, this goes tenfold. I don’t have many pet peeves but one of them is when someone makes a plan with me and cancels or doesn’t follow through. It gets under my skin like nothin’ else. Those closest to me know this and try to operate accordingly. But what I’m realizing is that I need to lower my expectations a bit. People are human. Things come up. People make mistakes. I’m not saying it’s going to happen today but an ongoing goal of mine is to become a little less rigid and a little more forgiving in terms of people who don’t meet my expectations as I think they should. Thank you for these thought-provoking words, Matty.


BF Asks: What was your High-Low this week?

*So what exactly is a High-Low, you ask? High-Low is the BEST & WORST part of your day, week, month, etc. I started this tradition with friends & family after I discovered it through a movie decades ago. Not only is it useful for reflection sake but it is also an excellent way to communicate with your spouse, kids or friends over the dinner table. By introducing this tradition to folks, parents have told me that their kids have opened up more and friends have told me that their spouses have become more communicative. Try it for yourself and let me know what your experience is! 


My BF Holiday Wish List 2013

Okay, with Christmas right – and I mean, riiiiiight – around the corner, I am hoping that Santa is done making his list, has checked it twice and that I am on there with little stars next to my name. But just in case he needs a friendly reminder (I say batting my eyelashes), here is My BF Holiday Wish List 2013!
BF Holiday Wish List 2013

1) Tasty treats from Tarte.  Tarte Cosmetics’ Holiday Collection always tops my list for Santa. They have the cutest, sweetest and most adorably packaged gifts – which just so happen to have pretty, pretty highly-pigmented products encased in them. Plus they’re cruelty-free which we loooooove! And with their 30 Gifts Under $30, I’m just sure that Santa can swing a few!

#1 on my Wish List? The Tarte Holiday Collection! (ranging from $19 to $217)


2) My heart belongs to Jessie Steele. It’s not news to anyone that my heart eternally belongs to Jessie Steele. Her pretty products are after my own heart and she is forever on my wish list with her gorgeous, girly, cupcake-meets-coquette aesthetic. Whenever I don a Jessie Steele original, I am not only complimented by folks but I can’t wipe that silly smile off my face! p.s. Right now, You can get 50% off holiday aprons with this code: JINGLE50 upon checkout!!

It's not enough that I'm wearing the Jessie Steele Holiday Cookies Josephine Apron in this pic but please also note the phone case. Yep, Jessie Steele, as well! Ha! I'm obsessed!


Love of my life: Jessie Steele Cherry Cupcake series - pictured here, the EVA-coated Cherry Cupcakes apron ($36) & the Scalloped Pot-Mit ($6.50)

3) Nordstrom Knows What’s Up. Listen, Santa. I get it. You had all of those kids to shop for and you forgot about little ole, beauty-product-loving me. Well, never fret my frosty-living, furry-faced friend. Nordstrom has everything you need and more.

Nordstrom knows what's up, Santa! Find all of the gifts you need for the beauty-lover like myself there!

For the lip gloss lover? Bare Minerals Show Me The Shimmer Set ($25)

Manicure queen? The adorable Glitter Mani Set ($13)

Bathing beauty? Philosophy Apricots and Cream Duo ($16.50)

Makeup Maven? Smashbox Wondervision Eye Kits ($32)

For the guy in your life? Jack Black Luxury Shave Set ($200)

And soooo much more!!

So Santa, look. I know I made a few mistakes this year. I’m sorry. But who hasn’t? If you could just get me 1 or 2 of the lovely little things on my list, I promise to be good.
Well…I’ll try.


BF Asks: What’s on your holiday wish list this year?


BF Holiday Gorgeous Gift-Giving Guide: Tarte Bow & Go 3-in-1 Holiday Gift Collection (on sale TODAY ONLY on QVC!!)

In case you missed my Beauty Beat this week on The Moll Anderson Show on iHeartRadio, you can check it out here. But what was it that I was raving on about this week with the magical Moll?

Well, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…and Hanukkah…or really just the holidays, in general, folks.  And that means the gift-shopping can commence! And that also means HOLIDAY BEAUTY GIFT COLLECTIONS!!! My favorite since my teen days!

See, during the holidays, beauty brands put out a SLEW of gifts where you get a lot of bang for your buck. It really is the best time to buy beauty products because they make these big kits that have everything you need in them – and more.
For instance,Tarte has an AMMAAAAAZING one out that goes on sale for one day only – TODAY – on QVC.
It’s called their Bow & Go 3-in-1 Holiday Gift Collection ($49.98).
And I can’t emphasize this enough, y’all… you can only get it for one day on QVC.
I got a sneak preview of it delivered to my doorstep last week. And, y’all, it is FAB!!!!

BF Holiday Gorgeous Gift-Giving Guide: Tarte Bow & Go 3-in-1 Holiday Gift Collection ($49.98 exclusively on QVC - today ONLY!!!)

Personally, my favorite trick with all of the limited edition holiday beauty collections is to split em up for my friends so everyone gets a fun beauty gift. They’re also great for stuffing in those stockings!
This Tarte one is perfect for that because it  contains:
 *4 of the Lipsurgence lip cremes in shades Precious, Promise, Thoughtful and Wonder.
* 2 tubes of Lights, Camera Lashes and
* 2 SmolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liners in Matte Brown and Fig
See, there are 2! So you can keep one and give one to a friend! Or if you’re just playing Santa, you can give all of them as gifts.
Then, there’s an awesome shadow palette with 16 shadows that, to be honest, I plan on keeping for myself because I consider Tarte shadows to be an essential in my beauty arsenal.
So if you wanna gift a friend, family member, a slew of friends – or even just yourself – head on over to QVC & TODAY ONLY, Monday, November 18th and grab a Bow & GO 3-in-1 giftset!! $49.98
And thanks again, Moll Anderson, for having me on the show this past Saturday!

Beauty Beat with Dawn McCoy on The Moll Anderson Show 7/20/13: Little Happies – Pinch Provisions

Every week, I stop by the “Moll house” on The Moll Anderson Show to bring Moll my Beauty Beat. On BeautyFrosting this week, I am sharing with y’all my Little Happies I’m loving right now from Pinch Provisions.

Beauty Beat 7/20/13 on The Moll Anderson Show: Little Happies thanks to the pretty picks at Pinch Provisions

What is a “Little Happy”? It’s a little gift you give someone – or get for yourself – just because! I adopted this term from one of my favorite clients, Nan C,  when I worked at Woo Skincare & Cosmetics in Nashville.

And there are boundless options for “Little Happy” gifts thanks to  Pinch Provisions. And they’re all pocketbook-friendly at under $30!

A friend getting married? Opt for their Minimergency Kit for Brides ($16). Need cute bridesmaid gifts? Go with their Minimergency Kit for Bridsemaids ($16). A friend having a baby? Their Labor & Delivery Kit ($25) is the gold standard. And their Minimergency Kit for Girls ($13) is a perfect back-to-school gift for your favorite gal!

And without further ado, here’s the link:

Beauty Beat With Dawn McCoy on The Moll Anderson Show on SiriusXM: Little Happies – Pinch Provisions



BF Asks: What’s your favorite “Little Happy” to give your friends and loved ones? 

Father’s Day Gift Guide: Ideas Fit for Dad

I’ve been sharing my favorite Father’s Day present picks all week long! And today, I’ve got some great ones for you. Perfect for any budget, in any location for any aged dad.

A gift of Nostalgia & Luxury. Let’s start with a stroll down Memory Lane. For a gift with a little bit of luxury from yesterday, get Dad a professional shave. There are shaving salons everywhere these days, it seems. To make it easy on yourself, use Google or Yelp to find the most highly reviewed shaving salons in your dad’s city. No specially designated shaving salon in your town yet? Your dad’s barber probably does a great shave or knows someone who does.
Ask him/her for a referral. Then get your dad a gift certificate so he can get the shave whenever he wants – before an important meeting, a high school reunion or for a date nigth out with mom. Or if you would rather give him a shaving set he can use at home, check out The 4 Elements of The Perfect Shave from The Art of Shaving ($115 at Sephora).

The 4 Elements of The Perfect Shave by The Art of Shaving ($115) available at Sephora


Royal Softness. Treat your dad like royalty with the brand that’s the king of softness – Royal Highnies ($79.50). Their boxers and pajamas are loved by southern gentlemen and celebrities alike. Between their 400 count Pima cotton boxer shorts (which won’t shrink, run true to size and come two pairs to a package) and their lounge, pajama-style pants($79.50 for one pair), Dad will feel comforted day and night. And with the Rolex-style crown insignia stitched on their products, any man who loves luxury will love these luxurious personal linens.

Royal Highnies luxuriously soft boxers and pajamas ($79.50)

Cologne at a fraction of the cost. If you’re on a budget – and who isn’t –  buy Dad his favorite cologne or help him discover a new one. These days, discount stores such as Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Loehman’s, Nordstrom Rack and more have a bevy of fragrances that Dad will love – at a deeply discounted price. Not only will he smell like the handsome man he is but he’ll feel good knowing that his wife and kids have good taste.

Happy Father’s Day to all of you dapper dads out there! Hope you’re spoiled silly on Sunday!



BF Asks: What are you getting Dad for Father’s Day?


Father’s Day Gift Guide: James Magni’s book, Magni Modernism

Oftentimes – when it comes to Father’s Day – we give Dad the old tried and true blues: a neck tie, giftcard or novelty electronic being among the most popular.

But today and tomorrow, I’m bringing you my not-the-norm but sure-to-be-loved picks for Father’s Day this year.

Today, a book. But not just any book.

If your dad loves architecture and design but maybe doesn’t have the time or means to explore his passion, feed his inner yearnings with James Magni’s book, Magni Modernism ($37.99).

James Magni's book, MAGNI MODERNISM is available on Amazon for $37.99. Order today and Dad will have it by tomorrow!

Even homebody-heartthrob, Brad Pitt, has spoken out about his love for architecture and his compelling personal need to build a home. But what about a design aesthetic that speaks to both men and women? Here’s where James Magni and his design philosophy enter.

James Magni’s highly sophisticated – and soulful – home design aesthetic is on speed-dial among many of Hollywood’s most elite. Incorporating elements of modernism along with spiritually awakening pieces and special attention to personal details and taste, Magni will put the power of design into your dad’s hands.

Drawing upon his winding career path to his soul-searching travels, Magni’s design elements and philosophy will help your dad find what his own design aesthetic is – and that will lead to one happy papa!

Happy Father’s Day, indeed!


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