Grammys 2016: Kickin’ It With Clive & Cover Girl

Most little girls grow up, dreaming of becoming a princess or something…but, me?

A girl and her dream come true

A girl and her dream come true

I grew up, dreaming of award shows and living the Hollywood life.

Cover Girl made a dream come true for me, thanks to a memorable evening - and a memorable look, with these delicious products!

Cover Girl made a dream come true for me, thanks to a memorable evening – and a memorable look, with these delicious products!

Well, dream granted!!!

Never have I been reminded of that dream coming true more than when I was asked to attend a behind-the-scenes look of The Grammys with Cover Girl and attend the annual Clive Davis pre-Grammys gala at The Beverly Hilton, the night before the big event.

While I would attend The Grammys and an after-party with friends the following afternoon, my pre-Grammys party was strong on Sunday, thanks to my friends at Cover Girl.

My Cover Girl Grammys glam experience started with a behind-the-scenes tour of Staples Center, where The Grammys would be held the following day.

Getting a behind-the-scenes sneak peek  of The Grammys

Getting a behind-the-scenes sneak peek of The Grammys

We walked the red carpet, saw Kendrick Lamar rehearse for a bit, and rode up the “escalator to heaven” where winners go to the press room after they win their Grammy(s).

It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And, the day just got better and better.

To prepare for Clive’s party, Cover Girl sent over the Glam Squad to do my makeup and get me all dolled up with some of their prettiest products.

Clad in black for Clive's party

Clad in black for Clive’s party ℅ ABS by Allen Schwartz

I wanted my makeup to be as fun as I felt (hey, ABS by Allen Schwartz deep plunging neckline!), and wanted to channel a little bit of that little Dawn who used to dream of such a magical day, back while  was singing in chapel in my school days.

Award season-Sandra Bullock was my inspiration

Award season-Sandra Bullock was my inspiration

Look I was going for? Award-season Sandra Bullock. After all, my first Hollywood job was being her stand-in in Miss Congeniality in Austin, so it only makes sense that my dream would come full circle, in FULL color!

Cover Girl Oh Sugar lip balm in Sprinkle is as SWEET as it sounds!

Cover Girl Oh Sugar lip balm in Sprinkle is as SWEET as it sounds!

So, we stuck with a perfect, perky pink lip with Cover Girl Colorlicious Oh Sugar! Vitamin Infused Balm in Sprinkle, dewy, glowing skin thanks to Cover Girl TruBLEND Liquid Makeup foundation, a pop of natural color on the cheeks with Cover Girl TruBLEND Blush in Medium Rose, defined eyes with Cover Girl TruNaked Eyeshadow Palette in Roses, and lots of lashes, thanks to Cover Girl Plumpify Lash Blast Pro.

The best part? Each of these products is $10 or under!!!

That evening, I attended what was – quite honestly – the best event of my life: the Clive Davis pre-Grammys Gala.

I sat at the table with Cover Girl, Procter & Gamble and three other influencers who were as over the moon to be there as I was.

My place at the table at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammys Gala at The Beverly Hilton

My place at the table at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammys Gala at The Beverly Hilton

So, with all of the events I get to attend, why was this one so special?

Well, here’s but a small selection of some of the artists who performed: Dave Grohl, Beck, Barry Manilow, Melissa Etheridge, Fetty Wap, Earth Wind and Fire, Adam Lambert, Jack Antonoff of Fun, Andra Day, Elle King, Meghan Trainor, Chicago, and the piece de resistance…CARLY SIMON! Yes, you heard me.

CARLY. SIMON.

She sang “You’re So Vain,” and the whole room of wall-to-wall celebrities were dancing and singing right along with me.

It was one of those life-making moments I shall never forget.

I was happily surprised after the 6-hour gala to see that my makeup hadn’t budged a bit, so I decided to do the whole makeup routine again for The Grammys the following evening, when I attended with my friends, Mike & Aphrodite Camello. Changing it up a bit from straight strands to beach-waved locks, I was going for an Emmylou Harris meets Loretta Lynn country vibe to celebrate all of my friends in from Nashville who were nominated.

On my way to The Grammys!

On my way to The Grammys! Dress ℅ Eliza J

Afterwards, I hung out at The Mavericks’ after party at Velvet Margarita with my Grammy-nominated friends,  The Mavericks

Post-Grammys-partying with The Mavericks

Post-Grammys-partying with The Mavericks

and one of my dearest friends, director Trey Fanjoy (who also happens to be not only an award-winning video director herself for Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift, but also the wife of Eddie Perez, the guitarist for The Mavericks.

With my Nashville sister and dear friend, video director Trey Fanjoy at The Mavericks' post-Grammys party

With my Nashville sister and dear friend, video director Trey Fanjoy at The Mavericks’ post-Grammys party

And, while my Cover Girl makeup lasted beautifully and flawlessly all night long…

Thank you, Cover Girl, for a Grammys look that lasted!

Thank you, Cover Girl, for a Grammys look that lasted!

after 4 days of non-stop going and glamming, it was time for this girl to say good night.

Good night, Grammys! This girl was happily exhausted.

Good night, Grammys! This girl was happily exhausted.

‘Til next year, Grammys.
Can’t wait to do it all over again, Cover Girl.

 

xoxo,
Dawn

The Serial Killer Living Inside Of Us All…

This picture is me kicking fear's butt.

This picture is me kicking that serial killer called Fear’s butt. Take that, sucka.

This is a picture of me kicking a serial killer’s butt.

See, this past weekend, I was asked to audition for a film. 

I was thrilled…ACTING!! My original dream that brought me to Los Angeles.

My costar from a short film from years ago said he wanted me to audition for it, and I was terribly flattered. 
In fact, I got all excited and then…I read the script.
The character description read:  “a pudgy, hard-looking 48-year-old diner waitress.”
Oy.
 
It never occurred to me of course that my friend might be asking me to audition because I was a good actor or that he enjoyed working with me. 
Nah, fear and ego took me straight to, “You CAN’T do this because it will be admitting that you are that person you were always so scared of becoming.”
While I’m CERTAINLY not skin and bones, it took a minute for my ego to have an absolute meltdown. “You can’t do this! You’re acknowledging your greatest fear.” 
And, that’s exactly the reason I did it.
Because: 
a) it’s ACTING – a field that literally hinges itself on being who you’re not
b) my weight/appearance is not my greatest fear any longer (nor should it have ever been), and 
c) I need to loudly recognize in my actions the difference between fear and reality, for it’s a mighty thin, often blurry line; and, if you ask me, it’s fine time someone called fear out for posing and dressing up like reality. 
 
So, I went on that audition, and channeled my Granny Alice, who was a diner waitress.
I even paid $50 to put it on tape. I wore NO makeup, a plaid shirt, and didn’t even look in the mirror before I went before camera.
And, you know what?
I lived. And, it felt good. Heck, it WAS good. Good enough to get the part?
Who knows? That’s absolutely none of my business.

And, sure, It felt liberating and all that.
But, it also felt mighty fine to yell “F— YOU FEAR!!” right in that sad, scared little guy’s face.

It felt so good, that I decided to break up with that little f—‘er.
And, in doing so, I’m able to proudly share my story with you.

So, here’s the takeaway for you:
Is there something you’re scared to do? Maybe you’re not doing it because it doesn’t seem “realistic” enough?
Well, here’s some REAL realism…

Do it anyway.

Fear is like a clever serial killer – the likes of Ted Bundy – and he has only one purpose: to look pretty and harm us, while operating under the guise of keeping us safe.
But being creative and daring – and dreaming? Well, that is ANYTHING but safe.
You must think of fear as a serial killer – who serially kills not helpless women – but any dream you might dare to dream.
I don’t know about you…but I don’t have time for any serial killers in my life, unless Benson & Stabler are hunting ’em down. 
Nope. I’ve let that serial killer known as fear kill quite enough dreams for me, thank you very much.

No thanks, fear. I’ll let you keep me safe and protect me from REAL harm, but, I will NOT let you keep me from my dreams. No longer.
And, here’s the thing I’ve learned.
I strongly believe that when you exert just a little bit of bravery into that dream energy, your dream meets you at the gate in spades. “Oh, you auditioned for that part that scared you to death and made you face your ego?” It says, “Bravo!!! I’ve got another audition for you as a reward.” Yep. That’s what I’ve experienced in my 9-lives of a life.
The more you show up – and you’re not scared to fail, the more you’re met with success.

 

Friday Friendspiration: Jolie Williams Augustine

Friday Friendspiration is all about living a life you love, within the life you have been given.

Today’s Friday Friendspirer, Jolie Williams Augustine, does just that.

Friday Friendspiration with Jolie Augustine

Friday Friendspiration with Jolie Augustine

This is Jolie girl to me: the totally COOLEST girl ever. See, I met Jolie when I was in 5th grade, and she was dating my big brother, at the end of their senior year. When you’re 11 – well, let’s be honest – anyone older is cooler than you. So, when I moved out to LA in 2000, and discovered that Jolie lived out here, I was eager to see if her “coolness” had, well, kept.

It had.

I have been friends with Jolie for over 15 years now – going from a puppy-like girl, just wanting to impress her (as one of my big brother’s old girlfriends), to a fellow woman who admires this beautiful (editor’s note: Jolie would never refer to herself as “beautiful,” but I think it’s fine time she accepts the truth), fun, free-spirited, thoughtful, generous, music-loving, and, yes – COOL – woman, who lives in this same crazy world of Los Angeles that I do.

Jolie and me…at a show, no doubt. I wanna say this was Counting Crows? Wallflowers?

Jolie and me…at a show, no doubt. I wanna say this was Counting Crows? Wallflowers?

A teacher, she has taught me so much – not in a classroom – but through heartfelt conversations, musings over mimosas, and dozens of hours spent boogeying down to our favorite bands. That’s probably my favorite thing about Jolie: she’s always up to dance with you at a show, like all good Texan girls should be.

I’m so privileged to be on this journey together with her.

That’s Jolie girl in my words.

But, this is Jolie girl in her own words.

May her love of life, giving heart, spontaneous spirit – and perpetual willingness to dance – sing some music into your life, today.

***

The Friendspirer: Jolie Williams Augustine

Creating space. I live in Los Angeles, and have been teaching in public schools for 20 years, and recently took a two-year break for various reasons. I am very good at “keeping with the program” and life threw me some curve balls these past 2 years. The loss of my parents left a weirdly-shaped hole in my heart. I recently saw these words: “Instead of asking why they left, now ask, what beauty will I create in the space they no longer occupy?” Whoa. Parents take up a very significant space. So with them being gone and taking time off, life has felt a bit unnerving – and very peaceful – but also has made me ask myself “what do I want to do with this time – and, essentially – my life?” This answer is a work in progress, as we all are.

The world according to Jolie

The world according to Jolie

On the “glamour” of teaching. I have enjoyed the lifestyle teaching has given me, which includes: watching teenagers feel awkward, making them laugh…and listening to them, making music playlists (see link to her playlist gift to you at bottom), and playing music in class, read and discuss literature and most importantly, yes, time for travel and breaks. Working with teenagers is far from glamorous, and there is no room for ego or perfection. Parents and teachers know this and I have decided that working with young people, although humbling, is also a profound gift, and the rewards are subtle but many. One of these is pictured below. A former student wrote this about me 5 years after I had her as a student. I am not sure she was in my class the entire year but it’s nice to know she connected to me and the class. She is now majoring in Literature and Medicine!

 

* A former student wrote this about me 5 years after I had her as a student. I am not sure she was in my class the entire year but it's nice to know she connected to me and the class. She is now majoring in Literature and Medicine!

* A former student wrote this about me 5 years after I had her as a student. I am not sure she was in my class the entire year but it’s nice to know she connected to me and the class. She is now majoring in Literature and Medicine!

On wanderlust: cool things will follow. I have bit of a wanderlust and thankfully, my husband of 17 years tolerates my wishes to go somewhere or come along and make it an adventure. Yes, I love hotels and massages but I would much rather go somewhere where I don’t know where to go, maybe the people don’t speak english and cool things will follow. It know that most people my age do have tremendous responsibilities but some have lost the willingness (and maybe have fear?) to try something new, go somewhere different or meet new people. Thankfully, I have a small group of friends who do enjoy going to music festivals. YES, the average age is 15 at these festivals, but there is something exciting for me in seeing new music OUTDOORS, walking around and watching all the people. Most people my age cringe at the thought. I guess my friends and I have found a way to keep it simple, be comfortable, stay hydrated! and still get our groove on.

Jolie, getting her groove on

Jolie, getting her groove on

Keeping creatively inspired & California love. I have found that meeting new people, going to new places, and getting out of my comfort zone has kept me creatively inspired. I find new restaurants, music, books and places that I may never have found before. I don’t get wrapped up in details of things (maybe, that’s not a good thing?) but I know that especially today, people have appreciated my commitment to having fun and getting things done. I tend to make music playlists for people I have just met and will take up an offer for a visit. I love showing people around the city and California. Visits to a Korean spa,hiking, eating our way to Joshua Tree, Boyle Heights, the beach and Idylwild are all on the itinerary.  All the stressing and freaking out about the small things get you nowhere. Read any book by Cheryl Strayed, Anne Lamott, Jenny Lawson, Mary Karr, or Joan Didion and you will know this is true. Throw in David Sedaris, Sherman Alexie and Augusten Burroughs and you have my humorous life teachers.

 

Jolie and her "little sis" from Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters

Jolie and her “little sis” from Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters

Little sisters and homeboys. I spent the past year volunteering at Homeboy Industries, a gang rehabilitation organization, as a GED teacher and it reaffirmed my passion for teaching and connecting with people. I’ve lived in LA for 20 years and I have grown to really love and appreciate the good and bad of LA. It is very easy to separate oneself in LA based on neighborhoods and jobs but I have found the beauty being with people who make up a very significant part of LA and California and are generally overlooked. I have also been a part of the Catholic Big Brothers and Big Sisters Program for 7 years. I  met my  ‘little sis” when she was 11. It has been challenging at times to know how to help but sometimes I just need to know a visit to a bookstore, museum, a walk or getting ice-cream with someone can be just the thing needed. 

Jolie at 15, who probably wouldn't have listened to 44-year-old Jolie…but should.

Jolie at 15, who probably wouldn’t have listened to 44-year-old Jolie…but should.

Dear 15 Me. I know that when I was 15-years-old (see evidence above), I probably wouldn’t have listened to advice from my 44-year-old self. I was having too much fun thinking of boys and listening to Duran Duran. But I would share:

1. Be kind to the kids people make fun of.

2. Live in a a foreign country once in your life.

3. You’ll find a boyfriend. Don’t worry.

4. Salads are actually good. Put down the Doritos.

5. Keep having fun even when you get older.

***Editor’s Note:
Jolie’s gift to you. 
Our first friendspirer to offer a gift to our readers, Jolie wanted to share her “Feel It” Spotify playlist with you all, HERE. As someone who has been introduced to numerous bands and countless songs by this music aficionado, I can say that it truly is a gift…so OPEN IT UP !

For you!! Jolie's "Feel It" playlist on Spotify

For you!! Jolie’s “Feel It” playlist on Spotify

Thanks for the friendspiration, Jolie. If we inspire one person today, we have done our job.

Jolie and Rosie

Jolie and Rosie

xoxo,
Dawn

 

Sandra & Lynn…and Pamela: Body Image & Our Personal Power To Make The Choice

Today on my walk/run, I listened to my dear friend Lynn Chen’s The Actor’s Diet podcast from last year, and her guest was actress, Sandra Oh, of Grey’s Anatomy fame.

This perfectly imperfect fallen leaf reminded me of myself, and of all of us. Our imperfections make us beautiful.

This perfectly imperfect fallen leaf reminded me of myself, and of all of us. Our imperfections make us beautiful.

As I saw this perfectly imperfect fallen leaf on the ground, I found it to be no accident that Lynn and Sandra’s conversation about body image and the pressure of a preferred body type in Hollywood was playing in my headphones.

Lynn: “Do you believe the pressure to look a certain way exists…for real?”

Sandra: “The pressure exists, and the pressure cannot exist…at the same time. It comes down to ‘What voice am I going to follow?'”

Lynn: “How do you quiet that voice when it is screaming in your head?”

Sandra: “Sometimes, I give my voices a name, ‘OK, just breathe, Pamela. I can hear you, Pamela. I know you’re angry.”

I’ve heard Pamela in my head a few times too, I think.

Girl gets around.

I met Sandra Oh last spring, when we were both invited to a gifting meeting by a fashion designer, & our appointments were double-booked. So, we basically had to shop together, which some actresses of her caliber might not exactly be comfortable with. She was with her mom, who is beyond adorable, and to see them interact was the sweetest thing ever.

As the designer offered to give her everything, I was amazed at how genuinely grateful and gracious Sandra was.

There was no entitlement.

No ego.

No expectation.

Just gratitude.

I realized listening to the podcast today, how we really do have the choice of how we want to be.

Are we going to feel entitled and feel disappointed when life is short of our expectations?Are we going to feel let down by people who don’t live up to who we want them to be? Are we going to see billboards with women with less body fat – or a bigger cup size – than us – and then feel like less, or feel hate for our bodies?

I sure hope not.

And, I hope that more conversations like this can occur between all women and girls, so we can learn to calm those vicious voices in our own heads.

I also hope that when Pamela rears her head in Sandra’s head, she hears my voice of gratitude now.

Thank you for leading by example, lady. And, thank you, Lynn Chen & The Actor’s Diet, for giving us a platform on which that dialogue can occur.

xoxo,
Dawn

Honored To Attend: The 2015 No Kid Hungry Heroes Dinner in Beverly Hills

Never prouder than when I get to stand as an ambassador with my No Kid Hungry family.

Never prouder than when I get to stand up against childhood hunger, as an ambassador for No Kid Hungry

Never prouder than when I get to stand up against childhood hunger, as an ambassador for No Kid Hungry

Tonight, I got the honor of getting to taste many a fancy food from many a fancy LA restaurant at the fancy Four Seasons in the fancy city of Beverly Hills, being seated next to many fancy people.

But the real honor was getting to join No Kid Hungry in Arkansas in April, where I had the opportunity to learn all about the efficacy & impact of breakfast in schools. I learned that when breakfast is served in schools in the classroom, visits to the nurse’s office, visits from social welfare and absences are reduced by 75%. SEVENTY FIVE PERCENT!! 

I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry, I can’t even function, let alone learn what I’m being told to learn and be civil. Thank you, No Kid Hungry for keeping our kids fed so that they can be fueled so that they can flourish. Love & appreciate you, Shore family & Share Our Strength.

I’m doing this for my father, who grew up in a home with teen parents in Eagletown, Oklahoma, who often went to school with his belly empty, and was helped to get that belly and mind full, by many a kind stranger, so that he could later go on to graduate high school and college, armed with a dream, to become a success story in Dallas, Texas.

Breakfast – and kind souls – makes dreams dreams come true.

Period.

Be that kind soul.

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Photo ℅ David Livingston/Getty Images

Photo ℅ David Livingston/Getty Images

 

xoxo,
Dawn

A country breakfast always feeds the soul

Southern country breakfasts always feed the soul.

Southern country breakfasts always feed the soul.

A great breakfast with a great friend, Chris Richards at The Hart and the Hunter.

As much as life is changing for both of us, a country breakfast always stays the same, fueling our bodies, filling our hearts and feeding our souls.

#TemptationsForever 💗 

 

Life is like an escalator…

Oh, just me on the escalator of life...

Oh, just me on the escalator of life…

Life really is like an escalator. You ride it up and down and back up again, stepping out onto different floors, to take in all the options, only to sometimes find yourself back on the same floor you started on, looking at a whole different season of options, through a different pair of rose-colored sunglasses.
That’s how I feel about Nordstrom.

My first job in LA was at Nordstrom. I worked as a Trish McEvoy makeup artist at Westside Pavillion and Topanga Canyon. What I remember most is how I so terribly yearned for the day when I would “make it”… meaning that I would be working as a full-time creative, with no one to answer to.

Funny thing, life. Tonight, as I toasted the grand opening celebration of the grand new Nordstrom Del Amo – as a guest this timeout Nordstrom & the charity, Walk With Sally – I could feel that girlish spirit alive and radiating through me. I recalled such fond memories of kind customers, comedic quips of my counter co-horts, jotting down my dreams in my journal at lunch, calling casting directors on breaks, and just biding my time, yearning for the day when those days would be but a memory.

Well, now they are. And, I miss that girl. A lot. But the one thing I’ve learned in this cyclical little life of mine is to not be so busy looking for what’s up ahead, that you miss what’s right there in front of you. Look at each step on the escalator you’re on, even as you’re climbing on to the next one.

And, here’s a little hint: You ALWAYS have someone to answer to, not least of all…yourself. And, I’ve found that that chick is the toughest boss of all.

Thank you for a beautiful night, Nordstrom and Walk With Sally. My heart is grateful for our memories then, our present now, and out future ahead.

xoxo,
Dawn

On The Board: Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumni Association

At the LA Kappas Kickoff Brunch with my fellow board members, co-president, Mikey (right) and treasurer, Nuphar.

Ok, confession: I was not the most active sorority girl.

Just ask my Kappa house roommates.

While a Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Texas at Austin, I was actively pursing an acting career, withdrew in the middle of my junior semester (with my dean’s approval & much to my parents’ chagrin) to be a “Player’s Wife” in Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday, was dating a producer 7 years older, was appearing in commercials you never saw, and even took 25 hours of classes to graduate in 3 1/2 years (which had to happen or my professor parents would have KILLED me for leaving that one semester).

So, to perhaps make up for my lackluster college participation, I was honored to be asked to be on the board of the LA Kappas Alumni Association, as Philanthropy Chair.

I’m looking forward to encouraging as many women as possible to get involved with the charities I work with currently, and many more.

If you work with a charity and would like to partner with Kappa, send me a message, and if you’re a Kappa living in LA, and would like to join the Kappa alum fun, hit me up.

Loyally, Dawn 🔺

‘Tails: Dress: @Forever21 (coachella 2014, baby! @jennifercchan @rocuriel)

Hair: @beautybyninfa

xoxo,
Dawn

Gone From The Peripheral Vision Of Our Everyday Lives

So sad that oftentimes it takes beloved city institutions going out of business to make us yearn for how good we had it. Such is the case with Sunday’s closing of Jan’s Restaurant on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles for me.

Jan's Restaurant in Los Angeles

Jan’s was one of the first places I ever went to in Los Angeles when I moved out from Texas to pursue a career in entertainment, following my college graduation in the summer of 2000. My college professor mom had accompanied me on my road trip out here from Dallas, and we had the mission of finding me an apartment as quickly as possible, before her fall semester commenced. Every morning, we would start the day, fueling up on my dreams and diner grub at Jan’s, a restaurant reminiscent of the diner on Alice, that was eternally and delightfully stuck in a 70s time warp. There, I would order their deliciously unhealthy powdered sugar-slathered French toast (back when I was still able to eat carbs with abandon), and Mom would order their signature spinach salad, even in those early hours of the morning.

The epic spinach salad at Jan's Restaurant

Upon Mom’s last day in LA, after 3 weeks of being out here setting up my first real apartment, before returning to Dallas – and leaving her baby for good in Los Angeles – our regular waitress at Jan’s, named Ann, helped ease the transition for us. As we sat in our regular booth, Mom and I were tearful, and a bit shaky, as I could already feel the homesickness creeping up in my throat. Ann came over to our booth and patted me on the back. She told my mom, “Don’t worry, Mommy. I’ll take care of her.” She turned to me, “Whenever you are homesick, honey, you come here and see me!” She then took out a pen from her apron and wrote down some words on the back of our check.  It was a Buddhist chant that she felt had changed her life, and she told me to say it to myself whenever I needed help falling asleep at night or when I felt homesick, lonely and far from home: Nam-Myo-Ho-Renge-Kyo.

Mother & Daughter in 2000

I think of how many things have changed since those days so long ago at Jan’s as I set out on this new adventure in a new city as a new adult – I’ve had different boyfriends and different jobs, I’ve moved to Nashville and moved back from Nashville, I’ve made two records, lived in four different houses, fallen in love a few times, broken up with those same loves, started a blog, been the voiceover for numerous national commercials, and have achieved my own little corner of sweet success out here in Los Angeles. Yet, one of the constants in my life is that I still say that chant that Ann gave me in times of unrest, when I need calming.

On the next to last day that it would be open, before it becomes a Chipotle, I went to Jan’s. I asked to sit in Ann’s section (there was a wait of course, due to her popularity), ordered the spinach salad, quietly watched her work, and observed the other patrons, who looked as though they were feeling as sad and nostalgic as I was.

I saw elderly men arguing about the bill, an offbeat, artistic-looking mother and daughter team taking in the menu, groups of friends reminiscing in the corner booths, lots of 40-something parents who had brought their little kids to give them one last sip of their own lost youth, and a young man upset that the oatmeal and iced tea had run out. After all, no need to order more when you’re closing up shop the next day.

But, mostly, I saw folks like me – people visiting their memories of yesteryear, housed in this family diner – and trying to taste that last bittersweet bite of nostalgia before every morsel was gone. In the booth across from me, sat a little old lady, armed with a parked walker and a smile. She was eating an Egg Beaters omelet, drowning in picante sauce. She told me that she had come to Jan’s every Saturday and Sunday. When I asked her how long she had been coming, she replied, “Too many years to count!” I have a feeling she’s one of many who would have had that same answer.

As much as it warmed my heart to see all of these patrons who loved Jan’s there, I couldn’t help but think how annoyed the owners and employees must be with us – “If you guys had been loyal and turned out like this all along, we wouldn’t be going out of business.” Sure, I can head over to their sister restaurant, Astro in the valley, for that spinach salad, or to splurge on french toast when the craving hits me, but it’s less about the food and establishment; it’s more about the people who fill the space, run it every day, give it its soul, and make it feel alive…people like Ann.

Ann.

While it hurts us as individual patrons – and our whole society – that institutions like Jan’s are closing in droves and will be no more, it hurts even more that the figures at the heart center of these institutions will no longer be living in the peripheral vision of our everyday lives. Whenever I went there, it felt like home – as much as anything did, and now the time has come to bid adieu to another home I knew. Another home I loved.

Before I left today, I shared with Ann, that I still have that check with her handwritten chant on it, and have been repeating that chant, almost nightly, for 15 years now. She remembered me, and inquired as to how my mom was. I told her that Mom was fine, but she would sorely miss those spinach salads.

Then, I asked Ann what she would be doing now that Jan’s was closing. She said that after 31 years there, she won’t be relocating to the Astro location. Instead, she’ll be retiring, and then hopefully, moving back to her native Thailand. I can only hope that she gets as much peace in her retirement, as she has given me these past 15 years. I hugged Ann, gave her my business card, she gave me her address in that same familiar handwriting, and said,  “Maybe you can come visit me in Thailand!” I left her a $50 tip on a $12 bill.

Somehow, it still doesn’t feel like enough.

 

xoxo,
Dawn

 

Friday Funday: The Loverly First Look Event at The Washbow

Oh, how I LOVE surprises!

This is the one! Eva Franco for Loverly

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the most precious, pretty girls brunch with a first look preview of the new Eva Franco for Loverly Collection at The Washbow, hosted by Be Inspired PR.

Eva Franco For Loverly

These dresses! I mean…can spring just come already?

A rainbow of dresses to match the cake you'll see later...

Besides darling dresses for your bridesmaids, showers or award season, the party itself was a stunner!

With Valorie Darling of Skinny Fat Girl Diary

Charming party rentals with tons of personality like this pink bar from Archive Rentals!

Charming party rentals like this bar from Archive Rentals! (I WANT!! Too bad there's no room in my house!)

Champagne & mimosa bar from One Hope Wine:

One Hope Wine hosted a sparkling champagne & DIY mimosa bar

Glam bar from GlamSquad. Just look how glam we look!

Thanks for the glomming, Glam Squad!

Delicious bites from 24 Carrots Catering. Helllloooo, glazed donut hole – and chicken nugget – sandwiches!

Donut hole and chicken nugget sandwiches! Say whaaa???

Rainbow cake from Beverly’s Best Bakery:

Pastel Rainbow Cake! And, y'all, it was one of the best cakes I've had in ages!!

Cakelet party favors from Beverly’s Best Bakery in assorted pastel rainbow colors:

The perfect take-home treat for a girl with a blog named BeautyFrosting

I got blue cake!

 

And LOTS of fun, laughter and good times with some of my favorite girlfriends!

Dawn and Jenn together again. Are y'all tired of pictures of us together yet?

 

Thanks for having us yesterday, Loverly & Leila Lewis!

 

xoxo,

BF

BF Asks: Which would have been your favorite part of the party – the fashion, the festive decor, the furniture, the food or the fun?

 


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