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 www.TinyPrints.com today!

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

BeautyFrosting Holiday Hosting Guide 2014

It’s not just the magic of the season that makes the holidays so special. It’s also simple psychology.
Families rely on happy holiday traditions for consistency in inconsistent lives.
Here are a few of my tips for fun, festive and efficient ways to host and celebrate the season this year!
Low-key can be lovely. My family loves to do a low-key Christmas Eve. We play board games and Mom puts out an assortment of appetizers. As a professor, she always received those delicious Hickory Farms cheese and sausage trays, so she’ll put those out on her beautiful crystal serving dishes along with some spicy mustard, sweet and dill pickles, creamy brie cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, spicy cheddar biscuits and her homemade shrimp ball (my fave).
Serve with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Scrabble and we’re one happy family!

The McCoy sibling holiday celebratin' in style

Casseroles are key. For Thanksgiving, Christmas, and – really all – holiday weekends, casseroles can be a lifesaver. With the relatives visiting and friends stopping by, I’ve always found having a pre-homemade casserole in the freezer a must-have. Keep a breakfast casserole and you’re good to go! And for the day after a big holiday, such as Christmas, make it easy on yourself, and make a casserole with all of those delicious, hearty leftovers. Get creative with that cranberry sauce. Who knows? It might become one of your family’s favorite recipes! Serve casserole with a salad and it’s the perfect, post-holiday meal!

Serve a signature cocktail or punch. Be sure to make the base of your cocktail in the autumnal spirit – whether it be apple, cranberry, pear or pumpkin, you can’t go wrong with a winner that whets the whistle. Two of my favorite recipes? My Charlotte’s Applejack Brandy Cider

Charlotte's Applejack Brandy Cider

and my Brandywine Punch which I created for this past Thanksgiving.

Brandywine Punch

Tailor-make your tablescape. For instance, I love this turkey.

Let one piece of decor guide the rest of your tablescape planning

I love her so much that I tend to design everything around her – from the flowers to the dishes to the table runner aand tablecloths, Brandwywine sets the mood. Oh, did I forget to mention that I also named her? Yep. Her name is Brandywine. For instance this year, I designed a rose and gold table setting with a chalboard butcher paper runner down the center and, naturally, called it Brandywine Rustic.

One single Thankgiving decor element dictated my whole theme this year

Plan ahead to save your head. To make for a happy – and peaceful – holiday, about 2-4 weeks before the big day, ask all family members to submit their favorite recipes that they’d like you to cook. Also, ask what they’d like to contribute. This is a two-fold brilliant and sneaky strategy – a) it reminds everyone that they should contribute something and b) you can see overlap when it comes to the traditional family faves you cook, so you won’t overcook.  Sometimes the family favorites that we think our loved ones love aren’t the true loves. This also helps us see their changing tastes and plan the menu accordingly each year.

What would Beyonce do? She would plan ahead and make that menu!

Be an smart shopper. I realize how bossy that sounds, so let me explain. I like to (but don’t always) buy my canned goods, sugar, flour, etc. the week before Thanksgiving. That way the pumpkin isn’t sold out and I’m not carrying in 20 loads of groceries up my stairs. Because a Thanksgiving hernia isn’t as romantic as it sounds. Then, about 2-3 days before, I buy the dairy, eggs and produce. I save the uber fresh stuff, including flowers, for the last day. This means less hassle and running all over town with all of those other last minute shoppers. You’ve got this handled.

Save the best for last!

Sass up the standards. Really wanna venture out? Ditch the pumpkin pie and bake some pumpkin creme brûlée. Keep the family faves but add in some new dishes to create new traditions. Every Thanksgiving, I bake pumpkin croissant bread pudding with cranberries and moonshine sauce. I love pumpkin pie, but I wanted to create my own tradition. Now, it’s a family favorite. I’d highly encourage you to do the same. Whether it’s turning up your turkey, making your dressing more daring, or spicing up a side, try updating those classic faves. If you – or your family – doesn’t like it, you can always go back to the traditional recipe the next year.

Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding with Eggnog Moonshine Sauce

Cook up some soups or beef organ yo I had let Matt Marr did for our Christmas dinner that he made me need a few days ahead of time to save time and it actually tasted better cause the flavors had time to marinate why they were frozen.
Ornament Originality. Have each person bring an ornament to share with the family tree each year. This year, I am taking my mom a french cruller donut that I found at Dylan’s Candy Shop because I grew up with her eating a dunkin’ donut on many a morning when we would drive to school. Sweet memories. And isn’t that what the holiday season is all about?
BFBF Asks: What are some of your family’s holiday traditions?

A Festive Fête Full of Heart: Cocktails With Caravents at Mr. C Beverly Hills

Is there any gift more rewarding than the gift of giving back?
Not in my book.

Photobooth fun at Mr. C Beverly Hills

So I was delighted a few weeks ago when Caravents invited me to their #CocktailsWithCaravents holiday party (co-hosted by Sazan Barzani and Sheryl Luke) benefitting Dress For Success.

The co-hosts of the evening Photo Credit: @paigejonesphoto for #Caravents

Not only was it a meaningful night, but it was a beautiful one to boot, thanks to the delicate details that Caravents is famous for.

Mingling and merriment occurred. Photo Credit: @paigejonesphoto for #Caravents

To welcome us at the exquisite Mr.C Beverly Hills, we were greeted with mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.

Chestnuts roasting by..a brass punchbowl of mulled wine? I'll take it.


Then, there was – of course  – photobooth fun.

Photobooth fun at #CocktailsWithCaravents

Another round of cocktails by Mr. C Beverly Hills, featuring ​Abso​lot​ Elyx – the oh-so-delicious cranberry ​”H​oliday​-Thyme”​ cocktails that we couldn’t stop staring at and sipping.

Holiday Thyme. Photo Credit: @paigejonesphoto for #Caravents

And, as if the evening wasn’t gift itself on its own, we were given luxe, overflowing Gift Bags By Rachael.

Gift Bags by Rachael Photo Credit: @paigejonesphoto for #Caravents

To cap things off? How about cookies and milk and mini ice cream cones?

Sweets as nightcaps Photo Credit: @paigejonesphoto for #Caravents

The sweetest of all though was that, thanks to the generosity of all the guests, they collected over 250 pieces of clothing, accessories and beauty products to donate to Dress For Success, helping disadvantaged women gain the skills, confidence and attire needed to gain economic independence.

The collection of all that was donated in the lobby of Mr.C Beverly Hills Photo Credit: @paigejonesphoto for #Caravents

And it is such a gift to all of us who attended that we were able to use the power of our voices for good by properly kicking off the holiday season! We even raised awareness for Dress For Success by making over 2 million social media impressions over the course of the evening.

Thanks for hosting such a festive holiday fête, full of heart, Caravents!
BF Asks: How will you give back this season? 

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?


Holiday Delights: My New Christmas Ornament for 2013

Once a bath girl…always a bath girl. Every year I buy myself a new ornament that delights me. The kind that fills you with glee and makes you feel like a child upon first glance.Yep, love at first sight!

This year, it was this vintage-feeling metallic blue, purple & pink with crystal foam bubble bath from Target. I adore it. It makes me smile every time I see it hanging from my silver tree here at The Cupcake Palace. I hope you enjoy as well!

*crown stocking by Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic for Target, circa 2006

Holiday Delights: My Christmas Ornament 2013 - A Bubble Bath!




BF Asks: Did you treat yourself to an ornament this year? What was it?

High-Low 12/9/13: High School Revisited, Home & Family & Addictions Like Sugar

This week was filled with the highest of highs! So many moments that just delighted me and filled me with glee that I can’t share them all on here without losing your attention because they say that people don’t read more than 400 words on a blog. See, look, I already lost ya! Kidding.
So I’ll pick two of ’em and elaborate on each of them in later posts. And you know – as it is with life – there’s gotta be a low with those highs so ya might wanna check that out, too.

HIGHS: Hallmark Home & Family and My Birthday Party

1) I was honored to yet again be invited to be a guest on Hallmark Home & Family for Makeover Monday. I’ll be bringing you everything we did with our Makeover Monday girl, Susy G. from the Step Up Women’s Network on Wednesday but for now…here are a few pics.

The only thing better than being on Hallmark Home & Family? Being on Hallmark Home & Family during the Christmas season!

The family that IS Home & Family. I swear I just love every cast and crew member I meet on that show. What a warm set to be a part of!


2) My birthday party this past weekend was, well, my favorite to date. The theme? “Come As You Were Or Wish You Were in High School”. More on that one tomorrow but for now, here’s a highlight of the happiness!

Donning my Episcopal School of Dallas uniform - yep my REAL uniform from 1996! Photo by Guerrero Photography & Takahiro Watanabe Photography


Part of the gang who spent the night celebrating my birthday with me! Too much fun! Photo by Guerrero Photography & Takahiro Watanabe Photography


LOW: Addictions Like Sugar…

Much like sugar...

I’ve always known to avoid drugs and cigarettes and watch my alcohol intake because they can all lead to dangerous addictions.
But there are some kinds of addictions that are hidden and a bit unexpected. What about the people and behaviors that are bad for us that are also dangerously addictive to us? What about the things that we know we shouldn’t do and the people we know we shouldn’t care about or be around and yet we keep doing those things and caring for those people anyway?

Sometimes people and behaviors are even more addictive than the substances simply because of the adrenaline that gets rushing in your veins and the feelings that they evoke in you. See, I think we all know that I’m a passionate person. An excitable person. Oh, who are we kidding? I have the zeal and fervor of a 5-year-old.

Very often that excitement is a good thing but other times, well, it can work against me.
Whether it be a product, an event, a person, a restaurant, a book, a new business, a song or a movie, I pour all of my enthusiasm into things I’m excited about. I love singing its praises, shouting it from the rooftops and helping this thing or person get the attention and acclaim they deserve. That’s why blogging is second nature to me.
But the problem with being a passionate and excitable person is that sometimes you pour that energy into the wrong thing.
I was on my way some place to meet someone who has taken up much more energy in my life than they have exerted into mine. I took a car there and the driver said to me, “If you don’t mind me saying so, you have a lot of adrenaline pumping. It’s like you’re on your way to jump out of a plane. Can I ask what you’re on your way to?”
That’s when it hit me. This person was a bit of a bad thing and is very much like sugar. I like sugar – I think we know that – but sugar can either be very sweet and good or very toxic and bad. See, with sugar, it’s so good with that first taste that you want more. At first, you get all wired, hyper and amped up and it feels pretty darned good. But have too much of it – or not enough – and eventually, it’s gonna make you sick.
I guess my goal is to find the balance between my enthusiasm and passion and the gray area where it goes into something a little too rich for my blood.
To learn to only give that passionate energy and love of life to things – and people – who can accept it with gratitude and perhaps even give a little bit back.
Yep, this low is just a reminder, that I’m a work in progress.
Now, go have a cupcake or something.
BF Asks: What’s your High-Low this week?

Thirsty Thursday: Charlotte’s AppleJack Brandy Cider

This past Sunday, I hosted an intimate gift wrapping party for my friend, Lindsey, and I. The ultimate girly, holiday-prepping day, I had to serve Christmas cookies and, of course, Charlotte’s Cider. Whenever I make this cider, I think of Christmas in Nashville.

See, I lived in Nashville for 4 years and one year I couldn’t make it home to Dallas for Christmas. I was busy, my mom was sick and it just wasn’t the time to go. So I spent Christmas with my neighbors and it ended up being one of the most memorable Christmases I ever celebrated.

One of my best friends, Charlotte Cooper, made this delicious cider and we drank mugs of it all night long as we went caroling door-to-door in East Nashville.

Sometimes the unexpected Christmases that end up making the sweetest memories.

I hope this cider can be part of your holiday memories this year! Enjoy…

Thirsty Thursday: Charlotte's AppleJack Brandy Cider - perfect for the holidays!

Charlotte’s AppleJack Brandy Cider 

Perfect for the Holidays and Has an extra kick!

2 1.5 liters Martonelli Apple Cider

1/4 cup orange juice

2 ts lemon zest

2 ts orange zest

1/4 cup brown sugar

4 cinnamon sticks

whole cloves

4 whole allspice berries

Dash of nutmeg

Dash of salt

1 Bottle Apple Jack Brandy


Bring to boil on medium high. Then turn to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes.

After simmering 30 minutes, add 1 bottle Apple Jack Brandy (Laird’s).

The ingredients...



BF Asks: What beverage gets you into the holiday spirit? 

Merry Christmas from BeautyFrosting!!

This year has been such a sweet one thanks to you my BeautyFrosting readers and friends! I am so thankful for you every day…but especially on a day as sweet as this one.

Wishing a very merry Christmas your family & loved ones!



In-The-Bag: BeautyFrosting’s Candyland Gorgeous Gift Guide


The holidays are here at last!! So warm up a cup of eggnog or catch a candy cane and settle in for our favorites this holiday season!

If you, or Santa, have a few more names to check off your list, here are my top picks for this year’s BeautyFrosting’s Gorgeous Holiday Gift-Giving Guide!

This season, it’s a Candyland out there! With candy-colored hues, pastel pretties, and gifts that look and smell good enough to eat, you’re certainly in for a treat this holiday season! All of the deliciousness of dessert with zero calories? Count me in.

1) Fresh Sugar Cheer Set $28: Fresh always delivers its sugar-filled formulas with sweet-smelling and skin-pleasing cheer. And this set is no exception! The best of Fresh in one set, your secret Santa will get a tinted SPF 15 lip treatment in Rose, advanced lip therapy treatment and Brown Sugar Body Cream all in a shiny, festive red clutch. I have gifted Fresh oodles of times over the years, and every time, my gift recipients have been giddy with glee.

2) Haute Hostess Glam It Up Luxe Apron in Rosalynn ($350): Haute Hostess Aprons are on my wish list every year. When I finally received one as a gift, I swooned. Every time I see one of these luxe frocks in someone’s home, I get as giddy as a 13-year-old girl. The go-to glamorous gift for your favorite hostess with the mostest, the wearer will feel like a queen in the kitchen or a princess at the party. These coquettish confections bring out the beautiful best in every woman! And not only are they fun to wear, but they are beautiful conversation pieces in the home. The ultimate in kitchen couture, any girl will feel lucky to receive her Haute Hostess Apron just in time for the holidays.

3) Bobbi Brown Tube Tint Trio ($38): I’ve been getting these seasonal, sweet, sheer glosses as stocking stuffers for as long as I can remember. With just the perfect hint of color, they are ideal for lip-gloss lovers, teens, and anyone who likes her glam a bit more on the natural side. This year’s shades include Glitter Lip Gloss in Grape, Pink Violet Lip Gloss, and Shimmer Lip Gloss in Pink Mist. All give you a hint of color without making you feel all made up! Now, isn’t that sweet?

4) Trish McEvoy Voyager Collection Glamorous Beauty ($85): This wallet-sized pink planner packs a pretty punch! Stuffed with Trish’s favorite colors and tools, this is the perfect glamazon’s glamour-emergency kit. Inside are six mini versions of Trish’s iconic brushes; a double-decker palette of multi-textured eye, face and lip colors; plus two shades of concealer to bring out the polished pretty in each of us. It is a MUST for the glamorous girl in your life!

5) Trish McEvoy Wild Blueberry Vanilla Scented Candle ($20): The most delicious thing you’ve ever smelled. Don’t bake? People will think you do when you light this believable, buttery Blueberry Vanilla candle. It genuinely makes your home smell like freshly baked blueberry muffins. And it never fails to make me smile. Perfect for kitchen-centered holiday hangs. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

6) B & E Soap and Scrub Co. Vanilla Oatmeal Brown Sugar Scrub ($15): Who doesn’t want to be glowing for the holidays? A new favorite of mine, this scrub leaves your skin soft, supple, and smelling delicious— like a homemade oatmeal molasses cookie! It leaves virtually no trace of oil on you or sediment in the tub. Hallelujah! You’re sloughed and smell great! What more could you want? Oh, how about a great price? At $15 for an 18-ounce tub, you can buy one for you and all of those on your “Nice” list. Even Santa would appreciate this cookie-scented scrub!

7) Butter London Holiday Glitter Trio Set ($36): You can’t go wrong with nail polish as a stocking stuffer, as it is the perfect little holiday happy for your best girlfriends. And with this glittery trio from Butter, your friends are sure to be delighted! The holidays are a perfect time to don glitter and make a statement. And with these shimmering shades – Rosie Lee, a full-coverage, light rosy pink glitter in a clear base; Fairy Cake, a silvery, multi-color iridescent glitter in a light gray base; and the Black Knight, a pink, blue, and silver glitter in a black jelly base – your favorite recipient is sure to make a few stunning statements and turn a few heads this season.

8) Tarte Holiday Collection 2012 (price varies per set): Feeding into our signature sweet tooth is Tarte’s never-fail holiday collection. Give the gifts as a whole set or – do what I do – split them up between stockings. For those of us on a budget, I love getting Tarte’s holiday collections and making multiple gifts out of them! Personalizing each gift to each person’s personality and skin tone makes these gifts pretty, one-of-a-kind, and pocketbook friendly! I feel like Santa!

Now, I just need to find the perfect peppermint pastille-pretty paper to wrap these delicious gifts in for all of my little elves!

Merry, merry & happy, happy to you & yours!

I hope the gifts are tasty and the memories are even more delicious!



Be sure to check out more columns like this from me on Giuliana Rancic’s FabFitFun!

Recipe Box: Red Velvet Dessert Ball with Assorted Cookie Dippers


Three things you need to know about this decadent dessert, my lovelies.

Red Velvet Dessert Ball with Assorted Cookie Dippers: It may not be the prettiest but it IS holiday-scrumptious!

First, it is sinfully delicious – even when it isn’t the most gorgeous thing ever!

Second, it is SUPER easy!!

Third, it is PERFECT for Christmas!! And people love it!!

It’s what I refer to, here on BeautyFrosting,  as a homespun recipe – meaning it’s a spin on homemade as you use a few things already in your pantry and fridge to make a super easy dish.

I took it to a friend’s Christmas cocktail party here in L.A. on Tuesday night and it was a HIT!!! Everyone was asking about it and RAVING about it!!


BeautyFrosting’s Red Velvet Dessert Ball with Assorted Cookie Dippers

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups red velvet cake mix, dry
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, white chocolate chips or chocolate shavings

*You’ll also need some plastic/Saran Wrap

With a hand mixer, combine butter and cream cheese and mix until smooth and creamy.
Add red velvet cake mix, powdered sugar and brown sugar. Beat until deliciously red, smooth, creamy and dreamy.

Spatula the combined ingredients above onto your plastic/Saran Wrap. Roll the plastic around so that a ball is made of the red velvet mixture.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

In a shallow dish or plate, place the chocolate chips/shavings.

Remove the wrapped ball from the refrigerator and unwrap. The next part is messy! I’m sure some little elves would love to help! Roll the ball in the chocolate chips/shavings so that it is covered. Wash your hands.

Serve your holiday-gorgeous red velvet ball with a small serving knife and assorted sweet dippers: Nilla Wafers, brownies, cookies, graham crackers, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries and/or grapes.

Pantry & fridge staples turned decadent dessert ball

Perfect for including the kiddos in holiday baking - Rolling the red velvet ball into the chocolate of your choice! Messy, scarlet-colored Christmas fun!

Indulge & Enjoy with your near and dear!



BF Asks: What unconventional holiday recipe do you crave?