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!

That’s The Way It’s Done: Jouer Cosmetics

This is how it’s done. Today, I received this gorgeous Inslee Haynes illustrated calendar from Christina Zilber of Jouer Cosmetics. As lovely as it was, what was even lovelier was the gracious, heart-filled, handwritten thank you note that accompanied it.

Grace, graciousness and gratitude: My 3 favorite G's.

In this industry, I have seen firsthand how successful small businesses can be, and it just makes my heart skip a beat when those small business achieve big victories.

Because I know how much hard work goes into it.

When I am being interviewed or serving as a panelist, one of the most popular questions I get is “How can I make my small business a success when it comes to social media and publicity?”

I always say that the relationships you build with editors, bloggers, tastemakers and celebrities can make all of the difference in the world, when it comes to turning that small business into a big success.

This is an example of how to do just that.

Do like Christina – be beautiful (inside and out), be gracious and be grateful.

We feel it tenfold and want to see you succeed.

Now, I’m off to try that “sneak chic peek” of the new Jouer Luminizing Liquid Highlighting pen!

p.s. I’m gonna have to hang that calendar over my new desk in February!

xoxo,
BF

 

BF Asks: What do you think turns a small biz into a big success? 

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

 

xoxo,
BF

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

BeautyFrosting 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge 2014

It’s become an annual tradition – BeautyFrosting 30 Days of Gratitude #BF30DaysofGratitude.

BeautyFrosting 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge #BF30DaysofGratitude **chalk art by Yumarie Morales

What is it? 30 consistent days where you post a pic on your social media outlets of 1 thing you’re grateful for every day. I choose November 1st to start because it’s not only the month of Thanksgiving but also, my birthday month! But you can start anytime. Don’t let that stop you. You can even start – RIGHT. NOW.

Why do it? In my lifetime, I have found that the single fastest way to surefire happiness is having an attitude of gratitude. I start my day every day by walking my pup and listing all of the things I’m grateful for that day. It reminds me of what I have, quiets the negative self-talk and reminds me of how good I have it, even on those less-than-sunny days when the clouds roll in and the challenges feel like mountains.

How to do it? Simply, choose a day to start and post a picture of something or someone you’re grateful for, every day for 30 days. Include the hashtag #BF30DaysofGratitude so I can see that glow of the gratitude light shine. You don’t have to, of course, but I really love seeing what my readers, friends and followers are grateful for.

My promise: It’ll not only change your outlook, but it’ll change your life.

xoxo,
BF
BF Asks: Are you gonna accept the #BF30DaysofGratitude Challenge?

High-Low: It Takes A Village & Too Much Everything

HIGH: It Takes A Village

High-Low: It Takes A Village

Well, you may have noticed that I took a little break from BF the past few weeks. Believe me, it was not voluntary. I was in the throes of celebrating our BeautyFrosting 2nd bloggiversary and threw quite a fête here at The Cupcake Palace to celebrate (more on that later).

With the help of my mom, friends, assistants and generous sponsors, I “single-handedly” threw the party that I had dreamed of to celebrate 2 years of BeautyFrosting. See, that’s the joke! Everyone said, “Wow! How did you manage to pull off a party at your home for 70 people when it’s just you working full-time at it?” Well, here’s the thing. I may be a one-man shop but I’ve got a whole host of people who help it run smoothly and make it so much more fun. From friends to part-time assistants to my champions cheering me on, I never feel like I’m alone in making my dreams come true.

I am so lucky to be surrounded by people who believe in the beauty of my dreams and who encourage me to keep doing my best and giving my all every single day. I am beyond thankful for them.

So, my high this week is all of you folks who have supported me the past 2 years, who helped make this dream of a “BF Turns 2″¬†bloggiversary party a reality and to the people who inspire me every day. There are SO many of you but let’s just start with the party people who made my party a seamless and beautiful affair: Mom, Vanessa York, Chris Richards, Lindsey Vaerst, Joey LiMandri, Lindy Ryan, Heather Adair, Rosy Usagi and Malina Li. Between stuffing giftbags, hanging decorations, shopping at HomeGoods, bringing ice, waiting for people to arrive, offering to help in any way and offering moral support, y’all make it all so much sweeter!

 LOW: Too Much Everything

LOW: You can do anything but you can't do EVERYTHINGI’ll be honest with ya, here. People often ask me how I do it all – “How do you come up with ideas to write about? How do you go to so many events? How do you stay so positive? How do you make time for spin class? How do you make time for makeup? How do you find time to bake with all of that going on?” And when they ask me this, I always feel really flattered. I’m so happy that I make a busy life seem so easy and fun. But let me tell you, y’all, it’s not all rainbows and cupcakes and puppy dogs all the time.¬†The past month has taught me a lot. The main thing is this little life lesson above – “You can do anything but you can’t do everything. Yep. I hear ya. LOUD AND CLEAR.

For a person who really thrives when they’re multi-tasking as much as I do, it’s really hard to know your limits. And it’s even harder for me to say no to a friend or business associate. But, by golly, I am learning ¬†– albeit, verrrry slowly – that I cannot do everything, no matter how hard I try. I can’t do it all. I can’t please ’em all and ¬†I can’t be it all to everyone. But I sure can try to do my healthy best.

So today I am trying to focus on the things that I can do, the ways I can improve the lives of those around me and am trying to let go of the superfluous so I can have a little bit more me-time every now and then. Because when your business is, well, you, the lines can between work and play can get pretty blurry.

xoxo,
BF

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! 

High-Low 9/9/13: Neighbor-Family & New Scars

It has been faaaaaar too long since I shared a High-Low with you and, well, it’s time. These past few months have been such a wonderful, whimsical whirlwind – filled with travel, friends, family, rich opportunities, closing old chapters and – more importantly ¬†– starting new ones. I have been to Texas and back, Nashville and back (more on that in another post), thought I was moving, found out I didn’t have to move, met new people, said goodbye to friends, hosted events and started becoming more involved in some philanthropic organizations that I care about deeply. But there’s no way, I can share all of the highs with you so we’ll just concentrate on the High-Low from the past week. Hope you enjoy! And I can’t wait to share more with you on a more regular basis, again.

HIGH: Neighbor-Family

After almost having to move out of my beloved home in July, I appreciate my neighbor-family now more than ever. Whether it be morning coffee with Hope across the street, laughing with Jenn as we organize my kitchen, Matty keeping me company with a glass of rosé and conversation while I frost cupcakes on a Saturday afternoon, having dinner at our neighborhood wine bar, Chic, with my old friend Sarah or Nora and Lucy bringing their laughter-filled light into my room as I get ready for a night out on the town, I am overwhelmed by the sense of family these friends give me.

So much so that they are not just friends anymore, they are my sister-neighbors and brother-neighbors…my neighbor family. And I love them to bits! Every morning I get to look out my window and say hello to these beautiful people. And every night, I get to see at least one of them before I turn in. It feels a bit like college and a bit like a small, southern town and it adds up to the warmest community I have ever lived in. I am so grateful for every second I get with them.

High: My Neighbor-Family

 

LOW: A New Scar

I have always wished I was more graceful. When I say this to people, they think I’m being modest, “But you are such a graceful and gracious lady”, I am told. Au contraire, my friends. While I am lucky that it doesn’t happen every day – or even every month – my life has been filled with its share of pratfalls and Three Stooges-style tripping accidents. So I wasn’t surprised at all when I was in a hurry at The Grove last Tuesday and totally bit it as I made my way up the stairs at The Apple store. Ugh. I gashed my knee pretty hideously. First, I was mortified…and then, I thought I might have to get stitches. I had no time for stitches! I had a manicure…and a meeting! Bless my heart.

Sorry for the graphic nature, folks...

Turns out I was okay. More or less. So why was I in such a hurry? Because there are lots of new beginnings on my horizon right now. New, fun, exciting and delicious things that I can’t wait to wake up to every morning. And, at the same time, there are also old chapters being closed. So, when I was asked by a doctor if I wanted plastic surgery, I said, “No, I think I’m gonna let this be a scar.” Scars are excellent reminders for us as humans. In this case, I feel like this scar will remind me that for new things to begin, we often have to get hurt, let ourselves heal and scab over before we can begin anew again. So while this is a low, it’s also an excellent jumping off point into the great unknown. And I am ready for all it has to bring.

 

xoxo,
BF

 

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!

Foodie Friday: The delightful & delicious Del Frisco’s Grille Opens in Santa Monica

I’ll be honest.

The Del Frisco’s Grille launch party at the Santa Monica Pier a few weeks ago meant A LOT more to me than one of the standard tastings I usually attend.

At the Del Frisco's Grille opening in Santa Monica - the best of Texas on the west coast? I've died and gone to foodie heaven!

Why, you ask? Because…
1) It’s like my two worlds have collided – what with my favorite steakhouse of all-time coming to the Cali coast. Y’all have no idea what delectable deliciousness you’re in store for.
2) The service was straight-up Texas. Never an empty glass, an empty plate or a face without a smile.
3) Take that customer service a giant step further! I received a THANK YOU NOTE (remember what those are?) from my waitress, Ashley, from Idaho. Yep, seriously.

Customer Service with a smile at Del Frisco's Grille: A Thank You note from my waitress on my 1st visit, Ashley

4) I met Jason Lewis from Sex & The City…which, um, I didn’t haaate (as you can see in this picture).

TryToBeCool, Dawn. TRY. TO. BE. COOL. With the also-delicious Jason Lewis (of Sex & The City fame) at the Del Frisco's Grille Santa Monica opening

To be honest, these are the moments I return to my early days as a cheerleader. Full of fun, full of hope and full of faith that my team will get the job done.
As I made my rounds abound the room, the one thing I heard on repeat from all of my fellow guests and fellow media attendees was this: “Can you believe this service?” or “This is the BEST service I’ve ever experienced.” Literally, I heard some variation of this AT LEAST 21 times. Not twenty. 21!!
My response, “Oh, of course. I grew up as a Dallas Del Frisco’s girl. It’s the only kind of service I know.”
Which might explain why my expectations are so high. And, unfortunately, why I’m often let down. After all, customer service is key with me, sugar!
No disappointment here – only delight. And we haven’t even gotten to the food and cocktails yet!

Cocktail'o'clock at Del Frisco Grille Santa Monica

Between the ice-cold, super fresh seafood (such as shrimp, salmon, oysters, clams and more)…

Fresh, tasty and ice-cold seafood bar at Del Frisco Grille Santa Monica

and delectable small¬†bites such as slider burgers, sushi rolls and¬†Philly cheesesteak eggrolls (ONE OF MY FAVORITE FOODS ON THE ENTIRE PLANET!!!)…

Small bites of sin at Del Frisco's Grille Santa Monica

and delectable desserts such as Nutella Bread Pudding and – the one I dream about – coconut cream pie as well as the “Adult Milkshake” nightcap cocktail…

Dessert & the cutest nightcap ever at Del Frisco's Grille Santa Monica

I left full and smiling from ear to ear…and fully satiated and delighted!

Antics on the red carpet at the Del Frisco's Grille Santa Monica opening

Listen, I know that Texans get a bad rap sometimes but this is one Texan transplant that has already won over its whole Cali constituency.
Del Frisco’s Grille is now OPEN!!
1551 Ocean Ave. – Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone (310) 395-7333 –¬†dfgrille.santamonica@dfrg.com
xoxo,
BF
BF Asks: What restaurant from your hometown do you wish was in the city you live in now? 

Daily Delights: What’s Delighting Me Right Now 7/14/13

So what are daily delights? Daily delights are the little things that make life worth living. Things that inspire. Encourage. Make Me Smile. Make Me Laugh. Make Things Rosier.

The happy little things, people, events, products, places and pieces of art that make the world a happier place to live in.

Are these things mind-blowing? Earth-shattering? Life-changing. Not usually. But they’re things that make me smile and, thus, make me want to share with you.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed them.

(These are usually pictures I post on Instagram of things that I’m loving at that exact moment.¬†So if you want to get my daily delights on a daily, moment-by-moment basis, follow me on Instagram at¬†@beautyfrosting)

1. Be Your Best Self. While house-hunting, I saw this written on the resident’s door by the peephole. Nice reminder as you walk out into the world every day, huh?

Good to remember as you're heading out into the world every day - Be Your Best Self.

 

2. Baskin Robbins Clown Cones. The only clowns that don’t scare me.¬†Pure¬†nostalgia¬†in a cup. Just the sight of these¬†delight¬†me so!

Bask Robbins Clown Cones - the only clowns that don't (really) scare me!

 

3. And speaking of nostalgia…a¬†70s Skate Night with Sydne Summer and Hello Glendale at Moonlight Rollerway. Fab fashionistas dressed in vintage 70s, free skate and an open snack bar. Ummm, heaven.

Can you say Rollergirl? 70s Skate Night hosted by Sydne Summer and Hello Glendale at Moonlight Rollerway

 

I got suuuuper into it! I felt a little like a hybrid of Janet AND Chrissy on Three’s Company. In fact, I couldn’t get the song out of my head!

Someone was enjoying the costume immensely...especially the shiny Solid Gold-dancer-style tights!

4. My neighbor-friends brought this back from Texas for me. Fancy, indeed. Whataburger Fancy Ketchup is the BEST ketchup on the planet.

Whataburger Fancy Ketchup. Fancy, indeed.

 

5.¬†PioneerBaby!!¬†Jennifer picked up this precious hat for Hope’s daughter, Isla and I am obsessed. Soooo Little House on The Prairie.

Pioneer Baby!!!

 

6. Nothin’ better post-spin class than Clover Juices. Best juices I’ve tasted! And reasonable to boot! I’m enjoying these so much that I’m gonna need a juicer at home!

Clover Juices - I'm a convert

 

7. Mid-week Wine Tasting with a bestie. Learn About Wine events are great for some quality friend time because they’re fun, casual, informative and…DELICIOUS! Lucky I got to spend Wednesday night with one of my besties, Vanessa York of Shindig Shoppe – who is responsible for all BeautyFrosting design elements!

At Learn About Wine tasting Marsatta chocolate and RiverBench wines

Why, yes, we will have another glass!

 

8. Saw this One Good Deed A Day Journal at Anthropologie and I was sold. Definitely on my wish list! Couldn’t we all use this happy little reminder to create daily delights for others?

On my Wish List? One Good Deed A Day Journal

That’s it for this week’s Daily Delights. May there be many more delights Рfor both you and me Рin the week ahead!

xoxo,
BF

BF Asks: What were your Daily Delights this week? 

Happy 1st Birthday, BeautyFrosting!

I would be posting my High-Low of the week but I can’t think of a low to report because…

It’s BeautyFrosting’s 1st birthday!!!

 

Happy Birthday, BF!

No need to blow out the candles though, today!
I’ve already got everything I could have wished for with readers like you!

We’ll have a big celebratory giveaway later this month – when we announce the winners of our 1st annual BeautyFrosting BFF Awards! So stay tuned…

But, for now, here are some of my favorite moments in this first year of BeautyFrosting!

 

The beauty…

 

A year of beauty & pampering...THANK YOU!!!

 

The baking…

 

A year of sweetness...THANK YOU!!!!

 

The being…

 

A year of "being", a.k.a. lifestyle...THANK YOU!

 

The celebrations…

 

A year of celebrations...THANK YOU!!!

 

And the friends who make this journey oh-so-sweet!

A year of friends...THANK YOU!!!!

I am so grateful for each and every one of you who has read the blog daily, written questions to “Dear Dawn”, watched our videos, entered ourcontests, told your friends about BeautyFrosting, sent us a product to try for BeautyFrosting, followed BF on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, on YouTube and for all of the praise, suggestions and support you have offered over this past year to me.

And I have LOTS more coming for you in this, our second year! Like what, you ask? How about Foodie Friday with¬†food & restaurant reviews and A Southern Girl’s Guide to LA with spa & business recommendations.

How about that? It all starts THIS weekend! It’s just my way of saying –

THANK YOU for a SUPER SWEET 1st year!!!

THANK YOU!!!!!

Thank you from my heart to yours! xoxo, Dawn (BF)

xoxo,
BF

***Special note: Why March 12th? I chose to debut BeautyFrosting last year on what would have been my beloved Nanny, Clara Margaret Hayes’s, 99th birthday. Every year that I celebrate a birthday, I am celebrating her and all of the lovely, ladylike things she stood for and taught my mom, my aunt, my cousins and me!

I miss you every day, Nanny…

BF Asks: What was your favorite BeautyFrosting moment this year?

Thirsty Thursday: The Gratitude Cocktail

I think we all know that I looooooove creating themed drinks for my shindigs!

So, just in time for Thanksgiving & the holiday season, I came up with a cutie of a cocktail: The Gratitude Cocktail.

Gratitude Cocktails for my interview with Nami M. Scott

While, the pomegranate-grapefruit-champagne cocktail itself is DELICIOUS, it’s the activity that accompanies it that will surely make it one of your family’s favorite, future holiday traditions.

Make either a cocktail at a time or whip up a whole batch and top off each glass with a splash of champagne or seltzer and a few pomegranate seeds.

Prior to their first sip, guests go around the room, one-by-one and say what they are grateful for. No one can sip until they’ve expressed a source of gratitude. So fun!

What a wonderful reminder, during the hustle & bustle of the holiday season, of our many blessings!
BeautyFrosting’s Gratitude Cocktail¬†

Serves 1

2 oz. Sparkling Pomegranate Juice

2 oz. Grapefruit Juice

2 oz. Champagne or Seltzer

Pomegranate Seeds (as a garnish – about 6 per flute)

Combine all juices & bubbles in your favorite, festive, champagne flute of choice and stir with a swizzle stick. Garnish with a few pomegranate seeds. Hand to guests and let the gratitude gushing begin!

Even Miss Ellie wanted in on the gratitude goodness!

 

xoxo,
BF

BF Asks: What was your Thanksgiving beverage?