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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On the carpet for No Kid Hungry Laguna Beach

On the carpet for No Kid Hungry Laguna Beach

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


My 3 favorites of the evening? THESE GUYS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The line was out of control for this one:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The VIP reception eats, courtesy of The Montage:

Fried Mac & cheese balls

photo 1 copy 4

Fried Lobster

photo 2 copy 4

Grilled Cheese & Sweet Tomato Bisque



Foie Gras Cones

photo 4 copy 4


photo 5 copy 4

photo 2 copy 5

Late night antics in the photobooth with new friends:

Why yes, there WERE cigars

Why yes, there WERE cigars

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

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

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

I’ll see YOU there!




Pay It Forward: #GivingTuesday with No Kid Hungry

This past Thursday, we spent all day giving thanks and eating delicious food.

This Tuesday – tomorrow – let’s pay it forward.

Pay it forward with No Kid Hungry

Every $1 donated to No Kid Hungry can help connect a hungry child with up to 10 meals. This year, if you donate tomorrow, on Giving Tuesday, all donations will be matched up to $50,000! 

That means we have the opportunity to help kids connect with up to ONE MILLION MEALS!

So, skip a latte this week and donate that $5 to No Kid Hungry. And if you can, donate more.
There’s no greater gift than the gift of feeding a hungry child.



BF Asks: How will donating to No Kid Hungry make you feel? 

Life Lessons: Tennis After 27 Years

It only took 27 years of a hiatus after some discouraging words…but I'm back at it!

There are moments that shape us – for better or worse – and, at the time, we don’t even realize that they’re happening. And there are authority figures who become monsters in our minds’ memories simply because of a few ill-thought words they say on a Monday. We are such fragile little people as children and haphazard words can break us much more easily than broken bones can.

One of those moments for me was when I was in 7th grade and that authority figure was Mrs.B – or Coach B, as her players called her. I knew she hadn’t ever liked me in the two years she’d had me for P.E. but I braved it out and asked Mrs. B when the tennis tryouts would be that spring of 1991. Her chuckle couldn’t hide her mockery, “Do you even know how to play? It’s very competitive and hard to make the team. And you’re anything but athletic.” Her smirking, disbelieving face read, “Are you stupid? I will never let you make that team” all over it. I believed her. And why wouldn’t I? After all, I had only attended one tennis camp when I was 9 years old and this was all it took to make me rethink my confidence as an athlete. So a tennis pro I was not to be. Shut down. At age 13.

But this wasn’t the first time this particular coach had shut me down. See, she was right. I wasn’t what you would call the most athletic of kids. I was raised in an intellectual household where the arts were encouraged and my mother took glee in throwing away the sports page. She still does. She literally grins.

But I really did try to give sports a go. Over the years, I would try field hockey my freshman year of high school (where I played Junior Varsity one season, received excellent & encouraging hard-core coaching by Coach Mrozek and got to wear cute skirts), volleyball (in 8th grade where that same earlier coach, Mrs. B, never even looked at my group during tryouts even though I’d been in volleyball camp all summer long) and cheerleading…which is, unsurprisingly, where I wound up (again, with the cute skirts – see a theme here?).

At 13, it seemed to me like Coach B seemed to delight in my misery. But “why?” I would ask myself. Was it because unlike my best friend (one of her favorites, who was blonde and petite like her and played tennis and volleyball) I was already 5’9″ with a woman’s body which at 13 seemed to translate to chubby? Was it because I dreaded gym class (or did I dread gym class because of her)? Or maybe it was because I was a bit of a singing-acting-sunshiney kid who was considered a bit of a Pollyanna-meets Patty Simcox kissup?

13-going-on 30. Was this why Mrs. B never liked me? As pretty as the setting is, this picture was the beginning of the worst year of my life…8th grade.

No, the reason she didn’t like me I imagine was a) that I didn’t try out for the volleyball team in that earlier fall of my 7th grade year when she had asked me to try out because they “needed tall people” (what a thrilling invitation) – and – b) because I was different from a lot of the girls in our Dallas, Texas, prep school and she didn’t understand me, and didn’t care to. Honestly, I have no idea why she didn’t like me and I’ll never know. Do we ever know why people don’t like us?

The truth is it doesn’t matter. I let these negative words and this negative energy from one coach keep me from years of playing a sport I actually really enjoyed. Worse yet, I learned that athleticism was a club in which I could never belong and to view working out as a chore rather than a game which I dreaded and feared over the years as my weight fluctuated up and down on the scale, along with my self-confidence. I never played tennis again…until now.

I am grinning as I write this. I have been saying that I wanted to take tennis lessons for years. It’s the one sport I can see sticking with as I grow older. And, it’s not just because of the cute skirts this time – although that certainly doesn’t hurt.

Well, Chris – one of my best friends – had been listening all this time. And this past Friday, when I was having kind of a hard day, he came over and said, “We’re gonna go buy you a tennis racquet.” And so we did. A beautiful white and robin’s egg blue Prince racquet…for my birthday…in November.

Two days later, I found myself on the courts at Beverly Hills Tennis Club volleying back and forth with Chris. It was like I’d never stopped. I’d say it was as easy as getting back on a bicycle but I’ve never ridden a bicycle. (Truth.) I could have played for hours. But while I played, I found all of those years of feeling like I wasn’t good enough come flooding over me. That one moment in my life kept me from playing a sport I loved for 27 years!! How could I have let that happen? I made the decision right then and there that I would never let another person’s words ever have that kind of power over me again. What time I’ve wasted and what fun there is to be had!

Now, on to important questions like “who am I going to play with?” and “which new tennis skirts should I buy?” No, seriously. I am so excited to have rediscovered this sport at this point in my life. I’m as giddy as the girl I used to be.

One minor victory when it came to Mrs. B? When I was in high school, Mrs. B called me and asked me to babysit one Saturday night as we lived in the same neighborhood. She was desperate and really in a pinch. I heard the pleading in her voice and thought about the good girl I usually was and how we should help those in need…and then proceeded to feel the deepest, most devilish little thrill as I told her, “I’m so sorry. I’m going out tonight,” and smiled to myself. That karma sure has a funny sense of humor.




BF Asks: What life lessons have you learned?

High-Low 2/3/14: Honest Turns 2 & The Bad Ones

HIGH: Honest Turns 2

Celebrating The Honest Company's 2nd birthday with one of my besties, Lindsey


I’m not talking about a kiddo’s birthday party here although this celebration was all about the kids! I was honored to attend The Honest Company‘s 2nd birthday party this past Thursday at their headquarters in Santa Monica. With party planning & whimsical details from Details Details, delicious catering, yummy wine and sparkling wine from my favorite, One Hope Wine and a most-delicious cake by Cakes by Rumy, the fête was just the sweetest high of my week.

Jessica Alba with The Honest Company's 2nd birthday cake by Cakes by Rumy

Partners – Golden Globe-nominated actress and mom, Jessica Alba and former CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World & father, Christopher Gavigan – formed The Honest Company to, well, keep things honest. These dreamers-turned-doers turned their desire as consumers for a brand based on integrity into an integrity-based brand for all consumers. They say it best themselves, “We tried to think of all the qualities we would want in a dream brand – savvy style, sustainability, and extraordinary service & convenience all wrapped in a passion for social goodness, tied with a bow of integrity and sprinkled with a little cheeky fun.” That’s exactly what they have created in The Honest Company.

Champagne & cake to celebrate a magical company!

At the party, I was delighted to be treated to a mini shopping spree with a chance to try a wide range of The Honest Company‘s products. I picked up a good cross-section of their products and I can’t wait to try! In fact, I was so excited about the organic, vegan, cruelty-free bubble bath picked up that I had to take a bath with it that very night!

Goodies from my mini shopping spree at the Honest Turns 2 party!

By visiting The Honest Company‘s headquarters, getting to see the founders with their families and getting to take part in this celebration, I realized just how magical this company and its founders and family of employees are. They create good products, do good for others and are just good people. How could I not support a company like this 100%. Happy Birthday, Honest! I’m happy to know – and celebrate – you!

LOW: The Bad Ones

Low: The Bad Ones

There must have been something in the water last week because many of my extended chats with friends consisted of us being challenged by bad boys, bad friends, bad jobs, bad situations. So when I attended an Obagi brunch at Soho House last Thursday and they asked all of us to share what sin we’ve committed that we wouldn’t commit again and step into the photo booth with this admission of guilt, I realized I had to state the obvious. The sin? Bad boys. The promise? No more bad boys.

Now, hold your judgment. I have never been one of those girls who liked bad boys. I avoided the bad boys like the plague. For the most part, I have always liked the good guys. You know the ones – the ones who behave as men should. So what exactly do I mean by that? Oh, the men who are thoughtful, kind, smart, creative, considerate, that sort of thing. The kind that opens doors, keeps plans, makes you feel special and considers how their actions would make you feel. But after dating a seemingly bad boy once in my life and commiserating with girlfriends about these bad, bad boys and their actions or lack thereof, I had to ask myself and my friends this question. “Why do we pick them? Or do they pick us?”

It made me recall that quote from that glorious book/film, The Perks of Being A Wallflower: “We accept the love we think we deserve.” So does that make my girlfriends and I feel better or worse? Are we picking bad boys, bad friends, bad jobs, bad situations because we actually think that we deserve it? Gosh, I hope not. My friends are too beautiful – on the inside and out – to sell themselves so short.

Oh wait. And so am I.

I love it when a lesson plays a trick on you like that.





High-Low 12/16/13: Santa For A Day & Maturity?

HIGH: Santa For A Day

I am not exaggerating when I say that I had one of my favorite days ever last Friday. I got to be Santa for a day. Yes. Really.

Santa for a day at the Toys and More! Holiday Toy Drive Shopping trip for Saint Joseph's at Target

So how did this come about?

My super generous and thoughtful friends, Michelle Lankwarden and Mike & Lauren Hissrich have hosted a Toys and More! toy drive for Saint Joseph’s kids for the past 3 years.

Michelle & Lauren - dreamers, magicmakers and Santas


But the one they hosted this year on Crowdrise went above and beyond all of the expectations and goals. They raised over $14,000 to buy toys for the kids of Saint Joseph’s!!

Well, I may be exaggerating a bit but it was IMPRESSIVE!!

So we all met at Target in Burbank on Friday morning. I received my dream assignment of buying toys for girls ages 4-12 and my partner and I set out with shopping carts to fill. We had almost $3,000 to spend on our group.

Meet my new little friends…don't tell Miss Ellie!

As I made my way down the Barbie aisle, I felt the magic of Christmas take hold.The Barbie aisle is one of my favorite places on earth. Don’t judge.

In my happy place - the Barbie aisle at Target


It reminds me of the little girl I used to be, the creativity that Barbies brought into my life (I wrote EPIC storylines for them) and it just is my happy place when I need a little pick-me-up at Target. To think of the countless wide, glee-filled eyes and smiles that these Barbies, Care Bears, dolls and colorful, crafty toys were going to bring into the lives of these kids – and the various ways they might be inspired by their new toys – was almost too much for this heart of mine to handle. It seriously felt like it was gonna burst! It put a huge smile on my face and it didn’t go away all day long.

The smile wouldn't stop...

I was so proud – and honored – to be included in such a warm, generous and fun group of people as we shopped for these special kiddos, enjoyed the spirit of the holiday season and enjoyed the special luxury of having our own cash register ringing up all of our treasures. Thanks, Target!

I’m pretty sure that the unparalleled joy I felt that day must be what heaven feels like. I already can’t wait for next year!!!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all!

LOW: Maturity?

What other people think of me is none of my business…yep.

I pride myself on being sensitive to the feelings of others. Mix that with the fact that I’m a sensitive soul and sometimes things can get tricky. So when someone I love expresses an opinion about me that’s a little, um, unflattering and a little hard to hear, I really try to listen and look at it from all angles. Especially when it’s someone I dearly respect and greatly admire. In the past – in my youth –  I would take someone’s opinion as fact without questioning where they were coming from, what their motivation was or what my own feelings were about it. I would take it in, let it wreck me, torture myself over it and never forget it.

The beautiful gift of getting older is that you start trusting yourself and start listening to your instincts more. Another beautiful gift is that you relinquish a little bit of the need to please everyone. Because folks – you’re never gonna please everyone! And that golden nugget, my friends, is coming from a people pleaser! Learning that not everyone will like you, you will not always love everything that people have to say about you and that other people’s opinions truly are none of your business are all beautiful things about getting older – and, hopefully – wiser.

So today, I sit in peace with the fact that I have a few friends who may not love or understand my life as it is right now but I am comforted to know that they always want the best for me. And while I appreciate their input and love, I appreciate the choice I have to either listen and take it in or listen, trust my gut and simply say thank you. I think this might be what they call – what’s the word again? Oh yeah. Maturity.

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 11/25/13: Love Lights For Mallory

Sometimes the high is the low. And the low is the high. Life is full of these moments. Last Thursday, I had one of these such moments and it was one of the most beautiful, magical and memorable experiences I have ever experienced.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned here on BF that Lynn – a sweet friend of mine from college and BF reader – had lost her beautiful little daughter, Mallory last month very suddenly. Mallory’s 5th birthday was coming up on November 21st and Lynn asked if she could mail me a pink chinese lantern to release to celebrate Mallory’s life on her birthday in a “Love Lights for Mallory” cross-country celebration.

I was honored and said I couldn’t want to be part of anything more. See, I didn’t get the chance to meet Mallory but Lynn had written me and told me all about her girly girl. She loved pink so much. There is so much about you that is how I believe (and hoped) this little twirly, pink girl would have grown up to be like as a young woman.”

Well, as a fellow girly girl – and lover of pink – I knew that I had to celebrate Mallory in the way she lived. Lots of joy. Lots of celebration. Lots of girly things. Lots of love. And lots & LOTS of pink. Lynn shipped me the lantern and I immediately framed the box with one of my petticoats.

A pink chinese lantern in memory of Mallory


Next, my friend Lindsey and I crafted a celebration of life to honor Mallory and the beauty she is still adding to this world. We had pink cupcakes…


Pink cupcakes to celebrate Mallory's life and light


pink champagne, set a pink & tablescape and made 5 pink balloons into a centerpiece…

A "pink party" to celebrate Mallory Grace


Next, we headed across the street to my neighbors’ backyard and lit the lantern…

Lighting the lantern to send into heaven to be with Mallory Grace


and released the lantern into the peaceful, November night sky.

Releasing the lantern...

Then the 5 of us all released the 5 pink balloons – one by one – and made a wish in Mallory’s memory. We watched as both the lantern and the balloons turned from pink orbs into stars in the sky…much like her.

Thank you so much for including me, Lynn. It was a magical night celebrating a very special little girl. Much love and healing to the hearts of you and your family.

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!


Main Event Monday: A Mary Poppins Popcorn Pajama Party

A few months ago, I decided I would have a Mary Poppins Popcorn Pajama Party.

You're invited to a Mary Poppins Popcorn Pajama Party!

Not at all random, I know. But I needed to coordinate the best night for my guests: Nora, Lucy and Emmett. After all, these are very busy little, Los Angeles kiddos with schedules just about as busy as mine!

Well, we finally found a night – last Wednesday – and we did it right!

So how do you “do it right” for a Mary Poppins Popcorn Pajama Party?

1) Well, first you need the movie. Check. Thanks Matt Marr!

It's a "Jolly Holiday" with Mary!

2) Next, you need pajamas and, of course, your favorite little friends – both of the human and stuffed variety. I love any excuse to don my comfy, bunny slippers!

Pajamas are a must for a Movie pj party!

3) And – then, of course – for a popcorn party, you need popcorn! And I knew just where to start with that! My old schoolmate, Cassie is the queen of popcorn! Or is it, princess? Well, whatever she is, she – and her company – Cassie’s Le Popcorn is the royal call you make when you want some popcorn party magic. And with Mary Poppins, we definitely needed some magic! We ordered the magic- and we received it!

Thank you Cassie's Le Popcorn for the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious popcorn!!

The deluxe array of flavors is too extensive to list here but I’ll share with you sour favorites: Beer Cheese (I am Texan, after all), Peanut Butter Chocolate, White Truffle, Loaded Potato and Sea Salt Caramel with Chocolate Drizzle. Yummylicious! Perfect for any kiddo’s or “grown-up-kiddo’s” party!

Popcorn princesses indulding in popcorn pleasure!!

2) Next, improvise! I had no time to bake but a party always requires a cake, if you ask me! So I bought a precious, Mary Poppins-themed mini cake at the Ralph’s Bakery for $5.99. Not too shabby! And it really set the mood for the table!

Red Velvet cake pairs perfectly with our Poppins theme!

Then, I picked up some mini ice cream cones from Baskin Robbins for only $10.99!

Mini ice cream cones from Baskin Robbins are perfect summertime treats!

I then picked up a 6-pack of classic Coca Cola in the bottles! It went with our red, white and pink theme and it brought in some more of that nostalgic feel we were going for!

Nothing ushers in nostalgia like classic Coca Cola in the vintage bottles!

Next, in keeping with my theme of a “spoonful of sugar”, I set out the cake, jars of colored sugars, vintage Coca Cola bottles, mini ice cream cones from Baskin Robbins and pastel m & m’s – which I always stockpile during post-Easter sales.

The Mary Poppins spread - and set on my coffee table - the perfect height for little ones

I borrowed the idea of using my coffee table to create a casual (and in this case, age appropriate) vibe from Moll Anderson’s Seductive Tables For Two ($19.95). This book has taught me so much about entertaining, with both thought and heart, using the resources you have readily available.

The night was a sweet success!

Both the kids and I had a ball! We ate too much sugar (naturally), stayed up a bit too late and laughed a lot at the magical messages in Mary Poppins.
Such a fun night!

And then we crashed…

After the Mary Poppins party, we got a little shut-eye!


BF Asks: What should be the movie at my next Movie & PJ party?

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?

Quote Book: Friday 12/21/12 – Mister Rogers knows best

Mister Rogers TRULY knows best...

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

(Mister Rogers)


If you read Friday’s post, you may have gotten the hint that I looooooooooove birthdays! I love my birthday, your birthday, friends’ birthday, kids birthdays, celebrity birthdays and even half-birthdays. My mom has always thought it is borderline unhealthy how much I love  birthdays.

Regardless, I love to celebrate life and my birthday is my ultimate life celebration on a yearly basis! So this week’s highs are all centered around my birthday. It was a magical week filled with friends, parties, surprises, fun gifts and celebration!

Here’s to this year being my best year yet and yours too!


1) Birthday Flowers are always the most lovely surprise!

Flowers from my brother, delivered in person, at my office:

Good job, brother!


2) These beautiful Haute Hostess aprons were sent as a gift and they are the cream of the crop when it comes to kitchen couture! Soooo gorgeous! I couldn’t stop staring at them!


Haute Hostess aprons ($350) in Rosalynn & Ashley: the BEST birthday gifts ever!


3) Birthday morning mimosas!

4) One of my dearest friends, and my former college roomie, Mary Beth, is the BIGGEST Hostess Donettes fan. So when I heard about Hostess going out of business, I bought the last package of powdered Donettes at the grocery store and decided, I would eat them on my birthday morning and send her a little tribute. RIP Hostess Donettes.

5) The best gift in the world is beautiful artwork from a talented friend. And when it’s a customized vision of your favorite inspiring catchphrase by Nami M. Scott? There are no words.

I was so surprised!


6) My little friend/ adopted “niece” across the street, Nora, made me the most beautiful, loving card. I especially appreciated when she said that I am “the best lovemaker”.  I just thought it was hilarious!! And so sweet! From the mouths of babes!

7) On my actual birthday, I was treated to a lovely, intimate dinner with a few girlfriends at Vinoteque (one of my favorite haunts). It was the perfect way to celebrate the night before the big party! As I often do on my birthday, I went around the table and told each friend why I love them and what I admire about them. But then they turned the tables on me! I got in back in spades. It was great fun! Love those girls!

8) I had been looking forward to hosting my Toddlers & Tiaras – redneck-themed party for a long time. So when it actually came, I was prepared. And when I say prepared, I mean I had my full Toddler pageant costume ready!

A lot of my friends were ready too:

Stay tuned for more recipes from the party – including my Go-Go Pageant Punch!

9) And then there was the cake!!! Oh, the delicious lemon raspberry cake from Hansen’s Cakes:

I loved my wish this year and I hope, hope, hope it comes true!

10) The party ended up drifting into the backyard and turned into a backyard dance party that raged til 3 am! I would also like to note that I have taken part in 3 (!!) dance parties in the past week and a half! Who says getting older means growing up?

The whole night was incredibly sweet so I, of course, had to do a few signature Toddlers & Tiaras moves:

My birthday week was AMAZING!! And I am soooo thankful and humbled by my precious friends who continue to be my greatest champions, inspirations and co-conspirators every day. Life is so fun when we have wonderful friends & family to share it with! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
And thank you, BF readers, for all of the birthday wishes and messages. They meant the world to me!


Sometimes when you’re juggling a lot, you drop the ball. And, like you, I am not one who like to drop the ball. Unfortunately, I did this week and I just hate that feeling. I missed a phone conference I was supposed to be on because I missed it on my iCal. I felt like I disappointed people I respect. Ugh. But if I’ve learned anything over the past year, it’s that you have to forgive yourself, pick up the ball and get in the game again. And that’s exactly what I did.



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


BF Asks: When was your last impromptu dance party? If it’s been a while, why don’t you change that this week and have a little dance party in your living room! With friends, your spouse, your kids or even by yourself! Just crank the tunes and have some fun!