High-Low 12/23/13: Home & Doing Your Best

HIGH: Home!!

Well, my high this week is an easy one. I get to be home in Dallas for 12 days with my favorite people for the holidays! Done. Easiest High ever.

So what’s that entail? Well, many-a-night spent at our favorite family haunt Mi Cocina, board games, catching up with precious old friends over texmex and brunch, lots of delicious southern fare, political debates at the dinner table and reminiscing. What could be better than that?

HIGH: These guys!! My big brother, David, and my mom, Clarice. Here we are at our home-away-from-home, Mi Cocina Preston Forest.


LOW: Learning That My Best Is Good Enough (‘cuz it’s gotta be)

As a wise friend of mine always says to me, “You can only do your best. Did you do your best in this situation?” Usually, the answer is yes but sometimes it’s hard to really believe that in a given moment because I always think I can do a little bit more. I’m learning though that sometimes you’ve gotta let your best at that given moment be enough.

I had so much to do before I left Los Angeles for Texas and, of course, I didn’t complete it all. There were gifts I didn’t get to give, people whose necks I didn’t get to hug and unfinished blog posts and articles that are just going to have to wait til the new year, darn it.

But I did my best…and if I’ve learned anything it’s this motto of mine:





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! – See more at: http://www.beautyfrosting.com/high-low-121613-santa-for-a-day-maturity#sthash.2rvmfLhC.dpuf

Holiday Delights: Home for the Holidays…

Holiday Delights: We're Goin' Where?!

Right now, I’m in the air en route to Dallas with Miss Ellie sleeping soundly in the bag by my feet, a laptop on my tray table, Creme de La Mer slathered on my face and my fellow Dallas-turned-LA blogger, Devon Rachel, on my right in the window seat. Everything is so peaceful and it just feels like all is right in the world.

I, on the other hand, am as giddy as a schoolgirl. I have always gotten so excited to go home. This flight from LA to Dallas has become such a welcome ritual that I look forward to and savor. And I love airports. I always meet the coolest people in airports; people who have ended up being lasting influences in my life – from my friend, Mario – the retired policeman from Mill Valley who is my “death buddy” (we text each other every time a celebrity dies – I know, morbid but I love it) to the guy in the band I met en route to Nashville and dated for a spell to the boy I kissed on the plane. Hey, don’t judge. It was fun – and, besides, it gives me stuff to write about and something for y’all to read. Yep, airports and I are pretty tight.

So here I am on another plane on another trip home to Dallas for another holiday spent with my family in Dallas. I cannot wait to see my family and friends! You can find us at Mi Cocina Preston Forest pretty much every night during my visit, FYI. But I will say that this is the first time I’m truly sad to leave my LA friends who have become my family. As much as I love being in Dallas for Christmas – and really can’t imagine being anywhere else – I really love Los Angeles in December. Between Santa & the gingerbread house at The Grove to the decorations in Beverly Hills lining Wilshire, my eternally summery city knows how to appreciate winter even when it’s 70 degrees outside.

So I just want to take a moment to say “Thank You” to my LA friends-turned-family for making 2013 my best year ever! I love and appreciate every one of you so much.

And Dallas…I’m Comin’ home!!! Keep the salsa and margaritas flowin’, Mi Cocina

Holiday pillows by: Target (and under $5. I found them in the dollar aisle – say whaaaaa?!)

Bedding & fur pillows by: Anthropologie

Tassel garlands by my favorite: Studio Mucci



BF Asks: What’s your plan for the holiday? 

High-Low 10/28/13, Part 2: Dallas Moments ( last 5 out of 10) and Pushing Buttons

HIGH: My Trip Home to Dallas, Part 1

Well, my trip home to Dallas was just one big High, really. So here are the last 5 of my Top 10 Dallas moments.

5) Moments with Mom. My mom is my best friend and we have too, TOO much fun when we get together. Whether it be high tea at Eden Cafe

Tea w/ Mom is one of my favorite traditions that we have. We've been doing it since I was 8!!

or sharing shocking secrets at Mi Cocina

Oh, what will we talk about next? I suppose it just depends on the adventures we have between now and Christmas...

You never know what’s going to come up in one of our tête-à-têtes!

4) With all of my family and old friends in Dallas, it’s always fun to find a new one. That’s why I adored getting to happy hour it up at Truck Yard with my new friend, KellyAnn Sutton of Anthropologie. KellyAnn and I actually met through Instagram!! How current is that? And we were delighted to find that we’re definitely meant to be friends!! So thankful to know her.

Happy Hour at the super cool Truck Yard in Dallas with my new friend, KellyAnn Sutton of Anthropologie


3) While many of my friends have nieces and nephews, our family has always veered a bit from the norm. So, I was delighted to get to spend a little quality time with my big brother, David, and my stuffed coyote nephew, Archibald by the pool. Yep, totally normal – us McCoys.

With my stuffed-coyote-nephew, Archibald...don't ask.


2) As if you thought we hadn’t gone to Mi Cocina enough already as a family, we also take our friends. It’s become a tradition that we sip margaritas and snack on tex-mex at Mi Cocina with my dear friends from college, Tadd and Jenna Tate. We always laugh our way through the meal and we always – and I do mean, ALWAYS – close the place down!

Another night of oversharing & laughter at Mi Cocina with my family & friends


1) One of my favorite bakeries on the planet is Tart Bakery in Dallas. So I was delighted when Tart sent me back to LA in style with a BeautyFrosting-themed cakelet! What a sweet and delicious delight!

A BF-themed cakelet from Tart Bakery in Dallas

LOW: Pushing Buttons

No family is perfect...

Well, after that much fun, something a little dreary was bound to happen. And it did the last night I was in Dallas. Our family went to Meddlesome Moth and, well, my big brother and I ended up getting into a tiff. Here’s the thing about family – the fact that you know each other best and have known each other longest is truly a double-edged sword. After all, they totally understand who you are because they’ve seen everything you’ve been through; but in times of struggle and conflict, they also really know how to push your buttons. So I was sad to leave without telling my brother goodbye. And I hate, hate, HATE doing that. But the upside? We both realized our wrongs and apologized. We’re fine now but I just hate that I left Dallas on a sour note. My brother actually suggested coming up with a safe word so when we start pushing buttons again, we can agree to shelve the dispute for a different time. I liiiiiiike this. Now, just to put it into use…

High-Low 10/28/13, Dallas Moments (5 out of 10) and Laughing Stars

HIGH: My Trip Home to Dallas, Part 1

Well, my trip home to Dallas was just one big High, really. So here are the first 5 of my Top 10 Dallas moments.

10) Arriving to find out that my big brother, David – a.k.a. Sueño – is now playing golf. I seriously couldn’t stop laughing.

Apparently Brother has taken up golf.


9) Fresh off the plane, we immediately hit our family favorite – Mi Cocina. We always end up there for about 80% or more of my visit- this time, we were there 5 out of 9 nights. It’s our happy place.

My favorite pic ever of my Mom, brother and I at our family mecca - Mi Cocina Preston Forest


8) I’m such an avid nightswimmer that it’s always sad for me to come home in the fall & winter months because it’s too cool for my nightly jam session-swims. But that didn’t stop me from sitting by the pool, having a glass of champ and reflecting on my summer and fall. What seasons they have been! (p.s. I had just bought that Cynthia Rowley cardigan sweater at Marshall’s!)

A cool, fall night by the pool reflecting....


7) I was SUPER excited to get to go to the State Fair of Texas while I was home. Between the fried food (corndogs, fried oreos, fried snickers & more), the carousel, the Love Bug and the swings, I felt like a kid again. And the fact that I got to enjoy it with my big brother and new friends only made the day even more nostalgic and sweet!

The State Fair of Texas - the best fair in all the land!!


6) Now, this was just too much fun. Getting to go to Homecoming at our high school, Episcopal School of Dallas with my brother and some of our friends? Priceless. And Brother had gotten his 3 dates corsages. I felt like a teenager! See a theme here when I’m in Dallas?

Brother putting on my corsage before we headed to Homecoming!


I’ll have the other 5 for ya tomorrow!!

LOW: Laughing Stars – A new little angel is born.

I had a few lows over the past week but none was as low as this. A dear college friend who is always so full of light – and a loyal & loving BeautyFrosting reader – unexpectedly lost her little daughter. These are the things that we just can’t make sense of. Our hearts and minds cannot make sense of pain this profound. So all we can do is try to comfort one another, love one another, remember the good times, honor the memory and pray that in time we heal. I don’t have any words that can comfort as much as I would like but these words from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (from The Little Prince) always give me a pinch of peace when I’m most lost due to loss. I am sending as much love and light to this sweet family as I can muster. To laughing stars…




BF Asks: What was your High-Low this week? And what words comfort you in times of loss?

*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 17: New Year, New Opportunities

Well, now, it has been A WHILE since I’ve done a High-Low. My apologies for that, beauties. There have been a lot of changes – for the better – but I didn’t know that at the time.

So what all has happened since December? Well, I left my day job, gained 2 new writing clients, learned some hard lessons about boundaries and betrayal (ouch!), traveled to Dallas for Christmas and back, got the flu and recovered, finished 2 more books in The Cupcake Kid series, had 2 of my commercials air during The Grammys, had a super memorable show at The Hotel Cafe and more! Whew.


Christmas in Dallas was punctuated with breakfasts, dinners, drinks, shows and parties with friends, a myriad of Mi Cocina (my favorite restaurant visits) and LOTS of delicious food!! People often ask where I got the bug for baking and I always tell them from my Mom and her mother, my Nanny. Just look at the deliciousness I get spoiled with when I go home!


When I returned to L.A., I knew New Years was going to be a doozy. I had invitations to 3 parties all over the city. I went to the first one, at my friend Vanessa’s house and in the midst of it, realized I was sick. The flu hit me and I was out for almost 2 weeks!

When I healed, there were lots of events and meetings to attend so I was busy! But not too busy to bust out 2 more books in The Cupake Kid series!

My show at The Hotel Cafe, where I sing my signature bluesy country, was so much fun! I got to play with some of my favorite musicians, see tons of friends, bake Strawberry Milkshake cupcakes to share and top off the night with a dance party with friends at The Room. Goooood times!

Then, I was delighted to be called in to do 2 more Target voiceover commercial spots for Taylor Swift & Pink that aired during The Grammys! 12-year-old me was over the moon!

So far, I am a big fan of 2013!


If you’d asked me a month ago, I could have told you a low point.  I learned the powerful lesson that things really do happen for a reason and that while I might like for everyone to be my close friend, it’s better to keep work relationships separate sometimes.

But now, I realize that the perceived low point was a beautiful opportunity. It opened so many doors. I was amazed, once again, that life truly turns lemons into lemonade sometimes and that lemonade is sweeter than anything you could have imagined.


Saturday Social Hour: Hometown Dallas Visit, Part 2

Last week, I detailed some of the highlights from visiting my family & friends in Dallas. Here’s what happened next on my sweet, sweet trip home.

A visit with Linda Nunez – the iconic Trish McEvoy makeup artist at Nordstrom Northpark:

BF and, iconic Trish McEvoy artist, Linda Nunez

I worked with Linda when I was a Trish McEvoy makeup artist, myself, at Neiman Marcus Northpark at the ripe age of 19! There’s a whole story about that On this visit, I was lucky enough to get a complete refresher course from Linda and I found that many of the things I learned while being a Trish customer and, later, employee are tools I still use to this day. There’ll be more on my visit and what goodies I left with later.

Another reason for my visit was that it was one of my favorite little girls, Molly Tate’s, 1st Birthday Party!

Molly Tate's 1st birthday party

Seeing some of my best, old friends from college and enjoying that Texas wayward wind:

Celebrating the beautiful Molly Tate with my beautiful friends in Dallas

The Cake!! Check out Molly’s initials – MTV – so cute!!

The coolest initials ever: Molly's "MTV" Cake from Stein's Bakery

Perfect for a baby's birthday party - Baby roses in baby bud vases

Mommy presenting Molly's first cake to her

Molly's first taste of cake!

 Jenny & Jon’s Wedding

The newlyweds!

The hand on the back during their first dance is symbolic of the support they are to one another...

BF & The beautiful Bride

If you’d like to see more pretty, personal touches from this sweet, summer, garden wedding, click here to see my High-Low last week!

And, my last stop in Dallas? Why, Mi Cocina, again, for the 7th night!

I even strayed from my normal margarita or mambo taxi and tried a new drink:

Anybody know what this delightful concoction at Mi Cocina is called, anyway?

What a sweet weekend to wrap up a sweet trip home!
And to all of my friends and family, thank you for making it a trip home I will never forget!


BF Asks: Where’s your hometown?

Saturday Social Hour: Hometown Dallas Visit, Part 1

I always have the best time when I go back to my hometown of Dallas.

Besides my family, friends and the fabulous FOOD (!!), it’s where my whole story began. The place where I fell in love with makeup, skincare, baking and antiques; in other words, all things BeautyFrosting!

In my multi-part Saturday Social Hour, I am detailing my visits, tastes and experiences while visiting my beloved hometown. It’ll also clue you in to some Dallas-based posts that I have coming up for you.  Yeehaw!

The week started out with a fun weekend with my family and my brother’s friends & families from college:

BF, Mom, brother David, old friends and some new little friends

BF, Mom, brother David, old friends and some new little friends. Notice we're all smiling after eating Mom's delish Fruit Pizza (see Mom's Fruit Pizza recipe here)

Next up was one of the main reasons for my trip – my dear friend, Jenny’s bridal shower (more details on that later):

BF, Bride-to-Be, Jenny & Allison: High School Best Friends *In the spirit of things, I wore green and pink because I wanted to honor her wedding colors!

Next, I drove out to Lancaster, Texas where my favorite bakery & baker, in the world, is – THE LOVIN’ OVEN! Stay tuned to a post about it coming up soon!

BF's Favorite Bakery since age 3: The Lovin' Oven in Lancaster, Texas

Lovin' Oven decadent delights!

BF & one of her baking fairy godmothers, Suzanne, owner of The Lovin' Oven

Next, I stopped by Neiman Marcus Northpark to see my first & favorite salesperson/beauty guru/friend/former coworker, Lori Nelson:

A Dallas institution: Lori Nelson at Neiman Marcus Northpark

Lori introduced me to my lifelong beauty love affair with Creme de La Mer. I am forever in her debt!

Next, I stopped by Snider Plaza to visit my favorite home deco shop, Uptown Country Home

Uptown Country Home in Snider Plaza (Dallas)

Owner/resident style expert/artist extraordinaire, Jenny Grumbles, always has the best finds! I always end up shipping my finds back to California because I can’t bear to be without them. My mom and I bought a coffee table but look at this super chic & snazzy custom headboard we saw there:

Super chic & fun custom headboard at Uptown County Home

Next, I headed back to Northpark Mall to Nordstrom to visit with Tres Brown – a renowned makeup artist for Burberry, Tom Ford and Christian Dior:

BF and Tres Brown - renowned makeup artist with Burberry, Tom Ford and Christian Dior

And no trip to Dallas would be complete without MULTIPLE visits to my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant and home-away-from-home, Mi Cocina:

BF & my big brother at Mi Cocina

Along with the best margaritas in all the land:

Mi Cocina Margarita

Okay, beauties, that concludes Hometown Dallas Visit, Part 1. Hope you enjoyed it!

Let me know if you have any suggestions for places I should visit on my next trip home!

And tune in next week for Part 2 and see what delicious discoveries I had in Dallas.



BF Asks: Have you ever been to Dallas? 

WWW: Big Bow trend spotted in Dallas

Hi beauties,

I am in my hometown, Dallas, this week and there is one trend that is not easy to ignore.



When I watched an episode of Gossip Girl back in January, I actually noted to myself that hair bows were gonna be making a biiiiig comeback. And, girl-oh-girl, are they!!

No matter where I have gone, in Dallas, this week, big bows have been there too.

At dinner at Mi Cocina:

Spotted by BF: Big Bows at Mi Cocina in Dallas

And at breakfast the next morning:

WWW: Big Bows at Original Pancake House in Dallas

So, our WWW girls this week are actually bows and the girls who love them! Particularly 3 beautiful ESD (Episcopal School of Dallas – my alma mater) 6th graders I had the pleasure of visiting with at Mi Cocina. Here’s how it went down.

BF: Hey girls! I would love to feature you 3 as my WWW girls on BeautyFrosting. I feel like bows have really made a comeback!

WWW Ashley & Abby: They have! They’re really popular! Do you sell like really big bows on BeautyFrosting?

BF: Sadly, no. Sorry!

WWW Ashley (somewhat disappointed): Oh. That’s too bad.

BF: Where do you buy your bows?

WWW Ashley & Abby: Well, Stride Rite has really big bows. And we get them on Amazon. And Forever 21! And Albertson’s too!

BF: Well, thanks so much for being our WWW girls! Y’all are gorgeous and already trendsetters in the making! Please say hi to Mr.Kimball for me!

These girls were so safe (asking their parents for permission), smart, charming and well-spoken that I feel like our future is gonna be a good place to be.


BF Asks: Did you ever wear big bows?