High-Low 1/6/13: Vegas & Reflecting…

Happy 2014, friends!! I hope it is off to a shimmering start for you. Here is my High-Low this week. It was a good one!


What a year 2013 was!! And it wrapped up in grand style for me in Las Vegas with some of my dear friends that I made during my years working for Barbra Streisand. So what was on the agenda? Seeing amazing shows, staying at the MGM Grand, eating delicious food, drinking wonderful wine and laughing…a lot.

When in Vegas, SHINE!!! Dress by Honey Punch ℅ M. Caroline Boutique

I spent the first night seeing my old friends, Maroon 5. It makes me so happy when I see people I’ve been friends with or crossed paths with over the years turn their talents & passions into success. I remember seeing Adam Levine and the Maroon 5 guys (when they were Kara’s Flowers) playing for our friend’s birthday party on La Brea. Seeing Kara’s Flowers play was a frequent thing in the early 2000s. I haven’t seen them live as Maroon 5 so it was SUCH a treat. I had a dorky, proud mom smile on my face the whole time. Adam was the same star then that he is now. And my friend, Sam Farrar, was at that party and now he’s in the band. Love how full circle things are. Just melts my heart.

Maroon 5 at Mandalay Bay on December 30th in Vegas


The next night we were treated to a ridiculously delicious dinner of sushi at Shibuya at MGM Grand. Then it was on to a private Fleetwood Mac party/show.

Fleetwood Mac Private Party & Show at MGM Grand


Wowsers, y’all. We had a table but ended up being front stage center for the show. It. Was. AMAAAAAZING. Lindsey Buckingham had us touch his guitar. As someone who adores them who happened to be in a coed/Fleetwood Mac-style band back in the day, it was just a huge treat! And what a way to kick off the new year!


Fleetwood Mac at MGM Grand

My 2014 continued to be awesome when I realized that the ticket I had bought was actually in first class. I thought that if 2014 only went up from that point, I was looking at the best year of my life.

Well, that's one way to kick off 2014!



In our room at the MGM Grand reflecting back on the year…with a glass of vino, of course!


My low was not really a low-low. It was more a big ole casserole of lessons learned, regrets I’m trying to move past, people I’m trying to let go of and intentions set so as not to repeat the past again.

But sometimes even the best of intentions and most honest of resolutions get broken. Simply put…being human is hard. Really hard. It is so easy to judge yourself and get lost in that grief. As they say in August: Osage County, “Thank God we can’t tell the future. We’d never get out of bed.”

There is only ONE thing that we are guaranteed in this life – that this life will end.  So my main resolution this year is to forgive myself a little more and treat myself a little bit more gently, if possible. To accept defeat, rejection and sorrow as chances to grow gracefully and become a better human being. And to let go of the patterns, people and events in my life that don’t serve me and don’t make me a better person. Life is far too short to have anything in it that detracts from your life rather than adding happiness to it. So as I reflect today, I will grow tomorrow. At least, that’s my intention.

And I have to tell ya…I have a sneaking suspicion that 2014 is going to be the best year yet. Here’s to keeping resolutions, actualizing dreams and celebrating every day we get in this life!



BF Asks: What was your High-Low this week? What are your resolutions? What did you reflect upon with the turn of the new year?


*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!

Daily Delights: My New Years Tradition

Happy New Year, my friends! I just got back from the best New Years Eve I’ve ever had – more on that later – but for now, I have to share my annual New Years tradition with you guys.
Even with a well-earned hangover, I had to make this happen today.
Hope your 2014 is off to a  beautiful start!
Me? I’m just eatin’ my blackeyed peas, chilling out, watching some movies and catching up on some tv. I’m long overdue for a little R & R.
As a southern girl, I fervently believe in the power of blackeyed peas…and I don’t mean the band.

My annual New Years tradition: Blackeyed Peas with jalapeños, bacon, a crescent roll and champagne!

Every year I cook a big pot of blackeyed peas with bacon, jalapeños, jalapeño juice, salt, pepper and a bit of butter and then top ’em with a dollop of Daisy sour cream and sharp cheddar. I serve em to my friends with crescent rolls or biscuits and champagne and, in honor of my Papaw, I always have a bit of buttermilk with em too. They are delicious and southern folklore says it grants you prosperity. Each year gets better and better so it must be workin’. Bring it on, my little blackeyed friends!! And may 2014 bring YOU prosperity!!!
BF Asks: What is your New Years tradition?

Dawn’s Diary: Dreams, Destiny and Detours

When I moved to Los Angeles in the early 2000s, I wanted more than anything to act, write and sing. I felt like it was my destiny. My calling. My friend, Sarah, once told me that I was one of the most confident people she’d ever met when it came to knowing what I wanted to do.

Confident I was not. In fact, my acting teacher in Austin – Mona Lee – once told me that my lack of confidence was the only thing standing in the way between me and success. By 2002, insecurity and fear had set in and had me by the throat.

Me, age 23


I never felt like I was “enough” – pretty enough/thin enough/talented enough/cool enough/confident enough  – to do all of the things I wanted to do in this town. I let fear take control of the wheel and acting and writing got the brakes. My day job of shopping for Barbra Streisand and my band, Hawkeye, ended up taking center stage and all my other dreams kind of fell into the background. I thought I had missed my chance and that the life I was going to live was going to be very different from the life I had always imagined for myself.

Fast forward to 2013 and I am so grateful that what used to be my “dream day” is now my normal day. I love waking up to check emails & blog feedback, auditioning and being a paid, working writer. What have I learned since those first days in LA? It really is a 10 year town. And dreams can come true – even if they’re not just like how you imagined them. Now, I am so grateful for the time it took and for the bends in the road I navigated to get me to this point.


Hard at work or at play?


Creativity reigns supreme in my life. I am never bored. And I am utterly delighted and humbly grateful to get to do what I do daily while being surrounded by people I love who inspire me.


Never bored - Writing, Singing, Voiceovers, Acting



Friends always ask how I am able to stay so busy and yet be so positive. I have found that  the old adage is true –  “if you really love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life”. While I still have many dreams yet to come true and a long way to go, I am so grateful for the daily dreams that are being actualized every single day. And every day, new ones present themselves to me. Next up? Hosting. Who knew?
If you have dreams that have been cast aside due to work obligations, family, time management or the-ever-defeating fear, try taking small steps to reintroduce them back into your life.

Ask yourself today, “If I could live any other life right now, what would I be doing?” It doesn’t mean that you have to change your whole life, it’s just the first chapter in finding the best ways to reintroduce your passions back into your life and live the life you’ve always imagined. After all…
It is never too late to make your dream a reality. 

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” (Steve Jobs)



BF Asks: What’s holding you back from going after your dreams? 

Quote Book: Thursday, 10/11/12 – Nashville knows best…

Nashville knows best...

Nashville knows best...

“Failure’s what befalls a man who fails to act. Destiny is for men who refuse to accept their failures as their fate. We’ve all had failures. Don’t let ’em define you. Let ’em refine you. I believe in your destiny. Do you?”

(Powers Boothe as Lamar Wyatt on ABC’s Nashville)

High-Low 11: GRATEFUL

You know when you have a great day – how that reasoning, logical little voice in your head reminds you that this luck/happiness/love/success, etc. won’t last forever?

That mean little voice that might remind us of a bully in school, a negative parent or dream-crushing teacher? Well, this is what I like to say to that little voice when it talks to me meanly in moments of Bliss: “Get on out Devil, I’m not listenin’ to ya.” (I like to say it in a Loretta Lynn – In the Pines – kind of way).

Last week, I said that a few times to myself. And, know what? It worked. When the negative comes in, I always try to counter it with a little positive. You see, as a friend of mine once told me, “The only time you fail is when you stop moving.” And, y’all, this is sooooooo true.

So, after an amazing, affirming week last week, I kept moving this past one. I worked from 7am – midnight doing the best I could. And I was rewarded with an even better week than the last!

This was a week filled with highs and a scarcity of lows. Thank goodness! So the one word that comes to mind this week: GRATEFUL.


1) New Life: Welcome, little Isla

My precious friends, Jay and Hope, gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl, yesterday. They named her Isla. After being a week-and-a-half late and a challenging labor (30 hours!!!), already, this baby is so loved. It’s like the world was waiting for her. And we were! Babies are amazing reminders of how beautiful life is. How precious time is. And how important it is to have family and friends that make this journey so sweet.

I couldn’t stop snapping pics!!!

Love at First Sight: Hope & Isla

Love at First Sight: Hope & Isla



Love sweet moments like these

Love sweet moments like these

Grandmas & aunties galore!

Grandmas & aunties galore!

I cannot wait to see what a wonderful life this beautiful little biscuit, Miss Isla, is going to have with these two sweet, loving, talented people as her parents. What a lucky girl!

2) Another, please! I booked another voiceover

So with all of my celebrating last week after booking my first SAG-AFTRA voiceover job for UPS, I did not expect this.

I booked a national voiceover for Target! WHAAAAAAAAT?!! So thrilled. So grateful. I can’t stop smiling.

And, of course, I had to have my good friend, Jenn, capture my childlike excitement again. As always, when I get good news, I did herkies, high kicks and cheerleading jumps from my high school days. I think this is becoming a tradition: book a big job, take embarrassingly ridiculous pictures. I mean there were even spirit fingers involved.

Excited as a 5-year-old!

Excited as a 5-year-old!


3) Surprise! Flowers at the door

To top off the amazing news that I had just gotten in the car from my agent, I came home to find a lovely bouquet of flowers from my stylist friend, Laura S. She left them for me as a thank you but they couldn’t have been left on a more perfect day!

Surprise! Flowers at my door!

Surprise! Flowers at my door!


4) Fashion’s Night Out on Robertson

After the excellent news I received that day, I had the perfect place to celebrate – Fashion’s Night Out on Robertson!

My friends, Sharzad Kiadeh of LuxLyfe and Erin Michelle of Well in LA were co-hosting a fabulous event at Hale Bob with stylist supreme, Laurie Graham.

(From L to R): Me, Erin, Samantha, Nicole Myden, Sharzad and Laurie Graham

(From L to R): Me, Erin, Samantha, Nicole Myden, Sharzad and Laurie Graham


There, I saw some of my favorite, fabulous, fashionable LA-blogging friends and indulged in a glass – or 2 – of champagne.


Me & a few of my favorite LA bloggers!

Me & a few of my favorite LA bloggers!


I met 2 fellow Texan-turned-LA-girls! Besides the fabulous stylist extraordinaire, Laurie Graham, I also met Lisa H. Los Angeles is a lucky city with those lovely ladies living here!


My new friend (& fellow Texan), Lisa H

My new friend (& fellow Texan), Lisa H


5) Having a super-fun session for Target

I had an amazing session doing the spots for Target. And I was a total nerd in that I wore red. Not to mention, I baked cookies. But I do that for all my sessions.

I’ll let y’all know as soon as they start airing! Keep an eye out for me telling you to go grab Taylor Swift’s, Pink’s and No Doubt’s new albums at Target. That’ll be me!


In the booth for Target

6) Celebration

At the end of a long, busy, productive, exciting & blessing-filled week, I was thrilled when my good friend (and power agent), Gloria H called me.

She wanted to catch up and see my kids’ books, too!

So off to Three Twenty Wine Lounge we went. We love that place!

Celebration with Moscato


It was a delightful and delicious way to celebrate! And the perfect end to a perfect day!
And guess what? She’s also a fellow Texan. You know what they say… you can take the girl out of Texas…


Honestly, yet again, there weren’t any real lows. But…

Texan girls are made for tornadoes not ‘quakes.

Eeeek. Earthquake. Side to side kind. Never felt that kind before. And I don’t like that we’ve felt 3 so close together in the past 2 months! Miss Ellie and I both couldn’t stop shaking.
Hope that’ll be the end of that for a while. But it’s a little disconcerting when there are so many small ones so close together.

Agh! There that voice is. “Get on out Devil, I’m not listenin’ to ya.”





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


Quote Book: Today’s failures, Tomorrow’s success

Helen Keller: Today's failures, tomorrow's success

Helen Keller: Today's failures, tomorrow's success

“Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles.”

(Helen Keller)